Vienna

As upscale as ever, Vienna remains an exclusive and high-end place to shop, even as young designers are raising their profiles and creating new ways to shop throughout the city. The Goldenes Quartier, or Golden Quarter, in the heart of the Innere Stadt, remains the most exclusive shopping area, located on the extension of the Kohlmarkt, between Tuchlauben, Bognergasse, and Am Hof. Flagship stores such as Prada, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Louis Vuitton are just a few among the many that will entice all manner of serious shoppers. Visitors can also stroll easily along, as the area has been turned into a pedestrian zone.

In the pedestrian-only streets of Kärntner Strasse, Graben, and Kohlmarkt, shopaholics can readily give into their passion. Sleekly cut dresses and intricately crafted jewelry beckon from the windows of shops formerly occupied by purveyors to His Imperial Majesty. Even the Swedish clothing store H&M presents itself in exclusive garb; on Graben near St. Stephen’s Cathedral, it has found a home in the mahogany-clad building that was once home of the department store of Braun & Co. Where baronesses once bought fur muffs, tattooed teens now rummage for cheap T-shirts. Luxury brands such as Hermès, Burberry, and Cartier have set up shop on or around Kohlmarkt, the street leading up to the Hofburg.

As you walk along Michaelerplatz, in front of the imperial palace, be sure to explore the little passageway next to the Michaeler Church. You'll find a few wonderful shops selling precious stones and silverware. If you want to venture farther afield, explore Mariahilferstrasse, Vienna’s best-known shopping mile outside the city center. Much of this area has been turned into a "shared space zone"—part of it now pedestrian-only—making it very friendly to shoppers. Running from MuseumsQuartier to the BahnhofCity Wien shopping mall, it's peppered with department stores like Peek & Cloppenburg, Gerngross, and s.Oliver. Neubaugasse, which runs into Mariahilferstrasse about halfway up, is bustling with young designers who sell their wares in little boutique shops. The creativity continues on nearby Lindengasse, Kirchengasse, and Burggasse.

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