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Kreis 1 Shopping

In the Altstadt, Zürich's Bahnhofstrasse is a worldwide phenomenon, attracting shoppers with gold cards from all over the globe. Across the river in the Niederdorf, smaller stores and vintage shops offer some debt relief and many items you won't find anywhere else.

It's telling that Bahnhofstrasse starts out as a pedestrian zone near the train station and offers access to cars at the exclusive end near the lake - there's still no real parking, but there is enough room for your driver to hover while you shop. The busy foot-traffic-only section has four major department stores, two of them high-end, and chain boutiques. Down the street toward and beyond the exclusive Paradeplatz, it's worth investigating the side streets, especially In Gassen and Storchengasse, where smaller shops host all the big designers. In the Niederdorf, the main arteries are all pedestrian-only: Limmatquai, Marktgasse, Niederdorfstrasse, and Rindermarkt/Neumarkt.

Best Time to Go

Saturday is the busiest; stores are closed Sunday, as are some smaller boutiques and shops on Monday. Locals stream out of offices and onto the nearby shopping streets at lunch, between noon and 2 pm. The biannual sales, in January and July, offer some real discounts and are worth a look.

Refueling

Recharge with a chocolate truffle or an elegant sandwich at Sprüngli, Zürich's top café at the corner of banking and luxury shopping. You'll find your money goes a little further at Odéon, where a younger and hipper crowd nibbles on steak with herb butter or salads; the lunch special is always a good deal. At both these places, grab an outdoor table in warm weather and watch the chic crowds stroll by.

Best For

Zürich's Finest

AHA: if there's someone on your list who already has everything - except their very own mirage box.

En Soie: for that silk Doris Day ball gown you've been looking for, only in lime green with pink accents.

Grieder: the chicest collections for men and women looking for understated elegance.

Pastorini Spielzeug: devoted to old-style playing: wooden toys, detailed dollhouse miniatures, and kids' tools for making handicrafts.

RAZZO: get last year's suit or vintage dresses at prices that won't shock you.

Chocolate

Sprüngli: exquisite examples of what can be done with a cocoa bean.

Teuscher: fabulous chocolate; beautiful wrapping. For very special gifts.

COOP: avoid hokey, yodely packaging and go for the yummy flat bars for the best price/quality ratio.

Updated: 08-2013

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