What To Buy In Geneva, Switzerland

what to buy in geneva switzerland
| 4 min read

Located in the southern tip of Lake Geneva, this city in Switzerland is known to have a widespread influence from the French, which you can see in its food scene, language, and culture. Geneva is circled by the Alps and the Jura mountains and has a stunning view of the Mont Blanc mountain peak. One of the best attractions you’ll find here is the Carouge, which is Geneva’s small version of Italy. This hamlet took after Nice and features lots of artisan shops, boutiques, and studios. It also has a bohemian vibe, which is very evident in its numerous cafe, jazz bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Geneva also offers plenty of hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals for tourists who are not sure where to stay. In case you’re done with sightseeing and ready to take on souvenir hunting as your next activity, then you have to check out our list of what to buy in Geneva, Switzerland, for your guide.

1. Victorinox Swiss army knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - Climber (15554551505)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andrew Toskin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the things to buy when you are in Geneva is a Swiss army knife. And the best place to get it is in its origin, which is Switzerland. The Victorinox is the leading brand and the original maker of a Swiss army knife, which goes way back in 1884. You’ll find this brand in almost all the stores in Geneva. If you want to be sure you get the authentic piece, however, drop by its main branch in Rue du Marché, the city’s upscale shopping district, during one of your shopping tours.

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2. Swiss wine

Vin Lavaux AOC Gamaret Garanoir DSCN4405
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dechine used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re a wine lover, you surely shouldn’t miss getting Swiss wine for a souvenir, for you’ll have little chance to buy it somewhere else, since it is a known fact that the Swiss only export five percent of its wine. Are you wondering where you can get this treasured bottled item? Then, you’re in for a surprise for we know just the right place to visit–Le Caveau du Bacchus. This shop has a wide collection of Swiss wine, of which most are from the local Geneva regions. You can also ask for a free taste before buying your chosen wine.

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3. Swiss chocolates

Swiss Chocolate
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rm1911 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Swiss chocolates are well-known worldwide. But there’s one chocolate shop that is very famous in Geneva that you shouldn’t miss when you visit–Du Rhône Chocolatier. It has been serving the locals with the sweetest delights since 1875. You must get their bestseller which is the “Pavé de Genève,” which is a mocha ganache praline. A lot of tourists buy this is a souvenir so make sure you get one when you drop by.

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4. Mondaine Railway Clock

Mondaine Railway Clock
Source: Needpix

Another invention that the Swiss are most proud of is the Mondaine Railway Clock, which you’ll see in every Swiss railway station. It is designed by Hans Hilfiker, in 1940, and features a unique sleek design. As of today, its replicas have been a major souvenir item, which you can find in almost every store in Geneva. What separates this clock from the rest is it only has 58 seconds to 1 minute that makes it look like it has the ability to stop time.

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5. Cuckoo Clock

Swiss cuckoo clocks
Source: Needpix

Originally cuckoo clocks are from Germany, but the Swiss added a touch of their own making it unique and entirely their own. The Swiss cuckoo clocks are handmade and come in different, colors, and design. The design usually features flowers, Saint Bernard dogs, and the dancing locals in their traditional costumes. You can buy it at a shop called Alptitude in Rue des Alpes 9.

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6. Cheese fondue set

Cheese fondue set
Source: Needpix

When in Geneva, another favorite item to buy is a cheese fondue set. This is one of the staple cooking wares in every Swiss home. Why not try having a cheese fondue in Geneva before buying, to know what makes it different from the rest? This cheese fondue set comes with colorful hand painted ceramic pots that will surely wow your guests.

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7. Music boxes

Very Rare Old Swiss Music Box - Musée Mécanique - San Francisco, CA - DSC02916
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot used under CC0

If you’re a woman, you’ll never pass buying a music box during your trip to Geneva. If you’re a man, you’ll have to buy it for that special someone back home. Aside from watches, the Swiss are also a well-known maker of music boxes. This item comes in many colors and designs like wooden Swiss chalets, hikers, shepherds, flowers, and more. You can also find a transparent music box where you’ll see the intricate inner workings.

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8. Army blanket products

Source: Pxfuel

One of the iconic items you can find in Geneva are the army blanket products. The army blanket is made of high-quality Swiss wool and comes in colors of grey, red, and white with the Swiss cross symbol. Now, this blanket has been turned into many products like messenger bags, pencil cases, purses, waist packs, and more. Make sure to buy one or two designs for it may come in handy during your travels.

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9. Navyboot leather shoes

Navy boots
Source: Needpix

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

With 20th-century design and industrial era craftsmanship, Navyboot leather shoes are quality footwear that caters to both men and women. It is made from calfskin, deerskin, Nappa, and patent leathers, and comes in many designs. This product showcases the country’s high fashion sense so make sure to bring one home.

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10. Trychel cowbell

Trychel Cowbell
Source: Pixabay

Cow items as souvenirs are so big in Switzerland that you’ll notice that it is frequently in the list of what to buy in all of the city in Switzerland. So in Geneva, one of the things you should get while you’re here (surprise, surprise!) is a Trychel cowbell. It is no ordinary cowbell for it is made of pressed sheet metal that is called a Trychel. It also makes a distinct sound which is more appropriate for animals. It has been a big part of the country that it is now a known cultural item.

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Geneva, keeping it interesting

Geneva, with its magnificent sceneries and French influences, has so much in store for its tourists, from gastronomical offerings to Swiss fashion, up to architecture and its interesting culture. There are plenty of things to do and places to eat. Make sure to plan your time wisely while you are here to get to know the place better. In case you still don’t know what souvenir to buy here, browse our list of the best things to buy in Geneva, Switzerland and have an amazing time shopping.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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