Viennese shops close quite early – some as early as 6.00 pm and on Saturday others close at 1.00 pm and the majority at 6.00 pm. Stores are closed on Sundays except those at ubahn stations. This was a shock to me when I moved here because I had been used to shops closing late in other places and being open everyday.
Well, one day I needed to buy some medication urgently but it was after hours. The doctor told me that pharmacies around Vienna rotate on being open 24 hours and he told me the one that was open that evening.
The pharmacy doors are locked during the off-hours and you have to ring a bell on the door. The ‘window’ that you are served through is the small cut out in the middle of the door. (Of course, there are different kinds of windows).
In the picture below, a customer is being served at the window. The system may seem strange, but it works and that is what matters.
Pardon the fuzzy photo – I had to use my camera ‘zoom lens’ function.
Do I miss having shops open for long hours and on Sundays and holidays? Not really because I have now learnt to adjust to Viennese shopping hours. If I need medicine urgently I just go to the window and get it.