I am quite aware I might be the last one to not have all the Christmas gifts ready. Last year I was so organised! By this time we already had everything bought, packed, and put in boxes for the easier transport, as we were having a big trip to Poland and straight to Germany.
This year however took me by surprise. We are in the middle of organizational chaos, November felt like October and suddenly it is a week till Christmas. Still missing a couple of pieces? Let me help you with my Viennese Christmas guide.
I was not paid in any way for compiling this list. These are products we bought and/or truly like. I am also not earning anything through recommending these products/shops.
Last moment Viennese gifts
1. Kitsch bitch
This is a little store on Neubaugasse with everything hipster. Looking for a beanie that says “passt”? You will find it there. The offer is not very big: bags, beanies, t-shirts, phone cases. Everything comes with a funny or sometimes ridiculous caption or print. I suggest this for younger brother, but not only. I mean, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to carry a bag that says “Sei einmal leiwand”?
store: Neubaugasse 46
2. Die Sellerie
Oh this is a store where I could easily, easily spend all my money. No matter how much I could spend, I would spend it all. They offer carefully selected products, most of them from craftsmen and women in Austria. The store is small, squeezed in between buildings on Burggasse but filled with the best products that will make your flat super pretty. From glasses to vases, from books to soaps, from art to pot holders. The offered items can be expensive but you can also find more affordable gifts. Staff is always friendly and ready to pack even most bizarre shaped products (I tested it myself).
Extra advantage: when you are done with shopping you can just stroll straight to the Spittelberg market for some punsch to calm yourself down after your credit card has just exploded.
shop: Burggasse 21, 1070 Vienna
Viennese love their sweet breakfast. Coffee and a croissant with some marmalade is the thing to order in the Coffeehouse. There are a couple of brands you can choose from, Staud and D’arbo are the more popular ones, offering great quality and taste. OR you can go to Vollpension not far from Naschmarkt and get absolutely delicious grandma-made marmalades. I highly recommend Wachauer Marillen (Apricots from Wachau), but truth be told, they are all delicious. If you opt for this one make sure to reward yourself with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. If you fall in love with the place you can also get their book with cakes recipes, and a story about each of the grandmothers working in Vollpension. Absolutely lovely position, also encouraging to learn German (book is not available in English).
For those seeking an adventure. I am more than sure each of us has a friend, father, brother or sister that just loooooves spicy food. As I live with such person and I am being slowly turned into such person I can tell you that you are in luck. Chilliwerkstatt offers everything chili.
You will find here chilli liquor, chilli paste, chilli chocolate, chilli mustard, chilli workshop and even chilli gummy bears!
5. Uhr Leiwand
I have been on a look-out for a watch for some time now. I still have one I got from my dad when I was twelve but the one from Uhr Leiwand stole my heart the moment I saw it. It is simply beautiful and also a bit funny, especially when it comes to selecting your Guertel between Neubau, Innere Stadt and Margareten. It is expensive but in a sensible way, and it comes from Austria. Win – win?
shop: Roee shop, Westbahnstrasse 16
A backpack very inconspicuous yet made for special assignments. Comes in three beautiful options: red, blue and sand. I have one and I use it all the time. It seems small but can pack a lot. It is light, easy to carry, easy to clean and it is a piece of beautiful design with a long tradition (Kamarg was originally founded in Graz in 1949). I rarely reach for a bag anymore – this backpack is great for a German class, short trip into town or out of town, and for whatever you might need it.
shop in Vienna: pop-up store at Vintage Fabrik, Mariahilferstrasse 3, till 23rd of December
The ultimate herbal liqueur straight from Vienna. Imagine Jagermeister, just much, much, much better. As the creators say it is created of natural ingredients from many cultures – as multicultural as Vienna maybe. Perfectly balanced, not to sweet, ideal to have a little glass on a cold night when you are reading (or scrolling through Instagram).
shop in Vienna: Die Sellerie for sure, not sure about other locations
What we did last year: I sent Piers to Naschmarkt, to Kaesehuette and he came back with a nice selection of three different kinds of cheese for all our family members. If you go to a cheese stand (on any market really) you are getting the advantage of choosing more options in smaller sizes. And they also pack it in a cute chequered paper. So half of the work is done.
9. Aeijst, or any other Austrian gin
Austria and Vienna are mostly popular for wine. And yes, they are spectacular, but there is a lot of gin you can discovered. And they come in beautiful bottles. Everyone in the family who got Aeijst was very happy. Also, it is available in Die Sellerie, so…
shop: Die Sellerie for sure, I don’t know about other locations
10. Osterreich vegetarisch
I know, it sounds a bit ridiculous, but bear with me. It is a truly great book, full of exciting, yet simple recipes. For me it was a great introduction to a Viennese kitchen and thanks to meatless recipes it was a bit less challenging. Also a bit cheaper in case something went wrong (disclaimer: it didn’t). It is divided into seasons, it teaches you Austrian vocabulary in the kitchen, and the recipes are very easy to follow. I was already cooking with this book when my German was still A2/B1 level. Sometimes I needed a bit of help from Piers (or dictionary when he wasn’t around), but it was tremendous fun. I also felt like a great achievement to be able to cook with an Austrian cookbook. Great idea for those who love Austrian cuisine (or don’t know yet they love it) and/or want to learn German in a fun way.
You can get it in Die Sellerie (I think, that’s where I have it from).