Shopping guide in Geneva, Switzerland

If you love shopping, then Geneva will be your paradise. From the most prestigious ready-to-wear brands to luxury watch brands and local designers, Geneva will seduce you with the diversity of its proposals and its number of shops per square meter.

Switzerland is famed as a land of banks and financial institutions, so getting local cash from ATMs at banks, train station and within shopping malls should pose no problem. Also, Euros are accepted at many larger stores and places that cater to international visitors. To make your shopping experience complete, also note that the shopping streets are not overcrowded.

Watches and Jewels
Shopping paradise when it comes to watches and jewelery. All the big names in watches can’t wait to introduce you to their designs! From collectable classics to the latest must-haves, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Watches & Pocket watches. Most people will only know the most advertised brands but in switzerland there are probably more than a hundred brands. Don’t worry, if it is written Swiss Made on it, it’s a top quality watch.
Cuckoo clocks. Either mechanical the most traditionnal one and now also battery operated. Made in Germany but the chalet is the traditional swiss cuckoo.

“The best way to avoid temptation is to give in to it.” You couldn’t sum up this chocolatey section any better than that! Explore, savor and let yourself succumb to the numerous quality chocolatiers in an atmosphere of cocoa-dusted indulgence!

Chocolate can be bought at any number of specialty stores, but the stuff at the grocery is just as good for a fraction of the price (Fr. 1-3 a bar). Meanwhile, if you have a place to prepare meals the grocery stores in Switzerland offer the best possible dining deal for your money. For many fresh foods you’ll pay a lot more than you are accustomed to paying in the U.S. or Britain.

Wine and spirits cost much less than in Anglophone countries, and the local stuff is particularly cheap, and not just drinkable but quite good. Some say that the only reason Swiss wines are not well known internationally is that the Swiss drink all of it.

Clothing and accessories
Shopping for clothing and accessories can be disappointing in Geneva. Most offerings are usually expensive and uninteresting, unless you’re really after that floor-length purple fur coat with the rhinestone trim. Geneva is home to several watch manufacturers, and there are many jewelers and horologers with a great selection.

Souvenirs and Gifts
After enjoying a wonderful time abroad, it’s only natural that you’ll want to stock up on souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones. Snap up some fantastic memories to treat your friends and family!

If you are interested in taking back some Swiss souvenirs for your relatives you can find them on the main street, Rue de la Croix d’Or, and also along the main streets leading down to the lake from Gare Cornavin. You should be able to easily find at reasonable prices.

Molard Souvenirs, 1 rue de la Croix d’Or. is a nice little souvenir shop with all the swiss souvenirs you could think of but also many swiss made watches can be found there and is only few minute’s walk from the central railway station.
Swiss Army Knives. Swiza and Victorinox being the two most well-known brands (Prices are same throughout switzerland).
Music Boxes. Related to watchmaking, music boxes are a very traditional swiss made product. The brand Reuge is the most famous one but there are some cheaper ones.

Malls and department stores
The joy of shopping without too much effort! Enjoy the benefits of a selection of shops under the same roof, no need to traipse around for miles to find your favorite brands!

Luxury Boutiques
The city’s most prestigious boutiques will make you starry-eyed! The biggest brands have stores in Geneva and they’ve flung their doors wide open to welcome you in for a serious shopping spree!

Rue du Rhône is certainly the most famous and chic in Geneva; you will really find everything there: from clothing to electronics, from watches to jewelry, from hypermarkets to caviar shops, from cigars to diamonds etc… Everything is not necessarily expensive. even if the street bathes in luxury since all the big brands are there, without forgetting also all its prestigious inhabitants who are only banks, insurance companies, trustees, notaries and many others of this great world. If you pass through Geneva, shopping in the rue du Rhône is essential.
Rue du Marché., a 10-minute walk southwards from the train station, has just about everything. From the traditional to the modern, from souvenirs to household appliances to libraries to prescription glasses. This is one of Geneva’s busiest streets (And don’t get confused because this main street has 4 different names. From East to West: Rue de Rive – Rue de la Croix d’Or – Rue du Marché and Rue de la Confédération), and is kept clean and appealing. Prices are fair for the most part, but checking several stores before buying, or asking a friendly-looking passer-by for shopping tips can’t hurt.
Manor, 6 rue de Cornavin (a few minute’s walk from the central railway station). M-W 09:00-21:00, Th 09:00-21:00, F 09:00-19:30, Sa 08:30-18:00. A department store in the city center where you can buy clothes, food, electronics etc. There is a self service restaurant on the top floor.
Centre Commercial Cygnes, 16-20 rue de Lausanne (near the central railway station). A variety of smaller shops and eateries under one roof a short walk along Rue de Lausanne from the railway station.
Flea market at Plainpalais. each Saturday. If you like flea markets and shuffling through old stuff like vinyl records, books, chinaware etc., especially stuff with a Swiss and French background and happen to be in Geneva on a Saturday (or some Wednesdays), Plainpalais square is definitely where you should head.

The City of Geneva contributes to the operation of 26 weekly markets organized on the municipal territory and distributed in the various districts. No less than ten places host retail markets where fruit and vegetables are sold, as well as many other food products.

The markets for manufactured products are held mainly at the Madeleine and, on Sundays, at the Plaine de Plainpalais. The Plaine de Plainpalais is home to one of the largest flea markets in Switzerland. The artisans of the region offer their products on the Place de la Fusterie on Thursdays.

The city of Geneva is also home to some special markets: the Fusterie book market; the craftsmen’s Christmas market, 15 days before Christmas; the Christmas tree markets, 3 weeks before Christmas.

Buying responsibly
Genevans buy a lot of household appliances, computer products and vehicles, the manufacture of which requires energy and the extraction of materials. These consumer goods constitute the fourth category in terms of the flow of consumed resources. Think about the need to buy a product and then the need to buy a new one. Many unused devices that are still in good condition lie dormant in drawers, can be found on the internet or in second-hand shops, often at a lower price.

Buy second hand goods
To find second-hand items, visit the following sites and addresses: Keep In Use, a website to collect items for free; flea markets, vide-dressing, gratiferia; Materiuum, resource center in Geneva to find cheap materials.

Borrow items instead of buying them
La Manivelle is an object-sharing cooperative that allows you to borrow them instead of buying them: drill, tent or raclette oven – hundreds of objects are available to members. The site allows you to connect different people willing to lend an object for occasional use (drill, telescope, child’s costume, etc.). A map makes it possible to locate the closest neighbors with the desired object. It is also possible to order stickers to put on letterboxes indicating the items available.

Buy more durable goods

Household appliances
SuisseEnergie gives you advice on deciphering energy labels on appliances and on finding the right household appliances.The Fédération romandes des consommateurs tells you how to reduce your electricity consumption.

IT and electronics
Itopie: second-hand computers, repairs, advice, training, data protection, rentals, repossessions, Linux advice; why computing: computers guaranteed for 10 years; Fairphone: ethical and modular smartphone.

The textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry. You can: become aware of the problems of this industry on the Public Eye site; inform you and act for more ethics in the world of clothing on the Public Eye site; favor ethical stores: discover some addresses in French-speaking Switzerland on the NiceFuture site; go to an eco-laundry.

The Transport and Environment Association (ATE) assesses new cars every year according to ecological criteria. It also publishes a guide to buying a utility vehicle according to ecological criteria: EcoMobiListe. Take the AutoEnergie Check and save up to 20% energy and money with your car.

Learn to eat sustainably and locally.

Give your objects a second life
Remember to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle all the waste you produce. To repair your objects, telephones, clothes, computer, electronic devices, etc., consult the site, a site created by the City and the FRC as part of the “Repair rather than throw away” campaign.

“Repair rather than throw away” campaign
In September 2014, the City of Geneva and the Fédération romande des consommateurs launched the “Repair rather than throw away” campaign. Since then, several Geneva municipalities have joined the project: the City of Carouge in 2016, followed in 2018 by Bernex, Grand-Saconnex, Lancy, Onex, Meyrin, and Plan-les-Ouates. This project encourages consumers to have their objects repaired, with the aim of extending their lifespan and thus reducing their environmental and social impact. This initiative also helps support local businesses and local jobs in the repair sector.

The Service Agenda 21 sustainable -City of the City of Geneva, Agenda 21 of the City of Carouge and the Geneva section of the FRC make available on the website of company addresses and d ‘ craftsman are located in their municipality. The list of addresses is not exhaustive, but is called upon to expand and evolve, with the help of consumers. The project is currently limited to ten categories of objects among the most used: accessories (bags, belts…), household electrical appliances, electronic devices, shoes, computers, furniture, telephones, bikes, electric bikes, clothes.

The manufacture of a device uses a large amount of resources and energy (extraction and transformation of raw materials, transport…), not to mention the pollution generated by the production process. For example, making a mobile phone weighing less than 200 grams requires transporting and processing more than a ton of raw material. In addition, the pattern of production and consumption of frequently replaced low-cost items exerts negative pressure on the wages and working conditions of those who produce them. It also generates a large volume of waste. Through their work, repair companies located in the city’s territory contribute to sustainable development, while generating local jobs.