Karntner Strasse shopping street is a haven for shopaholics. Located in the beautiful city of Vienna, Karntner Strasse is lined with dandy shops, baroque cafes and cute pathways. It is essentially a pedestrian street and the only thing you will bump into here is happiness along with other happy shoppers.
The Karntner Strasse shopping street looks like a deconstructed pop-up gift box left open by God and man alike. It is a flamboyant place to visit. Imagine Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory meets Baroque architecture – resulting in colour and awe-inducing architecture bursting at the seams.
Vienna as a travel destination is as much in touch with its rich past as it is with the present-day world. Heritage sites like the Schonbrunn Palace bring out its best historic side. Then there are places like Karntner Strasse Shopping Street that bring its contemporary traits to the fore.
Karntner Strasse Shopping Street: An Overview
Karntner Strasse Shopping Street has a blend of historical buildings, traditional shops, delectable cafes and many flagship stores of popular international brands.
The street is located right in the heart of Vienna and spreads from the State Opera House to St. Stephens. Walking down the street is an excellent way of exploring it and buying some authentic Viennese souvenirs.
Before I delve more into Karntner Strasse, here are a few things you should know as a traveler.
Centre of Vienna
How to reach here?
You can easily reach here via the metro rail network.
U-Bahn U1 and U3 Station Stephansplatz
10 am to 8 pm
Best time of the year to visit
If possible, tour this place around the Christmas season. The decorations at that time of the year are beautiful. The whole place lights up like you’re in some fairytale.
What is Karntner Strasse famous for as a place?
Karntner Strasse is famous for shopping, eating, drinking, sightseeing and strolling.
This place is lined with stores selling world-renowned expensive brands such as Gucci Prada, H&M, etc. If you don’t intend to buy stuff in any of these fancy stores, just go window shopping.
If you really want to go for something nominal, buy souvenirs and other artwork from street vendors around this place.
Besides fancy stores, Karntner Strasse is also home to some delectable eating and drinking places. Also, there are numerous places in and around here, where you can go sightseeing.
What kind of souvenirs can be purchased here?
As a traveler visiting Vienna for the first time, go for souvenirs representing Vienna. This also includes items dedicated to Mozart – the maestro.
Best shop to buy Viennese souvenirs
Buy Viennese souvenirs from this shop – Mayr & Fessler.
Any food items that can be bought here?
Yes. Buy Mozartkugeln from here. Mozartkugeln is a praline prepared from chocolate, marzipan and nougat. It is named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
You can also buy chocolates from the Manner shop.
There are a few buildings located in Karntner Strasse that are iconic to this place.
So while you are strolling around, make sure you walk and stop by the famous Sacher Hotel, Swarovski outlet, Opera House, Maner outlet and St. Stephens’ Cathedral.
Karntner Strasse shopping street is quite safe for visitors. The crowd here is usually well mannered and civil. So, instances of shoplifting or mugging are very less.
Tip for first time visitors
Once you’re done touring around the Karntner Strasse shopping street, take a Fiaker (horse-drawn carriage) for a ride through the alleys of the inner city.
As a budget traveler, I don’t prefer to indulge myself in frivolous shopping. I try investing my time and resources in exploration instead.
So, as a modest suggestion for all my backpacker friends, I would insist you do the same – stroll around Karneter Strasse street shopping, grab a quick bite and explore the sightseeing places. Not to forget, hop in a few fun stores for some window shopping.
Top Things to Buy While at Karntner Strasse Shopping Street
Karntner Strasse shopping street is flooded with shops and fancy stores. However, if you want to spend within a fixed budget, go for items that are unique to Austria and are nominal as well.
Here are some of the things that you can buy without creating holes in your pocket.
There is a myriad of magnet designs available to adorn your fridges, cupboards and soft boards. So, buy some cute magnets depicting Vienna in specific or Austria in general.
|Pink souvenirs from the Manner shop
Manner shop at Karntner Strasse shopping street has some of the most adorable pink coloured souvenirs. Make sure to carry some of them back home with you.
|Mozart souvenirs and the famous Mozartkugeln
A trip to any shopping street in Austria cannot be deemed complete until you carry an item that is symbolic of Mozart. So, do buy some nostalgic Mozart souvenirs.
If you are a sweet lover, go for Mozartkugeln – a ready to carry dessert dedicated to Mozart.
Foodie Delights Not be Missed
An interesting aspect of the Karntner Strasse Shopping street is the food prepared in its various eateries. Therefore, while you are here, ensure that you try the following three items.
A novelty of Eastern Europe, this sinful dish is a slice of rich cheese, fried and served with coleslaw. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Paired with white wine, it makes for one fine lunch plan. It is available in almost all the eateries and bistros.
The Sachertorte and Manner chocolate are two gourmet dishes that one should surely savour at Kärntner Strasse.
Ice Cream Sorbets
The ice cream sorbets available on every nook and corner of Karntner Strasse shopping street are ‘melt in your mouth, elbow-licking good.’
The diversity of flavours leaves you amazed, making sure you go back for more.
Do try the lime, green apple and other sour flavours. They are quite different from what we usually eat elsewhere.
For those who need to cut the acidity of these sour treats, go for the Belgian Chocolate, Bubblegum or Smurf scoops. Believe me, you will not regret it one bit.
Is Karntner Strasse Shopping Street Safe for Travelers?
Austria, as a country, is not very crime infested. This shows in its towns and cities equally.
As Vienna is its capital, security is stronger here, and hence, travelers, especially women need not worry about losing their luggage or money while visiting this busy street.
Also, there is no eve teasing on the Karntner Strasse shopping street.
Travel Tips for First Time Visitors to Karntner Strasse Shopping Street
When visiting Karntner Strasse shopping street, the following tips can prove useful.
Bargain while buying souvenirs
Since souvenirs are some of the most economically priced items here, indulge in a little bargaining. It works well here. At first, everything might look pricey. So, keep looking to find better and lower prices.
You can buy plenty of souvenirs to take back home from here.
Admire the historical structures
The city of Vienna is huge, with a wide array of monuments that will each make you gasp with their magnificence. Hence, spend some quality time admiring this Historian’s Haven and not just shopping.
If you want, go for a bike tour around the city’s most iconic spots.
Skip the brands
If you are here for fun and exploration, then do just that. Do not waste money on expensive brands. You can buy those brands at home anyway.
If at all you want to buy something, go for native items not found elsewhere in the world.
Use the metro to reach here
Since it is located centrally, the Karntner Strasse shopping street is quite accessible by the metro network. This makes it simple to reach here. So use it and save time and money.
Iconic Sites to Visit at Karntner Strasse Shopping Street
As I’ve mentioned before, while at Karntner Strasse, make sure you visit all of the iconic buildings.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Located in the belly of Karntner Strasse shopping street, the St. Stephens Cathedral is as rich in its history as it is in its architecture.
Bearing witness to some of the most historic events of Austria, this cathedral has successfully maintained its sanctity in spite of all the testing times.
It standing strong after centuries is a testament to the power of the superior being. Standing in its premises itself gives you a sense of serenity, right in the midst of one of the busiest streets of Vienna.
What more could one ask for, after an exciting yet tiring day of exploring the Karntner Strasse shopping street?
Visiting this cathedral is the perfect end to a day well spent. Do visit this holy place to experience the culmination of beauty and peace into something quite spiritual and sacrosanct.
Situated right at the beginning of the Karntner Strasse shopping street, as if to extend a sweet welcome to its home, is the magnificence called Hotel Sacher.
Try the Sachertorte here. It is a Viennese delicacy that’s famous the world over. The kind that is available here will melt in your mouth as soon as you take a bite.
You might have to stand in a queue for tasting this savoury sweet. So be patient.
Pink outlet of Manner
Chocolate, wafer, cake and coffee lovers, the Manner shop at Karntner Strasse shopping street is your dig. Austria is known for its Manner of sweets, so you have got to try them.
Most items in this shop are pink in colour so that really adds to the ambience. The place is small so is generally crowded but it’s so worth your time.
The Manner shop is located right across from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, so you will easily locate it. In addition to sweets, you can also pick up souvenirs if you want to take some home.
The prices are nominal here so don’t worry about creating holes in your pocket. Just keep searching for more.
The Opera House
In times of feature films and digitalization, the Opera House stands out as an architectural masterpiece. It allows you entry into another world, a Shakespearean reminisce, an ode to the underappreciated art of theatre.
This otherworldly arena at the helm of Karntner Strasse Shopping Street usually gets decked up for a massive production to be performed during evenings.
The excitement and fervor this place offers are palpable among travelers. While in Vienna, make sure to watch a performance at the Opera House.
The Swarovski Outlet
As a traveler, you might wonder why one shop is getting a special mention here? Well, when you visit the Swarovski outlet at Karntner Strasse shopping street, you will find out for yourself. All the original designs from Swarovski are first made available here before they are sent to any of the scores of Swarovski outlets all over the world.
The entrance to the shop being shaped like stalactites and stalagmites of crystals is a beauty to look at from the outside, while positioned in its allotted home on Karntner Strasse Shopping Street. It lures us to the treasures it holds within.
Vienna is a beautiful capital city offering its visitors positivity and grace. Whether you are fond of shopping or not, Vienna will surely make up for a good exploration locale.
Move past the streets and the alleys to get a sense of all that Vienna stands for as a place. Be a part of its rich cultural heritage.
Plan a visit here once and you will surely recommend it to others.
Happy wayfaring 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
|Sana Shah is an old soul in a young world who feels she belongs to a different time. An ambivert by nature, Sana is as much of a social animal as she is a snuggled up reader. A self-proclaimed coffee addict as well, her perfect world consists of books, hot brewing coffee and travel tickets. Sana loves the green mountains and the blue skies alike. Also, the lakes are her best friends. She loves to travel to quaint locations and experience their cultures, in order to expand her horizons.|