Here you can find some useful facts about different aspects of live in Upper Austria. For example: Did you know that (Upper) Austrians love to pay cash? So you better keep some cash with you at all times to pay the taxi driver or in the restaurant as debit or credit cards may not be accepted.
Money transactions, such as the payment of the salary or bills, are generally made cash-free. This also means that a person needs to open a checking account for the processing of cash-free payments. The low interest rates on these accounts make this an unprofitable investment. Interest rate levels vary from bank to bank.
To open a bank account, usually a valid photo identification is required, along with a residence registration in some cases. Depending on the selected account type, an overdraft is provided. This means that the account holder may have a negative balance by overdrawing it, for which the bank charges an overdraft fee. An account with an overdraft often requires a salary statement.
www.durchblicker.at > Finanzen > Girokonto is a tool to compare fees of different institutes.
Did you know that (Upper) Austrians love to pay cash? So you better keep some cash with you at all times to pay the taxi driver or in the restaurant as debit or credit cards may not be accepted.
There are a range of banks with many branches all over Upper Austria to select from. Some of the most popular and biggest ones are:
As all major Austrian banks offer online banking or their own apps, it is usually not even necessary to go to the bank in person. But if you have to or simply want to, every bank customer is generally cared for by a private customer ac - count manager, who answers questions and gives detailed information. Opening hours vary between banks and are indicated online. Banks charge varying account management fees. Here is a tool to compare the fees of different institutes: durchblicker.at/girokonto
In addition to traditional, physically present banks, there are online banks. Some of them offer cheaper conditions as they don’t have operating expenditures for branches. Nevertheless, some require a reference account for money transfers. These are some of the most popular online banks: www.ing-diba.at, www.easybank.at, www.n26.com/en-at
In Upper Austrian stores, it is very common to pay by debit card, which is usually included when opening an account. However, it is a good idea to check with the bank first whether this service is offered, as well as whether and what type of credit card is issued, as costs vary depending on the services included, such as insurance (including travel insurance). In some stores, it is possible to pay by credit card. Nevertheless, as this is not always the case, it is recommended to carry cash or a debit card.
Money transfers by standing order are direct and reliable, making regular payments like rent, utility costs and cell phone fees to the respective company easier.
The low interest rates on checking accounts make them unprofitable investments. Depending on the chosen bank, there are, nevertheless, other investment opportunities. Customer account managers offer personal consultations on different topics ranging from savings accounts and housing savings schemes to bonds and shares or loans.
Opening hours vary between stores, and between rural and urban areas. Stores are usually closed on Sundays by law, except for supermarkets in train stations and minimarkets at gas stations, which are allowed to sell groceries on Sundays and public holidays. There are also some bakeries with open coffee shops. Restaurants also have very different opening hours in rural and urban areas. In towns, restaurants are usually closed on Sundays, while in rural areas restaurants tend to be closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. It’s recommended to check the opening hours of the respective restaurant online or by phone to avoid standing in front of closed doors.
In Austria, shops are normally closed on Sundays and public holidays. This also means that many restaurants (especially in towns), groceries, bakeries or coffee shops keep their doors closed.
Groceries as well as household and hygiene products are available in many different supermarkets. There are several supermarket chains all over Austria offering similar prices and ranges of products. Almost all supermarket chains have their own organic food brand, but there are also organic supermarkets, especially in large cities. Supermarkets also sell bread and pastries. Cosmetics, household and hygiene products are also generally available in supermarkets and drugstores. Depending on the season, supermarkets also offer an extended product range including gardening tools in summer and Christmas decorations in winter. Almost all supermarkets have weekly offers, which can be found online or in apps. There are also weekly markets in many places with fresh farm produce, and weekly farmers’ markets in cities offering fresh seasonal and local food: www.genussland.at
There are malls with a wide range of fashion and electronics stores, as well as shopping streets with many fashion stores in big cities. The main shopping street in Linz is the Landstraße, but there are also many small boutiques and specialist shops to be discovered in the side streets. Furniture, household products, products for babies and decoration items can be found in small specialist shops as well as in large furniture stores.
One can usually either pay in cash or with debit card (including all functions such as Quick or Paypass) in Upper Austria. In some shops it is also possible to pay with credit card, but in this case it is advisable to be careful and also bear in mind that not every store accepts them.
The Upper Austrian Chamber of Labour provides comprehensive information about consumer rights and obligations as well as free consultations in individual cases.
Beratung | Arbeiterkammer Oberösterreich
In every single one of the more than 200 stationary pharmacies in Upper Austria, you will receive prompt and straightforward professional advice for minor health problems, and can buy prescription-free medication. In addition, the pharmacies offer a range of alternative health products such as health teas and Bach flowers, or cosmetic products for everyday life and for skin with special needs. You can, of course, collect the medication prescribed by your doctor, but only if you can present the prescription to the pharmacy staff. For opening hours, please refer to the website of your local pharmacy: www.apothekerkammer.at/apothekensuche
In case of an emergency, some pharmacies provide an emergency service at night. Here, you can find a list of pharmacies that are on duty at night, updated on a daily basis: apo24.at/apotheken/nachtdienste/%20oberoesterreich
With more than 400 post offices and about 1,300 postal partners all over Austria, the Austrian postal service is the leading logistics and postal service provider in the country. Most services, such as pricing and collection services, telephone and banking services can be found on the website of the Austrian postal service. Find all post offices with the post office finder here: www.post.at/sf/standortfinder
Everyday life in Upper Austria is characterized by numerous rituals and traditions. Dependent on the region, certain customs are still alive. Oberösterreich Tourismus gives an overview of all the Upper Austrian traditions. The calendar under www.brauchtumskalender.ooe-volkskultur.at explains diverse regional customs, as well as their origins and significance.
Austrians have a strong sense of tradition. But that does not mean they are old-fashioned. They are proud to preserve old customs as part of their heritage and let them shine in new splendour in the 21st century. Discover the most common Upper Austrian traditions and customs with our list in chronological order:
When Upper Austrians visit their friends, it is common to bring a small gift for the hosts. Flowers, chocolate or a bottle of wine, for example. Moreover, it’s common to take off your shoes before entering your host’s home.
At Epiphany on January 6th (known as Dreikönigsfest), young people all over Upper Austria dress in costumes resembling what the Three Kings supposedly wore. They walk from house to house singing carols and reciting sayings in order to collect donations for charities.
In February, Carnival revelers have fun at parades all over Upper Austria and enjoy the Faschingskrapfen, a delicious filled pastry. The masquerade parade in the town of Ebensee, called Fetzenzug, is an especially traditional Carnival celebration.
The Liebstattsonntag is a romantic tradition in the Salzkammergut region. On the fourth Sunday of the fasting period, people give each other deco - rated gingerbread hearts to show their affection for each other.
During Passion Week, children with rattles, the so-called Ratscher, walk from house to house making noise instead of the church bells.
The egg is an old symbol of fertility and also a symbol for the resurrection of Jesus. In Passion Week, the eggs are coloured on Gründonnerstag to be ready for Easter Sunday, when the eggs are put in nests and are hidden for the children. They have great fun looking for the nests and taking part in Eierpecken. But not only kids amuse themselves trying to break their opponent’s egg with their own.
On the first of May, or on the previous day, maypoles are set up everywhere. The whole village community decorates and sets up the maypole together at a celebration. There is also the custom of stealing maypoles from neighboring villages within the first three days. To prevent the maypole from being stolen, the villagers guard it around the clock.
At Whitsun in May or June, the Night of Unrest takes place, also known as Unruhe-Nacht. Especially in rural areas, people should watch out as it is allowed to hide things from other people’s gardens to indicate they should clean up.
Summer solstice, a ritual which might appear outdated, usually takes place on the night before June 29th. People celebrate it by setting fire to piles of wood with a straw doll on top, called Peterl, a personification of harm. They gather around the fire, play music, sing and jump over the flames.
On this special Sunday in late summer, people wear their Trachten to raise public awareness for these traditional regional costumes: women wear a Dirndl and men a Lederhose, which are very traditional in Upper Austria. It is often celebrated with music and folk dances, usually in combination with handicraft markets, religious village festivals with fetes, the socalled Kirtag, or the traditional Frühschoppen, where beer is already drunk on late Sunday morning. These Frühschoppen take place on Sunday mornings throughout the year and are public social events with brass bands and traditional Austrian food.
The ceremonial cattle drives during September and October down from more than 300 mountain pastures in Upper Austria into their winter barns in the valley, called Almabtrieb, takes place especially in the Salzkammergut, Pyhrnpass and
Ausseerland regions. For this purpose, the cows are decorated with bells and garlands of flowers.
St. Martin, who once shared his cloak with a poor and freezing beggar, is commemorated on November 11th. The celebration is especially popular among children, who walk in processions carrying lanterns they made in kindergarten. People bake yeast dough pastries in the form of the so-called Martin men and eat roast goose, a dish called Martinigansl.
On the four Sundays before Christmas, people light an Advent wreath. They are often self-made or can be bought at Christmas markets, where people admire handicrafts with a glass of hot punch or mulled wine in their hands. At this time of the year, people bake Christmas biscuits such as “Vanillekipferl”, “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread) and “Ischler Gebäck”, as well as “Kletzenbrot” (fruit bread). Kids are waiting for Saint Nicolas on December 6th, who brings presents to good children, and hope that they don’t get a visit from Krampus on December 5th, if they misbehaved during the year.
On Christmas Eve children can’t wait for the Christ Child to come. The birth of Jesus is celebrated with a decorated Christmas tree. Until the early afternoon of December 24th, most families still make preparations for the Christmas dinner, decorating the Christmas tree and setting up the crib, until they go to the Christmas Children’s Mass in the afternoon. When they return, the Christ Child has placed the presents under the Christmas tree unnoticed and the “Bescherung” can begin, where everyone opens their presents.
The majority of people in Austria are a member of the Roman Catholic Church. There are also other religions, such as Protestants (4.7%) and Muslims (48.0.2%), as well as some other smaller religious groups. Masses in Roman Catholic Churches take place at different times. They are announced in the church or on the homepage of the respective church community or municipality. The Mariendom Cathedral in Linz offers masses in English on Sundays at 4.30 p.m. Find out more at: www.mariendom.at Spiritual guidance services in foreign languages (Roman Catholic) are available here:
Regardless of a person’s origin, if they are Roman Catholic, they are obliged to pay an income-dependent contribution to the church. The registry office forwards the religion stated on the registration certificate to the diocese, which in turn informs the individual by post of the church contribution tax to be paid.
In Upper Austria as well as in the whole of Austria, German is the official language. It is the first language of almost 100 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union.
The German language
German has some special features. All nouns are written with initial capital letters, for instance. What can also be very confusing for beginners is that there are three genders, with the corresponding “Artikel” placed in front of the noun:
the capital city
The Austrian dialects Keep in mind: in Austria, every federal state has its own dialect which differs from others to a greater or lesser extent. Accents can be more or less guttural and strong, varying from region to region. Sometimes even Germans find the accents challenging to understand. But Austrians are very proud of their regional dialects and appreciate it very much if you take the effort to learn a few regional expressions.
The best time to start learning German is right now. Language skills encourage social integration in private and at work, allow participation in social life and make day-to-day life easier. There are numerous institutions and educational facilities across Austria offering German courses – also online. Find the right one for you at: sprachportal.integrationsfonds.at/english Additionally, many private language institutes offer individual and group courses for German as a foreign language such as Berlitz or inlingua.