Whether you like a handsome department store that caters for your every retail whim, a hip backstreet boutique or a fusty vintage store with a line in forgotten fashions, Zurich shopping has it all.
The main shopping area is around the Bahnhofstrasse, which runs from the main station, Hautbahnhof towards Lake Zurich. Fashion chains such as Mango and Zara have taken over much of the lower half of a street that was once a more atmospheric and authentic shopping experience. The brands build in prestige the closer they get to Paradeplatz, the banking area, where classic department stores such as Grieder sits alongside luxury brands like Dior and Chanel.
The old town stretches between Central and Bellevue and is often referred to as the 'Dörfli' by locals. It actually consists of two parts – Niederdorf and Oberdorf. Though something of a tourist trap – fondue restaurants and souvenir shops are common hereabouts –the area has generous offerings of quirky shops such as the Travel Book Shop or Limited Stock.
Originally a run down area full of decaying warehouses, Zurich West – also called 'Kreis 5' or 'Industriequartier' – is quickly becoming the new heart of town. Its main attraction is the 'Viadukt', a stretch of shops, restaurants and bars built into the arches of the old railway viaduct that runs between the bank of the river Limmat and Hardbrücke station. Nearby cult culture and lifestyle area Frau Gerolds Garten offers cute little shops ike Edition Populaire.
Switzerland is of course associated with luxury watches but it’s somewhat surprising to discover that none are made in Zurich. Watch entrepreneur Daniel Dreifuss, one of the most charismatic characters you can meet in the city, is the founder of Maurice de Mauriac, the only watch brand made in Zurich.
'Don't panic, it's organic' says the sign outside this tiny white-painted shop near Schaffhauserplatz. And yes, all the colourful eye shadows, all the glimmer and the glitz, all the creams and fake eyelashes are indeed natural, mostly vegan and a safe haven for the allergy-prone.
This stretch of shops, restaurants and bars is built into the arches of the old railway viaduct that runs between the bank of the river Limmat and Hardbrücke station. It has become one of the places to be in town. During the day, visit the quirky shops (don’t miss Westflügel, a book shop with a carefully curated selection) and buy organic delicacies at the Markthalle.
Albert Kriemler's timeless designs had already risen to fame before Angelina Jolie wore them and he outfitted Princess Charlène of Monaco, but this extra bit of Hollywood glitz put him right in the front row of fashion. If you want the outfit but can't afford it, then this second season shop might be just what you are looking for. There is something for everyone, but real bargains can only be found if you are petite or plus size.
Formerly an online second-hand shop on eBay, Luxury has now become the hottest ticket in town when it comes to high fashion vintage items. They offer one of the best selections of both second hand and new Hermes scarves you might have ever encountered (check online before you visit the shop because they don't have many on display) and much sought-after items like Birkin Bags or Louboutin pumps. Most of their items are used, but in flawless condition - so don't expect any bargains.
Two much loved local shops have joined forces in one of the ateliers lining Frau Gerolds Garten. Edition Populaire finds the things you never knew you needed - beautiful, timeless, from small brands and often handmade - while Townhouse focuses on custom editions and own brand products.
Founder Andy Stutz used to be called the king of silk before he sold his business to a larger fashion group in 2012. And he certainly put the Swiss on the map for his forward thinking scarf design with patterns of butterflies and flowers - always colourful, always abundant, but never cheesy.
Homeware from famed Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, beauty products from the acclaimed Swiss duo Robert & Josiane, beautiful birthday cards and handmade wooden toys for children, plus bags and scarves and picture frames and so much more, all sustainable, all fair trade, a lot of it produced in Switzerland. Now save the world and go shopping!