Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Shopping in Zürich is a joy. The city has a host of iconic brands like Sprüngli for chocolate, Freitag for bags and ON for sports shoes, plus the full set of high-end stores strutting their stuff the length of Bahnhofstrasse. There are even free mountain spring water fountains all over the city, so you can refill on the go and stay hydrated all day.
But where do you go when you’re new in town and looking for something a little more original? We show you how to side-step the high street and discover the stores that make Zürich the coolest shopping city in Switzerland.
Love Your Home: Barbara Wick's
Located on Neumarkt in the heart of Zurich’s historic old town, Barbara Wick’s covetable collection of artisan homewares and luxury body products is our first stop when we’re gift shopping for girlfriends. You’ll find lots of locally produced loveliness, including the Cashmere Body line, made with organic milk from goats that live happy, Heidi-style lives high in the Toggenburg mountains.
Looking for a real one-off? The store regularly gives space to local artists to exhibit: uniqueness guaranteed. Barbara Wick belongs to Quartier im 1, a local association that encourages locals and visitors to explore the old town’s quieter back streets and the myriad independent and unique businesses that are tucked away there. From designer jewellery to arthouse cinemas, once you’ve visited Barbara’s you’ll find many other speciality venues on the Rindermarkt, Froschau-, Spiegel-, Prediger- and Brunngasse and around Predigerplatz. A fun way to spend a day, and support the independent retailers that give this city its edge.
Cool and Quirky: Cervo Volante
Old town, new ideas; step away from the main thoroughfares and Zurich’s historic Altstadt is crammed with one-off stores, quirky designer labels and some serious green credentials.
Too much choice? Head to Cervo Volante and discover a carefully chosen collection of ‘local brands with a story.’ Belts and jewellery inspired by fiercely traditional Appenzell sit alongside ethically produced swimwear from Schaffhausen, hand-tooled leather shoes line up next to vegan leather yoga bags and future-proof ‘mindful fashion’ designed to be worn and loved for life.
A Natural Beauty: Green Lane
Careful about what you put in and onto your body? Us too, which is why we love the Green Lane store near the central library in Zürich. Inspired by her time in Italy, where natural cosmetics are increasingly mainstream, owner Lara set up Green Lane in 2015 with a vision of bringing plant-based skincare to a wider Swiss audience.
With one or two exceptions, Lara’s top-to-toe selection is 100% natural, and paraben, silicone and cruelty-free. Her online store offers hundreds of products, but if you want a more tailored experience, call or visit the shop for some personal advice.
Need a little glow? Green Lane Spa will sort you out with all-natural manicures, facials and other beauty treatments.
Creativity, Design and Dining: Im Viadukt
Not just a store but a whole street of them, the Viadukt offers you half a kilometre of creative shopping and dining inspiration in fashionable Zürich-West. Urban and edgy, home to start-ups and pop-ups, it’s a world away from the chocolate-box perfection of the centre and a destination in its own right.