If you want to shop until you drop, head to Vienna’s central district to revel in all the latest European fashions and accessories. From little-known boutiques to the international high fashion heavyweights, you’ll find it all in Austria’s Imperial City.
Located just two stops on the subway from the longest shopping street in Austria and less than a ten-minute drive from the quirky and independent shops of Neubau, the Radisson Blu Style Hotel, Vienna is the ideal base for a weekend of intense retail therapy. The city’s attractions range from international chains on Mariahilferstraße to the prestigious Golden U shopping area, which stretches from Hofburg Palace to Kärntner Straße. Originally named after the court-appointed jewellery designers who set up shop close to the Imperial Residence, the jewellery houses that ply their wares here today keep the street every bit as gorgeous and glittering as it was centuries ago.
From high street to designer
Start your shopping spree at Mariahilferstraße to begin with the basics: this is where you’ll find familiar high street favourites like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara, sitting alongside impressive designer flagship stores. At the Mulberry store, handmade English music boxes play tinkling Austrian and British tunes, while Brioni sets its quintessential Italian menswear against an innovative store interior designed in brass, black glass and wooden reeds. When you need a break, stop off at Café Ritter for coffee and traditional apple strudel, before taking the subway down to Kohlmarkt and the Golden U.
All that glitters
Although major houses like Cartier, Tiffany and Bulgari have all claimed places along the Golden U, take the time to tour the world-renowned Viennese jewellery houses. On the corner of Graben and Tuchlauben you’ll find Juwelier Wagner, a historic Austrian jeweller that boasts several collaborations with Rolex, all beautifully presented beneath glass counters. Visit Skrein jewellers around the corner for uniquely personal creations, all made with ethically sourced gold and diamonds. If you have a love of fine contemporary art and antique jewellery, stop by the Dorotheum auction house. A spectacular neo-classical building that’s worth visiting just to admire the exterior, it’s a fitting home for one of the oldest auction houses in Europe.
The best of the continent
Many of Vienna’s boutiques feature young Austrian design talent, making it the perfect place to seek out a piece that no one else will have. Brillen.manufaktur is the place to go if you’re looking for a new pair of designer glasses – the owners curate their selection from the world’s best glass fairs, incorporating both up-and-coming and international brands. If you have a penchant for vintage shopping, don’t miss FLO Vintage. Its legendary owner Ingrid Raab has filled the shop with so many hidden gems that even Stella McCartney has shopped there.
Authentic arts and crafts
The cobbled streets around the Spittelberg area next to Museumsquartier are filled with boutiques, arts and crafts shops and speciality stores. Highlights include MQ Point, where you’ll find artisan jewellery and contemporary home accessories – perfect gifts for any loved ones back home. Finally, don’t forget to stop at Riedel, home of the renowned master glassmakers. Their wine glasses are so highly regarded, they’re even reputed to improve the flavour of a fine wine.