Local time Geneva



Shopping in Geneva

You'll likely do as much window shopping as buying in Geneva, as the city centre encompasses both wildly exclusive designer boutiques and high street staples. Watches are its hallmark and you could spend days browsing Swiss brands from Swatch to Patek Philippe to Raymond Weil. Under this glittering veneer there are alternative gifts to be rooted out in the city's independent stores and markets.

Key areas

Geneva's exclusive shops centre around 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. Head to the Old Town and the St-Gervais and Pâquis districts for a stroll around the antiques quarter and art galleries, or Carouge for independent clothes shops, local artists and artisan food stores.


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 (during spring and summer) are open daily. Flea markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Plaine de Plainpalais (0630-1715 in winter; 0630-1815 in summer). On Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, the same spot is used for a colourful fruit and vegetable market (Tue and Fri 0630-1415, Sun 0830-1815). On Thursday, regional handicrafts are sold at the Place de la Fusterie (0800-2000).

Shopping centres

The main department stores in Geneva are Bongénie, Rue du Marché 34, Manor, Rue Cornavin 6, and Globus, Rue du Rhône 48, whose buzzing food hall is a great place to have lunch alongside Geneva's professional jet-set.

Opening hours

General opening hours for shops in Geneva are Monday to Friday 0900-1900 (Thursday until 2100) and Saturday 0900-1800.


Geneva's clichés exist for a reason, and it's worth indulging them – the chocolate, in particular, is difficult to beat. Spend time salivating over the shelves of Chocolats Rohr on Place du Molard or Martel, Rue de la Croix-d'Or, particularly around Easter when the window displays are real masterpieces. Head to Victorinox on Rue du Marché to pick up a classic Swiss penknife and look out for the intricate silhouettes of pastoral scenes that adorn glassware and fondue sets in the tourist shops.

Tax information

VAT in Geneva is charged at a rate of 7.7% and can be reclaimed if total purchases in a shop amount to more than CHF 300, as long as the purchaser is resident outside Switzerland and the goods are exported within 30 days.

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Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Starling Residence Geneva

Not only does the Starling Residence Geneva boast a supreme selection of 93 modern, clean and restful rooms and studios, but the staff are amongst some of the best in the business. With flatscreen TVs, free Wi-Fi and free travel cards all available, this is the best budget accommodation in the city.

Le Richemond

Gigi author Colette enjoyed her own suite at Le Richemond, one of Geneva's most established high-end hotels. The property rewards visitors with an enviable setting on the banks of the Rhône and 109 sumptuously appointed rooms and suites. There are also four flexible meeting spaces with its Le Jardin restaurant serving fine Italian cuisine. Additional facilities include a spa and limousine service.

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva

Billed as Geneva's first hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva has been standing on the shores of Lake Geneva since 1834. Modern highlights include a spa and fitness facilities, but the real pull lies in the chance to sample the charm of a bygone era. If you've got the cash, this is arguably the finest hotel in Geneva.

Hôtel Edelweiss

Just a short walk from Lake Geneva, Hôtel Edelweiss is a sensible budget option in Geneva. Decorated in the style of a Swiss chalet, the hotel offers 42 rooms and a Swiss-style restaurant, where evening entertainment and folk music are provided for the guests. All rooms are en suite and equipped with telephone and mini-bar. There is also a small business centre and free Wi-Fi access.

Crowne Plaza Geneva

The Crowne Plaza Geneva hotel is just a short ride from the airport and offers 366 rooms. Other facilities include a fitness room. International cuisine is served at Seventy5, brunch at the Café Jardin and snacks at Le Bar. The hotel has an extensive range of conference and banquet facilities for up to 1,200 people and also offers a free shuttle service to and from the airport.

Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Geneva

Located in the International Centre Cointrin (ICC) business complex the Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Geneva is situated just 0.8km (0.5 miles) from the Palexpo Exhibition Centre and 15 minutes' drive from the city centre. Trendy types and the business community enjoy this mini-city which provides everything from an airline check-in desk and discotheque to a casino piano bar and business centre. In short a solid bet in terms of price and location.