Designer clothes, jewelry, watches, perfume and shoes: Shopaholics will be in their element on Bahnhofstrasse. Zurich’s major thoroughfare runs 1,530 yards (1.4 kilometers) through the center of the city. The stretch from Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the main train terminal to the north, down to Lake Zurich is pedestrianized, except for trams. Allow yourself two or three hours to walk the length of Bahnhofstrasse.
Among the more than 90 shops here you’ll find famous designer names such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Mont Blanc and Prada. This is one of the world’s most opulent shopping boulevards and it’s said the further south you go on Bahnhofstrasse, the more exclusive the stores become.
Clothes and accessories are just one aspect of Bahnhofstrasse. Restaurants, cafés and upscale bars flank the full length of the street. Chocolatiers such as Läderach Chocolatier Suisse will delight with their confectionary goodies. Stock up on gifts and sip an indulgent hot chocolate while you watch affluent locals go about their shopping. Visit boutiques specializing in stationery, lingerie and leather goods. There are also pharmacies and department stores, florists and galleries.
If you appreciate style in all areas, hone in on Bahnhofstrasse’s architecture and art. Many of the buildings are fine examples of 19th-century grandeur; Das Haus zur Trülle at Bahnhofstrasse 69, for example, has a gloriously elaborate roof. Also watch for monuments such as the marble Rebekka-Brunnen Fountain, located close to Lake Zurich.
Approximately halfway down Bahnhofstrasse is Paradeplatz (Parade Square). Aside from being a busy tram interchange, this is where many of the Swiss banks’ headquarters are located.
Some visitors begin their walk at Zürich Hauptbahnhof, strolling south down Bahnhofstrasse. If you’re heading from the east or the south of Zurich, catch a bus or tram to the Bellevue stop. Cross the Quaibrücke bridge and then walk north up Bahnhofstrasse.