From 1780 was on the right bank of the then unregulated river Wien outside the city walls a market. In 1793 it was ordered that all fruit and vegetables supplied by carts to the city must go to the Naschmarkt (called Naschmarkt since 1820). The Wien became regulated in the late 19. century and from 1910 to more than 120 brick built market stalls were built and it became a wholesale market which was 1972 moved to the outskirts of Vienna while the Naschmarkt became moderniced and upmarket.
What to buy: Many asian and a lot of turkish (some must have their sales tactics in the Grand Bazar in Istambul, be carefull) stalls, even a russian stall, but also some quit good austrian... and a lot of interrestin restaurants.
There are plenty of designer shops in the pedestrian area of District 1, but the shop we liked most is Peek & Cloppenburg.
Over several floors they have a huge range of men's and women's clothing, from well-known international designer names to smaller, less well-known but equally top-quality designers.
It highlighted again the lack of choice we have in Australia. We were delighted to see so many names, so much variety within each brand, the huge range of colours available. And the fact that so many sizes are available - half sizes in shoes, odd numbers for waist sizes (in Oz we just get the even numbers), and different leg lengths with each waist size.
We were also surprised at the value for money, not having thought of Vienna as a shopping destination.
What to buy: We bought casual trousers and jeans, shoes, jackets and shirts. All absolute top quality, a huge range of colours and styles from designers we never see in Australia. And at a fraction of the price we would pay in Australia for anything similar - and we picked up our VAT refund at the airport.
Windows of stores with the cheap and affordable price clothing generally tend to be overcrowded and tacky arranged. Sometimes it seems as if the goods were randomly thrown into the window. In such a mass is lost even the most attractive clothing. Most passers-by are largely ignoring such tasteless arranged windows.
This is a good example of the store which clearly shows that cloths with reasonable prices can be exposed with taste and style. The store is located opposite to the synagogue.
I was attracted by the shoes in the window shop, never before have seen such very peculiar modeled shoes. And to be honest, didn't even know for that brand. I took this pics from the shop entrance but right now, when I came back home, I regret for not being more daring and making pics from inside. I might have been allowed to take pics from inside if was asking it.
This little men's clothing shop is an absolute gem on the "Ring". My wife and I stumpled upon it walking through the beautiful Stadtpark in Vienna. It's right across the park and inside you'll find a great selection of suits and shirts. The business owner was very nice and while I tried on a couple of suits my wife was treated with champagne!
So I was totally relaxed and had a good chat with the owner, who is an absolute expert on suits. He told me all the suits are semi-traditionell, which means they are half handcrafted. The quality was excellent and so was the price: between 300-400 Euros for an outstanding suit is incredibly cheap!
On our next trip I'll definetly come back to buy a few more! In my hometown (Brussels) suits are so expensive in comparison its not even funny.
What to buy: Suits and ties
What to pay: A complete suit was between 280 and 400 Euros
This very short street, situated in the close vicinity of the cathedral, might be considerate as the shopping paradise for those who are followers of fashion, especially if looking for big names. It looks almost alike to Montenapoleoni street in Milano. This shops sales designed cloths only and each piece of it costs a fortune.
Vienna is known as very expensive town for a living, is it the reason why this short street look alike deserted?
What to buy: Most of the items looks very good, made of first class fabrics and very well designed.
What to pay: Very huge amount of €€€€€
Paul & Shark is my favourite clothing brand, first of all because I like designs of the cloths and secondly because of the top quality of fabrics used for it production, which I know from the first hand. I can't say more about it.
Why this brand and why not some other? For a very simple reason, the polo or sweater have the superb quality in designing, manufacturing and maintancing. Year or two after buying and wearing it you wont find any difference, the garment will still have the same shade of colours as it was the first day.
Julius Meinl's famous flagship store is located on Graben Street. It was founded in 1862 by Julius Meinl the first, and since then it's been passed on from one generation to the next. It's now run by the founder's great great grandson, Julius Meinl V. The store specializes in gourmet food and coffee and since I always like to bring back home a little taste of the country with me, I thought it was a great place to go to do a bit of souvenir shopping - the selection was amazing! We also couldn't resist and bought a few items that we couldn't really bring back home - such as cold cuts, cheese, bread, wine, and dessert - so we made a great lunch out of it :o) Another option is to grab lunch at Meinl's Cafe. One thing that's good to know is that prices were not as high as I would have expected from such a fancy store.
What to buy: Things like coffee, chocolate and jams make for nice souvenirs.
Of course Manner's famous wafers are available all over Vienna, but I really enjoyed shopping at the original store located on Stephansplatz. Josef Manner founded his company in 1890. His wish was to produce quality chocolate at a reasonable price since chocolate used to be an expensive luxury item. "Chocolate for everyone" was his motto - how could you not love such a man?! The original Neapolitan wafer that made the company so popular was introduced in 1898 and is still made according to the original recipe. What got the wafer its name is that the hazelnuts used to make their cream filling were at first imported from Naples, Italy. Manner's store on Stephansplatz features all the wafer varieties in different sizes as well as other products, along with some souvenir items.
What to buy: I got a bag of Manner wafer tartlets to share with my friends back home :o)
You will find this Swarovski-shop in the centre of Kärntnerstrasse, it is a large shop with various floors and a lot of things to see, but I always just had a look from outside, as these kind of things are not really "my cup of tea"
But I know that Swarowski has a lot of fans here on VT and this is why I listed it in my shopping-tips!
What to buy: Crystall by Swarovski - what else ?
What to pay: I have no idea !!!
The Weihnachtsmarkt of Schloss Schoenbrunn is in my opinion the most beautiful and most scenic one in Vienna :
That market will be set up inside the big court in front of the former summer-palace of the Austrian emperors and it consists of a large circle of shopping-stands and only 4 food-stands in the centre of that cercle, so you will hardly ever have to fight yourselves through crowds of people, but will have in fact a lot of space to walk freely and enjoy also the lovely scenery of the Schloss Schoenbrunn in the background.
This market is normally one of the first to open
and the last one to close :
In 2010 : from Nov. 20th - January 2nd
daily till Dec 23rd: from 10.00a.m. till 09.00 p.m.
At December 24th : 10.00a.m. till 04.00p.m.
At December 25th+26th : 10.00a.m.-06.00p.m.
From Dec. 28th till Jan. 2nd : 10.00am-05.00pm
This market is CLOSED AN Dec. 27th !!!
What to buy: At this market you will find a few stands with special handicrafts, that you will not find at most of the other christmas-markets in Vienna !
For the food I may recommend :
Kaiserschmarrn - MY favorite desert
Raclette and other cheese-specialities
What to pay: Prices will not differ a lot from other markets : Gluehwein is around 3 euro, for the beautifully decorated porcelain-cup you have to pay a deposit of 2 euros, and may keep it, some of the foodstands even give you a paper-bag to pack it safely !
Adventzauber am Rathausplatz is the largest of all christmas-markets in Vienna and it includes a lot of activities for children, like rides in a train for children, pony-carriages, small huts, where professional actors are reading fairy-tales etc. A lot of the many giant trees in the park are lighted in a really beautiful way and there are benches as well (and in dec. 8th,2006 it was even warm enough to sit there...).
Some years ago you could buy socks, steam-irons etc. there as well, THAT IS OVER NOW : This market is a must, especially when you considder the scenic place between Burgtheater and the Rathaus (townhall), also the paths between the stands are wider now and mostly you will have enough space to walk through the market.
In 2010 this market was open Nov. 13th till Dec. 24th
daily from 10.00a.m. till 09.30p.m.
Fri & Sat. it closes at 10.00pm
It ends already at 06.00p.m. at dec.24th !!
Dogs are allowed here !
What to buy: There are almost the same goods that you may buy also at the other x-mas-markets as well.
The drinks are served in porcelain-cups that you have to pay 2 euros for a deposit !
You may take it home as well, the one of Rathausmarkt looks really nice !
What to pay: Glühwein / Punch etc. starts with a price of 3 euros, same prices as all other markets !
I've just returned from Vienna shopping weekend and it was fantastic. I went there in 1995 and back then it wasn't much of shopping city for ladies clothes but now...great!
There are the old favourites Mariahilferstrasse (the main shopping street) and the pedestrian Kärtnerstarsse. Both have all the familiar high street names like H&M plus loads of local shops. For reasonablly priced and trendy stuff visit Street One and Pimkie. I also visited the newish' (2000) shopping centre Gasometer and the larger/older Donauzentrum in the north-east.
Shopping on Mariahilfestrasse starts from the Westbahnhof station on the U3 line. Follow the signs for "Innere Mariahilferstrasse" exit and when you get to the ground level carry on straight ahed (east). It carries on all the way to the Museumquartier stop on the U2 line.
For great views (if the weather is good the roof terrace is open) and a bit of lunch visit the Japanese Akakiko (http://www.akakiko.at/lokale.php?lokale=5) sushi restaurant on the top floor of the Gerngross department store. On the other side from them on the roof there is also a cafe called City Lights with views over to the west.
Kärtnerstarsse runs between Stephansplatz and Karlsplatz, both stations are on the U1 line.
Gasometer is super easy to get to, U-bahn line U3 goes staight there (stop: Gasometer), get off
the train and the shopping centre starts right at the station.
Donauzentrum is on the U1 line, stop: Kagran. Again easy to find, get of the train and it's on the other side of the road, just watch out for speeding cars and the trams which seem to arrive from every direction all at once!
What to buy: Clothes, shoes, accessories.
Kartnerstrasse is probably the bussiest street of Vienna, place where shopping maniacs could live forever. It offers huge variety of merchandise, from those which makes one dizzy because of high prices up to those which cost small money only. Prevalent are numerous shops which offering cloths, from big designers up to cheap Chinese cloths suitable for one day use only. Vienna, by all means, isn't cheap town for living and therefore some good clothing names cost more then in some other European towns.
What to buy: Not easy to suggest because we all have different interests but since clothing is my job I would suggest not to buy cloths here, if not neccessary. Just for comparation, good cloths in Vienna cost at least 20 to 30% more then in Milano.
This market has a focus on arts and crafts. It was located in an excellent location and the backdrop of Karlskirche certainly made an impression. It was busy and very enjoyable. We even experienced a band and traditional Christmas songs being sung by the revellers next to a Christmas punsch bar.
There were many stalls and the experience was a good one; sadly there was no snow.