If you are an expat parent with kids, you will need to know all about the Austrian school holidays. To help you out, here are the dates to watch out for.
Firstly, you should know that 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. Secondly, you should get a handle on what types are Austrian school holidays are on offer. After all, you will need to know whether you can plan to travel or need to make childcare arrangements.
To help you plan your year, this guide walks you through the key dates to remember and includes the following information:
- Austrian school holidays
- 2020–2021 Austrian school holiday dates
- 2021–2022 Austrian school holiday dates
- Additional holidays and days off
- Childcare during school holidays in Austria
- Useful resources
Austrian school holidays
In Austria, school holidays are generally set by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research. However, each of Austria’s nine regions can change these schedules slightly to take into account local holidays or requirements. Despite this, the main holidays are usually the same. As such, most of the public holidays are the same, 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.
In general, 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 schools, however, you should be able to check the holiday schedule on the school’s website.
Austrian school holidays are generally an opportunity for families to enjoy spending some quality time together. As such, you can expect people to go on family vacations – perhaps to a ski resort – during the winter, and plan longer trips during the summer holidays. As such, these are good times to plan a trip back home if you want to visit your family. That said, many of the public holidays – such as Labor Day – only offer one day off. Because of this, people don’t tend to leave their homes for these days off.
Austrian school holiday dates: 2020–2021
In Austria, the school year generally begins in mid-September and ends in early July. As such, this is very similar to the rest of Europe. Austrian school holidays usually include about 10 days off over Christmas (around December 24 – January 6) and an extensive summer break which usually begins in early July and lasts through mid-August. 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 2020-2021 academic year:
- Christmas: 24 December 2020 – 6 January 2021
- Semester break: 1–6 February 2021
- Easter: 27 March – 5 April 2021
- Pentecost/Whitsun: 22–24 May 2021
- Summer break: 3 July – 5 September 2021
Austrian school holiday dates: 2021–2022
The following is a list of expected dates for the Austrian school holidays in the academic year 2021–2022. Although most of them will be standard, you should double-check with your child’s school to see if there are any differences, as some of the dates may change depending on the region or type of school.
- Christmas: 24 December 2021 – 6 January 2022
- Semester break: 31 January 2022 – 6 February 2022
- Easter: 9–18 April 2022
- Pentecost/Whitsun: 4–6 June 2022
- Summer break: 1 July – 12 September 2022
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:
- 1 May – Labor Day
- 13 May – Ascension Day
- 3 June – Corpus Christi
- 26 October – National Day
- 1 November – All Saints Day
- 8 December – Immaculate Conception
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 school, too. This is especially true in private and international schools in Austria. You can usually get the exact calendar on the school’s website; the Vienna International School, for instance, publishes its calendar publicly.
Childcare during school holidays in Austria
- Day nurseries for children under three – These crèches are suitable for babies and toddlers and each one usually only caters to small groups of children. Although parents do need to pay for these nurseries, the fees can depend on the nursery itself, the parents’ income, or how long the child attends.
- Daycare – Austria has a wide range of public daycare facilities. In fact, these can vary depending on the type of care they provide, their hours of operation, and their cost. However, each one is usually under the authority of each province. In addition, private daycare facilities are available, although parents will have to look for and apply to these individually. Of course, private daycare is usually far more expensive than public facilities.
- Employee daycare facilities – In Austria, many big institutions and companies provide daycare centers 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. However, these are usually at the parents’ initiative and are small groups of six to 15 kids. Nevertheless, the advantage of this is that the children’s individual needs can easily be met.
- Babysitters – Of course, if you want to have your children at home during the holidays, it’s always possible to hire a babysitter. However, this is usually for short-term childcare rather than a practical solution for say, the two-month summer holidays.
- Childcare in Austria, Federal Chancellery, Republic of Austria – a government site about childcare options in Austria
- Childcare, Oesterreich – a government site about childcare in Austria
- Education, science, Research, Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria – the official government site with Austrian school holidays