Wondering if you can visit any tourist attractions in Vienna over Christmas 2024?
The broad answer is yes. Read on for the details.
The big Austrian Christmas celebration is on December 24th in the late afternoon or early evening. But the official public holidays are Christmas Day (25th) and Boxing Day (26th). On those two days, transport services shift to longer intervals, and stores, offices etc. are closed.
Museums & other attractions?
(Schönbrunn Palace typically opens all the year round)
To cut a long story short, many (most) places typically remain open across the 24th, 25th and 26th. You should have plenty of things to do or see.
Whatever it says below, though, do check locally with official sites to be sure, because:
- Some locations may have a weekly day off that happens to fall on a Christmas date and I might miss that
- Mondays or Tuesday are popular choices for the “day off”, so this might affect December 24th in 2024
- Equally, many places open up on their usual day off if it happens to be a public holiday!
- Christmas opening hours may change, especially as some locations clarify their Christmas dates quite late
- Since the 24th is the big day, it’s not unusual to find places closing a little earlier on that day, so staff can get home to their families
Sites commonly open
(The zoo normally opens 365 days a year)
This list includes those locations that typically remain open over Christmas.
Don’t forget to check the Christmas market opening times, too (some may open for at least part of the day across the holiday period).
- Stephansdom cathedral – bear in mind this is a working cathedral so religious services may prevent you accessing some areas at some times
- Belvedere – the Upper and Lower palaces (both closed at 2pm on the 24th last year)
- Schönbrunn Palace – the outdoor paid attractions, like the maze, close in winter, but the main palace tours and the extensive park and gardens, for example, remain open 365 days a year
- Schönbrunn Zoo – famously a place to entertain the kids during the Christmas holidays as it opens all year
- Sisi Museum, Hofburg – the museum dedicated to Empress Elisabeth and the imperial apartments
- Madame Tussauds – the Vienna branch of the wax museum closed earlier (at 4pm) on the 24th in 2023
- The MAK museum – closed earlier on the 24th (at 3pm) last time
- Riesenrad (giant Ferris wheel) – closed at 4.45pm on December 24th last time out
- Kunsthistorisches Museum (main art history museum but closed at 3pm on the 24th during the previous December) and Imperial treasury (also closed at 3pm on the 24th last time)
- Kunstforum Wien – closed earlier on the 24th (at 2pm) in the past
- The Kunst Haus Wien (Hundertwasser Museum)
Sites that may close on specific days
- Spanish Riding School – check the schedule. In 2023, the annual programme had no public morning training marked for December 25th and 26th, for example, and no guided tours from the 24th to the 26th.
- Leopold Museum – this was closed on the 24th last year
- Natural History Museum – this closed on December 25th and closed early (at 3pm) on the 24th last time
Other attractions may be open over Christmas, too, but I’ve just listed some of the major ones.
Basically, even with possible changes to the above for 2024, you should not get bored (though I reserve a little doubt because these days predicting what’s going to happen in the world seems an impossible task).
With shops and businesses closed on the 25th and 26th, everything’s quieter and you get a different, more relaxed atmosphere when delivery vans and stressed workers are off the streets.