International Gift Giving Etiquette - Austria

GIFT GIVING IN AUSTRIA* - Gift Giving Etiquette


  • In general, gifts are not casually exchanged in business.

  • However, in the event that an Austrian presents you with a gift, you should have one or more small presents with you, so that you can reciprocate immediately.

  • Your gift will be opened in front of you, rather than in private, and you should do the same if you receive something.

  • Gifts should be moderate and unassuming. Books describing your hometown or country, a local product [e.g. scotch or bourbon] or a local artifact [e.g. porcelain or silverware] all make good gifts when exchanged in an office setting.

  • Perhaps as a remnant of eastern influences, it is appropriate for trusted, close business colleagues to give each other gifts at holiday-times or to celebrate the completion of an important and successful business deal.

  • Suitable gifts include brandies, spirits, or something that reflects your homeland or the personal tastes and preferences of the recipient, as long as the gift is of high quality and not normally obtainable in Austria.


  • It is very unusual for an outsider to be invited into an Austrian's home but, if you are, you should go with gifts in hand for your host, his or her spouse and their children.

  • A bottle of vintage wine, [French] champagne [not German Sekt] or brandy would make a good gift for your host and high-quality chocolates or a spray of flowers--not chrysanthemums, white lilies or red roses--are suitable gifts for your hostess.

  • Recommended gifts for children might include confectionery, electronic gadgets or anything foreign [and therefore 'cool'] depending on their age.

*Dray, Paul.  Austria Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  29 July 2004  <>.

Above:  The flag of Austria