December 13, 2017

Souvenirs from all over the world

Top 10 Best Gifts From Vienna | Austrian Souvenirs

Vienna, one of the most graceful and elegant capitals of the world, never disappoints with its charming and cohesive architectural character and a rich cultural life. Easily distinguished from its European counterparts (like Berlin, London, or Paris), Vienna is definitely a city you want to remember!

So what do you buy while you’re strolling around one of the world’s most gorgeous capitals?

1. Snow Globe

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This souvenir idea might at first seem quite uninteresting. After all, isn’t it very usual to buy snow globes as souvenirs?

However, it is rumored that snow globes originate from Vienna! The French might disagree, but whatever the truth is, Austria still produces the world’s most finely crafted glass snow globes.

Look for the original Viennese snow globes made by Perzy. They can be found in many souvenir shops and at the Vienna’s Christmas Market at City Hall during Advent. There’s also the factory shop/museum in the 17th district (Schumanngasse 87).

Buy a snow globe with a model of the Giant Ferris Wheel, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, or the City Hall.

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2. Mozart Balls

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Very typically Austrian, these chocolate covered and pistachio marzipan filled balls are a great gift to bring back home from Vienna.

Mozart-Bonbon were originally produced in Salzburg in 1890 by a Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst and named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The original Mozart-Bonbon were handmade. However, Fürst had not applied for a patent to protect his invention and soon other Salzburg cake shops began to sell similar products.

Nowadays, they are commercially and industrially produced by many manufacturers and can vary in quality and price.

Interestingly, the balls were originally wrapped in blue tinfoil, while today they are known for their distinct red wrapping. You can find Mozart balls in most supermarkets and souvenir shops, and in the Mirabell flagship store in the center (Stephansplatz 7).

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3. Sachertorte

Photo by basheertome on
Photo by basheertome on

A trip to Vienna isn’t complete without a Sacher-torte. Sacher-torte was originally created for Prince Wenzel von Metternich of Austria and consists of a dense chocolate meringue topped with a layer of apricot jam and dark chocolate icing. This option might not be the most transportable, but it’s definitely the yummiest!

Bring home a Sacher-torte from Cafe Sacher, a quintessential Austrian cafe. Sample their Sacher cake, and order a Wiener melange (an espresso topped with steamed milk) on the side. They sell cakes in single-serving cubes as well, which make them a perfect gift.

If there is no way for you to transport the cake back home, you can buy a piece of merchandise related to the cake (e.g. a tea towel).

Bon appetit!

4. Music Box

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Austria is famous for its rich musical history. In fact, Vienna is known as “The Capital of Classical Music”. Let’s highlight a couple of famous Austrian composers: Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms… Do we need to say more?

This makes a music box an ideal Vienna gift. Classy, elegant, intricate, and plays beautiful melodies. Just like Vienna!

You can find music boxes in a lot of souvenir shops around the city, but locals recommend shops on Karntnerstrasse.

Click here to buy

5. Manner Wafers

Photo by Su--May on
Photo by Su–May on

Another edible souvenir, Manner wafers are unique to Vienna and make for a delicious, easily transported, and affordable gift or souvenir.

The wafers were invented in 1898 and the recipe remained unchanged since then.

Manner wafers are made of five layers of wafers filled with four layers of hazelnut cocoa cream. They have become somewhat of a Viennese symbol.

Get them at the Manner Shop on Stephansplatz 7. Alternatively, you can find them in most grocery stores in the city.

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6. Apricot Jam

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If you have time, head to the Wachau Valley just outside Vienna to sample marille, a special local apricot jam.

Wachauer Marille is a protected appellation, with 250ha of apricot trees grown here. Shops sell the apricots bottled and made into a really wide range of products including jam, compote, schnapps and sweet liqueurs. You can also taste apricot pancakes and apricot dumplings!

If you don’t have time, the second best thing is to buy the preserve, which is still delicious.

You can buy some here and here.

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7. Lobmeyr Glassware

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If you would rather invest in a timeless piece, check out Lobmeyr Glassware. J. & L. Lobmeyr have been suppliers to the Emperor and Viennese glassmakers since 1823. Lobmeyr is still a family-run business and their offer mostly includes drinkware, chandeliers, and lamps.

Purchase mouth-blown and hand-cut glasses, which make attractive gifts. Lobmeyr glassware is high-end, so go for this if you’d like to splurge a bit more on your souvenir or gift.

Visit the sparkling displays at their main store, Kärntner Strasse 26.

8. Sisi Stars

Photo by Gruenemann on
Photo by Gruenemann on

Another souvenir that’s more on the pricier side, Sisi stars are a gorgeous gift for your mom, sister, grandmother, or girlfriend. Or yourself!

Sisi was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. Since her assassination in 1898, Sisi (Empress Elisabeth) has become a cult figure in Austria, praised for her rejection of her royal duties.

The stars were made for her by Köchert, the imperial court jeweler. She ordered at least twenty-seven diamond and pearl stars. Each of the stars is ten-pointed, and each features a single pearl set in the center of the design. She started a fashion trend when she posed for Franz Xaver Winterhalter with these stars in her hair.

Check out “Diamond stars” adorned with Swarovski crystals. These are available in various forms. You can purchase them in the Sisi Museum at the Hofburg, where the original painting is on display.

Bonus points: Swarovski is undoubtedly one of Austria’s most famous exports, so this souvenir ticks two boxes!

9. Klimt-inspired Enamel Jewellery

Photo by Steve Snodgrass on
Photo by Steve Snodgrass on

Since Vienna has a strong heritage in Art Nouveau, this is a very appropriate souvenir.

Austrian painter Gustav Klimt is one of history’s most important artists. He focused on the female body and sensual eroticism. Klimt produced some of the most important works of modern art. Many of his works are on permanent display in Vienna.

Check out Freywille, and look for gorgeous Klimt-inspired enamel jewelry. Freywille’s decorative enamel designs are handcrafted so you will be purchasing only the finest quality jewelry.

Click here to buy

10. Viennese Wine

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Photo by andynash on

Vienna’s wine-growing history dates back to around 750 BC. White wines are grown in 80 percent of the vineyards, with the Wiener Gemischter Satz being a local specialty.

Right up until the late Middle Ages, vineyards could be found within the inner city walls of Vienna, but nowadays, wine is mostly produced in the outer districts of Vienna.

Buy a bottle in specialist wine stores and in some supermarkets. Look for the WienWein brand, which features wines from six leading Viennese vineyards.

Bring some Viennese wine back home and impress your friends!

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