Wondering if you can visit any museums and palaces in Vienna over Christmas?
The answer is, basically, yes. Read on for the details.
- See also: Christmas market opening times
The big Austrian Christmas celebration is on December 24th, but the official public holidays are Christmas Day (25th) and Boxing Day (26th). On those two days, transport services are reduced slightly and stores, offices etc. are closed.
Museums and other attractions
I’ve gone through most of the top attractions to find those that seem to open over Christmas. Some may have a weekly day off that happens to fall on a Christmas date, though.
Note this information is correct as of October
- Stephansdom (St. Stephan’s
cathedral) – bear in mind this is also a working cathedral so there may be religious services going on that prevent you accessing some areas
- Riesenrad (giant Ferris wheel) – closes earlier (5pm) on December 24th, though, and later (2am the following morning) on December 31st
- Albertina museum – closes early on December 24th (at 2pm). Tip: the astonishing Dürer exhibition continues through Christmas
- Schönbrunn Palace – the outdoor paid attractions, like the maze, close in winter, but the main palace and park remain open 365 days a year
- Schönbrunn Zoo – famously a place to entertain the kids during the Christmas holidays
- Hofburg Palace (imperial apartments, Sisi museum and silver collection)
- Imperial treasury – closes early (at 3pm) on December 24th
- Madame Tussauds – closes an hour earlier (at 5pm) on December 24th
- Spanish Riding School – no tours on the 24th, 25th or 26th. No morning training on December 25th
- Kunsthistorisches Museum (main art history museum) – closes early (at 3pm) on the 24th. Tip: the Caravaggio exhibition continues through Christmas
- Natural history museum – closed on December 25th. Closes early (at 3.30pm) on the 24th
- Museum of Technology – closed on the 25th
- The MAK museum – closes early (3pm) on the 24th
- Haus der Musik – closes earlier (at 6pm) on December 24th
Other attractions may be open over Christmas, too, but I’ve just listed the major ones. Basically, you won’t get bored.
If the weather’s not too cold, the holidays are also a good time to simply wander around Vienna’s centre (the old town). With shops and businesses closed, it’s a touch quieter and you get a different, more relaxed atmosphere when delivery vans and stressed workers are off the streets.
And, of course, some of the famous Christmas markets are in full swing to around the 26th and beyond.