A shopping tour with even more experiences
Shopping in Kufsteinerland
Shopping in Kufstein is different. But you only truly realise this once you've experienced it for yourself. Narrow alleyways, unusual shops and a cosy flair at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser are the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable shopping tour. We go on a journey of discovery with Vanessa Stitz from the Kufsteinerland tourism association, and get to know the charming city from a very special side. One thing is guaranteed: we'll be back!
All roads lead to Kufstein
"In 1,000 meters take the next exit: Kufstein Nord". The navigation system tells us the fastest way to the city centre. Just a few streets further we reach the large parking garages in the middle of the city. The way there is well signposted, and would be easy to find even without "technological support". Just a few steps further and we meet our shopping partner, Vanessa from the Kufsteinerland tourism association. The "to-do" list has been checked, we've got comfortable shoes on and we're off on a shopping tour through the heart of Kufsteinerland.
Bold, fresh, Trachten Stolzer
The weather reflects our shopping mood: bright sunshine accompanies us on our way to the first shop, in the famous Römerhofgasse. Surrounded by traditional facades and historical paintings, it's the colourful dirndls on the stands that attract our attention. The sign "Flippig, fetzig, frech – Trachten Stolzer" (stylish, cool, cheeky – Trachten Stolzer) arouses our curiosity and we enter the shop.
The wonderful smell of leather reaches our noses. Around us it seems like there are 100 dirndls per square meter. The junior manager, Nina Neuwirth, greets us cheerfully as we look around. She takes us on a small tour through the aisles, and shows us everything there is to see.
From leopard print to cowhide lederhosen
"I wouldn't say that we're a standard traditional clothing shop. We have an unusual range of options for men, women and children", she explains, and shows us one of her highlight products: "These are some men's lederhosen made with cowhide. Actually we originally bought it mainly as an attention grabber for our display window, but in a few days they sold out."
As well as leopard-print dirndls and baby romper suits in a lederhosen look there are also plenty of accessories. Between brightly coloured pumps, eye-catching bags, unique necklaces and hats, Nina Neuwirth explains her philosophy: "We only have a couple of sizes of each item here. After all, we don't want everyone in Kufstein to be walking around in the same dress."
We browser the stands and decide to try on a dirndl and some lederhosen. Nina Neuwirth offers us tips and advice, and dresses us from head to foot.
"At the moment high-neck dirndls with V-necks and stand-up collars are in", explains Nina, and is happy that there has been a trend toward traditional clothing in recent years: "We have more and more young people, who come to us with their grandfather's lederhosen and are looking for something interesting to wear with them. Whether young, old, large or small – we have something for everyone", emphasises Nina Neuwirth. That's more than clear to us after a visit to the stylish shop.
Shopping or coffee?
Still impressed by the unusual traditional clothing shop, we go a few steps further to the next hot spot: "Gitta's Wohnen & Lifestyle" on the lower town square. Customers have made themselves comfortable on the cosy seating corners in front of the shop, and are enjoying their coffee. Because you can do more here than browse the shop - you can also enjoy a freshly roasted coffee and a homemade cake.
We follow our nose into the beautiful, small shop. Gitta leads us to one of the tables and explains what we can experience here: "A unique mix of shopping and drinking coffee is what encourages my customers to stay a while. And maybe also my welcoming nature", grins Gitta, who has been following her creative passion in the shop for seven years.
We look around. There is plenty to discover. We browse the shelves, which are decorated with all sorts of items, as quiet music plays in the background. As well a children's items, Sonnentor teas and cool kitchen utensils we notice a large plate with the inscription "Glück ist die Zeit, in der man sie vergisst" (Happiness is when you forget about time).
"The Reder crockery with wise sayings is very popular with my customers", reveals Gitta, as she serves us freshly-baked "Linzeraugen" (Linzer biscuits) and coffee. Gitta's business is not simply a shop, it is a place to enjoy and make yourself comfortable. And you can also find the right gift for any occasion – guaranteed!
Shopping with musical highlights
We leave the unique shop and wander along colourful buildings and past the fortress. The beautiful weather fills the tables under the umbrellas, and people wander slowly from one shop to the next. We soak up the beautiful atmosphere. "You have everything here that you need. Unusual shops, homely cafés and chill out areas in Fischergries. And all of it can be reached in a few minutes’ walk", enthuses Vanessa from Kufsteinerland.
Suddenly church bells ring out, followed by a ten-minute organ concert. We look toward the church tower as Vanessa explains: "Every day at 12 noon, after the church bells are rung, the giant Heroes' organ, with 4,948 pipes, is played. A highlight that only Kufstein has." And already we're in front of the next shop.
The many facets of enjoyment
The name: "Naschwerk". The products in the display window: "clearly ambiguous". Between the handmade chocolates there is eye-catching lingerie decorating the display window. Time to take a closer look at this unusual shop.
Anita Blunder welcomes us warmly. Her lively manner gives the small but attractive business a special charm. While the right-hand side attracts attention with eye-catching bikinis and colourful lingerie, it's the chocolates on the left side that draw us in.
"You can enjoy many things. Whether sweet chocolates or beautiful lingerie", explains Anita, who has been running the unique shop since 2010. Fairtrade is important to her, and tells us that she focuses on start-up companies as she gets out her current favourite item. "This is by two young designers from Salzburg, who decorate their organic and fair-trade underwear with Austria's mountain peaks. Like Großglockner or Hochkönig.
To complement that I would recommend a squirrel-shaped chocolate, which is made by a chocolate manufacturer from Germany on marble panels, and simply tastes delicious", smiles Anita, who has one more fun experience in store for us with her stories: "Often I have – how should I put this nicely – helpless men come into the shop who want to surprise their partners with lingerie. When I ask them about the size they often look at my chest and say 'my wife's are a little bigger or smaller'. That always makes me laugh.
Life is much too short to take it seriously", says the shop owner, who lives out her passion in the shop. After the interesting stories and experiences we cross the road and reach the next shop.
High-proof for the palate
Cool air flows out as we open the door to the Kronthaler distillery. It's the only distillery in the city that has this wide a range of products, explains Roland Wechselberger, who continues the schnapps distilling tradition with his wife. "The shop has been in the family since 1949. Its speciality is more than 50 types of schnapps, liqueur and rum. We make it all ourselves", emphasises the distiller.
It's not just the quality and variety of the products (though there are around 500 different bottles in the shop), but also the personal advice and years of experience that brings customers back to Kronthalers over and over again. "We send our products all over Austria and Germany. The longest journey was a schnapps that we sent all the way to America", says Roland Wechselberger proudly.
The centrepiece of the distillery is a large, round shelf behind the counter. Here you can taste the schnapps or liqueurs. As well as the elder berry schnapps, "Festungsgeist" (fortress spirit) and raspberry vanilla liqueur, the homemade apricot brandy is also very popular", Mr Kronthaler tells us. And if you're looking for a gift there are also sweets to supplement your selection. What could be better than enjoying a piece of chocolate with a glass of schnapps? We ponder this as we leave the traditional business.
A delicatessen for books
Most people aren't sure what to expect from the name "Weningers Feinkost". But a look in the window reveals a little more: DVDs and music albums decorate the display alongside books for adults and children. The door stands welcomingly open, and Thomas greets us as we look around. "Welcome to my kingdom, make yourself at home! What would you like to drink?" Thomas Weninger asks us.
We go on a journey of discovery with our coffee and biscuits. Accompanied by quiet music we browse around and read some of Thomas' "finely selected delicacies". "I want my guests to feel comfortable here" says Thomas.
Almost every corner has a cosy seat cushion where you can browse a book or get expert advice. "Advice is important for books. I only sell books that I've read myself – selected specialities for customers from 0 to 99 years", emphasises Thomas.
We were particularly impressed by the children's book corner with soft toys and puzzles. "That's the centrepiece of my shop. My mother is a children's book author and I sell her popular books here. But not only that - there are also "accessories" such as toys, pacifier chains etc. available. On the topic of the children's corner: the "Pauli books" by Thomas' mother are a bestseller.
And it's not only the many readings that attract customers, there are also regular events. "Every year I hold around 30 events here. From seminars to readings. From home cinema to workshops. There's something for people of all ages", reveals Thomas, before we say our farewells and leave his peaceful oasis.
Because not all shopping is the same
Kufstein is different. At the latest after this adventurous shopping day we more than agree. It's the small shops, which are run with a lot of attention to detail, dedication and passion, that make shopping in the city at the foot of the Zahmer Kaiser special. In addition to this is the romantic "city" ambience with the traditional, colourful buildings and a view of the fortress.
All these things make a shopping day in Kufstein an experience. But one thing is clear: you need to experience it for yourself. So: hop in the car or on the train and get to Kufstein!