Shopping along Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, which many refer to as the most expensive street in the world, is a shopper’s paradise.
Shopping along Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, which many refer to as the most expensive street in the world, is a shopper’s paradise. Equally as desirable are the many designer boutiques that lie hidden along the narrow streets of Old Town, between Bahnhofstrasse and the Limmat River; and today, the trendy district of Aussersihl is popular with the locals and tourists alike. Beyond the world-class shopping for high-end items and quirky local gifts, the atmosphere is relaxed and posh, while also being easily accessible and meticulously clean (as you would only expect in Switzerland).
Zurich’s Old Town is home to a number of smaller traditional shops and stores, and today, Zurich-West is a whole new experience with the larger local brands such as Freitag (Grüngasse 21) and many more unique products that can only be found in this area. Handcraft stores, antique shops and bookstores in the Niederdorf as well as on Schipfe, one of Zurich’s oldest districts, make for a great day of shopping. With plenty of desirable places to sneak away for a coffee and sweet treat when taking a break from shopping; the entire Zurich shopping experience is beyond compare. In fact, the only limit to all of the exclusivity found while shopping along the streets of Zurich is the long-standing tradition of all shops being closed on Sundays (with the exception of the shops in the railway station, as well as the shops at the Zurich Airport). Rosenhof (Rosenhof Markt) is an opportunity for those looking to dig deeper into the local scene across the Limmet. The markets are open between March and December with international vendors, as well as many local Zurich fashions, accessories and gifts – not to mention the food vendors to make it worth the excursion away from the Bahnhofstrasse. When conversing with several people who travel extensively around the world, Zurich is always a destination that brings a smile to their face, and they are eager to talk about why it’s such a desirable city to visit for the true shopping experience. Franz Carl Weber Toy Store (Bahnhofstrasse 62) is an old-world toy store that has been a long-time piece of history in Zurich; with another favorite being H. Schwarzenbach Mercantile (Münstergasse 19) for the delicious specialty dried fruits, organic nuts, sweets, exotic coffees, and exceptional wines that they’ve sold for over 100 years
Underneath the shade of the linden trees, the Bahnhofstrasse extends 1.2 kilometers from the Central Train Station (Bahnhof in German) to Bürkliplatz, and is sure to never disappoint locals and tourists in search of a truly unique European shopping experience. It’s come a long way from the days of early development along this route back in 1864, and has certainly seen a great deal of change and evolution. Largely traffic-free, most of the traffic today on the Bahnhofstrasse is by foot, which allows for a genuine Zurich adventure complete with highend shopping, hidden boutiques, cozy cafes off the main walkways and Swiss charm.
Old Town & Niederdorf
Nestled in between Bahnhofstrasse and the Limmat River, Old Town (Altstadt in German) is another area not to be missed when strolling the streets of Zurich. Among this beautiful medieval background that looks to be pulled directly out of the pages of a fairytale – culture, history and the modern-day shopping and dining options come together here seamlessly. The eastern portion of Old Town is known as Niederdorf, and maintains the unmistakable European charm of Zurich, but is today the ultimate destination when looking for a variety of restaurant and club options to satisfy all ages and desires.
This area of District 4, known as Aussersihl, is one of the newer hip places to visit when in Zurich. The district is comprised of three quarters: Werd, Langstrasse and Hard. While all three districts are getting better each year, Langstrasse is one you might want to still avoid at night when traveling with families. Along with District 5, these areas were thought to be areas to avoid at all costs not too long ago due to the high crime rate, prostitution and drug dealing. However, as we see in so many cities, these areas are now among the collection of hip places to see, and be seen.
Top 10 Quintessential Zurich Experiences
(Werdmühleplatz 4) is the Zürich label for street and snow wear that has managed to become a local favorite because of the unique combination of retro designs with contemporary functionality.
(Limmatplatz 7) is a cozy and stylish place to catch your breath and enjoy some delicious food and authentic espresso on the very colorful Limmatplatz, and is only a stone’s throw from the infamous Langstrasse.
(Napfgasse 4) never disappoints with the beautifully decorated desserts and boutique, which provides a great atmosphere for that must-have afternoon coffee, hot chocolate and more.
Confiserie Cafe Sprengli
(Bahnhofstrasse 21) is essential for the chocolate lover, and with so many unique offerings including the melt-in-your-mouth truffles, all ages will fall in love with this Zurich landmark. In addition to this extensive location, there’s also a location in the Bahnhofplatz.
(Bahnhofstrasse 30) is a great upscale department store housed in a magnificent neo-Gothic building. The Griederbar has become a favorite with delicious bites and an idyllic terrace overlooking Zurich’s Paradeplatz.
(Sihlstrasse 28) is the first vegetarian restaurant in the world, according to “Guinness World Records”. The company was founded in 1898 by Ambrosius Hiltl, and is now run by the fourth generation of the Hiltl family. Hiltl Bar has become a favorite after-work destination by the younger generation locals.
(Ankerstrasse 112) is one of the country’s most famous fashion designers, and is internationally renowned as a mistress of couture who designs clothes exclusively made in Switzerland that appeal to the modern woman.
(Bahnhofstrasse 69) is the perfect place to discover the best fashion forward shoes, colorful rain boots, leather handbags and coordinating scarves.
Saus & Braus
(Ankerstrasse 14) has an exquisite range of Zürich and Swiss designer items, with a focus on items being high quality, detailed, exclusive and charming. This department store has a dynamic collection of clothes, lamps, bags, and lifestyle accessories.
(Torgasse 7) is an upscale glove (Handschuhe) boutique with a broad selection of leather, wool and cashmere gloves for men and women. Nothing is off limits here, thanks to the timeless and cutting-edge glove designs to accent any outfit.
And if you liked this story, subscribe to our bi-monthly World Travel Magazine, a handpicked selection of editorial features and stories from Global Destinations, Inspire Me, Insider, Style File, Wellness & Travel, City Travel, Suite Life, At Leisure, Short Breaks and much more.