Wondering if you can visit any museums and palaces in Vienna over Christmas?
The answer is, basically, yes. Read on for the details.
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 the top attractions to find those that seem to open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Note this information is correct as of early January
- 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 on December 24th, though, and later on December 31st
- Belvedere (upper and lower palaces)
- Albertina museum
- Schönbrunn palace – some parts, like the maze, are closed in winter, but the main palace self-guided tours continue
- Schönbrunn Zoo
- Hofburg Palace (imperial apartments, Sisi museum and silver collection)
- Imperial treasury – usually closes early on the 24th
- Madame Tussauds
- Leopold Museum – usually closed on the 24th
- Spanish Riding School – no tours on the 24th, 25th or 26th. No morning training on December 25th
- Kunsthistorischesmuseum (main art history museum) – usually closes early on the 24th
- Natural history museum – closed on December 25th. Closes early on the 24th
- Museum of Technology – closed on the 25th
- The MAK museum – usually closed on the 25th
Other attractions may be open over Christmas, too, but I’ve just listed the important 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.