What to bring from Switzerland – 10 best gift ideas

Chocolate, cheese and watches are the first things that come to mind as gifts to bring from Switzerland.

However this is not all that tourists fill their bags with when returning from Switzerland.

This article contains detailed information about everything that can be brought from this country as souvenirs and gifts.

Table of Contents

1. Swiss Chocolate

Maestrani's Chocolate Shop
Maestrani’s Chocolate Shop

Swiss chocolate is considered one of the best in the world. It gained this reputation thanks to original, centuries-old proven manufacturing techniques and high quality milk of local cows. If you need to bring something inexpensive for your friends from Switzerland, then chocolate will be the most suitable gift.

One can buy chocolate in Switzerland in supermarkets and in branded chocolate shops of numerous manufacturers such as Frey, Callier, Suchard, Teuscher and others. Here you can find different types of chocolates with all kinds of fillings. They range from Toblerone triangles to Easter rabbits and handmade chocolates. As souvenirs, tourists are offered sets of chocolates in wrappers with views of Switzerland, which can be bought for 5 francs.

It is most profitable to buy chocolate for shares in large supermarkets, where discounts on it can reach 50%.

Swiss chocolate

Another opportunity to buy sweet gifts at an inexpensive price is excursions to chocolate factories. One can learn the secrets of making traditional chocolate, taste sweet products and buy them without trade margins.

2. Swiss gingerbread cookies

Another sweet gift that one can bring from Switzerland is Basler Läckerli (gingerbread from Basel). It is produced according to a special recipe passed from generation to generation. They have an unusual refined taste, not similar to the taste of other gingerbread cookies. Confectioners, and indeed all residents of Basel, are rightly proud of this sweet symbol of their city.

You can buy Basel gingerbread in Läckerli Huus brand stores, which are in all major cities in Switzerland, but it is more profitable to buy them in supermarkets, especially at discounts.

Gingerbread from Basel

The cost of gingerbread depends on the weight of the package and starts from 5-7 francs. It is better to stock these sweet gifts before the end of the trip, as the Swiss gingerbread cookies have a limited shelf life. After opening the packaging, they dry quickly, so it is better to take them in small packaging.

3. Swiss Cheese

Cheese lovers usually do not care about the question: what to buy for a tourist in Switzerland, as a rule, a lot of free space is left in their suitcases for this famous product. Just keep in mind that odorous cheeses without vacuum packaging can soak the entire suitcase with their stench and in some extreme cases you might not be allowed to board a flight.

Swiss cheese Emmental

As gifts from Switzerland, it is better to bring hard and semi-hard cheeses with long shelf life:

  • Emmental (Emmentaler)
  • Gruyère (read about visiting Gruyeres)
  • Schabziger (Schabziger)
  • Appenzeller (Appenzeller) and many others

The price for 1 kg of cheese ranges from 20 francs and above. Tasting sets of cheeses of different varieties that can be bought in supermarkets are very popular among tourists. In specialized cheese stores, such a purchase will cost more, especially if it is an assortment of delicious cheeses in wooden boxes.

Swiss cheeses

If you need to bring small cheese souvenirs, then the best choice would be sets of cheeses in which thin cheese plates are rolled into rolls. They have a weight of about 100 g and a price not exceeding 5 francs.

Gourmets and connoisseurs of everything authentic can buy exclusive home-made cheeses from farmers and peasants at the fair in Zurich, which is held weekly on Wednesdays in the premises of the railway station. There are interesting excursions to the cheese dairies, where you can participate in the process of making cheeses, have plenty of fun tasting and buy your favorite varieties without trade margins.

3. Swiss Alcoholic drinks

Wine Petite Arvine
Petite Arvine

The country generally does not export a lot of alcoholic drinks although they are worthy of being brought as a gift from Switzerland. Some popular Swiss white wines are:

  • Petit Arvine
  • Fendant
  • Johannisberg

Fans of red wine are advised to pay attention to Pinot Noir, especially non-tailoring production. A bottle of 0.7 liter of wine costs on average 10 to 30 CHF.

Brandy Kirschwasser

People who are fans of strong drinks can consider bringing:

  • Kirschwasser – brandy made from black cherry with pits.
  • Welsh pear vodka – Williams, apricot – Apricotine, and plum – “Pflumli” are also popular.

In specialty stores you can find Williams gift bottles with a pear inside. The price of strong drinks in bottles of 0.7 liter is not more than 30 CHF.

4. Swiss Penknives and manicure sets

a. Swiss knife by Victorinox

Penknives are perhaps the most useful souvenirs that you can bring from Switzerland. Swiss knives showcase  unsurpassed quality and durability. Their blades are made of special steel, they remain razor sharp for decades without requiring sharpening.

High quality is typical for all Swiss knives – both for hunting, army folding models with up to 30 items, and for small key chains. The most popular products are the famous brands Victorinox and Wenger. Trinket prices start at 10 CHF, and knives start at 30-80 CHF.

b. Travel manicure set by Victorinox

Upon purchase, you can engrave the name of the owner on the handle or a gift inscription. Manicure sets, scissors, tweezers are also very popular. All steel cutting items made in Switzerland are must buys while visiting the country.

Please note that sharp objects must not be carried in cabin baggage on airplanes. And if you forgot to hand over even a small keychain knife with a bunch of keys, then before boarding the plane you will have to dispose the package altogether.

5. Swiss Watches

Swiss watches have long been synonymous with quality, reliability and accuracy. This is the best gift for yourself or a loved one that can be brought from Switzerland. Cuckoo clocks which are considered one of the symbols of this country are also popular with tourists.

Swiss watch Tissot
IWC watches

In Switzerland, you can buy watches everywhere – from specialized departments of jewelry stores and large department stores, to watch stores and boutiques. They can be found even in small towns. A large assortment of watches includes relatively inexpensive Swatch models. Some of the best Swiss brands include:

  • IWC
  • Rolex
  • Omega
  • Longines

Swiss watches can be made of precious metals or ordinary stainless steel, but high quality and reliability are unchanged for all models. When buying a watch, a certificate confirming their authenticity must be checked.

The prices of Swiss watches are from 70-100 to several thousand francs. In any case, bringing watches from Switzerland is much more profitable than buying them in any other country.

6. Swiss Jewelry and bijouterie

It is also worth looking at famous Swiss jewelry for the wealthier tourists. Some of the most famous Swiss brands are Chopard, de Grisogono, Boghossian and Vainard. The Swiss skillfully combine centuries-old traditions of jewelry art with bold designer finds in their work.

Jewelry Boghossian

Jewelry lovers are advised to pay attention to the author’s jewelry designers ’products, which can be found in small shops and gift shops. Such a gift must be selected in accordance with the taste of the person to whom it is intended. Particularly noteworthy are bracelets, pendants, rings made of natural materials – valuable wood species, gems, amber, mother of pearl. Cost of jewelry – from 15 francs and above.

7. Swiss Cosmetics & Perfumes

The prices for cosmetics are higher in Switzerland than in other European countries. But the natural composition of cosmetics, their rejuvenating and healing effect on the skin and high-quality makes up for this.

Cosmetics Artemis
Artemis cosmetics

Some of the best Swiss cosmetic products are:

  • Artemis
  • Migros,
  • Louis Widmer,
  • Declare
  • Amadoris,
  • Chambo et al.

Most of these products are sold in cosmetic departments of pharmacies. The cost of cosmetics is very different, but always high, as is the quality. For example, a moisturizing face cream costs between 50-60 francs per jar of 50 ml.

8. Swiss Medication

When preparing for a tourist trip, you need to know what you can buy at a pharmacy in Switzerland. Indeed, in an unfamiliar country, problems may arise with the acquisition of necessary pharmacy products.

Keep in mind that all pharmacies and shops are closed on Sundays in Switzerland. The only places where you can buy something are gas stations and station stores.

Showcases in Swiss pharmacies

In pharmacies, only herbal teas, skincare cosmetics, vitamins, baby food, and the required minimum amount of medications are available for sale. The drugs that can be brought are painkillers, antipyretics, cough syrups and drops from a cold. There are also first aid measures for injuries. The rest of the medicines can only be bought by prescription.

Herbal Swiss Tea

The cost of simple medicines is from 5 to 15 francs. Given the high price of drugs and the inaccessibility to a lot of them without a prescription, it is recommended to bring all medicines that may be needed with you on a trip to Switzerland. They don’t take up much space, and on occasion they can help out well.

As a souvenir from Switzerland, many tourists bring herbal teas. They can be bought both in pharmacies and in stores and supermarkets. Herbs for herbal teas are harvested in the mountains and in ecologically clean alpine meadows, their collections are made according to traditional healing recipes, so herbal teas are excellent in the treatment and prevention of various ailments. Fragrant alpine teas will be a good gift to friends and relatives. The average packaging price is about 5 francs.

Not a single trip abroad can do without buying souvenirs for memory. Most often, gifts such as bells, music boxes, soft toy cows, wall plates, magnets, postcards are brought from Switzerland.

9. Swiss Cow Bells

Swiss bells

The traditional bell on the neck of cows grazing in alpine meadows has become a peculiar symbol of Switzerland. This traditional souvenir has another symbolic meaning – its ringing drives away evil spirits.

You can buy a bell as a souvenir along with a soft toy – a cow, which is considered the main animal of this country. After all, without it, there would not have been famous Swiss cheeses and milk chocolate, which every Swiss is proud of.

10. Swiss Music boxes

Music Box Reuge Music

Music boxes in Switzerland often have a characteristic shape – they are made in the form of national houses. When opening the box, beautiful music sounds that can be accompanied by traditional dances performed by tiny figures of Swiss in national clothes. The main manufacturer of these gifts is Reuge Music, prices from 60 francs and above.

11. Swiss Wall Plates

If you need to bring something inexpensive as a gift from Switzerland, you should pay attention to the wall plates with views of cities and alpine landscapes, interesting mugs and cups and saucers decorated with images of cows. Prices – from 10 francs.

12. Trinkets, lighters, magnets

Magnet from Switzerland

In large quantities, tourists are buying magnets with views of Switzerland, key rings and lighters with national symbols. If you do not know what to buy in Switzerland, bring postcards and magnets with unique views of the mountains and castles that this part is rich in.

What to bring from Switzerland? The choice is yours. There are many attractive things here that will please you, your friends and relatives. But the most important thing that you bring with you is vivid impressions and memories of the time spent in this beautiful country.

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