Karntner Strasse, Vienna Overview

The Karntner Strasse pedestrian shopping district is every shopaholic's dream come true. A lively walking street complete with renowned brands, cosy cafes, baroque-style architecture, and its rich history offers a splendid experience for tourists and locals. The street has been existing since Roman times, making the entire experience a walk down the lanes of history. Visitors enjoy surfing through the luxurious stores, treating themselves to authentic Austrian cuisine at the traditional cafes, and most popularly, indulge themselves in souvenir shopping. While the street is open and running all year round, the best time to visit is during Christmas to see how the Kärntner Strasse turns into a winter wonderland.

After its reconstruction in the1970s, Karntner Strasse fully opened as a walking shopping street for pedestrians. Some of the most popular activities here are sightseeing, taking a walk around the elegant pathways, shopping, eating, and even checking out the Vienna State Opera. Some of the most popular monuments here include the Sacher Hotel, world-famous Swarovski flagship store, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Opera House, and much more. Visitors also get the chance to experience the life and glory of Mozart as this street contains the very building in which Mozard passed away. Its cafes and stores have witnessed the world’s most notable personalities, and no trip to Vienna is complete without an adventure here.

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Things to Do at Karntner Strasse

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As a street deeply entrenched in ancient history, the Karntner Strasse serves both a commercial and historical purpose. Because of its old establishment, there are a variety of signature activities unique to this shopping street. Karntner Strasse is renowned for being a lively shopping street, housing some of the best global brands. Everything from H&M to Gucci, the shopping street has it all. Visitors can shop or window shop through the plethora of options located at Kärntner Strasse.

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Whether a jewellery enthusiast or not, the Swarovski Crystals’ flagship store is a must-see on this shopping street. Swarovski receiving global acclaim has one of its best stores situated on Kärntner Strasse. Travellers can look out for the unique product display with floors and floors of assorted jewellery.

Karntner Strasse is closely located to the popular Hotel Sacher. Its exteriors which are nothing less than a monument out of the Renaissance, Hotel Sacher features amongst the top hotels in the world. It’s interesting to note that Vienna’s love for its music reflects in every nook and cranny of the city. The hotel suites at Hotel Sacher are named after popular operas!

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The street is also home to a famous department store Steffl. Visitors can explore this shop which offers goods and cosmetics. As one of the oldest stores to dot this vicinity, it is worth a visit. Interestingly enough, this store is located in the very building Mozart passed away.

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Palais Esterhazy is another popular highlight situated at the Karntner Strasse. Visitors can book a guided tour around the monument and explore its remarkable collection. Adults can pay a visit to the casinos which are set up in the 19th-century rooms.

One of the most popular takeaways of Karntner Strasse are its wide range of unique souvenirs. Everything from memorandums of the Ring Boulevard, to the famous composer Mozart; visitors can take back beautiful mementoes of their visit. Miniatures of Vienna’s renowned monuments are a popular purchase.

With enough time, visitors can explore the Haas House and the Vienna State Opera. A guided tour around these buildings along with a live performance is always a good idea.

Cafes and Pubs Near Karntner Strasse

There are majorly only two popular activities at Karntner Strasse; shopping and eating! Like most of the popular boulevards and happening streets of Europe, Karntner Strasse in Vienna is the go-to hub for authentic Austrian delights. Since the street traces its origins to the Roman era, it is safe to say that the restaurants and cafes here have a rich family lineage. Have a look at some of the most sought after cafes here.

1. Cafe Sacher

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With its affiliation with Hotel Sacher, this popular coffeehouse has the best atmosphere and even better coffee. Visitors make their way here to experience the typical Viennese culture while trying the iconic Sacher Torte. Its location is an additional factor as customers can view the majestic Vienna Opera House across the street. Cafe Sacher offers a range of cuisines including Austrian, European, and Central European. What’s more? It’s also vegetarian-friendly. The cafe doubles and a pub after sundown.

2. Skybar 

The Skybar in Vienna city is one of the most scenic rooftop cafes. Renowned for its cocktails and snack menu, the Skybar is home to one of the best cityscapes of the city. Usually crowded during the summer months, the bar and cafe is open all year round and especially popular during Christmas time. Skybar provides an excellent range of modern Austrian cuisine along with its popular desserts. It is located on top of the Steffl department store.

3. Rote Restaurant & Bar

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The Restaurant Rote Bar on Karntner Strasse is a traditional Viennese restaurant. Visitors can enjoy authentic Viennese cuisine while dining at the grand dining hall complete with majestic paintings and well-lit chandeliers. An experience nothing less than that of royalty, the Rote Bar also has an open terrace arena. The best time to visit is after sundown to look over the lit-up city. The restaurant offers vegetarian and vegan options as well.

4. Cafe Oper Wien 

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Cafe Oper Wien is another of the hidden coffee house gems of Kärntner Strasse. Offering one of the most sought after cappuccino and Americano of Vienna city, visitors make it a point to check out this cosy little cafe after a tiring day of strolling around. The best part about Cafe Oper Wien is that it is located on the premises of Vienna State Opera. An excellent blend of coffee, Austrian culture, and Vienna’s love for music, this cafe has it all. Cafe Oper Wien offers a range of cuisines including Austrian, European, and Central European along with its popular lunchtime offer. Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, Cafe Oper Wien is a definite must-visit whether heading out there after a performance or simply after a tiring day at Kärntner Strasse.

5. Cuisino 

Cuisino is another popular choice amongst the tourists walking around the Kärntner Strasse. Though the restaurant has an entrance restriction of only 18 years and older, the bright red interiors and traditional Viennese dishes keeps everyone coming back for more. Serving vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan options, the Cuisino is fit for all. The unique element of this bar and cafe is that after sundown, the restaurant switches to a casino central. Whether you’re looking to relax after a tiring day or try your luck, Cuisino has it all. 

6. Kleines Cafe

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This cosy little cafe tucked into the streets of the shopping district Kärntner Strasse has been a crowd favourite for generations. While Kleine literally means small, this coffeehouse is a little gem of the happening street. Complete with excellent Viennese cuisine, the cafe offers Austrian, European, and Central European cuisine. Moreover, the menu is vegetarian-friendly. Kleines Cafe complete with 70s style interiors and an evening time pub also offer outdoor seating away from the main shopping area. Preferred for its private and cosy location, the cafe is situated right across the statue on the square.

7. Cafe Mozart

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Cafe Mozart follows a rich history on the streets of Karntner Strasse. Being the first coffeehouse opened in this vicinity, the cafe was established in 1794. Over the years, this cafe has been the hotspot amongst politicians, writers, musicians, artists, and even localities. This is the same coffee house where “The Third Man” screenplay was crafted by Graham Green. This traditional coffeehouse entrenched in culture and history is a must-visit on Kärntner Strasse. Additionally, it is a non-smoking cafe and very kids friendly. Cafe Mozart offers German, Austrian, and European cuisine, along with a vegetarian and vegan menu. Visitors enjoy clicking photos in the interiors of the cafe to replicate the scenes of the classic films which feature Cafe Mozart.

How to Reach Karntner Strasse

Metro: Visitors can take the U-Bahn on like U1 or U3 and get off at Stephansplatz. Lines U1, U2, and U4 also cross the location at the station Karlsplatz.

History of Karntner Strasse

Kärntner Strasse of Vienna traces back to the Roman times. Earlier, it was known as the Strata Carinthianorum, which was the midway connection between the centre of the city to the city wall. After the disasters of World War II, several important buildings were demolished on the street. It was only in the year 1974 when Kärntner Strasse was reconstructed to be made into a pedestrian zone, and later a shopping street.

After the construction, the Karntner Strasse became a walking and shopping district purely. With its beginnings in the 1700s, Kärntner Strasse today features a unique mix of contemporary global brands and age-old traditional family stores.

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