Kärntner Straße, Vienna
Right in the heart of the city, Karntnerstrasse runs from Stephansplatz up to the Opera, so it starts where Graben finishes.
Yet another street lined with beautiful buildings, it has designer shops, little speciality shops, two department stores, Steifl and Peek & Cloppenburg, plenty of eating & drinking options.
It's always crowded, has quite a few seating areas, buskers perform afternoons and evenings.
The famous Sacha Hotel (where sacher torte was first created) is at the Opera end.
The Kärntner Strasse in Vienna has been around since the Roman Age when it was used as an important connection from the city center to the city wall. Most of the buildings were destroyed during WWII, so not many historic ones are left.
It was in this area, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart passed away in the year 1791.
This is a pedestrian street - I really love these, as it gives me a chance to look at the buildings and shops without being run over! The street has a real mix of historical buildings, traditional shops, souvenir shops and stylish designer stores.
One of the first buildings I saw and liked was Palace Esterhazy, where a branch of the Casinos Austria is located in its historic rooms. An important Hotel on the street, is the Hotel Sacher which is styled like a renaissance palace. Prominent people stay here in one of the suites named after Operas.
Look-out for Steffl Department store - (house number 19) as you can take a panoramic elevator to the cafe and restaurant of the Sky-Bar. Views are over the Stephansdom.
Swarovski (house number 24) - Over 3 floors, you can have look at the impressing presentation of the broad range of the Swarovski crystal assortment.
I found a shop with Cow ornaments which I loved, and one with pottery figurines which were quite expensive, but cute! This is the main shopping area in District 2, so come for the look.
At the end of the walk through the Kärntner Strasse Vienna you can decide to turn left to the Graben or to continue your walk straight across to the Stephansplatz
Shop opening hours:
Monday - Friday: 9 - 7pm, Saturday: 9-6pm
Some shops open already at 7am or close on workdays at 10pm
When you're in Stephanplatz, in 1st district, city centre, around Kartnerstrasse or the Graben area, you cannot help but hear the sound of music. Yes, the beautiful sound of Classical Music, played by music students and street vendors.
There are ample sitting benches and seats along the main shopping streets. You can rest your tired feet and aching backs, while listening to the street/open-air music. Most of the beautiful music are played by music students trying to earn some pocket money and playing to a less critical audiences.
You can see solo violinists, harpists, pianists, guitarists, cello-players, and even soprano singers! Sometimes, especially in summer time, there would be a small orchestra of young musicians playing together. Whoever is playing will always attract a small crowd.
I would buy a drink or snacks from the nearby Imbiss (food stalls), sit down on one of the benches/seats, and lean back and relax to enjoy the nice music played by these street musicians. After they are finished, I would give them Euro 1-2 into their collection box for their effort.
.. till you drop - or till your credit card still has the money!! For the first time my shopping expenses were higher than the hotel bill (though the hotel was also for the first time four stars for a stay of five nights).
Vienna is a shopping paradise, especially for clothing, women and men find here a large variety. We were lucky we are traveling by car, and with a large trunk, or we could never fit what we bought in luggages:) Kartner strasse, Mariahilfestrasse and SCS (Shopping City Sud - 10km south on A2 highway) are my favorite places, and my favorite stores are C&A and H&M. One can spend one week in either Mariahilfestrasse or SCS and just scratch the surface of the items on display.
The paradox on Mariahilfestrasse: you enter a 10 meters wide entrance and then you find yourself in an Alice in Wonderland larger than life shop, with at least four floors and a surface of a football field. When you exit you wonder how did it grows so big inside and where did that space came from. Try it!
Kartnerstrasse is the main pedestrian zone within Vienna. It is a great place to wander the city and hit the shops. It is always bustling with people and has many good restaurants on some of the side streets.
Kartner strasse starts from the Stepherndom and takes you to the Opera. It's a "pedestrians only" street where are located all the famous boutiques,Swarowski shop, the Malteser church.
You can just take a walk in the evening and go window-shopping as the shops are already closed / what I did / or use your ears and lisen to the music of spanish , italian , hebrew,arabic and all the languages people are using for communication around you. Ahh ...wonderful!!! What a cosmopolitan feeling!!!
Somewhere in the middle there is a very famous bar at the top of a building , offering you a great panorama over the city. Just look for the glass elevator on your left side.
Look at your feet when you're walking - the stars with the names of famous composers are laying there....
The names of classical music's stars are laid out in a parade that lines the pedestrianised Kartnerstrasse in a Viennese version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Just about all the great and the good - composers, conductors, performers - with some connection to Vienna are named here - a real music buff will probably be able to identify them all, though even she or he may have run out of steam after checking out the first twenty or so.
Stretching from the Opera to Stephansplatz, Karntner Strasse stretches about 1/2 mile (.8 km) with an amazing array of trendy and expensive stores, restaurants and hotels. Some of the world's most famous chains of stores can be found here such as H & M, Marks & Spencer, and United Colors of Benetton. This is considered Vienna's best address for shopping.
This area is served by U-Bahn lines U2, U3 and U6; S-Bahn lines S15, S50 and R50; Strassenbahnlines: 5, 6, 9, 18, 33, 49, 52 and 58; as well as busses 10A, 12A, 13A, 14A and 57A.
If you keep your eyes at street level, you can easily miss things! One such example is the facade that is on the building located at Kärntnerstrasse 16 in the first district of Vienna - well worth stopping for a few moments to take it in.
Day 1 : Schottenring and Alsergrund
In the Wahringer strasse, just past the Josephinum, I turned right into the
Just halfway, in the side street (Boltzmanngasse) was the highly defended and
protected American Embassy.
But I continued in the Strudlhofgasse, and finally I reached the
Strudlhofstiege (Strudlhof steps).
These beautiful Art-Nouveau steps became very famous by the novel with the
same name written by Theodor Jager in 1910.
What can I say! When I joined VT I thought I'd provide erudite reviews of art galleries opera and architecture but I appear to have compromised and I'm already on to toilets. Well, you can't say they aren't necessary, and it is nice to find one that makes you smile rather than run out screaming.
The 'Toilet of Modern Art' can be found in the basement of the rather kitsch shopping arcade directly opposite the Hunderwasser Haus. They provide a coloured fountain to look at - and I don't mean the disinfected flush! - as well as other jokey accessories but you will have to pay by inserting change into the machine...so have some ready unless you are inclined to purchase a few things at the shops.
Vienna has in fact cornered the market in amusing toilets...well, when I say 'cornered the market' I mean that there's two of 'em! The other is the 'Opera Toilet' which you'll find down the bottom of the stairs of the Opernring subway immediately outside the Opera House which leads to Karlsplatz underground station. I baulked at the chance of taking photos inside either as a) I didn't want to get arrested and b)I would have to do some explaining to my wife!
PS If you want to see a splendid conventional toilet, take coffee at the Grand Hotel on the Kartner Ring and use the facilities downstairs. Delightful and a pleasure to wash one's hands!
There are lots of entertainers on the streets of Vienna and the most popular place seems to be around St. Stephans and Karntner Strasse. In this photo you can see that it is not just the tourists who are attracted. Notice the group of older folks who have come to enjoy a nice day, visit and watch tourists. Some of the street entertainers are quite good.
Karntner Straze starts from Opera and curved down to Stephans Pltz. It is one of the most visited places, all the time full with thousands of tourist. It is one of the must see activity when you are in Vienna. There are verities of shops and restaurant and cafes on both sides of this street.
One of the best streets I liked in Vienna was Karnter Ring. It leads to Opera and it has such a beautiful look. It is really wide and very impressive as the buildings on both sides make it more charming.
You can also get some tram from Karntner Ring.
Another type of souvenier to be seen is these tapestries stuff.
I enjoy doing embrodiery work., so to see some works done for sale tickles my fancy.
Of course I am not incline to do such detailed and miniature stuff...i would be blind before any project is completed. But this is very very nice in terms of work and art. I liked those little pictures tapestries...something to be admired but I cannot imagine buying it at all. wonder who ever does buy such stuff!!!
The one thing i realised these days are that you can get similar work (but not so good finishes) made in China for a small fraction of the European prices....so i really wonder who is buying them!!