Austria, Germany and Sweden living difference.

24 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi,

I have an opportunity to move and live in Carinthia (Kärnten) region in Austria.

 

I am currently living in Sweden and few years back lived/worked for 3 years (2005-2008) in Bavaria as well.

 

How is life, people and culture different or similar from life in Sweden as well as Bavaria.

Mostly I have read that all of Austria is basically Bavaria i.e. exactly the same.Any comments on that...?

Are there any major regional differences within Austria?

 

Keeping in mind that I am of Indian origin and look quite different and foreign in all the above three places.

 

Would appreciate your feedback since it will help me make a more informed decision.

 

Thanx.

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Posted

Yeah, but so are Bavarians. In my limited experience as someone from Northern Germany, Bavarians can be charming in a genial, sometimes slighly rustique way, but many are simply rude, with behavior that would be considered not acceptable where I am from as well as where I live now.

 

I'v had less exposure to Austrians and travelled less to Austria, but my impression is that Austrians can be as charming and that they are a lot friendlier in general. An American friend of mine who has been travelling to Austria for decades insists that Austrians will always complain and whine, something I have not experienced.

 

As far as politics and public life go, being environmentally conscious and supporting organic farming seems to be even bigger in Austria than it is in Germany. On the other hand, some of the politics ond coverage there seem definitely arcane from a German viewpoint, the rise and fall of Jörg Haider and the Kronenzeitung, just to name a few.

 

Haider, who held and voice racist vies, was very popular for some time. I have no idea if this translates into hostility towards foreigners.

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Posted

My son who is dark-skinned is in Austria quite a lot as his fiancee and daughter are Salzburgers. He has never had any problems with racism and likes the Austrians, even if they are slightly uptight, seen from his perspective. He has lived in India and he is Indian more than germanic, in spite of having grown up here (mostly).

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Posted

 

Yeah, but so are Bavarians. In my limited experience as someone from Northern Germany, Bavarians can be charming in a genial, sometimes slighly rustique way, but many are simply rude, with behavior that would be considered not acceptable where I am from as well as where I live now.

 

Nice that you share your pleasant opinion of us. And I have always found Nothern Germans to have a kind word for everyone. Truly.

 

I believe the OP wanted infos on Austrians. Austrians are wonderful people and quite friendly. You might find the dialect difficult to understand at times depending on where you live. I spend a bit of time there since it is a short distance away. I can say that I've never had a bad experience and no one has been rude or made me feel unwanted. Regardless, you will enjoy your time there, should you decide to move.

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Posted

My observations, albeit only mainly dealing with Austrians in business relationships and on skiing holidays :)

 

The Alpine provinces are basically Bavaria-lite, except Aldi is called Hofer and potatoes are called Erdäpfel.

 

Austrians are obsessed with using titles in the workplace...Magistrat, Herr Ingineur, Herr Doktor etc. Which I find pedantic in a "my willy is bigger than yours" way. I understand Dr. or Prof. but the thought of someone calling me Mr. Bachelor of Arts is laughable.

 

Outside of major urban centres, Austrians are very conservative, almost bordering on redneck.

 

They are more laid back than the Germans and tend to be more of a southern European "work-to-live" mindset than the Germans are, although not as chaotic as the Italians and Spaniards. Very similar to the Swedes in that respect.

 

Service in shops, restaurants, hotels etc tends to be friendlier than in Germany.

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Posted

 

My observations, albeit only mainly dealing with Austrians in business relationships and on skiing holidays

 

The Alpine provinces are basically Bavaria-lite, except Aldi is called Hofer and potatoes are called Erdäpfel.

 

Austrians are obsessed with using titles in the workplace...Magistrat, Herr Ingineur, Herr Doktor etc. Which I find pedantic in a "my willy is bigger than yours" way. I understand Dr. or Prof. but the thought of someone calling me Mr. Bachelor of Arts is laughable.

 

Outside of major urban centres, Austrians are very conservative, almost bordering on redneck.

 

They are more laid back than the Germans and tend to be more of a southern European "work-to-live" mindset than the Germans are, although not as chaotic as the Italians and Spaniards. Very similar to the Swedes in that respect.

 

Service in shops, restaurants, hotels etc tends to be friendlier than in Germany.

 

this is a good summary I'd agree with.

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Posted

 

Austrians are weird.

 

?? Sorry, but calling one nation just "weird" is really ignorant. Austria is a good country for living, with better social systems than most of the EU and one of the lowest crime rates in the whole world.

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Posted

 

?? Sorry, but calling one nation just "weird" is really ignorant. Austria is a good country for living, with better social systems than most of the EU and one of the lowest crime rates in the whole world.

 

Oh man, faux-political-correct-outrage on behalf of a whole nation.

 

Both my comments on this thread should be read with equal levels of seriousness.

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Posted

 

I believe the OP wanted infos on Austrians.

 

Read again:

 

 

I am currently living in Sweden and few years back lived/worked for 3 years (2005-2008) in Bavaria as well.

 

How is life, people and culture different or similar from life in Sweden as well as Bavaria.

Mostly I have read that all of Austria is basically Bavaria i.e. exactly the same.Any comments on that...?

 

The OP has lived in Bavaria and among other things wanted to know if/how Austria was different from Bavaria.

 

About Bavarians, if it were only the lack of friendly words! I do have some Bavarian friends and some colleagues whom I like very much but I have also experienced a disproportionate amount of outreageous behavior from Bavarians in Bavaria as well as outside Bavaria. Interestingly, my experience with folks from Frankonia and the Swabian districts has been a lot better.

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Posted

 

Oh man, faux-political-correct-outrage on behalf of a whole nation.

 

Both my comments on this thread should be read with equal levels of seriousness.

 

It's better for me to immediately figure out how to put someone on the ignore list on this forum.

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Posted

 

It's better for me to immediately figure out how to put someone on the ignore list on this forum.

 

good luck with that.

 

BTW, weird synonyms: strange - odd - peculiar - quaint - uncanny - bizarre

 

I've lived in Vienna, which informs my subjective view on this crazy world...

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Posted

 

In my limited experience as someone from Northern Germany, Bavarians can be charming in a genial, sometimes slighly rustique way, but many are simply rude, with behavior that would be considered not acceptable where I am from as well as where I live now.

Whereas I've experienced the exact opposite.

We all have personal tastes, which is why you now live where you do and there isn't enough money to ever get me to live or work in the North* ever again. Horses for courses!

 

*I'd never work in Franken again either. That was a whole year of bad.

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Posted

 

good luck with that.

 

BTW, weird synonyms: strange - odd - peculiar - quaint - uncanny - bizarre

 

I've lived in Vienna, which informs my subjective view on this crazy world...

 

:-) I have lived in Wien for a looooong time. Also, I lived for a long time in London and Paris as well, and if had a chance to choose between London, Paris and Wien, I would of course choose Wien in no time.

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Posted

 

Austrians are weird.

 

yea, aren't we all? albeit on comparison with German French and English, I find them on average the most laid back and friendly.

 

 

You might find the dialect difficult to understand at times depending on where you live.

 

ach sooo, and me thinking they were all analfabete...

Seriously though, it is a very thick dialect, that even germans sometimes have trouble deciphering. if you don't understand, just nod. Works in most instance, up until you discover you agreed to drink Almradler. In a bigger city though, most people can make themselves understandable.

 

 

Austrians are obsessed with using titles in the workplace...Magistrat, Herr Ingineur, Herr Doktor etc. Which I find pedantic in a "my willy is bigger than yours" way.

 

Not more than the Germans. As well, people are more friendly, Duing someone is not frowned upon, and actually quite accepted. Another symptom: they don't know what is the so-loved-in-Germany Rechtversicherung.

 

 

Austrians are very conservative, almost bordering on redneck.

 

??? you can always find, in the deepest Austrian Forests, a friendly face which will try to talk to you in English, should you fail basic German communication.

 

 

:-) I have lived in Wien for a looooong time. Also, I lived for a long time in London and Paris as well, and if had a chance to choose between London, Paris and Wien, I would of course choose Wien in no time.

 

Not the right comparison - life quality in Paris or London is deplorable. better would be with Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Zurich...

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Posted

 

Not the right comparison - life quality in Paris or London is deplorable. better would be with Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Zurich...

Hmm, I don't know about the situation today, but in the 90's (let's say 1992-1998) London was a really good and safe place for living. Moved from Paris because it is too expensive, Parisians are not friendly people at all, transport connections even just a few hundred meters from the Peripherique are simply put catastrophic (Transillien shitty train network for example). And above all, Paris is really unsafe, statistics may say different but in the first three months of living there, I've experienced far more unpleasant situations than while living for a couple of years in London. Paris, safetywise could be compared with the Budapest which is really, but really unsafe city. On the other side, Wien is constantly keeping the high standards higher, it has significantly smaller U-Bahn system that actually carries more passengers per year than Berlins U-Bahn. In Wien, there are no parts like Neukölln, Wedding, Hackney, Dalston, Tower Hamlets, East Acton, St. Denis, Some other Parisian Suburbs I have forgotten the names, Magenta Boulevard.... The only, by a typical Wiener point of view "bad" part of Wien is the 10th district called Favoriten. My flat was there on the first floor and I haven't seen or experienced anything bad, nor felt endangered in any way, day or night.

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Posted

Hi! Swede here living in Munich since about half a year back. Just off the bat, I'd say if you're familiar with the differences between Swedish and Bavarian mentality (which are, oddly enough, very similar), then I don't think the people in Kärnten will strike you as very odd. That is, the differences between Bavarians and Kärntenians (???) are small. They might be more nit-picky when it comes to tidiness though...

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Posted

Hi guys,

 

Can you relate any actual stories or situations that you found weird in any of these countries, especially Germany. For instance, my new neighbor refuses to even say hello to us. But once when my husband put trash in the wrong bin low-and-behold my same neighbor knocked on our door, was very friendly, and took me downstairs to the trash bin area. Showed me my mistake, which I was truly grateful to learn!!, went back upstairs and he has never said Guten Morgan since. And I live in Berlin no less. I would love to hear other weird or funny stories dealing with the locals, especially in Germany.

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Posted

I was a finalist for a job in Kärnten (Klagenfurt) last spring when I had to go up on the job market and spent a week there, trying to figure out if I could see myself living there. For the record: I am white and speak German pretty well. I usually spend a few weeks a year in Austria visiting Austrian friends and this trip to Klagenfurt was my first time in Kärnten. I currently live in Thüringen, in a city that is ranked thirteenth most expensive in Germany and most expensive in the east. I am also a cheapskate PhD student. All of those things clearly influenced my opinion in one way or another.

 

OK, Klagenfurt:

 

The locals were all really friendly and proud of their area. One day I had been planning to visit a friend in Lienz but got snowed in and ended up going to a stitch n' bitch sort of thing at a bookstore, where the locals were really friendly and supported me in my job endeavor. I will say, though, that the local dialect is gnarly and I had difficulties with it at times. This part of Austria also had a "laissez faire" attitude that I haven't experienced elsewhere in Austria - it came across as being very Italian. (Yeah, stereotypes in action.)

 

For being such a small city, Klagenfurt has a lot of museums. In particular, I was impressed by the Musil museum.

 

The Worthersee was also really beautiful and a nice outdoor area. However, many of the beaches are private and belong to hotels. There are a few public beaches, though.

 

According to my potential co-workers, the best part of Klagenfurt is the location. Klagenfurt is about a 45-minute drive from the Slovenian border (an hour and a half or so to the sea in Slovenia) and about an hour and a half from Italy. There is no direct train line from Klagenfurt to either Italy or Slovenia, but there is a Postbus that goes to Venice. Villach is the main railway hub for the area and can be reached in about 20 minutes with an S-bahn.

 

I was offered the job (and thought that my potential co-workers were awesome), but ended up turning it down.

 

The first reason was that in comparison to Germany, I would be making less money for the same work (in education), and the cost of living in Austria is higher than in Germany.

 

In addition, the cost of housing was so high in Klagenfurt, that none of my potential future co-workers actually lived in Klagenfurt. Most of them commuted (by private car) from villages near the Slovenian border. Public bus service was kind of erratic and undependable at times, so I probably would have had to get a car (another expense I don't have in Germany).

 

One other thing that was kind of annoying is that Klagenfurt is a city with a reasonably-sized university, but there was no sign of student life in the city center. The university is located far from the city center, and has a BiPa, a bakery, and a few other relatively expensive cafes around it. Even a meal at the Mensa was in the 4-6€ range. In contrast, at the university I am at now, a meal at the Mensa runs 1,50-3€.

 

I think that if you're earning decent money, have a car, and are good at throwing yourself into local life, Kärnten would be a good place to live. It would be an OK place to live if you aren't earning decent money. However, if you don't have a car (or at least belong to a car-sharing program) or are really shy, Kärnten would probably be the pits.

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Posted

 

In addition, the cost of housing was so high in Klagenfurt, that none of my potential future co-workers actually lived in Klagenfurt. Most of them commuted (by private car) from villages near the Slovenian border.

AFAIK, lots of (rich) north-eastern italians buy houses in Villach and Klagenfurt as a safe haven, if Italy were to go back to the Lira. So they drive the prices up...

 

Kärnten is a really conservative area, just like the whole area all around, Slovenia and North-eastern Italy included. If you're an "alt" type, you might be considered as weird and perhaps negatively judged - however, I do not think that you being indian should be a problem, especially if you have a relatively "high-level" position (they might even be proud to say "oh oh oh, even indians want to come and live here). But people are generally very jovial, like to drink and party outside, especially during the summer (similar to Bavaria in this context I guess). I personally find the local accent to be much easier to understand than the accent here in Essen and Düsseldorf, but I guess it depends on what your mother tongue is. The dialect is another matter tho :D

 

If it's important to you, that part of Austria is the sunniest, as sunny as northern italy - so of course it's extremely good for outdoor activities, especially skiing and mountain biking. Winters are however really cold, especially in Klagenfurt.

 

 

(an hour and a half or so to the sea in Slovenia)

Which sea? :ph34r:

 

(I'm joking - I know about the area around Koper. I think the nearby Croatia is even better form this POV)

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