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General Info about Vienna, Austria

Visa Requirements
Citizens of EU countries need only a valid national identity card to enter Austria. If you're an EU citizen and you don't have this identity card you need to show your passport. EU citizens can stay for as long as they want but if they're planning to stay permanently they should register with the local police. Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand require a passport, but no visa, and can stay for up to three months. In case of any change of requirements it is always advisable to check the current situation before leaving home.

Currency
The currency used in Austria is the Euro which is made up of 100 Cent. Notes come in denominations of €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 and the coins in use are €2, €1, 0.50C, 0.20C, 0.10C, 0.05C, 0.02C and 0.01C.

Language
German is the official language in Austria and although a high proportion of Austrians speak English a few words of German would be extremely useful.

Climate
Due to its central position in Europe, Vienna experiences a continental climate with extremes of temperatures; hot summers and very cold winters. In weather terms, spring and autumn are the best times to visit as you don't get these extremes. However, Christmas and New Year is the peak season in Vienna and if they get snowfall, which they regularly do at this time of year, the city can be an awe-inspiring sight.

Time Zone
Austria is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and the clocks go forward in April and back again in October.

Tourist Information
The main tourist office in Vienna is at Karntnerstrasse 38 (Open daily 9am-7pm, tel. 5138892 or 5134015). Here they'll be able to provide you with some information leaflets and answer any specific enquiries you may have. You will also find small information desks at the airport (daily 8.30am-9pm) and at the Westbahnhof (daily 7am-10pm) and Sudbahnhof (daily May to Oct 6.30am-10pm; Nov to April 6.30am-9pm).

Post Office
The main post office in Vienna is at Fleishmarkt 19, A-1010, just off Schwedenplatz. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as are all post offices in the Westbahnhof, Sudbahnhof and Franz-Josefs Bahnhof. All other branches are open Mon to Fri 8am-noon & 2-6pm, with some open 8am-10am on Saturdays.

Tipping
In restaurants, it's customary to round up your bill or add 15 percent unless it's already been done for you.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Austria they take place on January 1st and 6th, Easter Monday, May 1st, Ascension Thursday, the first Monday in June, Corpus Christi, August 15th, October 26th, November 1st and December 8th, 25th and 26th. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

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