Burrowing for bargains at markets and vintage stores is a bit like digging for gold: sometimes arduous but occasionally enormously gratifying. Scrabble for a second-hand gem at these 10 Vienna markets and thrift stores, where you’re sure to find a bargain or two to take home with you.
This sprawling weekly Sunday market, located in the outskirts of town in the Merkur supermarket’s car park, has the feel of a local event. The stalls feature a muddled medley of household items, clothes, toys and furniture; some broken, some functioning and some wonderfully bizarre. You may have to engage in some frantic foraging and scrabbling among sky-high piles to find some second-hand treasures. However, those partial to a little digging around can find antique gems for incredibly low prices. Haggling is encouraged, so practice some German vocab to secure some sweet deals.
The Humana Secondhand charity has over 10 shops around Vienna, all selling a vibrant assortment of second-hand clothing and accessories at discount prices. Find vibrant, vintage fashion and costumes while donating to support the world’s poorest and vulnerable. The shop in the 3rd district, on Hauptstraße, was formerly a cinema, making for an interesting interior.
Uppers & Downers
This intriguingly-named second-hand store, located in the off-beat 7th district, offers an eclectic mix of old, pre-loved attire and vibrant vintage outfits. You won’t find many ‘downers’ among the rails, with lots of exciting and unusual apparel to pick up.
Naschmarkt has a rich history dating back to the 16th century when it was a humble trading ground that sold mainly fruit and vegetables on a modest stretch. Today, it is now a metropolis of a market, between Kettenbrückengasse and Karlsplatz, with vendors selling food and drink from around the world and a sprawling flea market taking place every Saturday that sees around 400 stalls offering a variety of rarities and gems. Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most famous food and flea market and it is a huge hit among tourists and locals – the early bird catches the worm so try and arrive before sunrise for the best pickings.
Founded by the ‘WEG’ movement, who wanted to experiment with the idea of an alternative to capitalism, this shop allows people to take things free of charge in exchange for their unwanted furniture, clothes, toys and other items that are still in good working order. Not only a social experience, Kostnixladen also encourages a more generous and sustainable community.
Shopping for vintage gems is now as easy as buying a can of soda thanks to Polyklamott’s innovative vending machine that allows you to buy vintage goodies (smaller items, for obvious reasons) for 5 euros a pop. The (much larger) shop is a great spot for picking up in-vogue and affordable vintage wear.
This retro store has a 1950s rockabilly vibe. Another fixture of the Neubau district
, Kingpin stocks a huge collection of modern retro threads and accessories. Sweet-toothed shoppers
will enjoy their selection of American candy that they offer alongside their clothing. In not-so-vintage fashion, they also created a smartphone app that enables users to check the latest arrivals and provides tips on current events happening around Vienna.
Located on one of Vienna’s most fashionable streets
, Neubaugasse, Bootik 54 offers a fun jumble of drapery and accessories from past decades. Visitors can pull together an unconventional outfit and rummage around for some true retro gems sold at affordable prices.
Vienna’s Carla shop, a vast 4,000-square-metre warehouse, is filled to the brim with donations made up of used beds, sofas, tables, crockery, books, instruments, clothing and more. As well as benefiting the environment by recycling and saving on waste, Carla also acts as a social pioneer by employing men and women who have been unable to find work and funding various projects that help support vulnerable people in the community.
This beautifully-designed shop, located on one of Vienna’s most trendy streets, stocks an incredible range of the latest vintage trends and some wonderfully eclectic pieces, including clothes and accessories. If feeling jaded from browsing the rails, the attached cafe in Burggasse 24 offers coffee and cake to refuel.