Shopping in Austria
Looking for some shops to bring back a small souvenir? There are many specialty shops, artists markets and splendid shopping streets across Austria. Go bargain hunting at one of the many colorful markets, or stroll along an upscale shopping street.
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The long esplanade covering the course of the river already served as market place for dairy products in Vienna as early as the 18th century. Naschmarkt Vienna which is located between Kettenbrückengasse and Karlsplatz is a premier open-air fruit and vegetable market that should be on everyone's itinerary. Naschmarkt is an ethnic melting pot full of vibrant life and exotic scents.
Naschmarkt is open Monday to Friday from 6am to 6.30pm and Saturday from 6am to 5pm. Mornings are the best time to absorb the market's sights and flavours. The majority of the bars and bistros open until 10pm, and some even later.
If you wish to explore the city off the tourist paths then Brunnenmarkt in Wien-Ottakring is a great place to experience multicultural Vienna. Brunnenmarkt, located between Thaliastrasse and Ottakringer Strasse, is best described as an oriental bazaar. A great number of vendors sell all varieties of goods to Vienna’s immigrant community – particularly its large Turkish population. The market dates back to 1786 when Emperor Joseph II. had consented to a marketplace around the fountain (“Brunnen”). Brunnenmarkt is one of Vienna’s last street markets which means that all stalls are taken down in the evening and put up again the next morning.
An especially authentic market in Wien Favoriten is the 125-year old Viktor-Adler-Markt, offering a great variety of culinary delights including fruits and vegetables and selected wines. Take the time and you will find plenty of things to see, explore and discover here. All kinds of local delis as well as Turkish, Greek, and Indian specialties, and rows upon rows of stalls creating veritable lanes and alleyways. In the summer this market is a pleasant place to stroll around as the stalls are protected from the sun by parasols and awnings.
Schrannenmarkt in Salzburg, opposite Schloss Mirabell, is Austria’s third-largest street market besides Naschmarkt and Brunnenmarkt in Vienna. Flowers, leather wear, health foods, and many other delicacies covering everything from eels to plums are on sale. The majority of the meat and dairy products are produced by the vendors themselves who are happy for you to have a taste. There are also plenty of snack stalls selling everything from fried chicken to crullers.
Kapitelmarkt is located at the foot of Festung Hohensalzburg drawing plenty of tourists, not least thanks to its location. Situated between Salzburg Cathedral and the old St. Peter Churchyard, it offers souvenirs, gifts and tasty tidbits.
Hamburg Fish Market in Salzburg
Why go far when you can find all the great things here? Once a year, Südtirolerplatz in front of the Salzburg train station provides the backdrop for a typical fish market from Hamburg. Lovers of sea food will find themselves amply catered for with salmon, scampi, rock lobster, and other specialties which you can either eat at the market or prepare at home. There is also live music and entertainment at the market which takes place from the end of May to the beginning of July.
Potters’ Market in Hall
The Medieval town of Hall in Tirol annually stages Tirol’s largest Potters’ Market, featuring pottery from Austria and its neighbouring countries. Children can learn how a clump of clay is turned into a nice vase for mum and practice their newly acquired skills. Master potters demonstrate step by step how their objects and artworks are created. The Potters’ Market is held at the Oberer Stadtplatz in Hall.
Flea Market in Innsbruck
From Tirol’s largest Potters’ Market to Tirol’s largest Flea Market. Where? In Innsbruck, of course! Every Saturday a multitude of vendors, browsers, and buyers meet up at the beautiful Alter Hafen. In case of rain, the Flea Market is held indoors. To ensure that the market retains its traditional charm, no more than one fifth of the vendors may be commercial exhibitors. Sellers from Asia, Africa, and Europe lend the market a colourful and international flair.
Flea Market on the Linz Hauptplatz
Every Saturday the Hauptplatz in Linz turns into a marketplace where all kinds of odds and ends are sold, from one-armed dolls to glittering chandeliers. From November to February the market is held in front of the Neues Rathaus.
Ursulamarkt has a 700-year old tradition. The market at the Klagenfurt Trade Fair area attracts some 330 vendors selling goods like pottery and wooden toys. For kids there is a petting zoo and there are stalls selling fried sausages, roast chestnuts, mulled wine, and the like.
Ursulamarkt is always held in October, around the feast day of St. Ursula on the 21st of October.
Ceramics and Pottery Market in Villach
Another traditional market, although more because of its handicrafts than its age, is the Alpen-Adria Keramikmarkt. Since 1988 Villach has been playing host to this quite famous ceramics and pottery market. Every year some 80 potters from across Europe meet up here to present and sell their objects, including home and garden items, decorative pottery, home accessories, ceramic pottery, decorations, assorted pottery, jewellery, and much more. The market is complimented by an exhibition on international ceramics art.
St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt
St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt in Sankt Veit an der Glan is Carinthia’s largest traditional funfair. For almost 650 years the event has been held every last Saturday in September. Wiesenmarkt traditionally starts with a colourful parade through town in which all culture and heritage clubs of Sankt Veit participate. After the “messenger” has read out the rules, the 10-day festival starts. Wiesenmarkt still features large agricultural shows, animal markets, flea markets and antiquity markets. The spectacle attracts some 500,000 visitors from Carinthia and neighboring Italy and Slovenia.
Farmers’ Market at Kaiser-Josef-Platz
In Mediterranean-style Graz you always feel a little bit closer to the South. This feeling is especially strong on Kaiser-Josef Markt, a small and friendly farmers’ market where you can buy healthy and locally produced food such as meat, cheese, fruit, and vegetables. Not to be missed is the culinary speciality of Styria, the highly esteemed pumpkin seed oil, which is made by pressing the roasted seeds of pumpkins.
Farmer’s Market on Lendplatz
Local growers and producers come to the Farmers’ Market on Lendplatz to sell their fresh produce. In the summer, a pleasant way of spending one’s afternoon is to sit in one of the shady beer gardens (e.g. at Gasthaus Lendplatzl) and watch the vibrant life and colourful going-ons of the market. Lendplatz has always been a popular meeting place for the Graz suburbanites who come for the market just as much as for the quaint inns.
In Styria flea markets are called “Fetzenmarkt” (= rag market). It’s quite obvious where the name comes from, but it would be wrong to believe that all you get is junk and old rags. Quite the contrary is true actually: Old watches, china, small antiquities, lamps, antiquarian books and old picture postcards set collector’s hearts at flutter. And since neither browsing nor shopping are fun with an empty belly, breakfast is available form 5am. Later on, food stalls open up selling roast pork, sausages, fried chicken, and kebabs.
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Located by the Westbahnhof, “Mahü”, as this street is lovingly dubbed by locals, boasts the greatest number of shops and stores of all. Almost all major department stores can be found here selling clothes, leather goods, furniture and accessories, books and stationery. Pleasant street cafes offer a welcome break from shopping where you can rest your tired feet while sampling some of the famous Viennese “Gemütlichkeit”, and the subway, which runs about half the length of Mariahilfer Straße, makes it easy to get around. In the Middle Ages wine was grown where today Austria’s longest shopping mile is found, and today’s streetscape dates back to the Gründerzeit period (late 19th century onwards).
Linzer Landstraße is Austria’s second largest shopping street after Vienna’s Mariahilfer Straße. It starts at the baroque main square – which also boasts a number of shops – and runs through the entire center of Linz all the way to the Blumau junction. Only a few steps from Landstraße is Neuer Dom, Austria’s largest church. Landstraße is conveniently located near the train station and boasts international flagship stores as well as small bric-a-brac and souvenir shops. The side streets of Landstraße are worth a visit for their high-quality specialist stores.
Sitting and watching the world go by is one of the great highlights of Maria Theresien-Straße which is considered one of Europe’s most splendid boulevards. With the jagged peaks of Nordkette in the background, St. Anna Column in the center, and plenty of small and large stores – including the famous Kaufhaus Tyrol – in between, Maria Theresien-Straße offers something for everyone. The boulevard’s splendor comes from its many magnificent buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and Baroque period.
Kramergasse and Alter Platz
From Gothic to Baroque: Kramergasse is Klagenfurt’s No. 1 shopping street, the city’s oldest road and Austria’s first pedestrian zone. Kramergasse is lined with beautiful Baroque and Jugendstil houses and leads to the Alter Platz, the city’s historic centre, with its old burgher houses and royal palaces, shops, and cafés. The majority of these edifices were created by Italian architects in the 16th and 17th centuries. This Italian touch can also be found in the elegant stores and boutiques on and near Kramergasse. And what’s best: Kinderwerk Klagenfurt looks after your offspring so you can enjoy your shopping day to the full!
Around the Main Square
Here you will find a number of charming lanes lined with shops and boutiques. In the Middle Ages Graz was an important trading centre and this old tradition is reflected in today’s great number of stores. The city’s largest shopping street is Herrengasse offering all kinds of shops and resting places. Art lovers should head for Sackstraße, boasting beautiful antiques as well as modern and innovative arts and crafts. For this reason Sackstraße is also known as “Art Mile”.
Salzburg off Getreidegasse: Linzergasse
It's not easy to attract attention next to the elegant Getreidegasse. Less busy, but nonetheless - or all the more - worth a visit is Salzburg’s old Linzergasse hidden away behind Kapuzinerberg, offering a great number of boutiques and shoe stores, and one excellent music store. Picturesque Linzergasse has always been the 'little sister' to the more imposing Getreidegasse.
St. Pöltens largest shopping street, Kremsergasse, starts just opposite the train station. And since shopping alone is not enough, the eyes also find plenty to feast on in the pedestrian zone which boasts marvellous buildings from the turn of the century, such as house No 41 which was designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich, the architect of the Wiener Secession.
Bregenz is absolutely beautiful, albeit not very big. This is why all important stores – from children’s fashion to jewellers, from traditional family-run shops to designer labels – are all clustered on and around Kaiserstraße. Which is quite convenient really as shopping doesn’t take a lot of time – time which you can spend relaxing in a street café, reviling in the fantastic scenery between Lake Constance and Pfänder mountain. A great part of Bregenz’s city center was turned into a pedestrian zone which was revamped in 2006.
Last but certainly not least: Eisenstadt. Hauptstraße, the city’s main street, offers a charming mix of shops, cafés, boutiques, jewellers, and traditional fashion stores. Eisenstadt’s centre boasts some 150 shops.