Panthertazen, Sissi-Busserl & Kaiser-Zwieback will certainly make a great souvenir from Graz, packed in lovely boxes with the portrait of empress Sissi or emperor Franz Joseph ! These specialities are maybe a bit more expensive than other confectionaries, but they are produced according to the old recepees of the K&K Hofbaeckerei.
What to buy: Take a look at their webpage - unfortunately it is in german only - and you will get an idea of the great konfectionaries you may buy there and take home for your family and friends !
Normally people come to a bakery to buy bread but to this one much more to take pictures. In general you may find in Graz lots of great old shops. The reason for it is that Graz was for quite a long time somewhat in the shadow of the economic boom in Austria. So the shop owners were often not affluent enough to destroy and rebuild their shops. But things have changed and now Graz is very prosperous and in the meanwhile people appreciate the shops which could survive in the old shape..
What to buy: I would not say anything against the bread here - This bakery is the second biggest one here with numerous other outlets in Graz and in general I found the bread - especially the rye bread - far better in Styria than in my second home in Tirol.
Its one of the oldest papeterie (papershop). It has a collection of very sophisticated and unsusually rich artistic design. If you need Christmass decoration papers and cards, its an ideal shop to visit.
What to buy: Christmas posters, cards and window decoration.
What to pay: Depends on what you buy. Maybe you may spend 20-40 dolars.
The Hofgasse is a wonderful winding streets with many unique shops. The Edegger-Tax court bakery is a highlight, both for its wonderful sweets and its portal with its beautiful inlaid woodwork. Since 1569, this family-run bakery has been tempting visitors and locals alike with its traditional Styrian specialities.
What to buy: Beautiful cookie tins!
What to pay: Baked goods from 5-20 Euro, rather pricey but very tasty.
One of the nicest markets in Austria is the one behind the Graz Opera house.
What to buy: Pumpkin Seed Oil is a speciality produced only in Styria and neighbouring regions of the Southern Burgenland and Slovenia. A special sort of pumpkins grown only in this area has the seeds without non-edible shells which are first roasted and then the dark green oil is pressed out. In ancient times (not longer than two generations ago) it was the "poor man's oil" and more or less a side product of the pumpkins which were an important but not very prestigious foodstuff for the Styrians and their pigs. That has changed fundamentally. Styrian pigs eat nowadays mostly corn (you see the problematic monocultures of it in the flat regions south of Graz) and in the meanwhile you may get in good local restaurants wonderful refined and sophisticated dishes made of the Styrian pumpkin. And the dark green oil (which looks more or less like that what you get out from the engine of your car when you change the oil) has a great nutty taste which is perfect in many types of salads. I like most the Styrian Farmers salad with beans, onions, white cheese and boiled eggs and Pumpkin Seed Oil. But I found it also great when Pumpkin Seed oil was added to Vanilla Icecream.
An other great product are the roasted and slightly salted pumpkin seeds themselves. It is said that both products are also excellent to prevent prostata problems - but that is of minor importance for me ;-))
What to pay: Dont expect that the Green Gold of Styria is cheap. It is in the price range of excellent olive oils from Tuscany. If Graz is the only place you visit when coming to Styria you should buy it here at the market. Otherwise it might be more economic to buy it directly from the farmers when visiting the countryside.
If you are going for the weekend, do remember to buy everything you want to buy on Saturday. On Saturday, the majority of the shops will be closed by 5pm and they will not be opened till Monday 8am. Almost every shops will be closed on Sunday, except the cafes and bakery...
What to buy: I went to a Billa at Jakominiplatz and bought some chocolates for souvenirs. This time, I compared the prices of souvenirs at the airport (tax free shop after check-in) and at this supermarket.
For example, 2 nicely packed Mozart balls cost Eur1,00 at Billa, and it cost Eur1,30 at the tax free shop in the airport. Mozart chocolate liquer cost Eur10,45 in Billa and it is Eur14 at the airport for the same one. The price at the airport is at least 25% more than Billa even though it is brand as "tax-free".
Center West is a big shopping center in southern Graz. You can find IKEA, H&M, C&A, NewYorker, BOF, Toys R Us & tons of other shops there. It can get quite crowded during weekends, but you're probably gonna find everything you need over there.
Moser is the most traditional and best bookshop (at least in my opinion :)) in Graz. Not only it is worth a visit because they have a wide selection of books and magazines of all topics over 3 floors- the building (or better 2 buildings) in which it is located is interesting for itself. They combined the old houses with big glass windows and modern architecture. In their literature café you can admire nice old frescoes on the ceiling while having a coffee. They have a choice of english, french, spanish and russian (!) books as well. I wondered that they even have the Asterix translated to Russian :). They have a seating area where you can read as well. I am usually to be found on the 3rd floor with the travel guides :).
The headquarters of Brühl & Söhne is situated in the heart of the city of Graz.
It disposes of an exquisite atmosphere and top fashion. With cafeteria.
I was so much surprised about this service and atmosphere. I got at first a nice present, then coffee...
What to buy: fashion and accessories from the world’s top designers for ladies and gentlemen, international designer fashion, British style clothes, young fashion, sportswear
What to pay: What do you think? Right, designer fashion!
If you're going shopping, I suggest you avoid IKEA on a Saturday morning! :) It's cool to walk through this universe of things you'd just love to have at home, but it's a bit hard to exit it empty-handed. I only bought some candles, but I wouldn't mind if I moved there. IKEA in Graz - does it get any better?! :)
What to buy: Everything! :)
This is one of the many trachten, or traditional Austrian clothing shops that sells loden coats, hats, and acessories. You can expect to save at least half of the money you would pay for the very same item in Vienna.
What to buy: I bought a traditional ladies' jacket with the alpine type collar in a sumptuous cashmere blend fabric. The styles are very traditional but as you will see from all the Austrians sporting them, still quite popular. Afterward I went to lunch & the waitress was wearing a very similar type of jacket with a knit top & jeans, and it was a very chic outfit - I'll be trying that combination myself.
What to pay: This jacket cost about 290 euros. In Vienna, I saw the identical thing for well over 600 & that was on the lower end of the spectrum.
Maybe not one for the purists who think the shopping section should be filled with obscure individualistic shops selling stuff like ashtrays made from dog hair. For any males like me who need a 'one stop shop' to get your Christmas shopping out the way then this massive department store fits the bill. It’s spread over about 7 floors selling products ranging from food, house ware, clothes ware and a huge sports section. It even has a hairdresser, which my brother opted for to get a trim. The only thing he didn't account for was that the hairdresser didn't speak English and of course he didn't speak German. It was definitely amusing watching him trying to talk the hairdresser through what he wanted. He got a hair cut in the end but I don't know how he did it.
Shopping areas are Jakominiplatz, Hauptplatz, Sackstrasse, Citypark shopping centre in Lazarettsguertel. Sporgasse is good as well as Schmiedgasse.
It's worth crossing the bridge to West Graz as there is some great shopping to be done around Lendplatz
From my information this is the only shop in Graz that specialize in selling Thai products; another Thai shop in town for which I knew from internet already closed the business and it's a bar or something in its place now.
What to buy: Like said - Thai products are in the focus here. Variety of noodles, dried noodle soups, spices. Frozen and fermented seafood products, fresh vegetable (all you need for papaya salad or Lao noodle soup!) and fruit.
Bags of different kinds of rice, including sticky rice. Beans. Sauces. Pastes. Teas. Drinks. Beer - Chang, Singa... and yes! - beer Lao!!
Dish to cook traditional way - also sticky rice baskets.
Music, incense sticks, massage herbal packs.
Few Japanese and Chinese products, but not of a large choice. Shopkeepers are Thai - resourceful people with informations on acitivities from their community on what is going on in the local scene.
What to pay: Fresh Thai basil, sharp leaves and bean - from 1,60 - 2,80 euro a package. 2 kg of home grown rice - 2,90 a bag. Sauces (oyster, soy...) about 3,20 or more. Beer Lao for 1,40 per 330 ml bottle. Mama noodle 25 g bag shrimp taste - 0,45 euro per piece.
Prices are from february 2011. As you see, Graz is not cheaper than Vienna for this kind of shopping - and I recall buying certain items there for half the price. Also there were lot more Asian shops there, some entierly Thai, other mixed. Great place to shop for Asian food is around Naschmarkt in Vienna.
What can I say? Shops are shops. Graz has a beautiful central street off-limits to private vehicles so trams and cyclists only. As there's no traffic as such, it's very open, clean and "quiet". I loved it. All the shopping you could wish for is there - except Dunnes Stores (the Irish will know what I mean haha!)
But be prepared, as with all touristy areas - prices are about as high as Britney Spears' voice compared to Barry White's!! But still, if you've got a credit card and more money than sense...then knock yourself out. In fact you probably will when you get the receipt!!!!
What to pay: An obscene amount of money!!!