Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Zurich
Zurich is the biggest city in Switzerland and is among the country’s top destinations; this wonderful city is home to some amazing cultural institutions, museums, and natural wonders. Despite having a relatively small population, Zurich is one of the world’s most important financial centers and is known for its high quality of living.
Zurich is widely regarded as one of the richest cities in the world, with commercialism being a major driver of the city’s economy. Moreover, residents of Zurich generally enjoy excellent earnings and wealth. Thus, it’s no surprise that shopping is a famous activity for both locals and visiting tourists. In fact, the Swiss city is gradually establishing itself as a retail destination.
While it may not be up there yet with Milan or London, the city has enough spots to make shopaholics drool. Shopping in Zurich may be a bit expensive but it is topnotch and can be quite diverse – you can find anything from international chain stores and luxury brands to Swiss-made items and sustainable products. If you’re planning to visit this lovely city for some retail therapy, check out our guide on what you need to know about Zurich shopping.
Before heading out, don’t forget to keep your hands free by storing your belongings in a Zurich luggage locker. You can easily and safely deposit your bags in one of the luggage storage options across the city and come back for them after you are done with your shopping.
Best Shopping Streets and Districts in Zurich
Undoubtedly the most popular shopping street in the Swiss city, the Bahnhofstrasse is the ultimate retail destination and a must-visit when shopping in Zurich. Often referred to as the world’s most expensive shopping boulevard, the Bahnhofstrasse connects the Main Railway Station with Lake Zurich and is mainly a pedestrian-only zone frequented by both locals and tourists.
Bahnhofstrasse has a good mix of international brands alongside household names and department stores in Switzerland. The shopping street is known for having outlets of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, including the likes of Burberry, Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. If you’re not looking to do some shopping, you can still stroll along the street and enjoy views of the lake.
Part of the city’s Old Town, Neiderdorf, referred to by locals as Dörfli (meaning “little village”) is a pedestrian-only zone that is home to a wide range of interesting sights, shops, cafés, and restaurants. Unlike other shopping streets in the city, Niederdorf caters more to small and independently-owned businesses and boutiques, such as arts and crafts stores, bookstores, and souvenir shops.
In the evening, Niederdorf transforms into a nightlife and social hub as pubs, clubs, and bars open up and start offering drinks. Street artists also come out and provide live performances and entertainment throughout the night. Every end of August, the shopping street also serves as the venue for the famous Dörflifäscht festival, where market stalls are set up throughout along Niederdorf, DJs play music throughout the day and various shows take place.
Rennweg & Storchengasse (Old Town)
Located in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town, Rennweg runs from Bahnhofstrasse up to Lindenhof and is one of the prime shopping destinations the city has to offer. The pedestrian-only zone is also the second most exclusive retail area in the city, second only to Bahnhofstrasse; the street is home to international chains and Swiss heritage brands.
Another popular shopping street within the area, not too far from Rennweg, is Storchengasse. Located north of Münsterplatz, the area is home to some high-end brands, toy shops, regional products sellers, chocolatiers, and more. One of the most famous shops in Storchengasse is Sibler, a concept store that sells household essentials, including furniture, tableware, furnishings, décor, and kitchen utensils.
Another must-visit store located in the area is Neumarkt 17. This contemporary furniture store is set in three connected townhouses and boasts a maze of uniquely designed rooms filled with one-of-a-kind beautiful modern furniture and homeware.
One of the oldest streets in Zurich, Strehlgasse is located on the left side of the River Limmat and is known for its unusual homes, all of which are not built at right angles. The area is home to a number of local shops and independently-owned boutiques. However, the main attraction in this up-and-coming shopping street is the iconic EnSoie store.
A well-established name in Zurich's fashion scene, its predecessor was once a sought after silk producer, supplying customized fabrics for some of the biggest fashion labels in the world during the 1940s. In 1974, Monique Meier, who was then a team member, took over and renamed it to EnSoie. Today, Meier's daughters continue to run the store; aside from their signature fabrics, EnSoie also sells unique ceramics, jewelry, and clothing.
Part of the Industriequartier, Zurich West is one of the hippest shopping areas in the city. Before becoming the cultural hotspot that it is today, Zurich West was once an industrial district where ships and motors were built and where numerous factories operated. Over the years, the district was slowly converted into a mecca for shopping, dining, design, and architecture and is home to some of Zurich’s most popular retail spots.
Perhaps the main attraction for shopping in the district area is Freitag’s flagship store, which opened in 2006. Often regarded as the coolest concept store in the city, the building is made using 19 shipping containers stacked on top of each other. Founded in 1993, Freitag is known for its unique, one-off bags made using old truck tarps. If you’re hoping to secure one of the brand’s recycled tarpaulin bags, you can find a selection of unique designs in their flagship store in Zurich West. Other renowned Zurich shopping spots in the area include the IM Viadukt and Gerolds Markt.
Part of Zurich’s district 8, Seefeld is one of the best city’s best shopping areas if you are looking for trendy stuff, hard to find brands, and personalized items. The neighborhood is located near the Zurich Opera House, which is just a short walk from the city center. In addition to the on-trend boutiques and shops, Seefeld is also home to some historic attractions, lovely parks, restaurants, and bars.
One of the must-visit retail spots in Seefeld is N°2 (pronounced as Number Two), a one-stop-shop where you can find a carefully selected collection of products that all fashion and design enthusiasts will love. At N°2, you can shop for impressive apparel from more contemporary designers, stylish accessories offerings, beauty products, out-of-the-ordinary objects, candles, and more. The store also doubles as a furniture shop where you can find restored pieces and vintage furniture.
During the holidays, Seefeld also hosts an annual Christmas market at the Sechseläutenplatz Square, where hundred of vendors put up stalls to sell seasonal food and drinks, souvenirs, and other cool finds.
Best Shopping Malls in Zurich
The Glattzentrum, also known as the Glatt Shopping Centre, is one of the most popular shopping malls in Switzerland. Situated in the Glatt Valley, just outside of Zurich, Glattzentrum boasts over 90 stores and specialty shops along with 14 total bars and restaurants. Here, you can find anything from fashion items and designer clothing to jewelry and electronic goods. Additionally, the mall hosts a range of events throughout the year, such as book festivals and Christmas-themed programs.
Despite being located outside the city center, the Glattzentrum can easily be reached using public transport; from the Zurich Main Train Station, you can get to them all within 20 minutes either via the S-Bahn or public bus. Those who have their own vehicles need not worry about parking as the shopping mall has its own on-site parking lot with over 4,500 spaces that can be used for free.
Shopping in Zurich would not be complete without checking out the iconic IM Viadukt Arches. No doubt one of the more unique retail spots in the city, the IM Viadukt is a 550-meter-long shopping hall found underneath the 19th century railway viaduct arches that extends from the Hardbrucke station all the way to the banks of Limmat River.
IM Viadukt has over 30 shops scattered across the street, with independent boutiques and concept stores being the focus rather than the big brands and chain stores. For foodies, there is a specialty market hall in the heart of IM Viadukt; this popular delicatessen offers cheeses, fresh bread, cured meats, and other delicious regional and imported food products.
Jelmoli is a well-known department store in Zurich and is located along the prominent Bahnhofstrasse shopping street. Founded in 1833, it is one of the city’s oldest retail spaces and should be part of your plans for shopping in Zurich. Jelmoli is credited as the first to introduce the concept of fixed or no-haggle pricing as well as offering a mail order catalog.
After expanding rapidly due to the extreme popularity of the store, Jelmoli started to notice a decline in sales during 1900s. This resulted in the other stores closing down except for the “glass palace” in Zurich, which has remained a shopping mecca in the Swiss city.
The massive department store has six floors filled with shops, restaurants, cafés and its very own food market. Thousands of well-known local and international brands have set up shop at Jelmoli; you can find all kinds of products including clothes, jewelry, accessories, electronics, delicacies, and much more.
One of the more recent additions to the department store is SPOTLITE, which is a 550-square-meter space described as a "shop-in-shop" with an emphasis on sneaker-related names, sportswear and streetwear. SPOTLITE carries more than 45 brands, including the likes of New Balance, North Face, and ASICS. Furthermore, the shop serves as the exclusive stockist of streetwear favorites such as Awake NY and Bathing Ape.
Letzipark Shopping Centre
If you are looking for a one stop shop in Zurich, the Letzipark Shopping Centre (known locally as Einkaufszentrum Letzipark) is the best option for you. Located along Baslerstrasse, the mall caters to the needs of all types of shoppers, with 50 individual stores offering all sorts of products. At Letzipark, you can find a wide variety of clothing items, sports stores, a furniture shop, electronic specialists, shoe stores, and more. If you get hungry after doing some retail therapy, the mall also has several snack bars, restaurants and fast food chains where you can grab a bite.
One of Zurich’s biggest shopping malls, the Europaallee Passage is a vibrant retail spot with a variety of shops to choose from. Situated in the neighborhood of Europaallee, right next to the city’s main train station, the massive mall is known for its collection of clothes stores and outdoor gear.
At Europaallee Passage, you can find a range of fashion stores, a famous bicycle shop, a skating and streetwear specialist, yoga and activewear, and a boutique for hiking and travel gear. Moreover, the mall is home to hair salons, restaurants, a movie theater, a book store and arguably the busiest Starbucks outlet in the city.
Built on the ground of a former paper mill, Sihlcity is more than just a shopping mall; the facility has nearly 100,000 square meters of rental space and is an excellent choice for those looking for entertainment while in the city. Sihlcity has a huge shopping center filled with international and local brands selling a variety of products.
In addition, you can find numerous bars and restaurants as well as an on-site cinema. For guests traveling with kids, you’ll be pleased to know that the mall has a children’s activity center equipped with facilities such as a toy zoo, craft station, and a reading bus.
Shopping in Zurich
With all the choices available, shopping in Zurich is a wonderful experience to have, especially if you are someone who likes to buy and spend. The Swiss city has no shortage of trendy districts, malls, and department stores to satisfy the needs of even the biggest shopaholics.