Don’t get us wrong, New York has its fair share of incredible stores and boutiques, with everything from homeware to fashion to ice cream and everything in between. However, there’s just something to be said about European stores that stock a vast an eclectic range of fascinating accessories, food, kitchen items, and clothing. A European vacation should never be too far away when you feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, which is why we wanted to shine a light on the shopping options available in Zurich.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and contains an amazing mix of culture, nightlife, and scenery, but we are focusing on the shopping side. You’ll be glad to hear that a flight to Zurich can be completed in less than eight hours direct from NYC, which sometimes feels quicker than a car ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan!
We’ll highlight a few must-have Swiss things that you have to buy when you take a well-deserved vacation to Zurich. Great areas like Seefeld, Bahnhofstrasse,
Niederdorf, and Kreis Districts 4 and 5 are all worth a look, but here’s what you need to pick up on your travels.
What’s more interesting than knowing the time with an adorable cuckoo clock? While it’s true that we can see the time on pretty much any device, from the microwave to phone to laptop, it’s always nice to be old school with a real wall clock. Swiss cuckoo clocks look like a traditional wooden ski chalet, and while most have the typical bird popping out every hour, it’s also possible to have different designs such as St. Bernard dogs, flowers, or even people dancing. These clocks, as you might expect, feature impeccable craftsmanship and wonderful music, and can be small enough to fit inside a suitcase on the flight home.
It’s true that a cuckoo clock might not be for everyone, which is why we can also suggest the famous Mondaine clock at Zurich railway station. If you arrive at this train station, then it’s impossible not to notice this iconic clock. Created by Hans Hilfiker in 1940, this simple but elegant design is eye-catching and fits in any home. The clock also contains a somewhat unique movement, in that it will tick normally for 58 seconds, then stop for two seconds and continue. Don’t ask why, but people seem to love it for this reason. It still displays the correct time, so don’t worry about any malfunctioning!
What kind of a visit to Zurich would it be without trying all the delectable chocolate available there? We’re not talking about a melted and squashed Mars Bar from your bag, but instead, a tasty, handmade chocolate that is simply a party in your mouth. You can’t go wrong with anything freshly made from Lindt or Sprungli, but honestly, there are dozens of artisan chocolate shops all over Zurich that sell anything from truffles to milk chocolate and even white choc. Whatever your fancy in chocolate, there’s something for you, but don’t forget to try the macaroons and marzipans as well, as these types of delicacies are hard to find in the U.S. A gift box with a delicious range of chocolates is never a bad present to bring back to someone at home (maybe one for yourself as well).
It sounds wacky, but the Swiss have been involved in the art of timekeeping for over 500 years! Wristwatches are somewhat newer, but the sophisticated designs and incredible inner workings of Swiss watches can’t be beaten. From Rolex to Omega to even Swatch, pretty much every watch brand you know comes from Switzerland. Bahnhofstrasse is famous for many luxury brands in fashion and accessories, so it’s a good place to check out your new dream watch. Of course, a lot of these watch brands are available practically all over the world, but it feels somehow right to buy one from where it all began. Find a model that fits your style and budget and roll with it.
Naturally, the Swiss take their cheese as seriously as their chocolate! It goes without saying that they’ve devised all sorts of wonderful contraptions to help enjoy the hundreds of delicious cheeses made in Switzerland. One such invention is the Raclette maker. Raclette is a type of Swiss cheese that is full fat (better to have on your cheat day) and is finely melting for the meal. This type of cheese has been eaten in Switzerland for nearly 700 years, and the idea of the meal is to cook meat (or vegetables if you’re a vegetarian) and potatoes on the upper electric grill, then use the sliding devices under the heat to melt the great cheese. You can then pile everything onto a piece of baguette bread or just eat alone.
The melting cheese is not only yummy to eat and a wonder to smell, but the entire experience is meant to be enjoyed with others at the table. The Raclette maker brings out good times and everyone can cook at their own pace with several sliding plates able to be stored under the grill. Trust us, you won’t regret this purchase. At this point, your suitcase is probably about to burst, but we think there’s enough room to fit all those wonderful Swiss items on your flight back to New York.”