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
Please note information for Christmas 2017 is not yet available. The below details apply to last year but give you an idea of what to expect.
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 September 2016, but may change in future, so check their websites to be sure:
- Stephansdom (St. Stephan’s cathedral) – bear in mind that 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 early on December 24th, though
- Belvedere (upper, lower and winter 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
- Madame Tussauds – closes an hour early on the 24th
- Leopold Museum – closed on the 24th
- Spanish Riding School – no tours or public viewing on December 25th, though
- Kunsthistorischesmuseum (main art history museum) – closes early on the 24th, but is open on the 25th and 26th (even though it normally closes on Mondays at this time of year)
- Natural history museum – closed on December 25th. Also opens on the 27th, though it is normally closed on Tuesdays
- Museum of Technology – 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 center (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.