So here is the follow up post to my last post on Planning your trip to Switzerland; with some questions being asked about Shopping and must-do stuff.
Here we go about those questions;
What should I shop, as a souvenir or gift when in Switzerland? and Where?
Umm…before I answer this, here is a disclaimer that Switzerland is much more expensive than you think. However, if you are a non-EU citizen, be ready to ask for Global Blue Tax free options and save some dough on your purchases. Beware, there is a minimum amount you need to spend on a bill to be eligible to get the tax back.
Okay, here a few things popular to be bought:
- Cow Bells: Who could leave Switzerland without these, specially if you are a DDLJ fan! Now the thing is that these are available in all sizes in most souvenir shops, some look brand new and others give an old smokey look. The truth is, all are new and some are painted such. Check their sound before you buy them.
- Cuckoo Clocks: Some believe that the Swiss invented the Cuckoo clock, which is incorrect. The credit should actually go to Germans in the Black Forest region. What the Swiss did was given it the ‘chalet’ shape, which is the most popular shape ever. Getting a cuckoo clock is possible specially in Luzern where most souvenir shops stock these, there are two varieties: Automatic-battery operated or the real manual one. Needless to say, the manual ones are expensive, and need some maintenance every couple of years. Clocks are available in all shapes and sizes, pick the one which suits you best. Insider tip: Clocks bought in Germany would be much cheaper.
- Watches: Talking about of nation which believe in preciseness, where things move like clockwork, one cannot ignore the famed Swiss watches. Now the thing is, you could get a Swiss watch from 80 CHF to 80,000 CHF (or more!). The popular brands are Swatch, Tissot, Omega, Patek Phillipe, Bucherer, Certina, Tag Heuer and so on. Luzern has good stores to buy these watches, but its possible to buy them all over Switzerland. Tissot is pretty popular with Indians, and the company knows it, as a result you will find Tissot posters with Deepika Padukone on them. Insider tip: If you happen to be in Geneva, then do make it a point to visit the Patek Phillipe museum of Horology, its awesome!
- Chocolates: Ha…I reserved the best for the last. I know everyone has eaten Lindt chocolates, and while they are very famous outside Switzerland, they are NOT the largest selling chocolates. Frey has the largest market share! However, while these store bars are definitely good, I’d recommend you to pick a few select chocolates from Sprungli or Laederach. The pralines are simply outstanding and worth a mention. If you are in Zurich, do visit the Sprungli cafe and try out their famous Luxemburgerli. If you wish to know more about chocolates, you could also plan a visit to Cailler chocolate factory.
Alright, what about eating the yummy Swiss Cheese Fondue?
Ah yes, you must, I insist. Be warned that the molten cheese often has wine mixed with it.
Okay, that is all I could offer in this installment. Keep those questions coming.