Where to Do Shopping in Geneva
Switzerland is considered to be one of the most expensive countries to make shopping. However it does not stop those who is deeply in love with the process of buying things. SUISSEPIC reviewed opinions of locals and expats and chose the best places to perform shopping.
Shopping in Switzerland is always related to buying things of good Swiss quality such as jewelry and watches. However alpine climate and the cows who are definitely happy with their lives there, put chocolate and cheese among the most popular consumer goods. And of course Swiss knives famous for their functionality are “must-haves” for almost every household. Kidding here. As for clothing, it’s not cheap, especially for those who comes to Switzerland from non-EU countries and seeks for getting a tax-free refund. First of all you have to spend at least CHF 300 to get tax refund considering the fact that VAT amount of your purchase is just 8%. For example, in Italy you can ask for tax refund spending over EUR 155 having in mind that it will be over 20% for fashion goods.
“Travellers are eligible for a tax refund after shopping in Switzerland when spend over the minimum purchase amount of 300 CHF” (GlobalBlue)
Another important fact that most of the shops in Switzerland close after 19h00 on weekdays and after 18h00 on Saturdays with a day-off on Sundays. Shops are organized similarly throughout the country. You will generally find smaller specialty shops in the older parts of town with larger stores and shopping centers in the newer parts of cities.
Shopping streets and areas
Geneva’s city center has plenty of fashion boutiques. The main shopping streets are Rue du Marché, Rue du Rhône and Rue du Mont-Blanc. You can feel world’s best perfumes while walking from one luxury store to another. Brands have their boutiques here. They are Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Gucci etc.
Rue du Rhône is the luxury boulevard. Here you can find premium mall Globus. All the brand are presented under one roof here. The seven-store Bongénie department store is a home for high-street favorites including Mango, Benetton, Massimo Dutti and Hugo and Swiss souvenirs on Rue du Marché.
Rue du Mont-Blanc is the best area in the city to buy Swiss pocket knives, quality cigars, leather goods and other traditional Swiss crafts.
Rue Basses and Rue de la Confederation have many fashionable clothing stores too. Here you can find jewelry and designer clothes, and famous watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Rolex.
If you’re looking for art or antiques, Geneva’s Old Town is the place for you. Grand Rue is the primary street with a great number of small antique shops and private galleries.
Department Stores and Malls in Geneva
Globus is premium shopping center in Geneva. It has plenty of designer labels and gourmet grocery goods under one roof.
Manor besides the main train station Gare Cornavin is a part of the biggest department store chain in Switzerland. There you can find clothes, food, household goods, cosmetics and electronics.
Balexert is the largest mall in Geneva with 100 designer boutiques, a grocery store and a movie theater.
Goods at more democratic prices should be found in the outlet of Le Mouton A Cinc Pattes.
Markets in Geneva
If you’re looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, local products or vintage items explore some local markets or ‘marche’ as they say in French. Remember, French is really important in Geneva.
One of the biggest flea and grocery markets is at Plainpalais. Open mostly on weekends. The second-hand clothes, jewelry, candles, antiques and books are sold here. Walking around you can also taste street food from all the corners of the world.
Another popular outdoor market is at Boulevard Helvetique and Rue des Grottes. Here you can find fresh local fruits, berries, vegetables and mushrooms. One of the most diverse and lively markets is at Place de la Fusterie. Here the tourists and local citizens enjoy the lively atmosphere buying organic fruits, vegetables, cheese, spices, handmade products, including candles, lights, dolls, games and clothes.