Vienna is a city I’d love to re-visit because its so beautiful. Apart from the art and culture, which is amazing and super charming, Vienna is also popular because of its literature. The bookstores of Vienna are amazing and worth visiting. Overall, I expected a more international vibe from Vienna but even in my short trip both times, I found these bookstores to be full of interesting titles.
The Bookstores of Vienna
Shakespeare & Company:
If you are an English speaker in Vienna, chances are you will feel a little lost in the city. There aren’t a lot of stores selling good English books and the ones that sell, don’t have a great collection. But Shakespeare & Company turned out to be the only English book store in Vienna with an amazing collection! There are books covering each inch of the store which makes it therapeutic.
Located in a quiet alley that also turns out to be the oldest and most prettiest corners of Vienna, the bookstore contains hundreds of translations and unknown authors. The service was super friendly and I was suggested to read Elena Ferrante by the owner. I enquired whether the bookshop is in any way related to the famous Shakespeare and Company of Paris, when the man at the counter smiled and politely said no. I could guess that he got that question a lot!
Sterngasse 2, Vienna
A large and modern bookstore with a decent English books collection, Frick is a type of store where no one really cares if you buy anything or not. Frick is a popular name in Vienna and you will see many stores by the name of Frick or Frick International or Frick Bestsellers. The one I visited had a stationery counter on the first floor (that I ignored because of my inner voice) and a room full of English books at the far end of the floor.
It seemed as if it was almost forgotten! But there were catchy titles and they turned out to be better than usual. I picked up a copy of 84, Charing Cross Road which surprisingly I didn’t own.
Almost sounds Italian to me but it is not. Leporello is an independent bookstore with a friendly service located behind the imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Although located in one of the busiest areas, it is strangely quiet inside.
The store however has a sad little English collection (as of Sept. 2016) There wasn’t much to browse because my guess is that they don’t sell as many English books because of low demand. Having said that, I still enjoyed the look and feel of the store and a friendly smile always helps.
Singerstr 6, Vienna
If you want to go and stare at books, go here! Seriously I am not kidding. Just next to the metro station, Tyrolia is another chain in the country. They have tons of books in German and if you are like me comparing their covers in other languages, this store should be fun. That being said, Tyrolia’s English collection was a sorry state, it was barely even a rack.
Stephansplatz 5, Vienna
There are several second hand bookstores in the city with great deals and if you know German and are a student looking for academic books, you should see Manz bookstore on Kohlmarkt. I went there looking for fiction and came back empty handed.
sooffwegoApril 21, 2018 at 6:33 pm
I always have to check out the bookstores in every city I visit. As much as I hate to admit it I do judge them a little based on their architecture etc. Thanks for sharing these. I can’t wait to visit Shakespeare & Co. this summer when I am in Vienna.
IshitaApril 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm
Thank you so much for reading 🙂 you will love it! Have a great day x
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thewonderer86September 23, 2017 at 11:41 am
Love browsing in bookshops. I can while away hours doing that.
IshitaSeptember 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm
Same 🙂 Only yesterday I did it.
brilliantviewpointAugust 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm
This was fantastic. Like you, I love to stop in bookstores while I travel. Thanks for the beautiful photos too. http://Www.brilliantviewpoint.com
IshitaAugust 19, 2017 at 10:57 am
So wonderful to know that. Checking your blog now
Manja Mexi MovieJuly 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm
It’s lovely to see Vienna again, and especially Shakespeare & Co. I spent many hours in there and bought all my Robbinses and Vonneguts. I remember more English bookshops there at the time (until 1996, haven’t returned since) but don’t remember any details. The ones you found, Leporello, Frick and Tyrolia, don’t ring any bells, but I wasn’t buying German books. I loved the area around Shakespeare & Co. as well. Great memories.
IshitaJuly 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm
Trip down memory lane for you….. I’d love to go to this bookshop again. I couldn’t find more English stores in central Vienna. I am pretty sure there are in the Univ area though
LynJuly 16, 2017 at 2:31 am
How very interesting that there are so many bookstores in one city. I especially like the look of the Shakespeare & Company one as it has such an old world look and brings back some great memories of yesteryear for me. How easily one can lose hours in a great bookstore. Now days, it tends to be more my library for me. Books!! reading!! as vital as breathing.
IshitaJuly 16, 2017 at 11:59 am
Thank you Lyn. Indeed yesteryear…..Hope you are better. Will revert to your email today 🙂
PostcardsenderJuly 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm
I love wandering through bookstores!!
IshitaJuly 16, 2017 at 11:58 am
Best way to spend time I think
ascholarlyskaterJuly 15, 2017 at 6:34 pm
I definitely expected Viennese bookstores to have more of an old-world feel to them. But that was probably naive of me.
IshitaJuly 15, 2017 at 6:56 pm
Yeah I know what you mean.
TanjaJuly 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm
I’ve been to Shaks& company:)
IshitaJuly 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm
Did you buy anything?? its pretty no?
TanjaJuly 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm
I just had a look around:)
davidrpharmerJuly 15, 2017 at 2:50 pm
IshitaJuly 15, 2017 at 3:01 pm