Shopping in Geneva
Chocolate, watches, penknives – souvenir shopping in Switzerland comes with certain clichés attached. Geneva, however, offers far more than the predictable.
Geneva's exclusive shops centre around the perimeters of the Rues Basses - the chic Rue du Rhône, Rue de la Confédération, Rue du Marché and Rue de la Croix-d'Or. Watch and jewellery shops line these streets quite literally with gold. For a lightweight gift, excellent Swiss chocolate is sold at Du Rhône, Rue de la Confédération 3, and at Martel, Rue de la Croix-d'Or 4. Meanwhile, for a stroll around the antiques quarter and art galleries, a visit to the Old Town and the St-Gervais and Pâquis districts is in order.
Geneva has many outdoor markets. The flower market on the Place du Molard and the clothes and book market on the Place de la Madeleine are open daily. Flea markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at the Plaine de Plainpalais (0800-1800). On Tuesday and Friday mornings, the same spot is used for a colourful fruit and vegetable market (0800-1300). On Thursday, regional handicrafts are sold at the Place de la Fusterie (0800-1900).
The main department stores in Geneva are Bon Génie, Rue du Marché 34, Globus, Rue du Rhône 48, and Manor, Rue Cornavin 6.
General opening hours for shops in Geneva are Monday to Friday 0830-1900 (Thursday until 2100) and Saturday 0800-1800.
VAT in Geneva is charged at a rate of 7.6% and can be reclaimed for single items purchased for SFr400 or more, as long as the purchaser is resident outside Switzerland and the goods are exported within 30 days.