Geneva is a beautiful Swiss city located along the banks of the impressive Lake Geneva, one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes. Several international institutions and United Nations agencies are headquartered in the city, including the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, UNCHR, and CERN, one of the world’s most respected and prominent centers for scientific research.
Besides being the home to countless world-renowned companies and organizations, Geneva is a perfect base to discover Switzerland’s great outdoors. But if you want to stay within the city center, a day of cultural exploration (such as in museums) and shopping in Geneva will give you pure delight.
Start your adventure at Rues Basses, the city’s commercial heart and famous shopping district. It encompasses several shopping streets, such as Rue de la Confédération and Rue du Rhône, filled with high-end boutiques, vintage stores, restaurants, and other dining areas. If you still have places to visit after your retail therapy, you can leave your shopping bags and suitcase at a luggage storage facility in Geneva. That way, you can see more of the city without dragging your things around.
Top Geneva Shopping Streets and Areas
Place de la Fusterie
Located in the city center, Place de la Fusterie offers a unique shopping experience to locals and visitors. Though the exclusive shops in Geneva center around the areas, such as Rue Du Marche, Rue De la Croix-d'Or, and Rue du Rhône, Place de la Fusterie is also home to some renowned brands in the city. Numerous international fashion brands you’ll find here include the French-owned Boutique Morgan and COS and local favorites like Audemars Piguet.
Every Tuesday and Friday, the area transforms into a colorful marketplace. The Place de la Fusterie shopping market becomes a shopping temple with vendors selling books, festive gifts, and carefully crafted handmade objects like candles, dolls, games, and lights. If you want to try local favorites, you can buy cheeses and chocolates or make your food using fresh produce you can buy from the outdoor markets.
Place du Molard
Place du Molard is a vibrant square in the heart of the city. It is one of Geneva’s oldest commercial areas dating back to the 16th century. The area around the square was an economic center with foreign exchange and customs offices, warehouses, hotels, and crafts shops. Today, Place du Molard hosts a myriad of big-brand stores, small boutiques, and souvenir shops. In addition to top-class shopping, the square also offers great restaurants and hotels.
The highlight of Molard Square is the iconic Molard Tower, constructed in 1591. It has undergone reconstruction several times; the last occurred between 1906 and 1907. It is said to be a remnant of the defensive wall used to protect Molard’s port in the Medieval era. At night, the entire square lights up with illuminated cobblestones in the paving that looks like a starry sky on the ground. Twice a week, Place du Molard transforms into a buzzing outdoor flea market where you can buy local products and delicacies.
Rue du Rhône
If you’re looking for luxury shopping in Geneva, the Rue du Rhône is one of the top places to go. Historically, the street used to be a gathering spot for horse dealers. But today, it’s a haven for shopaholics and fashionistas wanting to fulfill their longings for luxury items. So get your wallets ready, as it will be challenging to resist temptation from the top brands lining the street.
No matter what your heart’s desire is, you’ll find it here, from watches and jewelry to fashion. Some of the international retail outlets and Swiss designer stores you’ll discover at Rue du Rhône include Cartier, Dior, Bally Genève, Gübelin, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, and many more. You can also stop by the Du Rhône Chocolatier, which has been making exceptional chocolates since 1875.
If you’re done shopping or just need a break, check out the Malbuisson Clock. Since 1962, this fairytale creation has been amusing passers-by every hour with its small mechanical display. It’s a celebration of the creative talents of the city’s renowned watchmakers.
Rue du Marché
One of the best shopping streets worth exploring in Geneva is Rue du Marché. It’s a traffic-free shopping area with bookshops, fashion stores, electronic stores, and department stores with clothing, homeware, and shoes. Some of the unmissable places here are the Bongenie Geneva Store, Bershka, Chanel, a gift shop, and several other boutiques selling women's clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
Rue du Mont Blanc
Shoppers interested in authentic Swiss arts and crafts and mementos should head to Mont Blanc street, an appealing shopping area for the best souvenirs in Geneva. It’s also often regarded as Rue du Souvenir due to the many well-known souvenir shops in the area. You can buy the Swiss Army knife, chocolate, cuckoo clocks, porcelain cows, and other handcrafted items. It makes it a beloved spot among tourists looking for gifts and local products that will remind them of their visit to Switzerland.
Apart from the Swiss collectibles, there are also nice bistros and cafes in the area. You can meet with friends or relax while sipping a hot cup of coffee.
The Old Town
Get lost in the sea of lovely stores and shopping facilities in the charming Old Town of Genova. It’s where you’ll find hidden treasures among the cobblestone streets, historic buildings, intriguing museums, art galleries, secret passageways, and small squares. But before heading to your shopping destination, take the time to admire Geneva’s Saint Peter’s Cathedral dominating the Old Town. It’s a significant historical landmark constructed in the 12th century.
At the center of the Old Town is the Place du Bourg-de-Four, a must-visit square where the Roman marketplace used to trade their wares. Today, it’s a favorite tourist destination with amazing shopping opportunities, especially for those looking for antique items. Walk around Bourg-de-Four to see numerous coffee shops and restaurants with open-air seating, typically full of people enjoying its authentic, historic atmosphere.
Best Geneva Shopping Centers and Department Stores
The Confédération Centre is one of the city’s newest recreation and shopping destinations, boasting a mix of shops, restaurants, pop-ups, and entertainment. Whether you’re looking for health and beauty products, food, home décor, or fashion, the shopping center has independent labels, international brands, and up-and-coming names under one roof.
If you get hungry, take the lift to the second floor, and you’ll discover a whole level dedicated to dining. The food court has numerous food stalls for dine-in or takeaway. Plus, there’s a bar you can drop by for refreshing drinks. When you’re feeling bored, go straight to the entertainment complex for an immersive movie-viewing experience.
Location: 6, 10, Rue de la Confédération 8, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland
Everyone in Switzerland probably knows what Bongénie Grieder is. It is a store chain with over 17 branches spread throughout the country. You can find one of its most luxurious shopping centers in an iconic location in Geneva. Locals and shoppers say that entering Bongénie Grieder welcomes a new world of style and elegance.
Inside the seven-floor department store, you will find several premium brands and designer labels like Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Mani, and Maxmara. There are also shops selling clothing, jewelry, accessories, and watches, as well as plenty of restaurants and cafes with a wide range of flavors. The shopping center is open every day except on Sundays.
Location: Rue du Marché 34, Geneva, Switzerland, 1204
No shopping trip in Geneva would be complete without visiting the Globus, located at the city's heart. You can find almost everything in this famous department store with multiple floors. Whether for fashion, cosmetics, or a food spree, you can make every second of your visit worthwhile.
On the ground floor of the building, you can find a fresh selection of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish stalls, and even a bakery. Also on this floor are the large watch and cosmetics sections. If you want to satisfy your fashion needs, then the upper floors contain many brands to browse from. There's also a clothing department for men, women, and children. Aside from these, the store has a wine bar and restaurant for those wanting to take a needed break.
Location: Rue du Rhône 48, Geneva, Switzerland, 1204
Manor Geneve has been in business for more than 61 years since it opened its doors in September 1961. For years, it has maintained its title as one of Geneva's go-to places for shopping and entertainment. The shopping mall has an area spread over 22,000 square meters and is six stories high.
You can enjoy many activities in Manor Geneve, from fashion and entertainment to food. Make sure to visit the Manor Food supermarket and enjoy new varieties for your grocery shopping. There are plenty of stores like appliances shop, bookstores, and so much more. To complete your shopping experience here, you should try the food from the Manora restaurant, where you can enjoy the view of Geneva on a panoramic terrace.
Location: Route de Corvanin, 6, Geneva 1201, Switzerland
Balexert Shopping Centre
In 1971, the Balexert Shopping Centre started operations in Geneva City. Now, it has become one of the best classic malls that locals enjoy visiting in the area. Here you can find over 130 shops, ranging from fashion, food, entertainment, movies, and even healthcare services.
Aside from the usual shops and brands you can find in a typical mall, Balexert Shopping Center is unique in its bowling alley, not to mention that they also have billiard game rooms. The mall opens its doors daily from 9 AM to 9 PM, making it a great place for both friends and families to spend the day.
Location: Avenue Louis-Casaï 27, Geneva, Switzerland
Best Markets in Geneva
Marché de la Madeleine
The Madelaine Market is a small farmer’s market in the heart of the city. Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, Rue de la Madeleine transforms into a lively marketplace with merchants selling an array of objects, clothes, jewelry, accessories, arts, and handmade items. These can be purchased at excellent prices, so you can buy more without breaking your wallet. Take your time browsing the colorful stalls to find something for your taste.
Location: Rue de la Madeleine, Place de la Madeleine, Geneva, Switzerland
Plainpalais Farmers Market
If your idea of shopping is to explore expansive flea markets, don’t miss the chance to visit Plaine de Plainpalais during the market days. Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday, the large open space in the city district of Planpalais becomes more colorful and energetic with the opening of the Plainpalais Farmers Market. It’s the biggest flea and farmers market in the city and a famous meeting point for merchants and shoppers.
It's a feast for the senses as thousands of tastes and aromas will embrace you at the fresh market. It is an ideal place for those looking to buy seasonal fruits, quality vegetables, and farmers’ products. You can guarantee that the prices are lower than the products at supermarkets but with better quality and more variety.
Apart from the local treats and delicacies, the food stalls also offer common favorites from different countries like Spain, Peru, and Mexico. You can buy falafel, pancakes, cakes, kebab, wine, and other refreshments.
Location: Marché aux puces de Plainpalais, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Enjoy the Best Shopping Experience in Geneva
Getting ready to head to Geneva Airport? You’ll likely go home with bags full of unique gift items, souvenirs, and luxury items if you indulge in a shopping spree in Geneva. After exploring the city’s best museums, art galleries, monuments, and historic buildings, wander around the shopping streets and browse high-end Swiss brands.
Beyond the high-end international brands and designer labels are independent stores, local shops, and hidden gems worth discovering. Even if you’ve been to Geneva multiple times and call it your second home, you’re guaranteed to find something new and secret shopping places waiting for you.