Austrian school holidays can differ depending on the region you live in. Essentially, this means that holidays in Vienna may differ slightly from those in Salzburg or Innsbruck. It is also useful to familiarise yourself with the vacations on offer. This will help you to decide if it is wisest to plan a holiday or else make childcare arrangements.
To help you plan your year, read through the key dates to remember and the following information:
Austrian school holidays
In Austria, school holidays are generally set by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research. Each of Austria’s nine regions can change these schedules slightly to take into account local holidays or requirements. However, the main holidays usually remain the same. As such, most of the public holidays also do not change, although the big holidays – like the summer break – may differ by a week or so.
Nevertheless, Austrian school holidays usually involve a set schedule. For example, you can expect that schools will offer a two-week holiday over the Christmas period and two months during summer. In addition, because Christianity plays such a big role in Austrian society, there are many religious holidays, including a week off for Easter.
Students will also get to enjoy a few days off in the middle of the school term. That said, private and international schools have more authority over their schedules, and may therefore have different holiday schedules than the state-run public schools. If you have children in these institutions, make sure to check the vacation calendar on the school’s website.
Austrian school holidays are typically an opportunity for families to enjoy spending some quality time together. You can therefore expect people to go on family vacations during the winter and plan longer trips during the summer holidays. On the other hand, many public holidays – such as Labor Day – only offer one day off. Because of this, people don’t tend to plan trips for these days off.
Austrian school holiday dates: 2021–2022
In Austria, the school year generally begins in mid-September and ends in early July, similar to the rest of Europe.
Austrian school holidays usually include about 10 days off over Christmas (around 24 December – 6 January) and an extensive summer break which usually begins in early July and lasts through mid-September. In addition, students often get a few days off for an autumn break at the end of October, as well as a term break of a week in February; although the exact dates for this differ by region.
In general, these are the expected dates for Austrian school holidays in the 2023–2024 academic year:
|27–31 October 2023
|23 December 2023 – 6 January 2024
|5–10 February (for Lower Austria, Vienna & Vorarlberg), or 12–17 February (for Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg & Tyrol), or 19–24 February 2024 (for Upper Austria & Styria)
|23 March – 1 April 2024
|18–20 May 2024
|29 June – 1 September (for Burgenland, Lower Austria, Vienna) or 6 July – 8 September 2024 (for Carinthia, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg)
Additional holidays and days off
In addition to the regular Austrian school holidays, many students get extra days off for official public holidays. Because of Austria’s strong religious affiliations to the Catholic church, many important days on the Catholic calendar are also public holidays when the schools close. These include the following for 2024:
|1 May 2024 (Wednesday)
|9 May 2024 (Thursday)
|30 May 2024 (Thursday)
|All Saints Day
|1 November 2024 (Friday)
That said, not all of Austria’s nine regions recognize these public holidays. Therefore, you should check your local state government website to see exactly which holidays apply. There are also regional holidays that apply to one or more regions.
In addition, each school may have its own schedule for things like teacher training and administration. As such, students may get these days off, too. This is especially true in private and international schools in Austria.
Childcare during school holidays in Austria
Austria has a robust social system, and because of this, there are plenty of public childcare options available. Below are a few possibilities that parents can make use of during the Austrian school holidays:
- Day nurseries for children under three – Krippe are nurseries suitable for babies and toddlers and usually cater to small groups of children. Vienna Family Network provides useful information on nursery options.
- Daycare – Austria has a wide range of public daycare facilities. These can vary depending on the type of care they provide, their hours of operation, and their cost. They are usually under the authority of each province. In addition, private daycare facilities are available, although parents will have to fork out more money to finance these.
- Employee daycare facilities – Betriebskindergarten are daycare centers operated by big institutions and companies to care for their employees’ children. These are especially useful during the Austrian school holidays if parents still have to work full-time or choose not to take annual leave.
- Children’s groups – As an alternative to institutional childcare, many parents create groups to look after their children during the holidays. These are usually at the parents’ initiative and are small groups of six to 15 children.
- Babysitters – If you want to have your children at home during the holidays, it’s always possible to hire a babysitter. This is typically for short-term childcare rather than a long-term solution.
- Childcare in Austria, Federal Chancellery, Republic of Austria – government site about childcare options in Austria
- Childcare, Oesterreich – government site about childcare in Austria