Insider shopping in Vienna can be hard for the average traveller. You want to buy quality with a local flavour that you can’t buy anywhere else. I visited just two shopping streets in the fourth and fifth districts on a quiet weekday afternoon and discovered a dozen exciting places. If you like Austrian craftsmanship and local luxury design, scroll down to my extra tip.
Vienna Vintage Shops
I love Saturday’s flea market at nearby Naschmarkt, but it’s terribly crowded. Nearby vintage shops, such as this one (photo) offer glass, porcelain, silverware, homeware, toys and accessories of equal quality at reasonable prices. Do you see the kitchen scales in the photo? I use a very similar one, from my late Viennese grandmother. The original Augarten porcelain jewelry box featuring the Viennese rose (bottom left) was available at a fraction of its original price.
You can still find them: little delis selling regional produce from farmers in the outskirts of Vienna and surroundings: from jams, honeys and pickles to wines and liqueurs. The other lovely shop almost next to this one specialised in cake accessories (baking dishes, cookie cutters, tiered cake stands etc.) – a paradise of ‘natural’ souvenirs from Vienna.
Designer Fashion And Concept Stores
Local fashion designers are a great find for people who like relaxed styles and quality fabrics. The quirkiest one is probably this concept store, selling fashion alongside apple delicacies. Young designer Ursula and innovative farmer Vera found they could perfectly nurture their passions for fine fabrics and fresh apple products in a joint shop (see header photo). Apple schnapps goes surprisingly well with apple print accessories… Ever thought about crocheted soft toys with regional apple jam as a souvenir for kids?
Other independent fashion stores across Vienna different from traditional Austria fashion shopping range from international shooting stars for elegant dresses (see photo) to national and international young designer concept stores.
Extra Tip: Austrian Luxury Shopping Tour
I love it when local businesses use traditional craftsmanship to transform luxury materials into fine things. There is a story behind that felt hat, gold bracelet, suede boot and Alpine plant moisturiser, and they are 100% authentic. In particular shops designing products in that contemporary pure Austrian style are irresistible. Before I open my cupboards you may want to pick and choose your own beautiful jewelry, fashion pieces, cosmetics, home accessories, wine and delicacies directly in those shops. Finally, what adds extra glamour to such a shopping tour is the architecture and historic gems around you.
Shopping With A Special Guide
If I told you I discovered all these hidden shops myself I would lie. Unless you live in a particular area or know certain sidestreets and courtyards these places don’t appear on your radar. It was Lucie, a New York fashion stylist living in Vienna who took me on a tour. (She received a “Service Excellence” award by Luxury Travel Guide in 2018, was “Tour Guide of the Year” by LTG in 2017 and awarded “Most Unique Tour Guide in Vienna by the Luxury Travel Guide in 2016.)
‘When I relocated to Vienna I took endless strolls through my new neighbourhood and adjacent areas. I was so amazed to discover all these independent quirky shops no one had heard about. Now I regularly take travellers and even local Viennese on shopping tours. The travellers get the added bonus of exploring authentic local neighbourhoods they would never have set foot to otherwise.’
Tours start from EUR 35 (3 hours).
Touch base with Lucie:
Other great shopping tips: Austria Fashion Shopping, Austrian Jewelry, Austrian Design Shopping, Dirndl Dresses, Evening Dress Shops in Vienna, Vienna Culture Shopping (best gift shops), Vienna Shopping for Luxury (international designer brands);