Shopping in Switzerland
There are a few outlets here, and there is no reason to talk about the massive price collapse under the end of the season; shopping in Switzerland is more elite, like everything else in this country. Prices here are higher than the European average, but any product, from lawn mowers to silk shawls, is of the highest quality.
A typical Old Town Shopping Street in Switzerland
The best cities to shop in Switzerland are Zurich and Geneva, in Bern the choice is not so rich. In Geneva, all the best boutiques are concentrated on the shopping streets of Rue du Marche and Rue du Rive - mainly luxury goods are represented here: clothes, shoes, jewelry, watches, etc.
In Zurich, the main shopping alley is the Bahnhofstrasse street in the city center, there are many elite boutiques and curious city attractions, so you can combine business with pleasure. On Niederdorfstraße, which is located nearby, there are many shops of shoes and youth clothing, brands are presented more democratic. Also for relatively inexpensive brands it is worth going to the area of the main railway station.
Another shopping center in Switzerland, oddly enough, is the Samnaun ski resort . It represents one large duty free zone, and many stores offer additional discounts of 15-20% all year round. It makes sense to buy ski equipment and gear, there is also a good selection of clothes and shoes.
Shop opening hours
Most shops in Switzerland are open on weekdays from 8:00 to 18:00 and on Saturdays from about 8:30 to 16:00 with a lunch break from 12:00 to 14:00. This does not apply to supermarkets and large shopping centers - they are usually open all day without a break. On Thursdays, many shops have a long day - until 21: 00-22: 00, and on Sundays everything is usually closed, except for shops at popular ski resorts and the largest shopping malls in cities.
Sales in Switzerland, as well as throughout Europe, are held twice a year - in winter and summer. The winter season of discounts begins on the eve of Christmas and ends in February, the summer starts in mid-July and lasts until the end of August. Discounts are increasing gradually - from 30% and closer to the end of sales reach their maximum - 70%. Swiss shops do not differ even in the season of discounts with great generosity, in many of them the stated 70% is only a bait for buyers: as a rule, nobody reduces prices by more than 50%. There are exceptions - for example, the Globus shopping center often pleases its customers with the biggest discounts in the country (up to 90%). They mainly apply to mass market clothes and women's underwear.
What to buy in Switzerland
Clothes and shoes
Clothes and shoes of popular European brands in Switzerland are expensive. The Swiss themselves prefer to go to update their wardrobe in the neighboring Italy or Germany - prices there are not even lower during sales seasons. To buy women's clothing here is especially meaningless: expensive, and the range is not particularly shine with something interesting. With men's clothing everything is different: the prices for it are quite affordable, often even lower than in other European countries, and there is a good choice. Particular attention should be paid to the brand Boss - business clothes of excellent quality, stylish suits, jackets and shirts at prices below Russian.
Watches and Knives
The watch is a business card of Switzerland and a symbol of reliability throughout the world. There are a lot of brands that produce watches, among the most famous are Rolex, Omega, Tissot, Longines, Patek Philippe, IWC Schaffhausen, etc. thousand.
Fake watches - the situation in Switzerland is almost unbelievable, it is the face of the country, and thorough checks for authenticity take place regularly.
So, you can buy watches both in large shopping centers and in small shops at train stations and street shops - there is no difference.
Prices for watches in Switzerland are fixed and regulated by the state.
The country's largest selection of watches in different price categories - in Zurich.
On the Bahnhofstrasse you can find many luxury boutiques, which sell the most luxurious and expensive models. For democratic brands you should go to the historical center, there are many small shops of local watchmakers. In duty free shops at airports, you can also buy watches, but the choice in cities is much more, so if possible, it is better not to leave a purchase at the last moment.
The army knife is another popular souvenir from Switzerland. They are not very expensive, in contrast to the well-known brands Victorinox, Wenger, Champ and XAVT.
Swiss cosmetics are very high quality and mostly expensive, but their money is definitely worth it. Local laboratories produce excellent lines for different ages, special attention should be paid to cosmetics for mature skin. The following brands have proven themselves:
Susanne Kaufmann - quality spa cosmetics, detox teas and other wellness products. In addition to the beneficial effect on the skin. It has a relax effect even at home (for example, a series based on lavender oil).La Prairie - one of the most famous Swiss cosmetic brands, specializes in anti-aging cosmetics. Many remedies are based on caviar extract, which is included, for example, in the popular “wrinkle filler”. Wrinkles are really smoothed out.Valmont is another brand that offers excellent anti-aging cosmetics. Collagen masks with a lifting effect deserve special love.Declare is a brand known for hypoallergenic products that produces face and body care cosmetics.
Prices by local standards are quite reasonable, especially considering the quality.Louis Widmer - therapeutic cosmetics, which is sold mainly in pharmacies. It specializes in products for sensitive skin and hair, does not contain fragrances and is inexpensive.Toit Bel is another popular cosmetic brand that produces good anti-aging cosmetics, products for problem skin and cosmetics for children.
In Switzerland, make very high quality manicure sets, as eternal as Swiss army knives.
Cheese, Chocolate and Alcohol
Can be found in every Market Store in Switzerland
Swiss cheese is the same brand as Swiss watches. It is sold in any supermarket and in every market, but for the original varieties it is better to go to specialized cheese shops - they are in all cities, usually located in the central regions. There may be a little more expensive, but gourmets will definitely like it.
The country produces about 450 types of different cheeses, the most famous and the most "Swiss" of them - "Emmental", the same cheese with big holes. Gruyere and Washran cheeses are best suited for fondue, and Raclet is especially good in slightly melted form. Another interesting variety - “Appenzeller”, is a hard cheese impregnated with white wine or cider, which gives it a slightly tart flavor.
"Tet-de-Mouans" ("The head of a monk") is curious not so much by taste as by the way of serving: a knife-blade is attached to the head of the cheese, cutting it into thin slices, which fold into tubes.
The second gastronomic symbol of Switzerland is chocolate, it is of very high quality, regardless of the brand. The most popular is dairy with a high content of cocoa butter, it is made both classic in tiles, and with the addition of menthol, nuts, cookies and a wide variety of fillings. The most famous brands are Nestle, Spruengli, Frey, Lindt and Teuscher. The Swiss themselves are most respected by Lindt, and the tourists are happy to take home Toblerone, which is considered to be the unspoken symbol of Switzerland.
Chocolate in Switzerland is sold in supermarkets, but if you want something special, it is better to visit special chocolate shops, which are many throughout the country. The largest of them have more than 500 varieties of different chocolate.
If the French pick up the cheese for wine, then the Swiss on the contrary - wine for cheese.
Switzerland is a mountainous country, so wine production here is 4 times more expensive than in neighboring France, and this drink is rather expensive for everyone except the Swiss themselves. It does not make much sense to carry a Swiss wine with you, but you should try it on the spot: local white wines are usually very light, with deciduous notes, red ones are very soft and neutral, and there are also interesting dessert varieties.
Kirschwasser and Zwetschgenwasser - cherry and plum vodka, as well as herbal liqueur Appenzeller Alpenbitter, which is used as a therapeutic and prophylactic agent, should be tasted from local alcoholic beverages.
Switzerland shopping centers
TC Mall of Switzerland (Ebikon) - one of the largest malls in Switzerland. On its territory there are more than 150 shops, a good food court, a fitness center, a cinema and an indoor surfing park.Globus (Zurich) - one of the most popular shopping centers in Zurich and in the country as a whole. It sells women's and men's clothing, cosmetics and perfumes, accessories and other products. Pay attention to the large grocery store on the ground floor - there you can buy Swiss cheese of different varieties, handmade chocolates, farm products and much more.Shop-Ville Hauptbahnhof (Zurich) is a shopping center located right under the train station. There are many shops of clothes, shoes and accessories, there is a food court and a fitness center. "Shop-Ville" works on weekends and holidays.Cornavin (Geneva) - also an underground shopping center under the station. It sells clothes and shoes of democratic European brands, products (including delicacies) and goods for the road.Bon Genie (Geneva) - a 7-story shopping mall in the city center, where you should come for luxury brands: Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, Jimmy Choo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc.
For products worth going to the supermarket chain Migros and Coop, they are in all cities. Keep in mind that alcohol and tobacco products are not sold in Migros.
Westside (Bern) is not only a large shopping center, but also an example of modern architecture, which has already become a city landmark. It sells clothes and shoes of the average price category (Levi's, H & M, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger), there is a food court, a cinema, a fitness center, a swimming pool and its own hotel.Manor (Lugano) is the largest shopping complex in the city of Lugano. The range is large and quite standard: luxury clothing brands, a grocery supermarket, a large electronics store.
Fox Town, the largest outlet in Switzerland, is located in a place called Mendrizno, near Lugano. There are more than 100 stores of clothes, shoes, accessories, among the brands - Armani, Fendi, Burberry, Bally, Cerutti, CK, Dior, D & G, Esprit, Fendi, Gant, Geox, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Iceberg, Jil Sanders, La Perla, Lacoste, Lee, Wrangler, Levi's, Motivi, Nike and many others.
Discounts are year-round, but not everywhere generous, most stores reduce prices by up to 30%. Big discounts (50% in the usual time and 70% in the sales season) are traditionally offered by Bally, Esprit and Baldinini, but the sizes and models there are usually the most limited. Honest 60-70% also offer children's clothing stores. The easiest way to reach Mendrisio is from Zurich by commuter train, which departs every half hour from the main railway station. From the station you will need to walk for about 15 minutes.
Another good outlet in transport accessibility from Zurich is Fashion Fish . There are brands Schlossberg, Diesel, Jack Wolfskin, Beldona, CK, Puma, DKNZ, D / G, Guess, Marco Polo and others. Discounts are about 30-40%, you can’t usually count on more. In some stores, “an attraction of unheard of generosity” at a rate of 80% happens, but not often and only on some models.
Across the road from Fashion Fish is a monobrand outlet Bally . Discounts on some models there reach 80%, but it is better to expect a maximum of 40-50%. There is also an outlet for sportswear, discounts up to 30%. To get to Fashion Fish from Zurich, you must first get to Aarau, then take the S23 commuter train or bus number 3 to Schönenwerd.
Underground Shopping Area at Zurich Train Station
Mall of Switzerland
In Switzerland, the cult of everything healthy and environmentally friendly, so each city has its own farmers market, and in large cities there are in each district. Flea markets are also popular here, for many of them you can easily find real antiques among the trash.
In Geneva, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a flea market opens on Plenpale Square. There you can find rare books and comics, ancient coins and interior items, vintage clothes and accessories and much more. At the beginning of autumn, the most interesting thing here is that at this time brocante antiquarian salons are on the market, and connoisseurs of old-fashioned come not only from Switzerland, but also from other European countries.
Second-hand bookssellers also have their own market, it is called Marche des bouqu-inistes and also works on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Plenpalet square, and from March to November on Fridorti squares on Fridays.
Zurich also has its own flea market - Kanzlei Flohmarkt, it is located on Kantslai Street and is open on Saturdays from 8:00 to 16:00. There you can find old stuff of various degrees of value - from cartridges for game consoles to Viennese chairs and vintage evening dresses of the 20th century. This place is popular among both tourists and locals, so it’s better to come to the discovery itself: in the daytime it’s usually not crowded, especially in the warm season.
The Bärenplatz market in Bern has existed since the 16th century, and it was then that the first counters were set up and started trading. Today you can buy farm products, fruits and berries, as well as very beautiful (and surprisingly inexpensive) flowers. The market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Lugano is only 20 km from Italy, which has an excellent effect on the assortment of local farmers markets. In addition to Swiss products, you can find Italian parmesan and other cheeses, olive oil, coffee, limoncello liqueur, Italian sweets and much more.
When leaving Switzerland, you can return - up to 8% of the money spent on goods. The minimum amount from which VAT is refunded is 300 CHF in a store with a Tax Free Shopping sign. It is necessary to fill the Global Refund Check check at the box office and present it along with your passport and purchases (in undamaged packaging - this is important) at the airport before leaving for home. The money will be returned immediately in cash or within a few days to the card with which the purchases were paid (the term depends on the conditions of the bank that issued the card).