Welcome to one of the most livable cities in the entire world! Remember that Vienna is an increasingly international city- host to the UN and many different nationalities. Being Viennese doesn’t mean you’re from Vienna- it’s a state of mind. With that in mind…
1. At least try to like coffee
Coffee culture is huge in Vienna, especially in quaint coffee shops. The Wiener Melange is always a safe bet, a delicious coffee drink native to Vienna. Even if you don’t like coffee, get a tea or hot chocolate and have a sit in one of the famous coffee houses here, like Café Central, Café Schwarzenberg, or Café Prückel.
2. Don’t be too friendly
Now don’t get me wrong- I’m not telling you to be mean. But Viennese people don’t go out of their way to be overly polite to each other. If you’re from somewhere where you smile at strangers on the street or make conversation with the cashier at the grocery, just know that that is definitely not the norm here. Your business is your own, and the Viennese greatly value their privacy.
3. Enjoy some car-free time
Vienna has one of the best public transportation systems in the world! Don’t feel the need to always take a car or call an Uber to get somewhere quickly- you’ll likely get there faster with a combination of the U-bahn, S-bahn, Bus, and by foot. The bike paths are also really nice in Vienna. Both options are more environmentally friendly and efficient!
4. Grocery shop in segments
Okay, this one is pretty specific. But, I noticed almost immediately upon moving to Vienna that the Viennese don’t do one big grocery shop per week as we do in the US. Instead, you go a few times a week as you notice what you need. There are many grocery stores all over Vienna, usually within a 2-10-minute walk. Remember to always bring a reusable bag with you, or better-always have one in your bag in case of last-minute shopping.
5. Walk quickly, but slow down
In Vienna, people tend to walk through the streets and the subway quite fast-but the Viennese also know how to take a breath and relax. Take time out of your day to get lunch and unwind. Use the “everything is closed on Sunday policy” to your advantage and just relax!