Sun. May 19th, 2024
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Austria, a captivating country nestled in the heart of Europe, attracts visitors with its stunning landscapes, historical treasures, and renowned ski resorts. However, newcomers to Austria may encounter some puzzling aspects of daily life. In this article, we explore over 15 intriguing realities that can surprise and fascinate those experiencing Austria for the first time. From unique toilet designs to cultural customs and energy practices, let’s unravel the quirks of life in Austria.

Innovative Toilet Designs: Shelf System for Health Awareness


Austria’s toilet bowls feature a distinctive shelf design that allows individuals to observe their waste before flushing. This practical feature enables self-checks for health purposes or collecting stool samples for testing, promoting proactive healthcare habits.

Bedspreads? Not So Common!

Unlike in many countries, Austrians rarely use bedspreads. Hotels and households typically provide neatly folded blankets without additional coverings. However, newcomers may bring their cultural preferences for bedspreads, highlighting the diversity in bedding practices.

Straightforward and Honest Communication

Austrians value direct communication without beating around the bush. Locals tend to offer candid feedback or make “rude” comments about behavior or appearance, which can be misconstrued as harshness. This emphasis on honesty reflects their commitment to expressing thoughts and opinions openly.

Intense Eye Contact During Toasts

When Austrians raise their glasses for a toast, they maintain deep eye contact with their drinking companions. Deviating from this tradition is considered bad luck and a sign of disrespect. So, be prepared to maintain eye contact during toasts to adhere to local customs.


It’s “Österreich,” Not “Austria”

In the German language, Austria is referred to as “Österreich.” This name stems from its historical origins as the “Eastern Realm” (Ostarrîchi) during the Middle Ages. Embracing this distinction adds to the cultural identity and heritage of the country.

The Hundertwasser Touch: Unique Waste Incineration Plant

The Spittelau waste incineration plant in Vienna stands out as a unique landmark. Designed by renowned Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, it features vibrant mosaics and golden accents. This fusion of art and environmental consciousness showcases Austria’s commitment to sustainability.

Life in Austria offers a fascinating array of realities that can intrigue and surprise newcomers. From innovative toilet designs to cultural customs like a direct communication and eye contact during toasts, these aspects reflect Austria’s unique identity. Understanding and embracing these quirks can enrich the experience of living or visiting this enchanting country, fostering a deeper connection with its rich traditions and way of life.



By Lala