Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday Shopping

Unlike in many other countries, most shops in Vienna are closed on Sundays and holidays. Many a visitor escaping to Vienna over the weekend for a quick shopping trip has been disappointed to find that all shops close on Saturday afternoon and remain closed all day on Sunday. Holidays, such as around Christmas, can be even worse and hamper almost every attempt of unsuspecting visitors to spend their euros, dollars, yens or any other hard earned currency on waltzing and singing trinkets.
But do not throw in the towel just yet! There are some loopholes, even if they are few and far between and may require a bit of research and footwork on your part.


phil: your livingroom away from your livingroom; this cozy cafe/book/CD and DVD store, just across the street from ramien (another Vienna hotspot serving up some of the best ramen in the city) will get book and music lovers "ooohing" and "aaahing". The handselected books, CDS and DVDs are available for purchase also on Sundays 9 am -1 am. Gumpendorferstrasse 10-12, 1060 Vienna

Thalia - Adjoining the Vienna Hilton Hotel complex just across the street from Stadtpark and the Landstraße subway station, this bookstore features a host of German and foreign language books, a large magazine section, as well as DVDs and CDs. If you would rather not add more weight to your luggage, then perhaps you wish to peruse some of the current bestsellers lounging in the seating areas strategically placed throughout the entire shop floor.
While the stationary area remains closed on Sunday, you can still browse books and magazines to your heart's content from 11 am - 9 pm. Landstrasser Hauptstrasse 2a/2b


Xocolat - The uncontested number one in the city when it comes to the best selection of rare, quality chocolates from various parts of the planet. Savour cocoa delicacies in style at this beautiful shop, as the magnificent building alone is worth the tripAside from pre-packaged chocolate specialties, you can also sample their mouthwatering praline assortment. Bachhalm's dark chocolate with rose oil and candied rose petals will win over the heart of every choconnoisseur.

And rest assured, with its new, extended opening hours, Xocolat is now also open on Sundays and holidays from noon - 5 pm to come to the rescue in case of chocolate emergencies.
Xocolat, Freyung 2 inside the arcades of Palais Ferstel, 1010 Vienna


Even after a long night out on Friday, followed by most of the next day spent recuperating in bed, you can get your food shopping done after all stores close on Saturday at 6pm. Billa and Spar, the two largest supermarket chains in Austria, offer a glimmer of hope, for those in dire need of restocking their food pantries on Sunday.

Billa - locations and opening hours: Praterstern, Wien Nord train station, (e.g. subway stop Praterstern U1, U2), every day 6 am - 9 pm; Vienna International Airport terminal building (on your way down to the CAT and ÖBB train platforms), every day 6:30 am - 10 pm; Julius Tander Platz 3 (Franz Josefs Bahnhof; e.g. D tram) every day 6 am - 9 pm. 

Spar - Vienna General Hospital (AKH Wien; e.g. subway stop Michelbeuern AKH U6), inside the lobby of the main hospital building, Sundays and holidays open from 9 am- 7 pm.  

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