There are 5 things that I wish I had of known when I had when travelling to Vienna and Salzburg in Austria.
1 – English is mostly spoken in the cities.
This was oneof my major concerns. I had my translating apps downloaded so that I could figure out how to navigate as I assumed everyoneon would only speak German. It turns out most people speak English as well, and I think a lot speak even a 3rd language – probably French. I am not saying go ahead and learn some German, that would probably be much appreciated and will help when it comes to ordering things from a menu (although many places have the English transcription to).
2 – They have banned plastic, including cutlery!
So this was annoying. I understand they want to reduce waste and do the environmentaly friendly thing, but the strange thng was for the places that sold takeaway or the grocery shops where you could buy salads and meals on the go, they did not have reusable cutlery to buy. I found this not only to be frustrating but also strange, I mean even from a business point of view – you could make so much money selling reusable or biodegradable cutlery for those who are tourists or last minute consumers who decide to eat out.
Luckily my hotel was able to provide me with cutlery when I got back and wanted to eat dinner, but I would have liked the opportunity to eat while walking the streets or even grab a fruit salad for breakfast.
3 – In Salzburg you will need sunscreen.
So coming from Australia I am used to the whole Sunscreen thing. know when the spring and summer months roll around to make sure I am not in the sun or I will need sunscreen. Turns out even in Salzburg in the cooler months, you will need Sunscreen. I think it is due to the fact that there is not a lot of pollution and that means clearer skies and not filter for the UV rays. I didn’t seem to have this problem in Vienna at all.
4 – Starbucks is your friend when it comes to bathrooms – but keep your receipt.
So finding a public bathroom can be a little difficult, it’s not like America or Australia where public bathrooms are free and located conveneitly in every shopping district. If you buy from a starbucks on any day, there is a code on the botton of your receipt, you can then use that code to go to the bathroom for that day at that starbucks. I am assuming this is not just for Austria but is probably implemented in most countries.
5 – Soy and Gluten Free have not made it to this party of the world.
I had a cold when I was on my last day in Vienna and the first 2 in Salzburg. Unfortuantely this meant I had to stay away from dairy where possible and meant I had to have Soy coffees for a while. When I asked several palces if they had soy, most said no. Good ol trusty starucks came to the rescue. Now as an Australian, I wouldn’t be caught dead back home going into a starbucks (It’s an Australia thing). But here, I knew I could get whatever pretentious coffee I needed and be guaranteed a bathroom. I also didn’t see many Gluten Free options like I di back home in Australia. They eat wheat and dairy here without shame, this is a country of traditions, not trends!
I will post photos and a full review of Austria when I come back and have access to my full catalogue.