With National Day barely over, it’s already time for the next two Austrian holidays
On November 1st, Austrians celebrate Allerheiligen (All Saints’ Day), which collectively honors the saints of the catholic church. The day after, Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day) is also an important liturgical feast, intended to honor the dearly departed.
In practice, both occasions are often rolled into one, with saints and souls both remembered on November 1st. In the past, a braided pastry called Allerheiligenstriezel was served in commemoration, its shape symbolizing an act of grief – women used to cut off their braids when they were in mourning. Catholic mass is often held in local cemeteries for the occassion, including a special service to bless the graves, cleaned up and decorated with fresh flowers.
Since All Saints’ is an official holiday, most shops and stores will be closed (All Souls remains a regular work day, although most schools give the day off). However, there are still plenty of fun or meaningful things to do – on your own, with friends or with the family.
The Wiener Zentralfriedhof is open on both November 1st and 2nd from 7:00 – 18:00. These opening hours also apply to all other cemeteries in Vienna. In most the blessing of the graves takes place on All Saint’s Day. Check the website of your local parish for times.
A day off mid-week is a perfect opportunity to enjoy that exhibition you’ve been meaning to go to:
Leopold Museum, 7. Museumpsplatz 1; 10:00- 18:00
Welt Museum, 1. Heldenplatz; 10:00 – 18:00 – great cafe
MAK, 1. Stubenring 5; 10:00 – 18:00
21er Haus, 3. Arsenalstrasse 1; 11:00 – 18:00
Kunsthistorisches Museum, 1. Maria-Theresien-Platz; 10:00 – 18:00
Hermesvilla, 13. Lainzer Tiergarten; 10:00 to 18:00
Schönbrunn, 13. Schloss Schönbrunn; 8:00-17:00 uhr
Belvedere, 3. Prinz Eugen-Strasse 27; 9:00 – 21:00
Riesenrad, 2. Riesenradplatz 1; 10:00 – 21:45
Albertina Museum, 1. Albertinaplatz 1; 9:00- 21:00
If Halloween got you in the mood, Vienna has several offbeat, macabre museums:
Kriminalmuseum, 2. Grosse Sperlgasse 24; 10:00-17:00
Bestattungsmuseum (german), 11. Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 234; 10:00 – 17:30
Foltermuseum, 6. Fritz-Grünbaum-Platz 1; 10:00 -18:00
Keeping the kids entertained can prove slightly challenging at times. The following places offer fun for the whole family:
Tiergarten Schönbrunn, 13. Maxingstrasse 13b; 9:00 – 17:00
Haus der Musik, 1. Seilerstätte 30; 10:00 – 22:00
Zoom Kindermuseum, 7. Museumsplatz 1; 9:45 – 16:00 – Note: A lot of their workshops require reservations, make sure to call a few days in advance to avoid disappointed faces
Haus des Meeres, 6. Fritz Grünbaum Platz 1; 9:00 – 18:00
To find pharmacies open on holidays, try the Apo-App (developed by Österreichische Apothekenkammer).