Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2007, 12:00am

Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse (right) meets you at the city's main railway station. It is an unmissable, tram-filled road lined with shops that runs down to the crystalline waters of Lake Zurich. Start walking and it's hardly a challenge to find Swiss timepieces, but if you want to combine style with practicality, head to evergreen Swatch (No 94, tel: 41 044 221 2866). The Boomwave watch (120 Swiss francs/HK$780) is a startling swathe of psychedelic purple and turquoise swirls. For something more subdued try the Blue Choco (70 Swiss francs), with chocolate-brown strap and blue face.

For accessories of a more fragrant kind step into Osswald Parfumerie (No17, tel: 41 044 211 2030). Wooden floors and curved counters make sashaying through the shop a treat in itself, before you even consider goodies courtesy of Vera Wang, Comme des Garcons and Annick Goutal.

For the ultimate in one-stop shopping, aim for perhaps Switzerland's most beloved department store. Manor (No75, tel: 41 044 229 5699; is filled with food, wine, gadgets, home accessories and top-quality fashion, with many labels from Italy. For another fashion hit make for Diesel (No48, tel: 41 043 497 2280). Its current denim collection features a burst of retro colours.

For something to wear underneath head for Paradeplatz, which veers off Bahnhofstrasse, and Blue Lemon Intimates (10 Paradeplatz, tel: 41 044 210 3635). Soft cotton underwear sets for women in white, black and flesh go for 59.90 Swiss francs. Separates are ideal for lounging around in after a day's sightseeing or skiing.

Besides hosting snow sports and making watches and chocolate, Switzerland is noted for producing stationery. Many department stores have dedicated stationery sections but, back on Bahnhofstrasse, Landolt-Arbenz (No65, tel: 41 043 443 7700) is devoted to the stuff. Painting sets, pens, leather wallets, photograph albums and gift sets made by dedicated designers cram its shelves.

Schweizer Heimatwerk (No2, tel: 41 044 221 0837) reminds visitors which country they are in by offering a plethora of products bearing the Swiss flag. Among them are a deep earthenware fondue pot (left; 98 Swiss francs) and matching plate (left; 25 Swiss francs). But if you really want to take a bit of Switzerland home with you, pick up a purse (49 Swiss francs) or bag (162 Swiss francs) made from the fabric of discarded Swiss Army blankets, which are hard-wearing enough to see you through a full-on shopping trip.