Best (non-astro) Souvenirs from Vienna (& where to get them)
The Oesterreichische Werkstaetten have their origins with the Wiener Werkstaetten, a production community of artists working in ceramics, fashion, silver, furniture and the graphics arts. Nowadays, their shop near Stephansplatz offers Austrian designs by Austrian artists with a focus on handicraft like jewellery, porcelain, glassware, fashion accessories and home decor.
While there are quite a lot of jewellery makers in Vienna, FREYWILLE produces distinctive fired enamel jewellery based on designs by 19th and 20th century artists like Gustav Klimt or Claude Monet. The pieces are produced in limited production runs and are certainly colourful eyecatchers!
Rudolf Horn has been manufacturing fine leather goods for over two decades. You can buy them at the R. Horn shops in the city. The collection includes briefcases, handbags, wallets and various accessories (like toiletry bags, phone cases, pen cases, etc.) in all sorts of colours.
The first snowglobe was created in Vienna in 1900 and they are still produced in the workshop of the Original Viennese Snowglobe Manufacture by hand. Each piece is unique and they come in a variety of designs. The shop also houses the Snowglobe museum.
Matador is a wooden toy set invented by Viennese engineer Johann Korbuly in 1901 and comprises of wooden blocks that can be put together with wooden sticks to form larger structures. Matador is a popular toy with Austrian children!
Neapolitan wafers (called “Manner Schnitten”) were first produced by Viennese company “Manner” in 1898. Each wafer has 5 wafers and 4 layers of hazelnut-flavoured chocolate cream, sold in blocks of 10. You’ll find the wafers in all the supermarkets or you can pick them up at the Manner Flagship Store on Stephansplatz where you’ll also find their other products.
You can’t go home without a world famous Sachertorte! Viennese people are split over where to pick up the best one, so we’ll recommend both the Hotel Sacher and the Demel ones (there’s a few differences between the two cakes: the Sacher one has a coarse sponge and has two layers of apricot jam, whereas the Demel sponge is smoother but denser and has only one layer of apricot jam). Maybe you should pick up a small one of each and make up your own mind!
Although technically created in 1890 in Salzburg by confectioner Paul Fürst, Mozartkugeln (“Mozart balls”) belong to Vienna as much as Sachertorte and Manner Schnitten. You can pick up the little balls of pistachio marzipan covered in nougat and chocolate in most supermarkets, the brand Mirabell is originally from Salzburg and widely available, but they also have a flagship store on Stephansplatz.
Three friends decided to start distilling their own gin and after years or experimenting, the result is Wien Gin and Klimt Gin. You can pick up a bottle at some supermarkets (Julius Meinl am Graben, Merkur am Hohen Markt, Wein & Co) or buy it online.
Souvenir shops normally tend to be full of tacky stuff, but The Vienna Store is an exception to the rule. The MAK Design Shop is packed with brilliant design items. You don’t go in with a specific item in mind but to browse and to be inspired.
Traditional Viennese coffee can be bought at Julius Meinl am Graben. They also have a cafe there, so you can try the coffee before you buy. Traditional Viennese varieties are “Präsident” and “Wiener Mokka” – you’ll find these in local supermarkets as well, but the Meinl shop on Graben is gorgeous, so don’t miss out!
While Vienna is mostly famous for its coffee, there are also a few places specialising in tea. You could either go to Schönbichler in Wollzeile, or Haas&Haas on Stephansplatz or one of the branches of Demmers Teahouse to pick up some from the huge variety of flavours.