Mariahilferstrasse (Mariahilfer Straße) is the longest shopping street in Vienna and one of the longest streets in the city in general. It was an important route to the west since ancient times and it remained relevant and popular today. Vienna visitors love Mariahilferstrasse and for many reasons – shopping for clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, gifts and souvenirs, leisure walking, eateries and bars scattered along the way and in side streets and vicinity of MuseumQuartier, where several museums and galleries are waiting to be discovered.

Quick facts

Name: Mariahilferstrasse (Mariahilfer Straße)

Type of attraction: Street

Opened/Built: Known as such since 19th century

Location: Between Museumsplatz (1st District) and Penzinger Strasse (15th district).

How to get there (public transport): U3/U6 (Westbanhof), U3 (Zieglergasse), Trams 5, 9, 18, Bus 13A (Neubaugasse), or 2 minute walk from MuseumsQuartier

Price/ticket: Free

Opening hours: Allways open (shops and restaurants have separate working hours – check the links bellow)

Official website: N/A

Location

Mariahilferstrasse stretches from MusemsQuartier and runs for about 3.7 km to the west, all the way to the Auer Welsbach Park, with Technology Museum of Vienna (Technisches Museum Wien) located across. A few blocks south from there is Schönbrunn Palace with its park.


Mariahilferstrasse has two distinctive parts – Inner Mariahilfer Strasse and Outer Mariahilfer Strasse. These parts are almost identical in length and they border at Mariahilfer Gürtel (or Europaplatz). A more relevant landmark (for orientation) is Westbahnhof, one of the largest train and underground hubs in the city.

Inner Mariahilfer Strasse

The 1.8 km long inner Mariahilfer Straße extends from the Getreidemarkt or Museumplatz to the Mariahilfer Gürtel, with a relatively steep rise in the first short section. Since the incorporation of the suburbs in 1850 and the division of the original 4th district into districts 4 and 5 in 1861, Mariahilferstrasse forms the border between the 6th district (Mariahilf) and the 7th district (Neubau). When tourists want to visit Mariahilferstrasse, they visit this part of the street, where most of the shops, bars, and restaurants are located.

Outer Mariahilfer Strasse

This 1.9 km long section extends in the 15th district from Mariahilfer Gürtel to Schlossallee in the west of the city. The last 350 meters of the street are in front of the Technology Museum in the 14th district, and the Auer-Welsbach-Park in the 15th district extends southwards next to the street. Although there are also numerous shops in the outer Mariahilfer Straße, almost no large or international branded stores have settled in this section. Moving around this part of the street is best via tram, while in the inner Mariahilfer Strasse it’s the subway.

Inner Mariahilfer Strasse
Inner Mariahilfer Strasse

History

The street was named in 1897 after the district or the former suburb of Mariahilf. Originally it was called Kremser Strasse after its destinations, then Bayrische Landstrasse, later – Laimgrubner Hauptstrasse and Mariahilfer Hauptstrasse. The street is also affectionately called Mahü.

The street, together with the Gürtel, the Mariahilfer Church, and the Mariahilf District were all named by the famous painting of Maria Hilf by Lucas Cranach the Elder, located in the Mariahilfer Church.

It was discovered in 1914 that the road existed since Roman times in this area. During the excavation for building a new house, a portion of the Roman road was uncovered. The road where Mariahilferstrasse is now was a connection to the west and it was leading towards Linz. This made it a very popular area, so many shops and restaurants were opened starting from 1859 onwards (this is when Westbanhof was built).

Mariahilferstrasse today

Like many growing cities around the world, Vienna is also addressing traffic issues and is trying to organize the transport and mobility of citizens in the best possible way. Inner Mariahilferstrasse was reorganized in a modern way – it is a mixed traffic area (so-called ‘shared spaces’) but focused mostly on pedestrians. Busses and delivery vehicles are allowed, but the area was designed to serve pedestrians at all times. Bicycles and other similar transport means are also allowed.

This is a global effort in Vienna to drop down car traffic to 20% by 2025. So far it works well.

There were originally concerns of shop owners that the inability to reach shops by car and park in front (or nearby) will decrease daily visits and sales, but this is not the case. Mariahilfestrasse has become one of the main shopping areas in Vienna and much more enjoyable since it was reconfigured to have shared space for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

The street is not only popular for shopping but there are also plenty of bars and restaurants to visit and just walking and window shopping is quite enjoyable.

Mariahilferstrasse - shared spaces
Mariahilferstrasse – shared spaces

Landmarks and attractions on Mariahilferstrasse

Apart from shops, bars, and restaurants, there are several landmarks and attractions that you might want to see while you are in the area.

Auer Welsbach Park

Located on the far west end of the street, this urban green space is great for walks and relaxation.

Technology museum

Large collection of technology, communications, science, and industrial design exhibits with interactive presentations. Very popular with children of all ages.

Stiftskirche

Roman-catholic garrison church with a long history, dating back to the 18th century.

Gänsemädchenbrunnen

Gansemadchenbrunnen (Goose Girl Fountain) is a 19th-century fountain located at the top of Rahlstiege, a historic staircase linking the upper Mariahilfer Straße and lower Rahlgasse.

Schwendermarkt

One of the oldest open markets n Vienna, dating back to the early 19th century.

Catholic Church Mariahilf

Last, but not least, is the famous Mariahilf Church, a small but beautiful baroque church, with the famous painting that brought Maria Hilf’s name to several landmarks, including the church itself.

Catholic Church Mariahilf
Catholic Church Mariahilf

Shops on Mariahilferstrasse

If you are coming to the street for shopping, there are plenty of options for you. Here is the list of most popular shops:

Clothes, shoes, and fashion shops

There are plenty of fashion related shops, mostly from global brands, and there are some local Viennese/Austrian designers. Here is a list of most popular ones:

Cosmetics

Gift and souvenir shops

Shops on Mariahilferstrasse
Shops on Mariahilferstrasse

Cafes, restaurants and food places

There are also plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants on the side streets, leading to Mariahilferstrasse, that are worth visiting and exploring.

Conclusion

Mariahilfenstrasse is an important communication hub for the city of Vienna and a popular shopping street. It is worth visiting it not only for shopping but to experience the real city atmosphere and urban buzz. Since it is near MuseumsQuartier, it offers a great opportunity to have a break between visits to the museums and galleries.

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