If you’re used to 24h shopping, you might get a shock in Vienna.
- Supermarket weekday opening hours are usually from just before 8 am to 8 pm
- Other stores generally open later and close earlier
- Stores close early on Saturdays and stay closed on Sundays
- Exceptions are certain stores in stations and designated tourist areas
- See also: Shopping in Vienna
Travel back in time to when branding was something you did to cattle. When the shopkeeper measured out your purchases on a set of scales. When Mrs Miggins still owned her pie shop. And when coffee was just coffee, not an iced caramel macchiato.
Store opening times haven’t changed much since then in Vienna.
I exaggerate, but if you’re used to 24/7 convenience, then you might have to ratchet down your expectations.
In general, shops are not allowed to open before 6 am or after 9 pm (weekdays) or after 6 pm (Saturdays), or total more than 72 hours of operation per week. Shops must also close on Sundays and public holidays.
There are exceptions (for example, souvenir sellers can open on Sundays), but here are typical opening times in Vienna:
These open sometime between 7 am and 8 am (tending toward the later end of the range) and close sometime between 7 pm and 8 pm on a weekday (ditto), depending on the chain and location. Saturday they typically close at 6 pm. They do not open on Sundays.
These open later in the day, even as late as 10 am – so consider your early-morning shopping route carefully. Their closing times vary but are typically 6 pm or 7 pm.
Stores in very busy shopping areas may stay open as late as 9 pm during the week. As with the supermarkets, stores close by 6 pm on Saturday and stay closed for Sunday.
There is considerable store-by-store variation within the allowed opening hours, so check before shopping.
What to do if you’re desperate
- Tip 1: Smaller food stores located in train stations, bus stations, airports etc. have a special status, so may stay open on Sundays and operate longer on other days.
For example, at the time of writing, the Merkur supermarket at the Westbahnhof station opens every day from 5.30 am to 11 pm. Be prepared to fight your way through the crowds of shoppers who forgot to buy bread earlier.
- Tip 2: Most petrol/gas stations now feature a small store selling food essentials and more. These are often supplied (and branded) by one of the supermarket chains, and open much longer than their high street cousins.
- Tip 3: Quite a few bakeries open on Sunday morning.
Not sure what the rule is, but it’s rather nice to pick up fresh rolls, croissants and (if we’re throwing caution to the wind) chocolate muffins for a late Sunday breakfast.