beautiful jewelry on display in a gold-fabric-lined store window

A. E. Köchert

Vienna’s most esteemed jeweler dates back to 1814. After earning a reputation as one of the finest goldsmiths in Vienna, Jakob Heinrich Köchert was appointed the personal jeweler to Emperor Franz Joseph, and later named the Royal Imperial Court Jeweler. Soon after, the emperor married Elisabeth of Bavaria and commissioned a set of 27 diamond stars that she wore braided into her hair. The iconic style is now referred to as the Sisi Star (in a nod to the empress’ nickname), and available for purchase at the original jeweler. The stars adorn bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and are really quite special.

Interior View - Art Point, Vienna, Austria

Art Point

Maybe because owner Lena Kwardrat has a background in art, her atelier in the seventh district feels like a contemporary art gallery for fashion. The minimalist, industrial-chic space stocks interesting pieces like jersey jumpsuits and handmade shoes from Berlin. The shop also hosts pop-up shops for individual, up-and-coming designers.

storefront of a frame shop in vienna

C.Bühlmayer Inh Elisabeth Haider

Bearing the coat of arms of the K.u.K Hofvergolder, a special privilege to sell goods to the imperial court in Vienna during the Austro-Hungarian empire, C. Buhlmayer is a Viennese family-owned business located near the Hofburg Palace that is famous for its carved wood gilt frames. Need something custom to encase a 19th-century oil painting or a small frame for a bedside photo? This shop has both—and everything in between, including mirrors and lighting—all of which retains a sense of the company’s traditions which go back to supplying the royal family.

Dantendorfer

Austrian men boast a refined sense of style that could be described as preppy meets Euro chic with a healthy dose of landed gentry. Dantendorfer can help visitors attain this look themselves.

Food at Demel, Vienna, Austria

Demel

Demel café in Vienna is known for its decadent cakes and even more opulent windows, displaying elegant sugar constructions.
Editors' Picks

Derby Handschuhe

Owner Theresa Siedl was born into a family of glove-makers and is obsessed with the old-fashioned accessory. This store (“handschuhe” is the adorable German word for gloves) stocks winter gloves (made of wool and leather and topped with fur trim), driving gloves (of hand-stitched suede) as well as over-the-elbow evening gloves for attending a ball or opening night of the opera.

Die Seller shop, Vienna Austria

Die Sellerie

Founded by four graphic designers, Die Sellerie offers carefully selected items that celebrate style. The jewel box–like shop sells thoughtfully chosen pieces including stationary, wrapping paper, fine art prints and decorative objets.

Interior View - Dorotheum, Vienna, Austria

Dorotheum

Austria’s oldest and largest auction house, the Dorotheum was founded by Emperor Joseph I in 1707. Today, there are several branches. Its headquarters in a large palace in the Dorotheergasse is a wonderful place to visit if you’re interested in antiques. Weekly auctions focus on a variety of goods, from Biedermeier furniture and fur coats to Baroque paintings and antique jewelry, which are exhibited in advance. Items that are not sold at auction automatically go into the Dorotheum’s permanent sales exhibits, and these floors are of particular interest for bargain hunters, as items are sold at a fraction of their estimated value.

Since being privatized in 2001, the Dorotheum has been openly addressing its ugly role during the Third Reich (Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938), when possessions belonging to thousands of deported Jews were auctioned off. The new management has realized that a key component of moving into the future is recognizing this terrible chapter (in 2006, a payment of $32 million, as a “General Restitution Fund for the Victims of National Socialism,” was issued), and today, a department researches the provenance of every object sold here.

Indagare Tip: If you’re interested in jewelry, skip the displays of new, well-known brands sold on the upper floors and head to the ground-floor bargain basement. Here, pieces that have been on display for a long time are discounted even more, and you can discover real treasures; on a recent visit I found an Art Nouveau enamel brooch and a beautifully crafted amber ring. Touring the Dorotheum is free of charge. Closed Sunday.

Interior View - Eva Blut, Vienna, Austria

Eva Blut

Vienna-based designer Eva Buchleitner, who has worked for Vivienne Westwood, creates covetable handbags. The slouchy, convertible leather purses come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors and each season brings new designs.

Merchandise at Feinkoch, Vienna, Austria

Feinkoch

Bring home recipe cards and packaged vinegars and oils from Feinkoch, an organically sourced grocery store where food is arranged by recipe cards and ingredients. Talk through the recipe with a chef at the store, pair it with the appropriate wine, and take the cards back in your suitcase to prepare dishes at home like linguine with sausage and cherry tomatoes, red-curry soup, and filet of trout with saffron risotto.

Interior View - Gurstner K.u.k. Hoflieferanten, Vienna, Austria

Gurstner K.u.k. Hoflieferanten

Mint green awnings announce this old-fashioned café and candy store that sits around the corner from the Hotel Sacher. Go for a coffee or glass of Schlumberger sparkling wine and browse the beautifully packaged candy and chocolates.

Exterior View - Habari, Vienna, Austria

Habari

Located on the corner of Theobaldgasse between the Naschmarkt and Museumsquartier, Habari merges high-end modern home décor with traditional African artifacts, textiles and jewelry. The word “Habari” means “Do you have a story to tell? Tell” in Swahili, and offers a range of products from one-off furniture made of suitcases and found wood, hand-woven textiles, and iconic recycled products from over 28 African countries.

Editors' Picks
looking in antique shop from window with fine antique furniture on display

Hans Miedler Fine Art

Located in Josefsplatz in the Palais Pallavicini, this antique store has been the passion project of art and antiques connoisseur Hans Miedler for three decades. He displays his treasures near the Spanish Riding School, in a palace that has hosted Beethoven and Schubert for concerts. The restored rooms feature original marquetry floors and gilt moldings, perfectly accenting the rare, mostly European, antique furniture, objects and paintings from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Museums and interior designers from all over the world have sourced pieces here, some of which can be seen online.

Apparels at Herzilein, Vienna, Austria

Herzilein

Sonja Völker, a former school teacher and mother of two, had long designed and sewed her own children’s clothes when she started this adorable kids’ clothing company. Outfitting little ones from infants to 12-year-olds, the store stocks designs by Völker herself as well as her favorite brands. Don’t miss the baby onesies with stars and appliquéd felt crocodiles.

Interior view - Herzilein-Papeterie, Vienna, Austria

Herzilein-Papeterie

From the same owners as the adorable children’s shop Herzilein comes this equally charming stationary store. Notecards, journals, notepads, wrapping paper, gift tags—if it’s made of paper, it can be found here. Most cards with text are in English, and a personal favorite proclaims, “Time to drink Champagne and dance on the table.”

Holzer Galerie

Don’t underestimate the power of spending time in Vienna to make you appreciate styles of furniture and décor. A trip to the Austrian capital might have you rethinking the design of your living room. Luckily, there’s Holzer Galerie, Vienna’s largest dealer for Art Nouveau and Art Deco furniture, which offers a stunning array of pieces from both eras. The company can also create customized pieces in antique or contemporary styles.

Interior View - Huber & Lerner, Vienna, Austria

Huber & Lerner

The stationary house Huber & Lerner created invitations and letterhead for kings and emperors (and Empress Sissi) and continues to produce the business cards for Austria’s president and high-level members of Parliament. The business will create papers for lay-people, too, and in their store in the first district they also sell leather-bound notebooks and copper plate–engraved cards.

Exterior View - Karmelitermarkt, Vienna, Austria

Karmelitermarkt

Located in the up-and-coming second district on the “other” side of the Danube, Karmelitermarkt offers a convival atmosphere similar to that at the Naschmarkt, Vienna’s iconic outdoor marketplace. Open since 1671, the gourmet market sells similar goodies as its famed rival but in a smaller and more manageable setting. The stalls hawk organic herbs and kosher goods (this district was the former Jewish quarter), and there are a number of lovely restaurants for a light bite. Zimmer 37 (www.zimmer37.at) is a great delicatessen shop and restaurant, Einfahrt (www.einfahrt.at) serves a killer breakfast and offers evening concerts, and Tewa (tewa-karmelitermarkt.at), a Naschmarkt staple, has another outpost here and serves the same organic cuisine as at the original.

Merchandise at  La Petite Boutique, Barcelona, Spain - Credit by Lissi Specht

La Petite Boutique

This jewel-box boutique is a good example of Vienna’s ever-changing creative scene. For years it served as the atelier of talented designer Sandra Gilles whose line of whimsical hand and market bags, as well as sleepwear and some fashion, developed a real hipster following. With Gilles having returned to her native France, the boutique has been taken over by goldsmith Michaela Arl de Lima who produces a line of high-end gold jewelry in the back of the shop. The plan is for Gilles to return once or twice a year for a shopping event with her latest design.

Interior view - Lichterloh, Vienna, Austria

Lichterloh

Three design-loving friends began collecting furniture in flea markets around Europe in the 1980s and ‘90s and over the following decades developed a reputable business offering exceptionally cool pieces. The vintage furniture, which ranges in age from Art Deco through midcentury modern, is among some of the best available in Vienna.

Merchandise at Lobmeyr, Vienna, Austria

Lobmeyr

Exquisite Lobmeyr glass can be bought all over the globe, but it’s worth visiting the Vienna headquarters on the Kärntnerstrasse, in a beautiful Art Nouveau building that has been meticulously restored. In the 19th century, Lobmeyr functioned as the official glassmaker for the imperial court (the royal family traveled with its own crystal, china and silver), and even today the business is family owned. The two-story boutique stocks most of the Lobmeyr lines, including Josef Hoffmann’s matte glasses with black bronzite details, which were designed at the height of the Art Nouveau era. Mixed in are exquisite porcelain collections, including Nymphenburg, Herend and locally made Augarten.

Indagare Tip: Upstairs is a small glass museum, where some pieces date to the 1830s. Until I visited the store, I was under the impression that the beautiful chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera in New York were made by Swarovski, when in fact they were created by Lobmeyr using Swarovski crystals (a gift from the Austrian government in gratitude for the U.S.’s assistance in rebuilding the Vienna State Opera after World War II).

Editors' Picks
christmas window display of viennese clothing store loden plankl

Loden-Plankl

Founded in 1830, Loden-Plankl is the top outfitter for traditional Austrian garb. In their store near the Spanish Riding School you can find dirndls but also pieces that are wearable the world over, like cashmere capes and jewel-toned fitted wool jackets with antler buttons.

Editors' Picks
Merchandise at Marktwirtschaft, Vienna, Austria - Courtesy Klaus Vyhnalek

Marktwirtschaft

The indoor food market Marktwirtschaft (“market economy”) sells produce, food stuffs (including incredible homemade cheese, sausage and bread) and kitchen supplies, like colorfully painted ceramic bowls and dishes. The restaurant Die Liebe is open all day and mostly utilizes ingredients that are for sale in the market. Stop by for lunch while shopping in the seventh district or make a night of it and have a dinner of tapas while sampling the expertly made cocktails.

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Meinl am Graben

This famous delicatessen at the end of the Graben, a short walk from the Stephansdom, carries gourmet staples from all over the world—think Dean & DeLuca gone wild. The product displays, from Belgian chocolates and Italian olive oil to British black pudding and Russian caviar, come with small flags that identify the country of origin. It’s great for putting together an international picnic (the Volksgarten, a green oasis, is nearby). There’s a small café on the ground floor. Closed Sunday.

Interior at  Michél Mayer, Vienna, Austria

Michél Mayer

The creative fashion of renowned Austrian designer Michaela Mayer blends a modern-day aesthetic with beautiful fabrics and muted colors that make them decidedly wearable. On a recent visit I fell in love with an asymmetrical cashmere wrap in light mauve. The fantastical evening couture—clingy dresses in sheer fabrics with low-cut backs—is inspired by Mayer’s other calling, a theater costume designer. Many of the more intricate pieces are made in an atelier behind her shop in the Singerstrasse.

Interior at MQ Point, Vienna, Austria - Credit Studio Krauss

MQ Point

This is the place to purchase tickets for the museums of the MuseumsQuartier (tip: the MQ Duo Ticket is cheaper than buying each ticket separately). There is also a small boutique selling items by contemporary fashion and interior designers, so it’s a nice spot to shop for unique gifts. Watch for their “Designer of the Month” program. Open daily.

Editors' Picks

Mühlbauer

Founded in 1903 by Julianna Mühlbauer, whose fourth generation of ancestors run and own the business today, this old-fashioned milliner has contemporized itself. Today Mühlbauer makes hats that fit all categories, from dapper felt fedoras to floppy, wide-brimmed woven straw hats shot through with metallic ribbon.

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