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Vienna has long been a center for design. It had made the transition from imperial past to classical modernity by 1900. Ever since then, Vienna has been a melting pot for all things creative.

Today, as in the past, the design of many of Vienna’s shops, hotels and institutions is one of their outstanding features. Design can be seen and admired all over the city.

Design history in Vienna

Building on Vienna’s artistic tradition as the magnificent imperial seat of the Habsburgs and the capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, architect Otto Wagner developed a new style that added features to the cityscape that are in evidence to this day. One of the most influential architects of the Art Nouveau epoch at the turn of the twentieth century, Wagner designed the “Stadtbahn” railway, both the station buildings and details such as the railings, lamps and signs. For much of the way along the Gürtel, the railway was an elevated system built on elegant arches. Today, the U6 follows this route, and a number of bars frequented by creative young Viennese musicians have moved in under the arches.

Otto Wagner used innovative materials – reinforced concrete and aluminium – in his design for the Post Office Savings Bank. In this building, he achieved a particularly happy combination of form and function: the marble facing was affixed with bolts, which gives it the appearance of being decorative. As was typically the case with Art Nouveau, the entire building became a work of art. Historically, Art Nouveau came between the Biedermeier epoch – which reached its first heyday in Vienna from about 1820 with the simple elegance of furniture design that gained fame for example with the bentwood furniture of Thonet – and Modernism, with its strictly functional style.

In 1903, Josef Hoffmann, one of Otto Wagner’s students, and Kolo Moser founded Wiener Werkstätte, which redefined applied arts. Working with the renowned artists of the day, such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, Wiener Werkstätte produced everyday articles, jewelry and furniture in the very best quality and in small quantities. Branch offices established in New York, Berlin and Zurich evidenced the company’s international success. Here again, the concept of the integrated artwork took top priority: at Palais Stoclet in Brussels and the sanatorium in Purkersdorf, two buildings designed by Josef Hoffmann, the entire facility was designed by Wiener Werkstätte. Despite all its success, the company ran into difficulties during the international economic crisis and had to close in 1932. Today, Wiener Werkstätte products have long been considered classics in design history.

Entirely different from Art Nouveau and Wiener Werkstätte was Adolf Loos, the most important architect of the Viennese Modernist movement. In his writings (especially: “Ornamentation and Crime,” “Potemkin City”), with manifest delight in polemics he attacks the concept of the “integrated artwork” that unites art and crafts and the Art Nouveau ornamentation adopted by Wiener Werkstätte. Loos regarded art as completely separate from articles of daily use. His most famous piece of architecture is Loos House on Michaelerplatz, immediately behind the Imperial Palace. Due to the complete absence of façade decoration, it was soon given the nickname “house without eyebrows.” The American Bar in Kärntner passage in the city center is better known in Vienna as the Loos Bar. Here you can get a close up view of the work of Adolf Loos – he designed both the entrance and all the interior decoration – while you enjoy a tasty cocktail. In practice, Loos’s designs were not as austere as one might assume from his writings on theory.

Contemporary design

Conscious of this great past, playing with it or intentionally keeping their distance from it, in recent years Viennese designers have developed their own unmistakable styles. Vienna’s credentials as a creative center are plain to see. This applies just as much to fashion and jewelry as it does to accessories and interior design, to restaurants and design hotels.

Fashion designer Helmut Lang’s international success story started in Vienna, and now a new line-up of designers such as Wendy & Jim and Lena Hoschek have taken up the reins to international acclaim even companies with strong traditions like J.&.L. Lobmeyr have added innovative designer pieces to their assortment. In Vienna, the name Lobmeyr is synonymous with high quality, classic tableware; the store frequently commissions the services of young designers such as Polka who came up with a new glass carafe and a range of drinking glasses specially for Viennese wine. Stores like la petite boutique, Buntwäsche, Werkprunk, PARK and Art Point Vienna have made the seventh district an area where those with an affinity for design out strolling in the city are sure to find something. Not infrequently, the products are made in backyard studios just behind the shops.

In recent years, Vienna’s dynamic fashion scene has gained ground internationally. At Paris’s Fashion Week, the Viennese label Wendy & Jim is a regular feature of the catwalk, and many of their Austrian colleagues are also represented. Many of these fashion designers can do this thanks to the support of the City of Vienna: for example Unit F büro für mode functions as a coordinator between fashion designer, industry, research and culture.

With its striking, deconstructivist style, the Viennese architecture firm Architekturbüro Coop Himmelb(l)au has long been regarded as one of the international stars of its industry. For example, in Vienna they transformed a gasometer in Simmering from an abandoned industrial landmark into a residential complex with an event hall. Another of their major projects, received with great enthusiasm by the trade press, is BMW World in Munich, which opened in 2008.

Austrian artists are also extremely active in product and interior design. EOOS not only developed a drinking glass befitting an energy drink for Red Bull; they also developed an international store concept for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics. Red Dot Design Award-winning designer Kai Stania creates office furniture for Bene, chairs for Wittmann and fountain pens for Cerruti.

Fairs and events

The creative climate in Vienna makes all this possible. In the 2011 City Analysis Report – the world’s largest city rankings aimed at measuring innovation – Vienna placed second, a single point behind Paris in a survey of 331 major cities worldwide.

In Vienna, tradition and innovation come together beautifully in design; the past and the present determine the cadence of the city. A wide variety of businesses, hotels, restaurants, events and institutions ensure that this happens. The Viennafair art fair has established itself as the most important trade fair for contemporary art in Central Europe. With its focus on eastern and south-eastern Europe, ViennAfair functions as a showcase for young artists and Austria’s major galleries as exhibitors, and has developed its own highly distinctive profile. Its success is also quantifiable, with more than 160 exhibiting galleries from nearly 25 different countries each September.

The fall is the time for design in Vienna. During October Blickfang – Austria’s largest design fair for furniture, fashion and jewelry at the Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts (MAK) – draws more than 140 international exhibitors each year. At the end of September/beginning of October, the spotlight is on product, industrial and furniture design, during the Vienna Design Week. This event, held at various locations throughout the city, boasts a colorful spectrum of exhibitions, projects and panel discussions for design fans. In November, Vienna Art Week shifts the focus to contemporary art and sales. As you would expect, design plays a major role in proceedings, forming the focal point of the departure design tours and several specialty auctions at the capital’s Dorotheum auction house.

The following pages contain tips about design-related places you should visit. All of them have this in common: you will find exceptional things here.

Fashion, jewelry and accessories

artup – Austrian Design in the City, Bauernmarkt 8, 1010 Vienna,

artup’s distinctively gallery-like shop has presented Austrian design, fashion, accessories, homeware and souvenirs since 2003. Choose from a pot-pourri of fresh ideas, either as one-of-a-kinds or in strictly limited editions. A constantly changing line-up of guest designers opens the door to the latest international trends.

Art Point Vienna

Neubaugasse 35, 1070 Vienna,

Alongside her own collection, Russian-born designer Lena Kvadrat presents unconventional fashion from new labels, including Ina Kent, Inoui and Riccardo Cartillone.

be a good girl

Westbahnstrasse 5a, 1070 Vienna,

A successful combination of beauty salon and streetwear store, carrying art and photography books as well as colorful Italian Tokidoki brand skateboards, Freitag purses, limited edition Levi’s and knitwear by Maiami.

Ina Kent

Lindengasse 46 & Siebensterngasse 50, 1070 Vienna,

Bag designer Ina Kent puts the focus on making her creations as versatile as possible, while ensuring that they can be readily combined with a range of fashions. Quality of finish and materials are paramount. Throw in some excellent design and you have bags with a distinctive formal language, in line with Ina Kent’s mantra of “Bags tell stories.”

la petite boutique

Lindengasse 25, 1070 Vienna,

At the heart of the Neubau artists’ district is designer Sandra Gilles’ mini-shop. She is known for her fine lace creations and her colorful “Ginette” fabric purses based on the classic shopping bag.

Michèl Mayer

Singerstrasse 7, 1010 Vienna,

Michèl Mayer has made a name for herself with avant-garde fashion for both women and men. The Viennese designer also has her own cashmere collection of outstanding quality in a small store not far from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Die Nachbarin – European fashion design

Gumpendorfer Strasse 17, 1060 Vienna,

There’s not a big name international label anywhere in sight at the bijou Nachbarin store on Gumpendorfer Strasse. Instead, young European fashion hallmarked by a distinctive style and high quality of finish is the order of the day here. Examples include the refined-yet-simple creations by Belgium’s Tim Van Steenbergen and footwear by Preen. Philippe Roucou and Muñoz Vrandecic have just been added to the range.


Mondscheingasse 20, 1070 Vienna,

The futuristic concept store, all in white, stocks designers such as Ann Demeulemeester, Peter Pilotto, Stephan Schneider and Henrik Vibskov, as well as illustrated books and international magazines.

Saint Charles Cosmothecary

Gumpendorfer Strasse 33, 1060 Vienna,

At this store, lovers of high quality natural cosmetics will find care products by Dr. Hauschka, REN, The Organic Pharmacy and Neom.


Praterstrasse 11-13, 1020 Vienna,

In this store designed by architect Gregor Eichinger on the booming Praterstrasse, you will find exclusive items by Balenciaga, Walter van Beirendonck, A.F. Vandevorst and Bernhard Willhelm.

Das Studio

Kirchengasse 17, 1070 Vienna, tel. +43-1-941 11 41;

Hub for the young Viennese fashion community in the dynamic Kirchengasse, including collections by Dessi'gned, Igor Zeus, Monikova, and the Fairtrade label Göttin des Glücks.

Superated Samstag Shop

Margaretenstrasse 46, 1040 Vienna,

Superated is a Viennese design label for durable, affordable male fashion, founded by Peter Holzinger and Christian Moser. The label’s first store, named “Samstag” (“Saturday”), was opened in Vienna in 2010. As well as Superated collections, the store stocks other interesting labels such as Baiba Ripa, Andy Wolf Eyewear and Hartmann Nordenholz.

Interior design

Augarten Porcelain

Spiegelgasse 3, 1010 Vienna,

Sales outlet for the Viennese porcelain manufactory dating back to 1718. Their exquisite, hand-painted tableware, lamps, vases and elegant figurines have become famous the world over.


Krongasse 20, 1050 Vienna,

Bone china tableware, mugs, dishes, sushi sets, vases and wall lights combining contemporary design with true practical value.


Gumpendorfer Strasse 15-17, 1060 Vienna,

At Lichterloh, you will find classic 20th century furniture by Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Roland Rainer and Carl Auböck, among others, alongside selected new designs by young Austrian designers.

J.&.L. Lobmeyr

Kärntner Strasse 26, 1010 Vienna,

Founded in 1823, this long-established Viennese business produces hand-made chandeliers and valuable glass items for quality glass collections and artistic lighting. Lobmeyr regularly works with young designers.


Halbgasse 20/3, 1070 Vienna,

Products by Barbara Ambrosz and Karin Santorso, including drinking vessels made of hand-blown crystal glass, multifunctional chairs and beds, as well as recycled porcelain dineware.

Mano Design

Grundsteingasse 36/1-3, 1160 Vienna,

Designer Hedwig Rotter creates handmade one-of-a-kind items, small batches and limited editions in porcelain at her studio in Vienna’s Ottakring district. All her pieces such as cups, bowls, plates, vases and decorative objects stand out for their functional variety.

das möbel > das geschäft

Gumpendorfer Strasse 11, 1060 Vienna,

Furniture gallery located between MuseumsQuartier and Naschmarkt, with innovative furniture designs and unusual accessories on three floors.


Mariahilfer Strasse 9/7, 1060 Vienna,

The Polka label established by Marie Rahm and Monica Singer plays with everyday products: a fabric serviette reinforced with wire becomes a breadbasket, a classic enamel pan contains countless little feet.

Bars & Restaurants

Albertinapassage Dinnerclub

Corner of Opernring and Operngasse, 1010 Vienna,

A former pedestrian underpass directly outside the Vienna State Opera House is now home to an 800 square meter club offering live music, premium cuisine and excellent steaks. Vienna-based architects Söhne & Partner were the creative force behind the elegant interior design, which juxtaposes the dark custom-made furnishings against the white bar and stage elements.

American Bar

Kärntner Durchgang 10, 1010 Vienna,

This bar was designed by Adolf Loos in 1908 and is hidden on a small side street off Kärntner Strasse. In just 24 square meters, wood, glass, bronze and onyx dominate this early work of Modernist architecture, which is now a listed monument.

Café Drechsler

Linke Wienzeile 22, 1060 Vienna,

This legendary coffeehouse on Naschmarkt has been redesigned by celebrated British designer Sir Terence Conran, and is open daily, 23 hours a day – closed only on Sundays, from noon, until Monday morning.

Café-Restaurant Corbaci

MuseumsQuartier, 1070 Vienna, Museumsplatz 1, tel. +43-664-736 300 36

The Architekturzentrum Wien is home to Corbaci, one of the most attractive restaurants in the MuseumsQuartier. This restaurant, with a vaulted ceiling tiled in oriental style was designed by French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal.

Neni+ Neni im Zweiten

Naschmarkt Stand 510, 1060 Vienna, & Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna,

Both branches of Neni, on the Naschmarkt and in the Stilwerk design center, serve dishes from the Orient and the Levant, in rooms designed by artist Eva Berensin.

Österreicher im MAK

Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna,

Art and enjoyment are exquisitely combined at this caféand restaurant in the Museum of Applied Arts. Helmut Österreicher cooks home-style fare to the very highest standards; the restaurant was designed by architects “Eichinger oder Knechtl” with modern features and is well worth seeing.


Burggarten 1, 1010 Vienna,

Emperor Franz Joseph used to go to the palm house to relax. Today, this unique steel and glass structure in the Burggarten houses a trendy café-restaurant.

Unger und Klein

Gölsdorfgasse 2, 1010 Vienna,

A long, curved wine rack is one of the striking features of this wine store and bar, designed by the architects “Eichinger oder Knechtl”. Exquisite wines and choice foods are available here.

Weingut & Heuriger Christ

Amtsstrasse 10-14, 1210 Vienna,

The “design” heuriger Christ unites the traditional and the modern in Viennese wine tavern culture. Rainer Christ has won the winemaker of the year prize several times. His heuriger is open daily from 3 p.m. in odd-numbered months.

Zum Schwarzen Kameel

Bognergasse 5 & 7, 1010 Vienna,

This restaurant for connoisseurs has existed in the first district since 1618. Sweet treats are baked and sold at the exquisite pastry shop just two doors away.

Design hotels

25hours Hotel

Lerchenfelder Strasse 1-3, 1070 Vienna,

The designers behind the interiors of the 25hours Hotel took their inspiration from the early 20th century and the heyday the circus. Here, sumptuous velvet drapes and menagerie themes are cleverly contrasted with raw untreated concrete. The top floor is home to a cool and cozy lounge, and there are fine views of the nearby parliament building and the rest of the city to be had from the rooftop terrace.

Altstadt Vienna

Kirchengasse 41, 1070 Vienna,

At the heart of the renowned seventh district is the hotel Altstadt Vienna. A number of its rooms and suites have been refurnished by star Italian architect Matteo Thun – and no one room is like any other.

DO & CO Hotel Vienna

Stephansplatz 12, 1010 Vienna,

DO & CO Hotel offers a unique view of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, urban luxury in a league of its own, and a fabulous restaurant.

Hollmann Beletage

Köllnerhofgasse 6, 1010 Vienna,

With just 25 rooms, the Hollmann Beletage is a bijoux and family-like Viennese design hotel in an exquisite late nineteenth century building just a few minutes away from St. Stephen’s.

Hotel Daniel

Landstrasser Gürtel 5, 1030 Vienna,

Located on the doorstep of the Belvedere Palace, Hotel Daniel (opened 2011) just oozes pared-down elegance. “Smart Luxury” is the watchword here. The hotel is in a heritage-listed building, but unlike so many others in the capital it is not from the Baroque or Ringstrasse eras: completed in 1962 it was the first building in Austria to be built using the then revolutionary curtain wall system.

Le Meridien

Opernring 13-15, 1010 Vienna,

Trendy hotel on the Ringstrasse, close to the State Opera. Furnished in a cool mix of old and new, with modern art, and DJs from the Vienna scene in the Shambala lounge bar.

motel one

Europaplatz 3, 1150 Vienna,

The Vienna branch of motel one opened in late 2011 as part of the new BahnhofCity Wien West. This 441 room budget design hotel is finished in luxury materials such as dark granite for an attractive interior, which contrasts opulent touches with understated elegance.

Radisson Blu Style Hotel

Herrengasse 12, 1010 Vienna,

The hotel’s contemporary design and overall concept come from MKV Design London. This luxury accommodation has more than 78 rooms and is close to the classy shopping streets of Kohlmarkt and Graben at the heart of Vienna.

Rathaus Wein & Design

Lange Gasse 13, 1080 Vienna,

Everything is about wine at this design hotel. Each of the 40 rooms is dedicated to a top Austrian winemaker, the minibars are stocked with wine, there is wine-cheese for breakfast, and there are even wine cosmetics.

Roomz Vienna

Paragonstrasse 1, 1110 Vienna,

While this budget design hotel is in an outlying district, it is just a few minutes from the center of the city by subway. Located near to the fully refurbished gasometers, the building stands out for its uniform design concept and refreshing use of color.

Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna,

Built in 2010 on the banks of the Danube Canal, this luxury hotel from French star architect Jean Nouvel houses the Stilwerk design center, and features an extraordinary interior, also designed by Nouvel. On the 18th floor, with a 360° panoramic view of the city, restaurant “Le Loft” serves French-inspired cuisine and features a spectacular ceiling by artist Pipilotti Rist.

Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof

Herrengasse 10, 1010 Vienna,

In 2008 the luxury Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof opened in a building with a neo classic facade. Interior design styles echo eras from Baroque to Art Deco.

Das Triest

Wiedner Hauptstrasse 12, 1040 Vienna,

As the first of Vienna’s design hotels, the Triest has set the standard. It was designed by Sir Terence Conran and is still a hive of activity between Karlsplatz and Naschmarkt. The small Silver Bar is also worth a visit. Robbie Williams and other show business celebrities have been completely at home here.

Events etc.

Blickfang Wien

once a year in October at the MAK,

With more than 140 exhibitors, Blickfang is Austria’s biggest design fair for furniture, fashion and jewelry. The fair takes place once a year at the Museum for Applied Arts on Stubenring.

departure wirtschaft, kunst und kultur GmbH

Hörlgasse 12, 1090 Vienna,

Central point of contact and sponsor organization for the creative industries (fashion, music, audiovisual, multimedia, design, publishing, art market and architecture).


MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna,

The design forum at the MuseumsQuartier is dedicated to topics relevant to design; these are taken up in exhibitions, podium discussions, symposiums, lectures, conferences and events for the public at large.

Imperial Furniture Collection/Furniture Museum Vienna

Andreasgasse 7, 1070 Vienna,

With nearly 160,000 items, the Imperial Furniture Collection is the largest furniture collection in the world. It gives an overview of the history of Viennese furniture art from the imperial purveyors to the court and famous artists such as Adolf Loos, Otto Wagner and Josef Hoffmann to the present day.

MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art

Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna,

Limited editions by Austrian designers and products developed as part of exhibitions are available at the MAK Design Shop. The MAK Design Info Pool documents the accomplishments of more than 800 Austrian designers; regular design showcases spotlight selected designers and design studios. Wiener Werkstätte is very well represented at the museum.


Once a year in May at the MAK,

Sales exhibition with new Austrian and international fashion, jewelry and accessory labels, highlighting a different country each year, fashion shows and a fashion lounge.

MQ Point

MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna,

Located directly at the main entrance to the MuseumsQuartier, MQ Point is one of the top stores for international design items, products created specifically for the MuseumsQuartier, unusual gifts and highly original accessories.

PAD – Pure Austrian Design

Information and sales platform for product design, furniture design, music, fashion, graphic design, lifestyle, architecture and photography from Austria.

Unit F büro für mode

Gumpendorfer Strasse 56, 1060 Vienna,

Unit F functions as a coordinator between fashion designers, businesses, research and culture. It offers design sponsorships and organizes the festival for fashion & photography once a year.


Every September at Messe Wien,

The international trade fair for contemporary art, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe, has rapidly established itself as a showcase for new galleries and artists and has considerable appeal for the public.

Vienna Art Week

Every November at various venues throughout the captial,

Vienna Art Week focuses on contemporary art exhibitions and sales.

Vienna Design Week

once a year in September/October at various locations in Vienna,

Vienna Design Week showcases Austrian product design, industrial design, and furniture design. The extensive program includes exhibitions, special tours, discussions, lectures and a design sales exhibition.

Last minute hotel offer in Vienna - Wien - Wenen
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