Freihausviertel is Vienna’s Hidden Gem

Old meets new – that’s Vienna’s charm. This is true for shopping too, as the Austrian capital is a hot spot for real vintage items.

You might discover some in the Freihausviertel in the city’s fourth district. A residential area where cafes, shops and galleries exist, this place used to be a poor man’s land. Majority of this district was filled with boarding houses until the middle of the 1990s. Business, however, started to thrive after the opening of two galleries in 1998.

One vintage shop worth checking out there is Flo in Schleifmühlgasse. Owned by a former costume designer who worked for film, the shop has been in business since 1978. Being a designer was a great benefit for the owner, Ingrid Raab as she was able to store genuine vintage items and not the second hand stuff that people are used to seeing and buying at flea markets.

Among the treasures that can be found in the Flo shop are original pieces dating back to 1880 until 1890. For the antique fans who might be interested, you will be surprised to know that the shop still has Jantzen swimsuits, an Armani power jacket or an Azzedine Alaia bandage dress. Additional items include attractive flapper dresses of the 1920s that are embroidered and beaded, Charleston dresses with pearls and rhinestones, YSL of the 1950s, shoes, hats, jewelry and handbags.

Those particular about designer brands are in for a great treasure hunt here. Shopping is made easy as all items are arranged in alphabetical order based on the names of designers. Several celebrity designers have actually been here such as Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney to name a few.

You have to know, though, that these items are not cheap because being designer wear, they command a price so you need to prepare a budget. Prices range from 300 Euros to as much as a thousand to 3,000 Euros.

So if you would like to veer away from the usual routes in Vienna, make sure you take a trip to the Freihausviertel.

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