Shopping in Switzerland is considered to be more expensive than in other European countries and restricted in choice. However, there is now a great variety of supermarkets (the largest being Migros and Coop and the smaller, cheaper ones are Lidl, Aldi, Denner) that offer fresh local produce. All of your other shopping requirements will be met quite easily in your high streets. Switzerland does not have a great culture of “mall” shopping which you may be used to from home, but there are a few larger shopping centres that are well worth a visit.



Opening hours are more restricted here than in either the UK or US. Smaller supermarkets in villages close for the lunch period. On Saturdays most of the shops close at 5pm, some at 4pm, and in the smaller villages at 4pm. In Zürich city the shops stay open longer – until 7 or 8pm in the main shopping district. In Lucerne, the shops close at 6pm and at 4pm on Saturdays. Supermarkets are generally open from 8am till 7pm daily.

The two main supermarket chains are “Migros” and “Coop”. Migros mostly sell their own branded food and don’t sell alcohol or tobacco, which Coop does! Both stores offer loyalty cards – Migros has the “Cumulus Karte” (cumulus card) and Coop the “Supercard” which are well worth having. With the Cumulus card you are awarded vouchers which you can then use as cash to pay in the shop and with the supercard from Coop you can shop at Coop City and pay with your points or choose something from their catalogue or even turn your points into air miles. Application forms are available from the customer services desks.


Switzerland organic food

Oganic Food

Organic food in Switzerland is called “Bio”, there are specialised shops selling Bio as well as the farm shops. The “Reformhaus” is the major organic food store. The farm shops are also well worth a visit and found everywhere. Specialty foods can be bought in the gourmet shops like Globus, Jelmoli and Manor Food. There are also a number of ethnic shops available.


Clothes Shopping

Generally the shops in the high street are open from 9am till 8pm during the week. The biggest and finest department stores in Zürich are “Globus” and “Jelmoli”, where you will find a good selection of everything. “Manor” is also a large department store. For clothes also try “PKZ’, “Modissa” and “Esprit”.



There are a number of local markets that are well worth visiting if you enjoy fresh, local produce or organic food. There is a market in Zürich on Tuesdays and Fridays on the “Bürkliplatz”, close to the lake (6am – 11am). Go along and have a look at what’s on offer – everything from flowers to farmer’s products.