Graz’ slow, epicurean lifestyle is all about treating yourself. Whether it’s with a Styrian fried chicken salad, or a stroll across gentle Schlossberg mountain, the locals like to enjoy the finer things. That’s why shopping for meaningful souvenirs is near the top of to-dos in Austria’s second city, and with this expert guide it has never been easier.
Graz’ main department store counts as one of the its main attractions. It has over a century of history and still stands as a key meeting spot for locals. Kastner & Öhler, named after its two merchant founders, carries everything from technical climbing gear to the latest designer collections, and invites you to browse for hours. If you’re shopping for children, don’t miss the fifth floor, which offers a wonderland of quality toys and children’s clothes. End your spree with a drink or snack at Freiblick, the panoramic rooftop restaurant with stunning views over the city.
If you’re in the market for a good book (or just a fan of local bookstores), head to Moser, another Graz institution. Three floors of books inside a beautifully stuccoed townhouse can make any literary nerd swoon. If you’re not fluid in German, fear not. There is a sizeable selection of English language books on the ground floor. Bookmarks, calendars, and other small gifts are easy to take home and don’t require you to break out Google Translate.
Graz designer Lena Hoschek has clothed the likes of Dita von These and Katy Perry. Her hyper-feminine style blends elements of Austrian folk wear — think Dirndl, felt, and Heidi braids — with 50s pin-up fashion and modern trends. A flagship store on Joanneumring invites you into her world of vintage charm and sophisticated cuteness: the entire shop is designed according to Hoschek’s nostalgic aesthetic.
On Mur river’s left bank, a young and hip creative scene populates the quarters of Lend and Gries. Tucked behind the Kunsthaus (museum of contemporary art), a shopping street with local designers and quirky knickknacks makes for the perfect off-beat souvenir destination. Mariahilfer Strasse wasn’t a fashionable address until stores like kwirl, Da Loam, and the Kunsthaus Design Shop turned it into an up-and-coming stretch in Old Town.
Graz jeweler Schullin has been supplying the city with his gold, silver, and diamond creations since 1802. Today, his wares could not be more popular, with fine jewelry in every price range and two stores in Graz’ most sought-after shopping streets (Herrengasse and Sporgasse). You’ll be hard-pressed to find a fashionable woman in Graz without a Schullin design hanging from her neck or wrist, so join the bandwagon and adorn yourself in the jeweler’s elegant creations.