Things you need to know before choosing gifts for Austrians

Things you need to know before choosing gifts for Austrians

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Known for their appreciation of arts and culture, Austrians can be particular when it comes to gift giving. As you search for that perfect present, keep local customs and tastes in mind. This guide breaks down top tips for impressing your Austrian friends with spot-on gifts.

Stick to classic over quirky

Generally speaking, Austrians lean towards sensible, pragmatic gifts rather than whimsical novelties. Keep it classic when selecting:

  • High-quality leather goods – wallets, purses, briefcases
  • Premium writing instruments – luxury pens by Mont Blanc, Parker, Waterman
  • Fine porcelain/crystal serveware – Swarovski, Riedel, Augarten
  • Multi-tool pocket knives – Victorinox, Wenger
  • Top shelf alcohol – Austrian wine, schnapps, craft beer

Prioritize quality over quantity

In a culture that values excellence in craftsmanship, an exquisitely made item trumps mediocre versions in bulk. Investing in one luxe gift shows good taste. For example, one bottle of premium Austrian wine impresses over mass-produced cheap imports.

Add a personal touch

Personalized gifts emphasizing your relationship make treasured keepsakes. Engraving initials or special messages on jewelry, flasks, cufflinks etc. adds sentimental value. Heartfelt homemade cards and photo albums also individualize generic gifts.

Mind cultural faux pas

While most gifts bring joy, some have negative connotations for Austrians:

  • Chrysanthemums – reserved for graves/funerals
  • Red carnations – former Nazi symbol
  • Yellow flowers – signify jealousy/betrayal
  • Purple wrapping – considered unlucky
  • Clocks – reminders of passing time/mortality

Present properly

Beautiful wrapping and presentation elevates any present. Finishing touches like ribbons, bows and decorative bags show effort.

For wine, adorn the bottle with a lovely bow. For flowers, ensure an evenly numbered bouquet wrapped in quality paper.

And always bring a gift bag along – don’t expect wrapping services everywhere.

Open meticulously

Austrians open gifts slowly and methodically, being careful not to rip packaging and pausing to graciously read cards first. Emote sincere appreciation over each item as unwrapped.

Reciprocate thoughtfully

Good manners stipulate reciprocating gifts within a few months. Match the sentiment and spend of the original present as best possible.

Accompany returned gifts with a thoughtful note expressing your gratitude.

So choosing ideal gifts for Austrian friends is less about fixating on money or publicity and more about emphasizing quality craftsmanship, classic aesthetics, and shared goodwill. A well-selected present mindful of local tastes makes a cherished memento reflecting your cross-cultural friendship.


Giving gifts in Austria may involve navigating particular cultural nuances, but thoughtfulness speaks universally. Avoid faux pas items, select quality over quantity, personalize when possible and present properly for best impressions. Most importantly, focus on reflecting your unique relationship rather than generic gifts. Finding that meaningful intersection between Austrian tastes and personalized details ultimately guides to inspired gift giving.


What are good Austrian souvenir gifts to take home after visiting?

Quality Austrian souvenir ideas include alpine Christmas decorations like glass or wooden ornaments, Mozartkugel chocolate truffle balls, Swarovski crystal figurines, decorated gingerbread hearts, Alpine flower honey, and rigid hand-painted cuckoo clocks.

What traditional gifts do Austrians exchange during Christmas?

Typical Austrian Christmas gifts include homemade holiday baked goods like lebkuchen spice cookies and vanillekipferl, edible treats like chocolate, candy, nuts and citrus fruits, and small decorative items like candles, wreaths, tree ornaments and holiday linens.

What is an appropriate monetary wedding gift amount for close Austrian friends?

For close Austrian friends, wedding gifts are generally €50-150. Closer relatives like siblings/parents give €200-500, while grandparents/godparents often gift €1000+. Cash gifts are given in pre-decorated envelopes handed over during wedding celebrations.

What kind of alcohol makes a good gift for Austrians?

Top Austrian alcoholic gifts include premium bottles of Grüner Veltliner or Riesling wines, aged single malt Austrian whiskies, plum or apricot eau de vie fruit brandies, or craft Austrian beer variety gift packs featuring unique local brewers.

What is a traditional gift for a new Austrian home?

Customary housewarming gifts in Austria include bread and salt for prosperity, houseplants like orchids or succulents, candles, picture frames, baking dishes, wine glasses, bath items, table linens, or gift certificates for home improvement stores.