Hours of Operation
In most cities banks are open weekdays 8–3, Thursday until 5:30 pm. Lunch hour is from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. All banks are closed on Saturday, but you can change money at various locations, such as American Express (which has an office in Vienna open on Saturday from 9 to noon) and major train stations, open around the clock; changing machines are also found here and there in the larger cities.
Gas stations on the major autobahns are open 24 hours a day, but in smaller towns and villages you can expect them to close early in the evening and on Sunday. You can usually count on at least one station to stay open on Sunday and holidays in most medium-size towns, and buying gas in larger cities is usually not a problem.
Pharmacies (called Apotheken in German) are usually open from 9 to 6, with a midday break between noon and 2 pm. In each area of the city one pharmacy stays open 24 hours; if a pharmacy is closed, a sign on the door will tell you the address of the nearest one that's open. Call 01/1550 for names and addresses (in German) of the pharmacies open that night.
In many villages and small towns shops still keep the custom of half-day closing one day a week, usually Tuesday or Wednesday, so don’t be surprised to find an apparent ghost town on those days. Shops usually close at 12:30 pm and place the sign Ruhetag (rest day) in the window or door. Hotels sometimes follow suit—they will be open, but the front desk will not be manned and, typically, a welcome note will be left with your key. It is also common in country areas for shops to close from midday on Saturday until Monday morning.
All banks and shops are closed on national holidays: New Year's Day; Jan. 6, Epiphany; Easter Sunday and Monday; May 1, May Day; Ascension Day (6th Thursday after Easter); Pentecost Sunday and Monday; Corpus Christi; Aug. 15, Assumption; Oct. 26, National Holiday; Nov. 1, All Saints' Day; Dec. 8, Immaculate Conception; Dec. 25–26, Christmas. Museums are open on most holidays, but are closed on Good Friday, Dec. 24 and 25, and New Year's Day. Banks and offices are closed on Dec. 8, but most shops are open.