Shopping in Basel enables tourists to explore the price difference of various types of goods in Switzerland, France and Germany. Shopaholics can find many stores and boutiques in the Old Town and around Claraplatz in Kleinbasel. The main shopping street in the city is Freie Strasse that contains numerous upmarket designer and fashion boutiques.
The area around Schneidergasse and Spalenberg contains many fashion boutiques that sell goods that are in-vogue in the fashion circuits of Milan, Paris and New York. Migros, the Co-op supermarket, and the Manor department store, on the Greifengasse and next to the River Rhine, are useful for buying goods of daily use.
From the shops in the city, tourists can purchase Swiss chocolate, German sausages and bottles of French wine. Many commercial shops also lie off the Marktplatz and close to Rathaus.
Retail outlets are also found on the Barfusserplatz, Bahnhofsareal and around Basel SBB Railway Station. Claraplatz within the Kleinbasel area and Aeschenplatz in Greater Basel (Grossbasel) also have many shops.
Shopping hours in the city are from 9 am till 7 pm from Monday to Friday. On Thursday, shops operate from 9 am till 9 pm. Shopping hours in the city on Friday are from 9 am till 8 pm, and 9 am till 5 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, most shops are closed. Clarastrasse (Claraplatz), Marktplatz, Freie Strasse, Gerbergasse, Heuwaage and Bankverein are the main shopping districts in the city.
Shopping in Basel involves buying Swiss chocolates, watches, jewellery, antiques, speciality items, vintage clothing, books, art and others. Schneidergasse, Marktplatz, Spalenberg, Heuberg and Nadelberg have many antique stores. Heimatwerk, Basel SBB Railway Station and Feldbergstr also have many shops.
In the city, tourists can buy local organic produce, Swiss army knives, artisan chocolates, pastries, silken bands, cotton towels and handkerchiefs. Further, tourists can also purchase cotton shirts, hoodies, t-shirts, colourful silk scarves, stickers, buttons, bags, belts, Rolex watches, books and stationery. On Petersplatz, a flea market is organised every Saturday.
On the goods and services purchased in the city, a standard VAT rate of 8% is imposed. A duty free shopping zone is located at Euroairport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg. From this zone, tourists can buy books, tobaccos, toys, small confectionery, groceries, cosmetic, jewellery, watches, chocolates and other items.
VAT refund can be made for single items purchased for $475.22 or more. Citizens of countries other than Switzerland, exporting the goods within 30 days, can claim the VAT refund.
Tourists can make the claim by using a VAT refund form, which states the amount of refund due. Customs officials are required to stamp the documents for making the VAT reclaim. VAT refund is sent to tourists, after processing.