Musts in Vienna
What to Buy
Store hours are generally 8 or 9AM-6 or 7PM Monday-Friday, 9AM-6PM Saturday, Closed Sunday. There are slightly longer hours at some malls. Credit cards are normally accepted at large and at high-end stores. All chains that you can find in the malls also have stores on the city's shopping streets, which tend to be more accessible and tourist-friendly.
Vienna airport has a duty free shopping area with 70 shops. Plan around one hour if you're going to visit every other shop. The shopping area is just after ticket control counters, so you only need to checkin before getting to shops, not pass security check nor passport control.
There are 21 markets web with stands and small characteristically Viennese hut-like shops that are open daily (except Sunday). Additionally many of these have true farmers' markets, often on Saturday mornings. There is a large variety of sellers and markets, from the upscale to the dirt cheap. Each has several shops of different kinds (butcher, bakery, produce, coffee, etc.). There is another handful of weekly farmers markets web around the city as well as seasonal markets like the christmas markets.
Open from Nov 15s or 20s to Dec 23th or 24th, most Viennese Christmas Markets ("Christkindlmarkt", "Adventmarkt" or simply "Weihnachtsmarkt") are not so much for shopping as for eating and drinking. From midday until the late hours of the night, people gather at Christmas markets to drink mulled wine, punch, and chat to one another and the occasional stranger. Entry to all of these markets is free.
Charity auctions are common in Vienna. Some stores give their proceeds to social programmes (often second-hand store back-to-work programs similar to Goodwill, or other charity shops).
Viennese supermarkets are not very large, especially compared with the hypermarkets covering the rest of Central Europe. However, there is practically one on every corner.
Hofer' web, Penny web, and Lidl web strive to be discount stores, whereas Billa web, Spar web and Zielpunkt web as well as the larger Merkur web tout selection and quality. There is not a major difference in prices. Most regular stores have a deli where the clerks make sandwiches for the cost of the ingredients you select. Although many products are Austrian none of the chains are actually Austrian-owned. If you want to support the local economy more you can do so by frequenting independent shops or visiting actual markets.
Upscale grocers are being re-introduced to Vienna, especially in the city-center.
Hours: Grocers' usual hours are around 7 AM to 7 PM M-F and 7 AM to a strict 6 PM of Saturday. Closed Sunday and public holidays.
During the week many stores are now open until 7:30 or 8:00 PM, while a handful across the city are 'even' open until 9:00 PM, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. Stores open until 9PM every weekday include: 1., Merkur Hoher Markt; 15., Lugner City; and the following Sunday stores. Grocers in the airport are open until 10 PM. A mini-Merkur store in Westbahnhof is open until 11 PM.
On Sundays and most public holidays only stores in three train stations (Westbahnhof, Praterstern and Franz-Josef-Bahnhof), one at the General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus, AKH) and at the airport are open.