Travel during the holidays and visit the Vienna Christmas markets.
Shopping in Vienna: Where to Go and What to Buy
Vienna. One of the most popular river cruise destinations when sailing on the Danube. Whether you’ve arrived in time for its traditional Christmas markets or are enjoying the warm days of summer, if you love to shop, be sure to bring along an extra bag for all the goodies you will find. From luxury shops to independent boutiques that come and go, from the famous Sacher torte to Swarovski crystal, there’s enough variety here to woo even the most unenthusiastic of shoppers. Here’s where to go and what to buy while you’re in this fabulous Austrian city.
Where to Shop for Luxury Goods in Vienna
Head to the pedestrian-friendly Vienna old town and you’ll find all manner of upscale boutiques, from Lagerfeld to Cartier, Gucci to Armani. Along the Graben and Kohlmarkt, look for Jimmy Choo and Longchamp; on the Kärntner Strasse, which leads to the Hofburg, check out Swarovski and the Steffl department store. Hungry? Pop into Meinl am Graben, where you can pick up gourmet food items - including truffles and champagne for an impromptu celebration back on board your river cruise ship. Love porcelain? Don’t miss Augarten’s flagship store on Spiegelgasse. Expand your shopping tour and visit the nearby Golden Quarter, located around Bognergasse, Tuchlauben and Seitzergasse. Oooh and aaah over the sleek fashions at Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and more celebrated designers.
An early morning look at Mariahilfer Strasse before shoppers arrive.
Where to Shop Like a Local in Vienna
If your tastes run a bit more mainstream and you’d like to feel like a part of the local Viennese population, head to Mariahilfer Strasse, the city’s best-known shopping mile. This is where the average Vienna resident heads for clothing, gifts, homegoods and the like. This mainly pedestrian-only area is convenient to the Museumsquartier cultural complex, making it a great add-on after a day of cultural exploration. You’ll find everything from H&M to Jack Wolfskin, Pull & Bear to Puma. Don’t miss the Gerngross department store, which has been around since 1879. There’s a massive electronics selection, a huge sporting goods section and a great foodie area for refueling. On Neubaugasse, about halfway up the Mariahilfer Strasse, as well as Lindengasse, Kirchengasse and Burggasse, you’ll find a number of independent boutiques run by up-and-coming designers - an excellent place to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
What to Buy in Vienna
Consider picking up some of our favorite souvenirs and only-in-Vienna items (in addition to the Swarovski crystal, porcelain treasures and Sacher tortes we know you already have your eye on):
Artisanal chocolates: Check out Bonbons Anzinger for truffles, confectioneries and handmade chocolates. Be sure to pick up a lot of individual Mozart Kueglens, a chocolate sweet famously made for Mozart and a fantastic surprise to bring home for grandkids or nieces and nephews.
Museum Gift Shop Trinkets: With some of the best museums in the world come some of the best museum gift shops in the world. If you’re into great design, stop by the Architekturzentrum’s shop for cool portable porta-folios, or if you’re looking for conversation pieces for your home, visit the Museum of Applied Arts and pick up colorful vases or tableware by austriandesign.at, founded by Karin Merkl.
Lobmeyr Glass: This family business dating back to 1823 has created chandeliers for the Vienna State Opera and co-founded the above-mentioned Museum of Applied Arts. Come see their unique and limited-edition lighting, crystal and jewelry items, perhaps picking up a cool set of striped glass tumblers.
Traditional Dirndl Dresses: Do you regularly host Oktoberfest gatherings at your home? Do you want to? Choose from classic dirndls, festive wear for kids and adults, silk scarves from Viennese silk weaver Flemich, hats from Bittner and more to play the part at your next brews-and-brats neighborhood party.
Camile Boyer Goodies: Choose from the chic eyewear on display at Camile Boyer, which showcases locally made products from Austrian fashion and accessory designers. From sunglasses to everyday eyewear, all pieces are designed and manufactured in Austria - we love the Andy Wolf line, with its fun names such as “Pepper,” “Oregano” and “Miss Marple.”
I took a break and had Sacher torte (not-to-be-missed Austrian cake) and cappuccino at an
outside cafe after viewing the magnificent St. Stephan Cathedral.
Now that I’ve whet your appetite for shopping in Vienna, let’s chat about how to fit in perusing and purchasing during your river cruise. I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to buying and even more excited to see what you bring back! Click or tap the button below and schedule a consult!
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Travel Advisor Specializing in River Cruising