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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Austria Travel Requirements








Travellers Essentials

Austrian Schilling (ASch) = 100 groschen. Bank notes are in denominations of ASch5000, 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of ASch20, 10, 5 and 1, and 50, 10 and 5 groschen.

The international dailing code for Austria is 43.

Getting Around
City taxis
are equipped with officially sealed meters; surcharges apply for luggage carried on the trunk, but these are clearly posted in the cab. In resort areas, zone or other set charges generally apply over frequently traveled routes.

The wearing of crash helmets is compulsory for rider and passenger. Dipped headlights must be used at all times.

Austrian traffic regulations are similar to those in force in other European countries (righthand traffic). For driving in Austria during the winter months, winter tyres are essential and in extreme cases snow chains have to be used. These can be hired at all major border crossings.

Duty Free
The following goods can be taken into Austria without incurring customs duty by travelers over 17 years arriving from countries ourside the EU:

(a)200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, and 250g tobacco.
(b)2 liters of wine, fortified wine or spirits up to 22%.
(c)1 liter of spirits.
(d)1 bottle of eau de cologne (up to 250ml)and
(e)60ml of perfume.

Currency exchange
Foreign currencies and travelers cheques are exchanged at all banks, savings banks and exchange counters at airports and railway stations at the official exchange rates.

Credit cards
Most major credit cards and Eurocheque cards are accepted in large cities and tourist areas. However, credit cards are less widely accepted in Austria than they are in the USA or the United Kingdom and some smaller hotels may require bills to be paid in cash.

Travelers cheques
These are widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers cheques in Pounds Sterling.

Currency restrictions :
No restrictions except for export of more than ASch100,000 in Austrian currency, for which a permit is required. Gold coins to a limit of 200g per person per trip may be exported, providing the coins do not have legal tender status.

Banking hours
Banks in Vienna are open 0800-1230 and 1330-1500 Monday-Wednesday and Friday and 0800-1230 and 1330-1730 Thursday (head offices do not close for the break). Different opening hours may be kept in the various Federal Provinces. The exchange counters at airports and at railway stations are generally open from the first to the last plane or train, which usually means from 0800-2200 including weekends.

Valid passport required by all except Nationals of EU countries, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland who may enter with a valid national ID card.

Required by all except the following:

(a)Nationals of Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Iceland, San Marino and Switzerland for an unlimited time.

(b)Nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA for stays of up to 3 months.

(c)Nationals of Japan for a period of up to 6 months.

(d)Nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Guatemala, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Uruguay and Venezuela for stays of up to 3 months.

(e)Nationals of Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Hungary, Korea (Rep. of), Latvia and Lithuania for stays of up to 90 days.

(f)Nationals of Czech Republic for stays of up to 30 days.

(g)Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport (except nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka who always require a transit visa). As the preceding list is liable to change at short notice, visitors are advised to check transit regulations with the relevant Embassy or Consulate before traveling.

Social Conventions
Austrians tend to be quite formal in both their social and business dealings. They do not use first names when being introduced, but after the initial meeting first names are often used. Handshaking is normal when saying hello and goodbye. It is considered impolite to enter a restaurant or shop without saying Guten Tag or, more usually, Gruss Gott, similarly, to leave without saying Auf Wiedersehen can cause offence. Social pleasantries and some exchange of small-talk is appreciated.

Large amounts are usualy not expected. On restaurant bills a service charge of 10-15% is included, but it is usual to leave a further 5%. Attendants at theatres, cloakrooms or petrol pumps, expects to be tipped $ASch 2-3. Railway and airports have fixed charges for portering while taxi drivers expects $ASch 3-4 for a short trip and 10% for a longer one.

Getting There

Air: Austria has three national airlines, Austrian Airlines (OS), Lauda Air (NG) and Tyrolean Airways (VO).

Rail: The quickest way by train from the UK is through the channel tunnel and connecting from Brussels or Paris to Austria. Eurostar operates direct high-speed trains through the channel tunnel from London to Parisand to Brussels.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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