Shopping in Vienna

2 Dec 2009 by Matthew Fransioli     

This article was kindly supplied by the Vienna Tourist Board

An original gift for a friend back home or a pretty keepsake for yourself – shopping is a vacation treat in Vienna. This guide presents an overview of the city’s best shopping destinations, along with a number of insider tips.

Luxury and tradition in the city center

Shopping in Vienna: Luxury Brands

Shopping in Vienna: Luxury Brands

The range of shopping options is particularly rich in Vienna’s historic first district. The pedestrianized streets of Kohlmarkt, Graben and Kärtner Strasse form the so-called Golden U, a Viennese shopping Mecca. In recent years Kohlmarkt has developed into a center for luxury boutiques. It is lined with flagship stores of international labels such as Chanel, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. And at the heart of the Golden U, former Imperial court confectioner, Demel provides a reminder of Vienna of yore with its sweet treats and eye-catching window displays that showcase the high art of confectionary. A few buildings down is the equally illustrious Meinl am Graben, with its mouth-watering delicacies for gourmets and bon viveurs. On Graben, Altmann & Kühne awaits with its fine pralines, lovingly packaged in little boxes. Meanwhile Schwäbische Jungfrau is the place for exclusive tableware, bed linens, dressing gowns, and down comforters.

Zur Schwäbischen Jungfrau is a former purveyor to the Imperial Court. The title Purveyor to the Imperial Court dates back to 1782 and was a distinction bestowed upon merchants deemed worthy of supplying the Imperial Court thanks to the exceptional quality of their products. Over the years, the distinction became a highly prestigious honorary title and a truly first class seal of quality used by over 500 companies. While the Imperial Court disappeared long ago, the German-language title k.u.k. Hoflieferant endures as an assurance of quality to this day. Examples include textile and home furnishings business, Backhausen with its Wiener Werkstätte textiles; noble glass and chandelier maker Lobmeyr; jewelers Köchert, Rozet & Fischmeister and Anton Heldwein; elegant gentlemen’s outfitters, Knize & Comp; former court perfumery, J. B. Filz; traditional shoe maker, Rudolf Scheer & Söhne; and the Hotel Sacher home to the original Sachertorte – all of which are located in the First District.

Traditions must be upheld, as they say. It is therefore no accident that there are so many antique shops in the First District. The side streets around Graben, (incl. Dorotheergasse, Stallburggasse, and Bräunerstrasse and Spiegelgasse) are brimming with boutiques selling Baroque armories, renaissance chests, fine carpets, magnificent timepieces, paintings, porcelain and antique jewelry. The antique section of Musikhaus Doblinger still contains a number of original sheets of Viennese classical music. The Dorotheum auction house – one of the world’s largest – is a magnet for lovers of attractive antiques.

The Old Town’s attractions go well beyond the traditional. Anyone looking for international designer fashion will find what they are looking for at Firis, Chegini, 2006FEB01, Kasha and Sternlite, where gems from Dries van Noten, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu and other designers line the racks. A number of Viennese designers have shops in the First District as well. Highlights include couturiers Michel Mayer and Schella Kann, Mühlbauer with hats from its own portfolio and international fashion labels, accessory specialist Robert Horn, and luxury shoemaker Ludwig Reiter.

Kärntner Strasse is home to one of just a handful of department stores in the city. Split across several floors, Steffl’s offers fashion, fragrances and accessories. The nearby Ringstrassen Galerien is a spacious, indoor shopper’s paradise.

Addresses

Mariahilfer Strasse and surroundings – shopping zone and creative center

Shopping in Vienna

Shopping in Vienna

Emperor Franz Joseph used to travel along Mariahilfer Strasse as he shuttled between the Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palace. This street connecting the Ringstrasse boulevard and the Gürtel beltway cuts an almost two kilometer path through the 6th and 7th Districts. Today it is Vienna’s number one shopping destination. This large thoroughfare features broad sidewalks and has attracted hundreds of shops and flagship stores carrying international brands, with a particular focus on fashion, footwear, accessories and interior design. There are also countless eateries, including cafés, ice-cream shops, fast food restaurants and pizzerias. Echoes of times gone can be heard at traditional shops like Walter Weiss which stocks virtually everything the heart desires when it comes to grooming – from combs to shaving brushes and mirrors.

A detour from the beaten shopping path is well worth it. A hip shopping zone has sprung up on Gumperndorfer Strasse in the 6th district on the south side of Mariahilfer Strasse. das möbel stocks home furnishings and interior design accessories created by young Viennese and international product designers. At Lichterloh there are furniture classics such as the LC4 chaise longue from Le Corbusier. Nachbarin has a focus on fashion from up-and-coming designers- And at St. Charles Cosmothecary premium natural cosmetics are the order of the day.

In the 7th District on the north side of Mariahilfer Strasse there is an even greater range of products for individualists to choose from. This district is Vienna’s creative hub. The recently gentrified Baroque buildings and narrow streets around the Spittelberg quarter are home to numerous highly-original shops. Lindengasse is a great example. The street primarily concentrates on highly original fashions and fashion-related products with many pieces from up-and-coming Viennese designers. There are attractive leather bags at Ina Kent, children’s fashion at Buntwäsche and Herr und Frau Klein, exquisite underwear in Sandra Gilles’ la petite boutique; original accessories at Lila Pix, and handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry at Werkprunk. Just around the corner on Kirchengasse, highlights include clothing from Viennese green fashion label Göttin des Glücks at Studio, while on Mondscheingasse Park stocks innovative designer labels. In Gutenberggasse Lena Hoschek’s presents a playful take on traditional Austrian dress.

A few streets further down, on Westbahn Strasse, be a good girl wins converts as a hairdresser-cum-boutique and Russian-born Lena Kvadrat’s showroom “ArtPoint” offers young fashion. The MuseumsQuartier fits in perfectly with this creative ambience. Cultural and epicurean delights are accompanied by stores such as the Lomo Shop (f Russian Lomo cameras), Combinat and gegenalltag, with a fine selection by young fashion designers. AtMusiktank customers can simply and inexpensively download the latest music directly onto MP3 players. Select shops in the 7th District are presented at www.7tm.at.

Addresses

Around the Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt: Vienna's largest market

The Naschmarkt: Vienna's largest market

Vienna’s largest market is a mandatory destination for lovers of fine food and drink, featuring fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, cold cuts and cheeses, spices and gourmet vinegar. There is practically nothing that the Naschmarkt doesn’t have. And if that was not enough, there are countless chic bars and restaurants where visitors can enjoy a culinary break. On Saturdays the area adjoining the Naschmarkt is transformed into a flea market where antique dealers and private stallholders sell treasures and trinkets. While in the area, the neighboring streets are always worth a visit. Schleifmühlgasse boasts a burgeoning gallery scene and a variety of great shops. Choose between high quality vintage fashion from Flo, austere clothing designs from Jutta Pregenzer, classic 20th century furniture from Rauminhalt or one of the hundreds of cookbooks from Babette’s. Kettenbrückengasse, at the end of the Naschmarkt, has come on strong in recent years. Attractive knick knacks are on sale at Anna Stein, alongside eye-catching retro fashion from Bananas, delicious desserts and pralines from Fruth and the city’s most original souvenirs from WieWien. Designer boutique Elfenkleid is just a stone’s throw away, and just a short walk from feine dinge, where Sandra Heischberger’s porcelain designs are on sale.

Addresses

  • Babette’s, Schleifmühlgasse 17, 1040 Vienna
  • Bananas, Kettenbrückengasse 14, 1040 Vienna, www.bananas.at
  • Elfenkleid, Margaretenstrasse 39, 1040 Vienna, www.elfenkleid.com
  • feine dinge, Krongasse 20, 1050 Vienna, www.feinedinge.at
  • Flohmarkt, Wienzeile, 1060 Vienna (U4 Station Kettenbrückengasse)
  • Flo Vintage, Schleifmühlgasse 15 a, 1040 Vienna, www.vintageflo.com
  • Fruth, Kettenbrückengasse 20, 1040 Vienna, www.fruth.at
  • Naschmarkt, Wienzeile between Getreidemarkt and Kettenbrückengasse, 1060 Wien
  • Jutta Pregenzer, Schleifmühlgasse 4, 1040 Vienna, www.pregenzer.com
  • Rauminhalt, Schleifmühlgasse 13, 1040 Vienna, www.rauminhalt.com
  • Anna Stein, Kettenbrückengasse 21, 1050 Vienna, www.anna-stein.com
  • WieWien, Kettenbrückengasse 5, 1050 Vienna, www.wiewien.at

Off the beaten track

The 2nd District is only separated from the 1st District by the Danube Canal. Just a short stroll over the bridge is designer boutique Song, with collections from international fashion stars such as Maison Martin Margiela, Balenciaga and Bernhard Willhelm. The area around the Karmelitermarkt is coming back to life thanks to countless interesting shops and bars. Kabine in Glockengasse features fashions from young Viennese designers alongside fun accessories. Nagy knits pullovers and dresses from its own wools. And Wundertüte always has the right gift for adults and children.

The 16th District’s two large markets in Brunnengasse and on Yppenplatz are a magnet for new business ideas. Vienna jelly makers Staud’s has long been a fixture at the Yppenmarktwhere a lively bar and restaurant scene has gradually emerged. A short walk from the market, Mano Design on Grundsteingasse offers designer hand-finished porcelain.

Addresses

  • Brunnenmarkt/ Yppenmarkt, Brunnengasse and Yppenplatz, 1160 Vienna
  • Kabine, Karmelitergasse 6, 1020 Vienna
  • Karmelitermarkt, Im Werd, Krummbaumgasse, Leopoldsgasse, Haidgasse, 1020 Vienna
  • Mano Design, Grundsteingasse 36/1-3, 1160 Vienna, www.manodesign.at
  • Nagy Strickdesign, Krummbaumgasse 2-4, 1020 Vienna
  • Song, Praterstrasse 11-13, 1020 Vienna, www.song.at
  • Staud’s Pavillon, Yppenmarkt 93, 1160 Vienna, www.stauds.com
  • Wundertüte, Karmeliterplatz 2, 1020 Wien, www.wundertuete.at
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