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Vienna tourism

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Language
German is the national language of Austria. Viennese natives speak a dialect of German called Wienerisch, which speakers of standard German find difficult or impossible to understand. The younger Viennese tend to speak fairly good English. A large American embassy and several international agencies are based in Vienna. Consequently, there are many international schools and a large expatriate community of native English speakers. One of the state radio stations, FM4, features English-language programming during the daytime.

In the native German, Vienna is called Wien. The German letter W sounds like the English V, so Wien is pronounced “Veen”. A citizen of Vienna is called a Wiener, which sounds like “Veener” and not like the American sausage.

Currency
Austria is an economically mature member of the European Union. Like most mature EU countries, its currency is the euro. It is bordered by some fledgling EU members, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary, that still have their own national currency. You may therefore have to exchange some euros or dollars if you wish to make a side excursion to the neighboring Eastern European states.

Tipping
Viennese waiters and cab drivers earn relatively high wages, but it is courteous to tip them at least five percent of the bill, and preferably ten percent. Many locals do not tip, but this would be unseemly on the part of a tourist. Older, more experienced waiters are especially reliant on tips to supplement their income. Instead of leaving a tip at the table, the standard practice is to tell your waiter how much change you would like to receive when you pay your bill.

Environment
Vienna is a safe and clean city. You are unlikely to encounter beggars, and can roam almost anywhere at any hour without fear of robbery or hooliganism. Part of Vienna's culture of tidiness is a passion for recycling. Show your appreciation for Viennese cleanliness by never littering and by trying to find the correct receptacle when you discard containers and wrappers.

Seasons
There is no particular high season for tourism in Vienna. Visitors are easily accommodated all year round. The summertime boating and cycling give way to skating and skiing in winter. In December, bustling outdoor Christmas markets give the Viennese streets a festive air. Vienna enjoys a mild Continental climate. Winter snowfall is light, and freezing temperatures are infrequent.
 

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