Zürich in 5 Shops: Local desingers, thrift shop finds and Swiss cheese
15.11.2023 - 00:14
In our 5 Shops series, we’ll point you in the direction of our favorite independent shops across some of the world's best cities. From food markets and bookshops to vintage and homegrown design stores, we’ve found a diverse and exciting mix of local retailers where you can pick up one-of-a-kind pieces.
Zürich, Switzerland’s financial beating heart, is a beautiful city for casual wandering. On your perambulations around its charming Old Town or through the industrial-turned-trendy Zürich West neighborhoods, you'll notice an appealing range of shops. From swanky brand fashion boutiques to brockenhaus (thrift shops) where you can sift through the trash for treasure.
As a writer on Lonely Planet’s Switzerland guidebook, I’ve tracked down some of the city’s best independent shops – all superb places to pick up unique souvenirs and consumer treats that won’t break the bank.
As befitting a country famous for the quality of its design, the history of Switzerland is beautifully presented at the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum). Having taken in the exhibitions, you can’t beat the museum’s amazingly stocked shop for picking up a little piece of Switzerland to take home. There’s the fantastic range of postcards (Sfr 2–2.50) and museum-related books and gifts you’d expect, but also key pieces of local design, from Freitag bags made from recycled truck tarps to the stylish knits of Beige. Among the shop’s most popular items are Heidi illustrated books (Sfr 13.90) and the REX vegetable peeler (Sfr 8.50), an iconic and practical piece of kitchen equipment that no Swiss kitchen is without.
Kreis 4 was once a dodgy red-light area best avoided. That all changed with the construction of the slick Europaallee office and shopping development that has Google as a main tenant. Fitting right in with the on-trend vibe is Die Macherie (The Makers), the brainchild of Chelsea Morrissey and Stefanie Sixt, a couple of architects turned product designers. They’re part of a collective of (mainly) Zürich-based designers who showcase their products in this shop. Pick up one of Morrissey and Sixt’s reflective Sputnik weatherproof backpacks (around Sfr 229) or the porcelain cups by Studio Sediment printed with charming illustrations by Annina Schaeubl (from Sfr 39) There’s also contemporary fashion and accessories from Gaffer & Fluff, Velvet Novel and Sode. Morrisey also runs regular kokedama (moss ball) workshops at the shop.
There’s nothing I love more than rummaging around vintage stores and thrift shops. Surprisingly, given it is one of the country’s wealthiest cities, Zürich has plenty of them – and the best of the lot is the social enterprise Zürcher Brockenhaus. Founded in 1904, this three-floor treasure house
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