Shopping in Ticino Where to shop in Ticino

From supermarkets and high street brands, to exclusive speciality shops, there's something for everyone. Shops are organised in a similar way throughout Switzerland, with supermarkets in most neighbourhoods, larger stores in city centres, shopping centres on the outskirts of town, and smaller specialist shops in the older parts of town.

Switzerland shopping information

  • Most shops in Switzerland are closed on Sundays. The only shops open are at train stations, airports, and at petrol stations close to larger urban areas.
  • Shopping carry bags have to be bought, and the customer packs bags.
  • Shopping trolleys require a coin deposit.
  • Fruit and vegetables are available packaged and priced, or loose to be weighed. Each product has a unique code to enter on the weighing machine, which prints the price tag.
  • Sales are held twice annually, in January and July.
  • Many loyalty programs and discounts are offered.

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Shopping in Ticino

Ticino has shopping for all tastes and budgets, with a range of speciality shops, local markets and modern shopping centres. Traditional Italian-influenced cuisine and artisan crafts are a respected and important tradition in Ticino, and there are plenty of unique products to discover.

Shops in Ticino are organised in a similar way to the rest of Switzerland. Large shops and department stores are distributed throughout the city centre, large shopping centres are on the outskirts of town, and smaller speciality shops and boutiques in and around the old town. Supermarkets are within walking distance in most urban neighbourhoods. Shops in Ticino are generally open Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 18.30, until 17.00 on Saturdays, closed on Sundays, and remain open longer once a week.

  • Via Nassa in Lugano is a popular shopping area, with a vast and tempting range of shops in an historical part of town.
  • Ticino is proud of its local food specialities, made using local ingredients and methods. Zincarlin, alpine pasture cheeses, traditional salami, sweet chestnut speciality products, risotto ticinese, farina bona, maize polenta and Merlot wines are all typical of the region. See the article Enjoying Ticino for regular food and wine tasting and showcasing events.
  • Negozio Sapori locali sells a range of artisanal food products from the Vallemaggia region, including cheese, yoghurt, butter, salami and panettoni.
  • The Ascona market takes place all day every Tuesday from April to October at the lake promenade. Local crafts using regional materials such as wool, wood and granite are well represented, as are clothing and textiles and food stalls with regional specialities.
  • The Chiasso market sells food products, new and second-hand clothing and handcrafts. Open Fridays from 08.00 to 17.00
  • The Lugano market offers a vast selection of fresh local flowers, fruit and vegetables, eggs, cheese, delicatessen products and preserves. Open Tuesdays and Fridays from 07.00 to 12.00.
  • The Belinzona market is a popular traditional Ticino event. In the historic old town, colourful stalls surrounded by flowers tempt visitors with fresh seasonal produce, delicatessen specialities, cheeses and local bread.   A range of other products are sold and demonstrated before an audience. The market has become a beloved meeting place and nearby restaurants offer typical lunches at moderate prices. Open Saturdays from 08.00 to 13.00
  • The Piazza Grande market in Locarno specialises in local handcrafted products and gastronomy. Second hand books, music and clothing are also sold. Open every Thursday, from 09.00 to 17.00, and in winter every fortnight.
  • Lugano holds an antique market on Saturdays from 08.00 to 17.00 and Bellinzona a second hand book market on the first Wednesday of the month from 13.30 to 18.00.
  • Wines: Ticino's unique location south of the Alps has contributed to winemaking renown. Merlot wines are the acclaimed speciality and a good accompaniment to local Ticino salami and cheese. Cellar tours, wine events, and wine boutiques offer the opportunity to taste and buy wine. Ticinowine is the regional body for the promotion of quality local wines. See Enjoying Ticino for more information.
  • Artisanal handcrafted products: Ticino is proud of its heritage in producing fine items from local materials that include wood, ceramic, wool, soapstone and copper.
  • Bakeries and delicatessens: Pasticceria Marnin in Locarno and Münger confiserie  are worth visiting for a heavenly taste of traditional baked delicacies including Marnin's award-winning panettone.
  • Artis negozio dell'Artigianato, Cevio represents over 80 artisanal producers selling valuable, original handcrafted marble, granite, ceramics and other products.
  • Pagliarte specialises in processing straw products, an ancient tradition in the region.
  • GLATi - Artigianato del Ticino – is the regulating body for Ticino artisanship and will provide information on any aspect of the sector.
  • Fox Town factory outlet in Mendrisio is 15kms from Lugano: 160 stores sell 250 well-known brands directly to the public. Open on Sundays.
  • Visit for an index of wine cellars and other speciality shops, including watches and collector's items.
  • Visit Terreni alla Maggia, the world's northernmost rice plantation, to see where Swiss rice grows. The alluvial gravel, sand and clay of the River Maggia provide the perfect conditions to cultivate the Loto variety, used in Ticino's typical risotto. Whisky is also produced here. Guided tours are available. Products can be bought at the farm store in Via Muraccio 105 and at the branch Negozio alla Fattoria, in via Ferrara 87, in the centre of Ascona.


Photo: swiss-image/Foto Studio Pagi

Author: Julie Eassom

Julie has worked in relocation for the last 6 years helping expats from all over the world. With personal experience and many years in Switzerland Julie enjoys the challenges in helping people to make a very stressful time enjoyable. She enjoys a busy social life and meeting new people.

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