The best places to shop in Lausanne
There are several fashionable clothing stores in the area above the main train station in Lausanne. Some of the most interesting shopping is around the area of Place St François. From there you can also meander along Rue de Bourg. Place de la Riponne and the Lausanne Flon area are also very good places to explore for shopping. In each of these areas, exclusive clothes and shoe boutiques are found alongside international high street chains.
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Crissier, to the west of Lausanne, offers extensive out-of-town shopping. In La Côte, the Aubonne Outlet Centre is worth a visit for branded bargains. Ikea (FR) is also located in Aubonne. Vevey, Montreux, Morges and Nyon all have appealing smaller specialty shops, ideal for browsing and gift shopping.
Shopping for essentials
For clothes, the main department stores in Lausanne are Globus, Manor (DE/FR/IT) and Bongenie. The main supermarkets are Coop and Migros. Aligro (FR/DE) sells food, beverages and household items both in regular size and in bulk. Aldi (DE/FR/IT) is a global discount supermarket chain.
Shopping across the border in France
Shopping in France is very popular amongst Lausanne residents, who regularly shop over the border for better prices at general stores and weekly markets. However, it is important to take note of the customs regulations and limitations on bringing goods into Switzerland. The tax-free limit is CHF 300 per person but there are some special regulations concerning certain goods carried across the border.
Cost saving tip: The VAT (Value-added tax) on items purchased outside of Switzerland can often be reclaimed. Information leaflets are available at customs offices at border crossings. Note: L and G permit holding residents cannot claim VAT.
Markets in Lausanne
There are many weekly and seasonal markets in Lausanne. The Lausanne City Centre has weekly markets selling fresh local produce and regional specialities on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Mondays and Thursdays there is another food market on Boulevard de Grancy. On Thursdays a flea market takes places in Place Chauderon and a second-hand market takes place at Place de la Riponne. On the first Friday of each month, check out the crafts market at Place de la Palud. From April to September there is also a Sunday market in Ouchy.
Outside of Lausanne, there is a market at the lakeside in Vevey on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and yet another in Morges on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Nyon also hosts a flea market at the lakeside on the last Sunday of the month. Visit Region du Leman Tourism to find more markets in the Lausanne region.
Shop opening hours in Lausanne
Shops in Lausanne are generally open Monday to Friday from between 08.30 or 09.30 and 18.30 or 19:00. Many smaller shops also close over lunch from around 12.00 – 13.30. Large department stores such as Globus are open until 19.00 Monday to Friday. On Saturdays shops close at 16.00 or 18.00. Most shops in Switzerland are closed on Sundays although the branch of Migros in Ouchy by the lake opens on Sundays from 08:30 – 21:45. Kiosks and shops at the main train station or at large petrol stations are also open all weekend.
For flexible hours and to avoid crowds, try shopping online for groceries at LeShop or Coop@Home. Zalando (DE/FR), Laredoute (DE/FR) and Koala are a few good options for clothes and shoes. For gift ideas, try visiting Geschenk Idee (DE) and sort through their wide collection based on the person you are shopping for.
Useful information on shopping in Switzerland
- In most occasions, grocery carry bags must be purchased at the store or brought from home.
- Customers pack their own bags at the grocery store.
- Shopping trolleys require a CHF 1-2 coin deposit.
- Fruit and vegetables are available pre-packaged and priced or loose to be weighed. For non-priced items, place them on the scale, enter the item's corresponding code and print the price tag.
- Sales are held twice annually in January and July.
- Many shops offer loyalty programmes and regular discounts. For tips on living cost effectively in Lausanne, read the article Discounts and saving money in Lausanne.
- Many shops accept both CHF and Euros but change for Euros will be given in Swiss Francs.