Shopping in Austria: Things to Buy - Part III

8.) Cook books & Recipe Collections

If you don′t want to buy food in Austria, you might want to learn how to cook Austrian food at home. As you probably know, the basics are here in the dining section of However, there are plenty of famous cooks in Austria and the eating culinary tradition of places like Salzburg or Styria are well-known at least in Central Europe and Germany.

I recommend to forget about the general introduction to Viennese Cuisine and go straight to the publications of star-cooks like Johanna Maier from Salzburg (who is related to the skiing legend Hermann Maier).

9.) Antiques, Artwork & Craft

Typical Austrian antiques include furniture and decor from the Biedermeier period (from approximately 1800 to 1850) and the late 19th century Jugendstil. Both periods gave rise to refreshingly modern designs that might well fit into your current household. This applies even more so to the crafts of the Wiener Werkstätten ("Vienna Workshops"), an association of late Art Nouveau craftsmen.

To learn more about the "WW", go to the museum of applied arts ("Museum für Angewandte Kunst" or "MAK") in Vienna, to buy items of the WW, look for antique shops like those in the Dorotheergasse near the Hofburg Palace. The Dorotheum is Austria′s oldest auction firm and sells a lot of artwork and antiques in its headquarter in Vienna as well as some branches.

In the surroundings of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, you will find many shops specialising in interior design. I feel a bit gay admitting this, but I can′t walk by a lampshade specialist of Vienna - in a country that generally lacks classiness and style, the Viennese lamp design shops are irresistable.

10.) Stuff in General

If you like to browse general stuff on flea markets or jumble sales, you will be happy on the Naschmarkt market on Saturdays. Austria′s biggest "Flohmarkt" is organised weekly and might provide you with the ideal souvenir.

Where to Buy things in Austria

The main shopping areas are naturally in major cities: The Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna for the hardcore consumers (shoes, clothing, other useless stuff). The Graben and Kärntner Straße as well as several other streets in the first district have plenty of traditional boutiques selling horribly expensive, but very exclusive goods (my favourite so far: a shockingly beautiful humidor for 4,700 Euros).

Vienna′s most exclusive shopping lane: The Kohlmarkt

The biggest shopping centre of Austria is located in Salzburg and called "Europark". Here you will find endless shops selling the things you will find in any shopping mall worldwide. In Salzburg′s town centre, you can stroll from one boutique to another, showing how rich the guests of the Salzburg festival really are. Here you can buy jewellery, leather goods and all sorts of traditional crafts. Salzburg is also good for music and old books.

Lebkuchen are best purchased in the Salzkammergut, for example in Mondsee, Bad Ischl, Hallstatt or Badaussee. A large designer outlet store is located in Parndorf in the Burgenland and popular with Viennese wannabes, but not very attractive for tourists. Hunting gear and wool items are best bought in Tyrol. The main supermarket chains in Austria are Billa (Ruler of the East) and Spar (Lord of the West).

Any larger place in Austria will offer all sorts of shopping facilities. As a general rule, I recommend to go where the locals shop. I would also recommend to look for one specific piece and spend a bit more money on it rather than buying many crappy little toys. A final note: Make sure to keep your receipts if you are from outside the EU - value added tax in Austria is 20 percent and you can claim reimbursement at the airport or any custom′s office if you leave the European Union.

Go to "Shopping: Things to Buy, Part I - Part II - Part III"

Back to "activities"

Further Reading

Currency, Money and how to save some

Things NOT to do in Austria