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Living in Austria For Members

What's open and what's closed in Austria over Easter weekend?

Julia Hjelm Jakobsson
Julia Hjelm Jakobsson - [email protected]
What's open and what's closed in Austria over Easter weekend?
People look at a giant Easter egg in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

To make the best out of your Easter weekend in Austria, it is important to know what is open and what is not.

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Easter is almost here, and this year it coincides with the arrival of summertime on Sunday, March 31st when we set the clock one hour forward, as well as April Fool's Day on April 1st.

Even though people in Austria only get one official day off during the Easter holiday, Easter Monday, many also tend to take Good Friday off. Austrian schools are off for Easter from Friday March 23rd until Tuesday April 2nd.

Easter is, for many in Austria, a good occasion to spend time with family and friends and enjoy some delicious food and pastries, such as the traditional Osterlamm.

READ ALSO: What do Austrians eat during Easter celebrations?

To make sure that you have everything you want for your festive easter meals, or to confirm that the bus is running as expected to your friend's house, it's important to know what services are operating and what establishments are open during the Easter weekend.

Here is what to expect;

Good Friday (Karfreitag)

Good Friday, known as "Karfreitag" in German, used to be a public holiday for members of the Protestant churches, the Old Catholic Church, and the Methodist Church. However, nowadays it is a normal day when people in Austria go to work. Although, many tend to take Good Friday off since the weekend follows, along with Easter Monday, which is a public holiday.

Since Good Friday is not a public holiday, everything is open as usual, including public transport, shops, and other facilities.

Saturday

Opening hours across Austria will function as they normally do on Saturdays.

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Easter Sunday and Easter Monday

On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, most things will be closed. Easter Monday is an official public holiday when schools are closed, and most people do not go to work. Most service establishments, including regular supermarkets and restaurants, will be closed during both Sunday and Monday.

However, there are exceptions, especially for essential services and certain tourist attractions.

Some restaurants, cafes, and shops in tourist areas or larger cities may choose to stay open, although often with reduced hours. Additionally, facilities such as hospitals, smaller grocery shops, public transportation services, and some museums or tourist attractions are still open, but sometimes with limited opening hours.

READ ALSO: Which days off will workers in Austria get in 2024?

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Public Transport

Public transport operates throughout the holiday period all over Austria, although sometimes with a reduced timetable. On Easter Monday, for example, some timetables might be similar to those on Sundays.

In Vienna, trams, metros, and buses run with a slightly reduced timetable during Sunday and Monday. You can check HERE for information on the timetable for different lines.

It's important to remember that mainline train services often run with a near-normal timetable during easter. You can check out the timetable for ÖBB here.

Bakeries

In Austria, bakeries often have varying opening hours during public holidays such as Easter Monday. While some bakeries may choose to close for the day, especially in smaller towns or rural areas, others stay open, particularly in larger cities or tourist destinations.

Bigger chains such as Ströck and Der Mann, for example, are open during Easter Sunday and Easter Monday in some of their branches.

Pharmacies

Even if your normal pharmacy is not open during the holiday, there is always one within a decent distance that will be. In Austria, around 220 pharmacies function as "Notdienstapotheken" or emergency pharmacies and will be open to help you during the night, on weekends, and on public holidays. The pharmacies take turns so that each pharmacy takes its responsibility to stay open extra hours a few times a year.

You can find one close to you here.

Doctors

If you need a doctor during a public holiday, you still have many alternatives. The emergency departments at hospitals are always open, and if you prefer not to go there, you can also use the holiday on-call service (Wochenend- und Feiertagsbereitschaftsdienst) that each region offers.

You can call 141 if you need any medical services during holidays, such as a doctor's visit or a certain medicine.

Some doctors, such as family doctors, may also offer services during holiday times to their patients. Ask your family doctor (Hausarzt) if they offer any help outside of normal working hours.

Main open tourist attractions 

During the easter holiday, some of Austria's main tourist attractions stay open. Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens in Vienna are open on public holidays and during Easter you can also go there to enjoy their Easter market. Additionally, parks such as the Lainzer Tiergarten in Vienna, are open during public holidays on a normal schedule. And if you want to learn more about Mozart, you can visit his birth house in Salzburg during the holidays.

And do not forget, most Easter markets taking place throughout the country are open for you to enjoy the festive Easter spirit.

READ NEXT: 8 unmissable events taking place in Austria in March

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