Last Updated on September 7, 2022 by gregor
National days are something we all look forward to. Usually a bank holiday in most countries in Europe, the Austrian National holiday sees most Austrians celebrate, take a break, or hike the mountains. Here is all you need to know and things to do at the Austrian National Holiday.
When is the Austrian National Holiday?
The Austrian National Day (Österreichischer Nationalfeiertag) has been celebrated on 26 October since 1955. It honors the Austrian Parliament passing constitutional law on permanent neutrality, following the efforts in the same year to establish a State Treaty that would put an end to the occupation of the Allied forces, which had been in place as of the end of the Second World War.
As the Austrian National Day will be 2022 on Wednesday, Vienna will basically operate on a bank holiday mode, so expect all shops with minor exceptions to be closed. This includes department stores, malls, supermarkets, and specialty shops. What you can expect to see open are all venues of entertainment that are not inside shopping malls, restaurants, museums, and wellness centers.
Additionally, numerous national parks stay open on this day, in order to encourage locals and visitors alike to get moving in the crisp fall air.
How do Austrians celebrate Austrian National Day?
Which shops are open on the Austrian National holiday?
Austria National Day is a public holiday and generally non-working. Schools and most shops are closed.
Top Things to do in Vienna during the Austrian National Day
Open Door Day at the Federal Chancellery and the Austrian Parliament
On Austrian National Day, the Federal Chancellery (Ballhausplatz 1, entry through Schauflergasse) and the Austrian Parliament (the majestic neoclassical building on Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring) open their doors to the public free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This would be a unique opportunity to be in the same building where the President of Austria will be hosting his annual televised address to the people.
If you are in the Hofburg area in the morning, take a chance to see the military parade that starts off at 9 a.m. at Heldenplatz
Visit a Museum in Vienna
A cultural trip to Vienna is not complete without one of its many museums, so why not benefit from free entry while at it? In the city center, you can visit the Austrian National Library and the Papyrusmuseum.
If you are up for a more extended visit, you might wish to go to the Military History Museum (Arsenal 1, in the third district, a tram station away from the Hauptbahnhof). Spanning several centuries of military history, boasting an impressive tanks collection, and holding the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, it is a spectacularly well-appointed and informative museum experience.
Austria-wide, the 26th of October is also celebrated as National Park Hiking Day (Nationalpark-Wandertag). Assuming that the weather conditions favor this activity, I would highly recommend you join in this sporty fun. One of the closest national parks to Vienna is the Donau Auen, in Lower Austria.
The tour convenes in the Schloss ORTH in Orth-an-der-Donau, a quiet picturesque town by the Danube, which you can reach by car or the Postbus 391 from metro station Aspernstrasse, then register for the 3,5 hour guided tour through the park. This is a hiking trail with little to no hilly terrain, so while long, it would be less challenging than other routes.
Grinzing / Kahlenberg
Would you prefer to stick to Vienna? I can recommend you two grueling personal favorites, for which there is no need for a guided tour. A steep and potentially boozy hike (if you decide to stop at one of the Heurige (wine taverns) amid the vineyards of Nussdorf, is the route from Beethovengang in the 19th district to the Kahlenberg, a hike at the end of which you can reward yourself with a breathtaking view of the capital. There are several ways you can take, so be sure to pay attention to the map at the base of the trail. Fair warning: the last leg of the trail is rather steep. On the way down, you can take the bus back to Vienna, but be sure to stop in the picturesque area of Grinzing, which boasts such a quaintness and rustic atmosphere, you will be charmed into thinking you are no longer in Vienna.
On the opposite side of Vienna lies the Lainzer Tiergarten, an enclosed wildlife preserve covered in woodland, with numerous trails, which nestles in the favorite residence of Empress Sissi, the Hermes Villa.
Whether you like wind-swept wide alleys or hilly terrains, open spaces, or forest trails, this park has it all, so be sure to check the maps at the Gates.
If you intend to visit the Hermes Villa, entering through the Lainzer Tor, which also hosts a visitors’ center, is ideal.
More Info about the Hermes Villa HERE
If you are more mindful of accessibility via public transportation, then your best option is the Nikolaitor close to the rail and metro station, Hütteldorf, via the pedestrian crossing over the Wien River and then down Nikolaigasse. Be mindful of the closing times and of the wild animals in the park.
Vienna City Walks
You can take a comfortable pace around the old city center, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
A distinct advantage of wandering is that you will inevitably come across numerous hidden culinary gems.
Fortunately, Vienna offers numerous opportunities to spend a few nice hours outdoors and not only enjoy nature, but also Viennese architecture.
Good News is these are all Free Walking tours in Vienna;-) Below I will tell you what are the most beautiful Vienna City walks and sightseeing routes in Vienna.
Relaxation in a Vienna Spa
Far away from the bustle of the city center, however, within easy reach with the U1 underground line, you can switch off from the stress of a touristy day at the beloved Therme WIEN. This huge complex is especially great if you are traveling with your family, as there are areas designated for swimming, fitness, and relaxation, but also for the aquatic romp and adventure that children would go for.
Luxurious SPA Experiences
For more unique or luxurious experiences, you need not leave the city center.
The famous historical Hotel Sacher boasts luxurious spa services with La Prairie products and chocolate. Yes, chocolate.
In the Park Hyatt, you can swim in an area that used to serve as the safety of a bank in olden times, then allow your senses to be spoiled with a heated shells massage.
The spa of the Palais Hansen Kempinski offers spa journeys inspired by the European four seasons. A Boutique Spa in a quiet street in the first district, Aisawan is one of the best in Vienna, with hammam treatments, massages, and facials with 24 Karat gold, all in a historical building two stories underground.
Vienna Spa Guide
For more information about the Best Day and Hotel Spas please read this Vienna Spa Guide (Link Below)
Visit Vienna Public Parks and enjoy the autumn foliage
It is completely free to visit some of the many gorgeous parks, such as the Stadtpark (CLICK for more) , and Burggarten. In addition, the entrance to the Schönbrunn Palace garden is absolutely free. However, you will have to pay a few euros to get into the Gloriette terrace and the maze.
Vienna boasts numerous tourist attractions and activities, this would be a small rundown of possibilities to spend the National Day, which need not include the most famous landmarks or museums. For other location reviews and suggestions, be sure to check out our other articles here at the Vienna Blog.
Where to go in Vienna, Further Information?
TheViennaBlog has thoroughly studied all the attractions but also hidden secrets to uncover in Vienna. (Click the Links below to get to the information)
Here is the Vienna Ultimate Top 50 Bucket List
Here is the Best of Vienna in 4 hours
Here is the Best of Vienna in 4 hours (Summer Edition)
Here are the Vienna Old Streets in Historic Center
Here is the Spittelberg Village in Vienna