7 of the best bookshops in Switzerland

7 of the best bookshops in Switzerland

There’s nothing quite like cosying up with a good book on a rainy or cold day. While the availability of e-books and digital downloads have made carrying books while travelling a lot easier, the feeling of a physical copy is unmatched. Here are some of the best bookstores to visit in Switzerland.

Discover the variety of literature in Switzerland

Switzerland has many different regions and residents from all over the world, and the bookselling world reflects that. These bookstores are great to visit if you want to find books in many different languages.

1. Buchhandlung Stauffacher

The Buchhandlung Stauffacher in Bern is a lovely bookstore that has a wide selection of Swiss and international books in a variety of genres, everything from Crime & Thriller to Travel. Additionally, they have a great English selection. There is also a play area perfect for the kids, a plethora of seating options, a stationary section, a café, and a fantastic bookshop. Attend one of the many curated events at this bookstore for eager readers.

2. Librairie Ancienne (Illibrairie)

This quaint library in Geneva sells books, manuscripts and prints dating from the 15th to the 21st century. Librarie Ancienne also offers stunning collections of works in literature, poetry, engravings, travel accounts, artists’ books, historical texts, and scientific books. This unique library is perfect to see and buy some of the rarest collections known to the world, all the while enjoying the appealing antique aesthetic of the shop.

3. Zum Bücherwurm

Zum Bücherwurm, or Bookworm, is a charming independent bookstore in the Old Town of Basel. It’s a perfect shop for the curious as it has an interesting collection of second-hand books and antiques, as well as new releases. The bookstore specialises in fairytales, and Japanese and Chinese literature. They also buy collections, meaning there is a diverse selection of styles and genres for all to enjoy.

4. Travel Book Shop

If you enjoy reading or collecting travel books, then this is the prime location for you. The best travel bookstore in Zurich, the Travel Book Shop carries a plethora of travelling content and maps, with guides in Swiss and English. If you want to lose yourself in another world, try the fictional travel section. Collect some of the most beautiful and ancient maps in the world at this travel-oriented store.

5. Pile of Books

The delightful bookstore Pile of Books is the only all-English independent bookstore in Zurich, and it offers a wide selection of English books covering all different genres. The shop also has a small collection of German books if you want to brush up on your German lessons. Pile of Books is very reminiscent of bookshops in the United States while keeping the charm of smaller, independent European bookstores. If you're looking for a cosy, familiar book in English, this bookstore is perfect for you.

6. Bücher Eule

Bücher Eule is an exquisite bookstore in Bern that specialises in rare and second-hand books. While the genre of books is limited, there is a great variety of titles about Switzerland, architecture, history, art, and sciences. But the best part of this store is that it offers books in a plethora of languages, including, but not limited to German, English, Italian, Latin and French (for any of you learning French). The store also restores and repairs old books so they can be enjoyed again and again. 

7. Payot

An enormous book temple in central Geneva, Payot is a book lover’s heaven. The establishment is one of the largest English-language book suppliers in Switzerland but also has an impressive selection of French books. Whether you want to buy a new bestseller in English or French, or simply want to escape away for a few hours in an aesthetic bookish dream, this bookshop is absolutely worth the visit.

Book your schedule with these marvellous shops

There is no shortage of fantastic bookstores to check out in Switzerland, but these are some that should definitely be on your list!

Eesha Wirk


Eesha Wirk

Eesha studied in the United States, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Studio Art. She is currently getting her Research Masters in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In...

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AnnaPoremska2 17:05 | 12 October 2022

Thank you very much for the article - it was nice to know more about places where I can find books in English. It would also be great if you could provide the addresses of these bookstores in your article ;)