Staying connected to friends and family on the other side of the globe is important when you first move to Austria. The easiest way to do this is via the Internet. There are a wide range of Internet providers and it’s relatively easy to get connected. In the meantime most hotels, restaurants and especially all McDonalds’ have free Wi-Fi, “Gratis WLAN” hotspots, so you just need to ask for the password if they are locked.
The Telekom Austria Group is the largest telecommunications company in Austria and the umbrella company for all Internet service providers. I wouldn’t bother with out-dated dial up access as its slow and high-speed access (DSL) has dominated the broadband market. However, if you decide to go with the dial up option, you just need a normal analogue phone-line and an account with an Internet service provider. If you have a fixed telephone line, you can plug your computer in and get online that way. Most dial-up ISPs offer either a pay-as-you-go service or a contract where you pay an amount per month for limited access.
It is advisable to go with the high-speed option (DSL), as it is faster and the cost is less. Many mobile phone providers have packages that include your Internet Wi-Fi and TV services. All you need is a computer, a linking element for the data line and a service provider. Simply book an appointment with the technician when you are in the phone shop, to arrange a time to come and install the router or modem.
Flat rates are common but be careful when it states “unlimited”, as it might be unlimited up to a certain size. Read the small print to avoid a surprise bill.
Over recent decades, television has seen incredible changes. In the age of technology there are now numerous options for viewing pleasure. Austria is no exception to these changes, with file sharing and streaming sites now taking over. Expats will likely find that TV in Austria is not the same as their home country, especially considering that most TV stations are entirely in German. However, watching television in German is a great way to pick up phrases and learn the language.
The main Television provider in Austria is Osterreichischer Rudfunk (ORF), which is based in Vienna and consists of two main channels. Cable and satellite TV are available, as well as commercial and German channels. There is an annual fee for having a television licence and costs vary between areas. The average cost per year is around €250 for a standard license.
If you are a sports enthusiast, Sky Austria has over 200 channels, but you will need a satellite dish for this option. Some apartment buildings come with this option, but you may need to buy the dish if not. The costs associated with satellite television can be pricey, depending on the package you choose and whether you need the dish.
Most expats utilize the World Wide Web for their Television needs and therefore, an internet connection is essential. Online streaming is the new wave of entertainment and websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime are some of the leading companies that provide this service. You can purchase devices such as an Apple TV or Chrome-cast, which allow you to view your streaming websites on your television via a wifi connection. These are a great option if you want to watch shows or movies on a screen larger then your computer and create a normal television viewing experience.
When you relocate to another country, one task you will likely be faced with are international money transfers. Of course you will need to have an Austrian bank account set up before you can complete a transfer, but this is an easy process in itself. International wire transfers that can be completed from your home bank to an Austrian bank, or vice versa. However, this traditional method can take weeks to receive funds. With today’s technology, there are a few other ways you can make international transfers.
Foreign Exchange Companies
If you have travelled to another country before, you have likely used a foreign exchange agency of some sort to convert money from one currency into another. Some of these companies also offer international money transfer options to clients that want to send larger sums of money from a bank in one country to another country. Generally these venders offer a better rate then most banks, so do your research to find the best company.
You will need your SWIFT code and BIC information in order to complete a transaction with the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). This service is generally one of the faster options for moving money abroad.
This method is generally only possible if you have set up an arrangement with your bank before you depart the country. You may even need an additional person on your account to make the bank draft for you once you have left. A trusted family member in your home country is usually a handy option to have if you intend to transfer money overseas often.
Whichever method you use to transfer your money from your home account to Austria or vice versa, you will need to budget for fees and completion time. It is also useful to be aware of each countries bank holidays to ensure you aren’t left waiting for your money to clear.
If you are looking for some of the tastiest international cuisine in Europe, then Austria has a lot on offer. You can find almost any type of dish you desire here and there are a few that stand out in each major city. Here are some of the most recommended eateries to try out.
Hill Restaurant – International Grill
This lovely restaurant is located in a suburban area outside the downtown area in northwest Vienna. It holds the title as the best place to eat in the city on Trip advisor and boasts some of Thomas Göls’ best creations. The price tag ranges form 9CHF – 36CHF and there is an extensive wine list on offer.
This elegant steakhouse is located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel and offers a high class dining experience. Of course meat is the main menu item, but there are also vegetarian friendly options. With valet parking and a selection of 12 steak knives to choose from, you will not be disappointed by this unique restaurant experience. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Restaurant Anna – International
Located in the Palais-Hotel Erzherzog Johann, Graz, this lovely restaurant will not disappoint. The chefs offer tasty Austrian and international cuisine with prices ranging from 6-28CHF on the menu, or set menu options for a more unique dining experience. Open Tuesday – Saturday for dinner only.
Restaurant Esszimmer – Austrian & International
This top dining destination offers a set menu of 5 courses that includes wine pairings and for lunch there is a 3-course menu on offer. The price tag is high end, but customers have awarded the restaurant as the best in Salzburg. Open Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner only.
Whatever your palette desires, there is an abundance of restaurants available in any major Austrian city to suit any budget. The fun is in trying them all out and deciding for yourself!
So, you have been living in your new country for a while and you are finally going to get some quality holiday time with your family. The kids are out of school and you have ample time to explore the new surroundings. So, where should you go? Follow this guide to a fun filled school holiday!
Austria is an adventure explorer’s paradise and the outdoor activities in this country are endless. Whether you bike, walk, hike, ski or ice skate, there is an outdoor activity for you. Ski Turracher Höhe, hike the Valley of Vultures or pedal the Kitzbüheler Alpen. These are just a few of the options for the outdoors adventurist.
Ski or Hike
Depending on the season, the Austrian Alps are one of the most favourable characteristics of the nation. Tyrol is one of the most popular provinces for families to visit. With 500 mountain peaks, all with latitudes above 3000metres, the Tyrol province has an abundance of options when you want to hit the slopes or hike to a spectacular view. Bear in mind that booking ahead may be smart if you are travelling in a holiday season, as this area is a very popular destination.
Museums for Children
If you are seeking something more cultural or educational for the kids this holiday, then why not take them to one of Austria’s child friendly museums? There are venues such as; Zoom museum, Haus der Nutur (Museum of Nature), Frida and Fred or Villa Sinnenreich Museum.
Whatever you decide to do for your family’s summer or winter holiday, Austria will surely not disappoint. With one of the best public transit systems at your fingertips, you can travel around without the added driving stress. Or if you’ve explored enough of Austria’s sites, you can fly to many European countries in less than a few hours. Gute Reise!
If you are heading out for the evening, Austria is home to some of the most unique and elegant style venues. Whether you are seeking a play, live music or just a few drinks with friends, there is fun to be had by all. Here are some entertainment and nightlife suggestions you can pick from in Austria.
Located in Vienna, this venue is one of the longest established German speaking theatres in Europe and shows over 800 performances a year. Conception of the theatre took place in 1741 and the structure was rebuilt after the Second World War. There are 4 venues within the Burgtheater. Ranging from the largest Burgtheater itself to the Vestibul, which is the smallest. Ticket prices vary depending on the show and venue.
Salzburg Marionette Theatre
This multilingual venue is located in Salzburg and is a century old marionette theatre
Shows include various different play such as; The sound of Music, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nutcracker, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Peter the Wolf. Tickets are purchased directly from the venue and costs depend on the show.
Located in Vienna, the MuTh is home to the famous Vienna boy’s choir. The venue seats 400 people and is renowned for its exceptional acoustics. You can either sit back and listed to the boys serenade you, or you can join in one of the choral sessions with the choir. Other genera’s of performances at the MuTh include; Opera, classical, rock, jazz or drama shows.
This elegant wine bar is located in the centre of Graz and provides a drop for any palate. Serving wines from Austria, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Australia. They have a kitchen that serves cuisines ranging from Antipasti to fish or meat dishes and can cater for up to 1000 people. La Enoteca offers delivery to anywhere in Graz.
Located in Vienna, this double story nightclub offers live music for most genera’s. The first floor lounge displays a 12m chandelier and the Dj spins R&B or old school tunes. The 2nd story club plays electronic music and opens its doors at 1am.
Moving to another country can be a scary and exciting thing all in one. Whether you are going it alone or are relocating the whole family, there are many new adventures that lie ahead. How you approach these adventures is generally what makes the biggest difference when arriving in a new place.
Some of the tips listed below will assist you in your approach to relocating to Austria.
Create a Home Away from Home
Whether you are renting, looking to buy property or you’re not quite sure where to start, creating a space to settle yourself is generally an important step to feeling at home in a new country. There are an abundance of accommodation options in Austria and new inventive ideas to help you get settled. For example, renting furniture is a great way to ensure you can get settled right away without the hassle of moving all your belongings overseas.
Learn the Language – German
It may sounds easier said then done, but learning the language of a new country is the best way to feel part of the community. Generally you will find that most Austrians are very understanding when you at least try to communicate in their native tongue. With today’s technology there are many online options for learning German or you can try a local language school once you get settled. Although it is a courtesy to at least try to learn the language of a new place, most Austrians today can speak at least some English. You will likely even come across those that really want to speak English to better their vocabulary.
Find other expats from your country/language
These days, the amount of expats relocating to other countries is exceptional. If not for work or other commitments, people are also relocating for their own piece of mind. Whatever your reason is, rest assured that there are always going to be fellow nationals from your home country where you are going. Online forums and expat connection sites can help you find other local nationals that can help make you feel at home.
Get outdoors and explore
Austria is an outdoor adventurers playground and it is easy to see why. From the famous alpine regions to the bustling cities, there are all sorts of amazing places to explore.
Be open to the regional differences and identities – don’t stereotype
Like many countries, Austria has multiple regions and identities, so it is important not to generalise “Austrians” as one specific identity or region. Stereotyping is usually not a great way to make friends anyways, so keep an open mind to the differences of this unique place.
If you have never experienced the sheer bliss of a shopping spree in Graz, then you are in for a treat. Whether you are seeking souvenirs, fashion pieces or furniture, Graz has it all. You can even shop after hours, tax-free or select one of the many shopping centres located throughout the city.
Graz is especially known for its exceptional selection of markets. There are farmers markets, flea markets and markets for all seasons in this shopper’s paradise.
If you are new to the city or are just interested in visiting for a weekend or holiday, here are some of the popular shopping streets in Graz:
If you want an all in one shopping experience or if you simply want to escape the winter weather, you can find all you need under one roof at any of these major shopping centres:
There are an abundance of options if you are looking to find traditional Austrian Tracht clothing as well. You will surely find the perfect Tracht outfit in any of these unique shops:
Whatever your reason is for spoiling yourself to a shopping spree in Graz, you will not be disappointed by this shop-till-you-drop destination. If you need a break from the stores, you can always slip into one of the many international restaurants scattered throughout the city. Or after you find that perfect outfit, you may want to hit the town for the evening to show it off!