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Raphaëlle: Sissi's Secrets

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Vienna makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Vienna, etc.

My name is Raphaëlle, I’m a raised and born Parisian, I’m passionate about Fashion!

I used to work in Social Media, as an entrepreneur and for an agency, I worked for Paco Rabanne, Lancôme and Kinder.

I moved to Vienna to follow my Austrian boyfriend!

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I always wanted to start my own blog, I was blogging a lot for clients and brands, but I couldn’t wait to do my own thing! And when I came here, I wanted to find a great blog in English about Vienna’s Fashion and coolest places, and I didn’t really find what I wanted so I decided to make it!

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

  • Dazzling Dirnlds
  • Street Style #5
  • Funky Sushi
  • Kirtag Kraziness!

Tell us about the ways your new life in Vienna differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

I quite experienced culture shock; I did an article about it: “10 things that Austrians do and the rest of the world doesn’t understand”

Vienna is very different from Paris, it’s smaller, more relaxed, and quieter. I was very shocked in the winter because I could be alone in a street at 7pm! In Paris it’s always crowded and lively, people are out drinking and partying at every weather! But I like the cozy and chill felling here, and I’m in love with all the funny/cute traditions: Dirndls, Kirtag…

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Vienna? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

Haha, not really, but I wouldn’t change anything, I think that it always takes time to adapt yourself to a new country and city, but I learned to enjoy it here!

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

There’s a lot actually, I will tell you about one that I had on my way here, we came to Vienna on a road-trip from Paris, because we had to take our car to Vienna. So we stopped for 2 days in Baden Baden in Germany (a very cute city) and we wanted to go to the famous public baths, one was full so we went to the other next door, we wait for almost an hour, and I found it funny that all the pictures of the baths were with fully naked people, but it didn’t click, so we get in, I put on my bath suit and the guard tells me “You can’t get in like this, you have to be naked, otherwise you’re going to make everyone uncomfortable!”, I was in shock and I left the bath! I had no clue and it’s quite a common thing in German culture!

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Vienna?

  • Buy Uggs or any winter waterproof boots! Here it snows like crazy! You don’t want to ruin your lovely shoes!
  • Go to Ball in the Ball Season, buy yourself a gorgeous long gown and enjoy the Viennese tradition, it’s a must-see!
  • Be prepared: here people are very disciplined and punctual, don’t try to cross the road when it’s not your turn (you can’t even get a fine for this! Crazy right?!)

How is the expat community in Vienna? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

The expat community in Vienna is very welcoming an International (the United Nations are big here) and I had a very great time meeting expats here!

How would you summarize your expat life in Vienna in a single, catchy sentence?

Learning everyday, and loving it more and more!

Fernando Achutegui

"InterNations events and forums have provided me with an extensive network of business and personal contacts in Vienna. "

Jayanti Malhotra

"The group of InterNations expats in Vienna is so open and friendly that it was very easy to make friends."

Global Expat Guide