If you are in Vienna, Austria, want to buy books but hate to spend money at a chain book store, then finding independent bookshops in Vienna should be your first choice.
Luckily, Vienna does have quite a number of excellent independent bookshops. Most of them do not have a huge selection of English books but, if you are here for a few days, most can order any English books you need and get them for you within 24-72 hours.
One of my favorite independent bookshops in Vienna, however, is Hartliebs Bücher, known in English as Hartliebs bookshop. It’s cute, it has a small selection of English books (but the staff can order anything else you might need), they often have sales racks located outside the shop and, oh yes, the staff speaks English and they are lovely. If you are looking for German books, of course, their selection is quite good.
Located in the 18th district of Vienna, in the Wahring area of the city, and just a few minutes on the train from the Westbahnhof train station, the Währing location of Hartliebs is actually one of two as they have a second branch at Porzellangasse 36, Wien, 1090.
There are also several other lovely independent bookshops in Vienna.
Phil, which is a fabulous cafe and coffee shop with delicious food, also has a good selection of books. Shakespeare and Company is one of the oldest independent bookshops in Vienna, and has a great selection of everything from history to art, politics to literature, economics to business.
And, if you are looking for art books, Wofrum Books is absolutely superb.
If used books is your focus, YELLOW has a lot and their prices are excellent (plus they have a good selection of new paperbacks and hardbacks). And, if you love a beautifully designed independent bookshop with high ceilings, and a lovely vibe then Anna Jeller is a place you should go.
For more information on Vienna’s independent bookshops, you really should visit Eclectic (At Best). The blog owner has some excellent information about a myriad of Vienna’s small bookshops and, even though she wrote this post a couple of years ago, much of the information she gives is still relevant.