Safety

 

Oh noes, you’re moving to Graz and are a little scared? No need to worry, Graz is generally a very safe city. Of course we can never guarantee your safety, but if you look at our tips and use common sense, you will see that there is nothing to fear here :)

 

Health

There is another note on our website about doctor and hospitals in Graz, if you want to check it out. In any case we want to give you a few tips:

 

  • Summers in Graz can get very hot and almost every year people die from the heat. Never leave the house without a bottle of water during the summer.
  • In summer there can also be heavy storms due to the heat. Follow the weather reports, because they publish storm warnings. If there is a heavy storm coming up, it is best to stay inside and bring in children and pets.
  • Please check with your doctor about any vaccinations you might need before coming to Austria. Again, especially in summer, ticks can be a problem. Most Austrians are therefore vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).

 

Crime

Crime rates are very low in Austria, and especially outside of the capital. There are, however, certain areas that locals will avoid during the night. In order to lower the risk of becoming a victim of a serious crime, you can avoid dark streets and alleys at night, just as you would in any other city. Also be aware if you are walking through parks during the night (especially Stadtpark, Augarten and Volkspark). If you want to make sure, just walk around the park. Whereat violent crimes are rather rare, petty crime is a real problem. Always make sure that you have an eye on your belongings when you are in crowded areas (e.g. pub, bus, tram). Also always make sure to lock your bike and consider getting a good lock. Tip: If your wallet is stolen and you need a new public transport ticket or ESNcard, you will have to bring a confirmation of theft from the police!

If you are victim of a crime, do not hesitate to go to the police immediately (emergency police call: 133)!! They will do their best to take care of you. You can always take a friend or your buddy with you, in case you are uncomfortable going there alone. We also encourage you to see the police if you are victim of a sexual crime. In this case you can also seek help from the following places: Gewaltschutzzentrum Steiermark, Weißer Ring.

 

Traffic

Austria’s streets are generally very safe. If you are out by foot, try only to cross the street where there is a pedestrian crossing and wait for the light to turn green. If there is no light, make sure that there is no car approaching. If there is, most drivers will let you pass, but of course you cannot always count on it. Especially if you are driving a car in Graz, always check not only for pedestrians, but also cyclists. They tend to sneak up on you and are often easy to miss. As a cyclist, try to stay out of the blind spots of drivers.

In any case please note that in Austria we are driving on the right side of the road.

What is very important: Please NEVER go by bike if you are dunk, even if you think, you are still able to drive! Alcohol and being in traffic (also with your bike) will be punished very hard in Austria and may be very expensive for you! It is always better to push your bike home after drinking alcohol.

 

Emergency

 

Emergencies can always happen and hit you especially hard if you are not prepared. We recommend that you put the following emergency numbers in your phone as soon as possible:

Police: 133

Fire department: 122

Ambulance: 144

As always, be prepared to state your name, address and type of emergency. Do not hang up before the dispatcher! 

You can also check out this super helpful website, which shows you any institution which you might need in an emergency (e.g. next police station, next defibrillator).


Helping others

As you would like somebody to help you if you are in an emergency, you should also help others as well as possible! Please note that if you are witness to a person getting injured or see a person which is apparently ill and cannot help themselves, by law you HAVE TO help the person. The only exception to this is if helping would pose a risk to your own health. This does however not mean that you can walk away, because you do not know what to do. In any case, please call an ambulance (144). Do not be afraid of making mistakes – in most cases you will actually help the person, no matter what you do.

 

Sirens

It’s Saturday noon. How do you know that? Because every week at that time the emergency sirens are being tested. So please be not afraid if you hear them. In case you hear sirens at any other point, here is some information on what it might mean and what to do.