Vienna offers a lot of shopping possibilities, but the most famous is for sure, Mariahilfer Strasse. This shopping Mekka of the city has almost everything for everyone. You can choose from hundreds of different shops or have a break in numerous restaurants and cafes. Located conveniently near the city centre, it has an excellent connection with public transport. Metro line U3 goes directly below the street, and one can find the U6 and U2 lines at the opposite end of the shopping area.
Mariahilfer Strasse, with its almost 4 kilometres of length, is one of the longest streets in Vienna. It connects Vienna`s inner city to the Penzing neighbourhood. It is also an ancient road that has been uniting the city of Vienna with the West for centuries. During the excavation works for a new building, a piece of an 11 m wide Roman road was uncovered. Due to its location and its importance, the street has always been of interest to merchants. Mariahilfer Strasse was the main shopping street of the K.u.k. Monarchy, and it remains one of the most prestigious streets of Vienna today.
The street changed a lot of names over the years. It was called Kremser Street or Bayrische Street after the names of locations it led to. It also bore the title of the surrounding neighbourhoods: Laimgrubner Hauptstrasse, Fünfhauser Hauptstrasse, Penzinger Strasse, or Schönbrunner Strasse. However, since the end of the 19th century, it has had its present name. In Vienna, Mariahilfer Strasse is nicknamed MaHü, after its abbreviation.
The essential part of Mariahilfer Strasse for shopaholics is the portion of the street, which starts at Westbahnhof (West Railway Station) and leads to the Museums Quartier (a prominent art complex). Here you can find anything from hundreds of shops of the most famous world brands to small corner shops and boutiques. Every style is at your disposal, from classical to very hip and modern. One can find haute couture shops, but also thrift stores with cute clothes collections. In terms of retail surface, Mariahilfer Strasse has around 180.000 m² of retail space. An average shop has the size of 287 m², being the most significant shop size in Vienna, and more than twice the size of an average shop in other Viennese shopping streets.
Shopping is often, if not always, connected to hunger. After a long day of window shopping or shopping the regular way, you get hungry. The famous MaHü offers a lot of possibilities for tasty meals or just for a coffee or ice cream. Here you can find high-end or trendy restaurants, traditional coffee houses, fast food restaurant chains, and a lot of different street food options. The street is a car-free zone for its most part, so during the summer, you can enjoy many of the street's gardens.
Vienna, together with the famous designer outlet in Parndorf, became a shopping Mekka. It is the place to go shopping not only for the citizens of Austria but also for the citizens from the neighbouring countries of Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovenia. There are many shopping opportunities in Vienna: numerous shopping malls, the shopping streets Kärtner Strasse and Graben Strasse, and also the luxury shopping district, Goldenes Quartier. However, Mariahilfer Strasse stays the most important and most visited shopping spot in the city.
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