When most Zurichers think of St. Gallen, we think of the world-renowned University there…but what you may not know is that St. Gallen is a major international hub for textiles (at one point the region supplied over 50% of the world’s embroidery!). So many celebs love this embroidered look; you may remember Michelle Obama wearing St. Gallen embroidery to the 2009 U.S. Presidential inauguration or Amal Alamuddin’s wedding dress when she married George Clooney.
What does all of this mean for you? Fantastic textiles, fantastic designers and fantastic shopping is only an hour away! Zuri Girl got the inside scoop on making St. Gallen an easy weekend trip for a fun (and convenient) shopping getaway.
Shop the Looks (at Outlet Prices!)
Of course, the highlight of the trip will be all that shopping! Major designers with deep discounts – our dreams come true. Here are some of the must-sees:
World-renowned brand Akris offers a shopping outlet for deep discounts on their couture lines. Everything from jackets and pants to blouses and dresses are available for sale, mostly coming from a previous season or from samples.
Akris. Felsenstrasse 36, 9000 St. Gallen: map
One of the major manufacturers of St. Gallen embroideries is Bischoff Textil AG and they (thankfully) have a factory outlet store right at their factory in St. Gallen. Bischoff offers different fabrics, towels, curtain fabrics, handkerchiefs and many other products complete the high-quality range.
There are also great boutiques and shops in the area surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cathedral of St. Gallen. One shop not too far that caught our eye was Boutique La Folie. It offers a variety of luxury brands like Anette Görtz, Citizens of Humanity, and Hannes Roeter. This is a great place to get a variety of different labels.
Zuri Girl Insider Tip: Can’t wait to shop some of the St. Gallen looks? Jakob Schlaepfer also has a store in Zurich located at Obere Zäune 6, 8001. (map)
Where to Stay
Zuri Girl was on the scene to scope out the Trip Advisor #1 rated hotel in St. Gallen, Einstein St. Gallen. We couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else! This 4-star superior hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the pedestrian zone and the main train station. What made the Einstein St. Gallen special was the attention to textile and design detail (shhh… don’t tell but we hear the hotel is actually owned by the Akris brand). With luxury pillows and duvets from Christian Fischbacher, you could tell that the finer details were created with luxury and textiles in mind.
The Einstein St. Gallen hotel offers an option to book a room on the Ladies Only floor, which has extra feminine touches throughout — think pillow sprays, stronger hair dryers, women’s magazines and yoga mats. The Einstein St. Gallen hotel also participates in a special St. Gallen hotel/textile program to host a “Textile Room” and they offer one unique junior suite room designed with textiles from Jakob Schläpfer.
Zuri Girl Insider Tip: You can take advantage of their Ladies Only packages that include breakfast, a welcome drink and aperitif, late check-out, access to the wellness center, and a choice between learning more about lingerie, textile history, or how to be a great hostess.
Where to Eat
St. Gallen has a surprising amount of yummy restaurants to choose from. For great Italian food, check out focacceria (Metzgergasse 22, 9000 St. Gallen).
Want to get a good sense of the local St. Gallen scene? Visit netts (St. Jakob-Strasse 35, 9000 St. Gallen).
Looking for vegetarian options or a great tea house? Visit s’Teeblatt Teahouse (Gallusstrasse 41, 9000 St. Gallen).
In the mood to indulge further? For a gourmet treat, go no further than the Einstein Gourmet restaurant (in the Einstein St. Gallen hotel) – with a Michelin Star and 17 Gault Millau points, the cozy and intimate restaurant is known for serving up delicious and unique courses.
Where to Wine
Weinstein Vinothek goes by the slogan “We live wine” and that’s not an exaggeration. The staff is friendly and extraordinarily knowledgeable about the wines, Proseccos and champagnes on offer. The staff can tell you all about the differing climates and impacts on the quality of the bottles and recommend some new and surprising tips (like that most of us are drinking our Swiss wine too soon!). Weinstein Vinotek has a few bottles open and available for tasting daily. The shop also has a few food delicacies and wine accessories to ensure you’ve got everything you need.
Zuri Girl Insider Tip: We recommend trying the Himbertscha or Gwäss from Canton Valais if you’re a white wine fan and the Schmidheiny Zweigelt or Ruprecht Pinot Noir if you’re a red lover.
Article & photos by Zuri Girl Lisa Christen…Lisa’s blog Happily in Balance uncovers the secrets to designing your dream lifestyle. She’s on a mission to help everyone in the world discover their passion and purpose in life — while also providing the practical tips for how to make those dreams a reality. Lisa believes everyone deserves to live a happy, fulfilling life and to live Happily in Balance.