Shopping in Zurich
Zurich's main street is the world-famous shopping avenue Bahnhofstrasse. Here
are a mile and a half with exclusive and expensive stores such as Bottega Veneta
in No 25, Louis Vuitton in No 30, Chanel in No 39 and Cartier in No 47 in
addition to all the chain stores. Here you can look at the price tags on the
Rolex watches in the show windows and heaven with the eyes that someone is
willing to spend 180000 kroner to pass the time, or you can go in and buy one.
The Löwenstrasse parallel street is also one of Zurich's leading shopping
Most of us will probably feel more at home in the Niederdorf area of
Zurich's Old Town, where there are a number of smaller shops.
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Most of these have apparently existed since the 16th century.
Niederdorfstrasse and down to Oberdorfstrasse and Limmatquai by the river are
mandatory for shopping tourists, but be sure to look through the many side
streets too! You can suddenly stumble across a small favorite store tucked away
in an alley.
What to buy?
The most typical items tourists buy with them from Switzerland are
undoubtedly watches, pocket knives and chocolates. Swiss watches have become
synonymous with precision and quality, and there is almost no upper price limit
for the most exclusive, such as Rolex and Omega.
Admittedly, you can find cheap wristwatches in Zurich, but if the price is
under 40 Swiss francs, or 200 kroner, then it's probably Asian imports. The most
affordable Swiss watches are the well-known Swatch brand, and the M-watch.
The pocket knives, or Swiss Army Knifes as
they are called internationally, are also one of Switzerland's foremost
inventions and merchandise. As the name suggests, they were made quite right for
the Swiss army in 1891. You can buy these high-quality knives from Riethmüller
AG at Bahnhofstrasse 31, or less expensive variants at the tourist shops. And
don't bring it with you in your luggage when you get home!
Swiss chocolate is considered one of the best in the world,
and is a top seller in the tourist shops, or at the biggest grocery stores Coop
and Migros, which have a huge selection on their chocolate shelves. The best of
Swiss chocolate is found at the traditional Confiserie Sprüngli in
Bahnhofstrasse 21, which is also Zurich's oldest bakery. Alternatively, visit
Teuscher in Storchengasse 9.
On Bahnhofstrasse are two of the city's largest department stores. The
traditional Jelmoli has existed since 1833, but today is in sharp competition
with the modern Globus.
However, Zurich's most popular shopping center is probably Shop Ville under
the train station, which is one of the few places that is actually open seven
days a week, from 0900 to 2100.
At Bürkliplatz at the south end of Bahnhofstrasse, and at Helvetiaplatz west
of the train station, flower and vegetable markets are organized every Friday
between 0600 and 1100. On Saturdays there are all kinds of groceries sold at
Bürkliplatz from hundreds of small stalls.
Also check out the Arrivals Hall at the train station on Wednesdays, as the
gourmet market with Swiss food products is kept in focus.
Generally about shopping in Zurich
The shop opening hours are usually from 0900 to 1830 or 2000 on weekdays, and
from 0900 to 1600 or 1700 on Saturdays. On Sundays, most are closed, with the
exception being Shop Ville.
Don't forget that you pay 7.6% VAT and that on all purchases over 400 Swiss
francs, or about NOK 2000, you can get a refund of the VAT on departure. Not all
stores have a VAT refund scheme, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the
entrance to buy expensive products. Remember to bring a completed and stamped
form and receipt.
Many associate Swiss food with fondue. Fondue is usually based on cheese, but
is also offered with oil or chocolate. If you want to try this out, we can
recommend Adler's Swiss Chuchi, at Hotel Adler at the
intersection of Niederdorfstrasse and Rosengasse. Prices start at around NOK 150
per person. Table reservation is recommended.
But the dish most typical of exactly Zurich is undoubtedly
Zürigschnätzlets. This is veal in a sauce of cream and wine. As an
accessory, try the roasti, a kind of thick mashed potato pancake. Rösti is also
served as a main course, but is often seasoned with cheese, onions and bacon.
And of course we should not forget the Swiss cheese, or Emmenthal, which has one
of the places of honor in Swiss cuisine.
If you want to try something really local, then find the way to the old
classic Rheinfelder Bierhalle in Niederdorfstrasse 76, which
really meets all your expectations and prejudices about the Alpine country.
Swiss food and cheap beer on the menu, and in the room there are white ceiling
lights and long wooden benches that you would like to share with the sideman. So
arch-Swiss that you almost expect a gentleman with a Tyrolean hat and the
manager's pants to pop up on the table every now and then.
Please note that this room can be quite smoky, at the time of writing the
Swiss have not yet introduced any smoking law.
Another very Swiss but slightly nicer restaurant is Zeughauskeller
in Bahnhofstrasse 28a, right on Paradeplatz. In a 15th-century building, this
basement restaurant has been serving traditional Swiss food for 85 years, often
prepared after centuries-old recipes. Among the city's most fashionable
restaurants is Sein, located in Schützengasse 5, just off the
train station. Sein is known for a creative menu and they also have a good
selection for vegetarians.
Zurich is also home to Europe's first vegetarian restaurant. Hiltl
opened as early as 1898 and is located at 28 Sihlstrasse.
If you are in the daring corner and want to try something completely out of
the ordinary, then choose the restaurant Blindekuh, or at good
Norwegian Blindebukk. Here, blind waiters serve you food made by blind cooks,
and you sit in the steamy darkness eating something you have no idea what is or
what it looks like. What does the interior look like? We have no idea! The
address is Mühlbachstrasse 48.
Drink in Zurich
Switzerland may not be the country you first think of when it comes to wine,
but there are several wine districts in the country. Most are located in the
west of Switzerland, around Geneva and Neuchatel, and in Ticino in the south.
You've probably never heard of any of the brands because it's not exported out
of the country, but Riesling X Sylvaner is a decent and popular
white wine. The red wines aren't the whole world. Read more about Swiss wine !
The Swiss are also enthusiastic about their Rivella, a
locally produced soft drink with carbonated acid, but based on
milk products, thus containing lactose.
Also try the chocolate milk drink Ovomaltine, which has a
tradition of more than a hundred years in Switzerland and which is ever popular.
The largest brewery in Switzerland is Feldschlösschen, which among other
things produces the mild pilsner beer of the same name. At the other end of the
scale you have powder barrel Samichlaus, one of the world's strongest beer
brands at 14%. It is produced (fortunately) only for Christmas, hence the name
called Santa Claus. We also have the sense of the bright Pilsen Unser Bier from
Basel, and Appenzeller's Natural Pearl.