There are quite a few public holidays in Vienna, and they are mostly Christian holidays. It is important to know public holidays as a visitor as it might interfere with your plans to visit certain attractions, museums, galleries and so on. Also, it is good to know if your nearby supermarket will be closed on a certain day.
Apart from national holidays, most of the shops are closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays by default. Vienna have managed to maintain some dose of sanity and get away from global 24/7 consumer culture. This might be difficult for some people to get use to, but after some time it becomes normal, with little bit of planning.
There are of course some groceries opened on Sundays, but they are usually packed with people and mostly tourists on those days. Some small off-brand mini markets are also opened, but they have high prices on most common goods, such as bread, water, beer, wine, etc. It is like a taxation for not stocking up on time 😊.
Public transport is also affected on weekends and holidays, as departures of underground, buses and trams are much less frequent (from 10-12 per hour to 2 per hour, on average).
Here is a list of public holidays observed in Vienna throughout a year.
- 1 January – New Year’s Day: (Neujahr). First day of new year, well known, global holiday.
- 6 January – Epiphany: (Heilige Drei Könige). Also known as The Three Kings, Magi or Wise Men, celebrated widely in Christian world.
- March or April – Easter Monday (Ostermontag). Date changes based on Moon phases in the spring. Also, popular holiday in Christian world.
- 1 May – Labour Day: (Tag der Arbeit). International holiday, celebrated in Vienna regularly with parades, concerts and public gatherings.
- May – Ascension Day: (Christi Himmelfahrt). Sixth Thursday after Easter (variable date, as Easter is calculated by the Moon phases. Christian holiday, marking ascension of Jesus to Heaven.
- May/June – Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag). Sixth Monday after Easter. Similar to other Christian holidays related to Easter, this one also has variable dates and occurs in late May or early June.
- June – Corpus Christi: (Fronleichnam). Second Thursday after Pentecost. Religious holiday marking the elements of the Eucharist.
- 15 August – Assumption: (Maria Himmelfahrt). Religious holiday marking Assumption of Mary into Heaven.
- 26 October – Austrian National Day: (Nationalfeiertag). Marking this day since 1965, when Austria declared permanent neutrality after WWII, in 1955.
- 1 November – All Saints’ Day: (Allerheiligen). Christian festival celebrated in honor of all the saints both known and unknown.
- 8 December – Immaculate Conception: (Mariä Empfängnis). Christian holiday, celebrating Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary.
- 24 December – Christmas Eve: (Heiligabend); Evening before Christmas day. Most of the shops will be closed from afternoon.
- 25 December – Christmas Day: (Christfest). Many restaurants are open to have Christmas lunch.
- 26 December – St Stephen’s Day: (Stephanitag).
As you can see, there are plenty public holidays in Vienna (and Austria). These will mostly affect government offices, schools, banks and shops. For museum and other cultural sites, please check on their respective websites.
It is also important to double check public transport schedule, especially if you are going back and forth to the airport or some trip outside of Vienna.