Americans love road trips. Americans love shopping. So, it seemed only natural that we fashionistas would combine our two favorite pastimes and plan a mini road trip through Eastern Europe, all in the name of shopping.
The plan was to start in Prague, travel through the Czech Republic into Austria, then Slovakia and end up in Budapest.
As usual, we wanted first class accommodations without a first class budget. We booked through Fly With Class, a first class travel concierge, and got our first class air at 70% off. With that, we were off!
After a week digging through antique stores in stunning Prague, we thought we’d lessen the blow of leaving the majestic city by punctuating our journey to Budapest with shopping. We decided a road trip with stops along the way was the best solution. We also decided to book with Blacklane Limousine – an established car service in the UK that had just expanded to Prague. With Blacklane’s excellent reputation for professional service and luxurious cars we were ready for classy travel.
We departed Prague early in the morning (9am is considered early when on vacation) and within an hour found ourselves amidst a picturesque Czech countryside. After a few bathroom and snack breaks (we stocked up on Oplatky, Czech spa wafers, for the ride) we arrived in Vienna for our first shopping break.
After fueling up on wienerschnitzel (when in Vienna…) we headed for 7tm. A confined shopping triangle with 36 boutiques dotted along several small streets just off of Mariahilfer Strasse… 7tm is the place in Vienna for off the beaten path fashion. Our favorite finds were beautifully draped silk trench coats, studded clutch purses and chunky knit scarves.
Our second stop was Julius Meinl am Graben, a massive food hall and delicatessen. The Viennese answer to Harrods’ food hall, aka heaven, is the perfect foodie shopping destination. Sprawled over two levels of retail space, plus a wine cellar and cafe, we found unique jams, mustards and pastries that were almost too pretty to eat (almost).
After a few hours of the full Viennese experience of food and fashion, we were back on the road, through Austria and en route to our second shopping destination: Bratislava.
While less sophisticated than it’s neighboring city, Vienna, Bratislava is still worth a stop. The best shopping to be had is through one of the city’s outdoor markets. We found delicious street food, Slovakian wine , ceramics and glassware. Farmers venture from their rural villages into the city bringing with them homemade cheeses and freshly grown produce. Mileticova (or Central) is the market to hit – it runs every day, but is largest on Saturdays.
The sun was low in the sky when we finally piled back into our Czech Skoda car, ready of the last leg of our road trip. We were en route to Budapest. All in all, the journey was nothing like an American road trip. It was better.
Fly With Class
Zinckgasse 20-22, Vienna 1070
+ 43 0 1 890191612
Julius Meinl am Graben
Graben 19 1010 Vienna, Austria
+43 1 5323334
Mileticova 54 (Kosicka), Bratislava
Written by and photos by Guest Contributors Chloe Popescu & Iris Friedman for EuropeUpClose.com
After having huge success with both a jewelry line and clothing line, mother-daughter writing team Iris Friedman and Chloe Popescu have united their passions for travel and fashion to write about shopping, style and culture across Europe.