I’m not exactly a shopping queen, thus it took me by surprise how enjoyable the train station with its commercial center turned out to be – it opened in 2011. So, Bahnhofcity (or “Westbahnhof” as locals still call it) offers a pleasant shopping experience at the western end of Vienna’s most popular shopping street: Mariahilferstraße (for the locals) – the other one is Kärntner Straße (more luxury brands, more tourists). I personally recommend two shops along Mariahilfer, the honey hot spot and the architecture/history/special gifts one.
Some shops in there were the first chain stores that had opened in Vienna. The variety of retailers is impressive. Also a plus, all indoors – find shelter from unpleasant weather conditions outside.
The only thing a foreigner might be annoyed by are the opening hours. Since Austria’s law on that is fairly (Catholic) strict, most stores are closed on Sundays. During the week you can enjoy shopping until 21:00, food & drinks until 23:00.
In case you are like “Something’s strange here!” while standing outside, looking at the main entrance of Westbahnhof, I feel you. This might be caused by the fact that this hall built in the 1950s is a listed building, so the renovation team was not really allowed to beautify it. Some hate it, some love it – there’s not much in between.