Bahnhofstrasse is Zurich 's main downtown street and one of the world's most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. In 2010 a study has named the Bahnhofstrasse the third most expensive street for retail property in Europe, and the fifth most expensive worldwide. It came into existence when the city fortifications were demolished and the ditch in front of the walls was filled in in 1864. To this moment the name of the location had been "Ditch Of The Frogs" (Fröschengraben) which was -unfortunately- changed to Station Street. Bahnhofstrasse (Station Street) starts at Bahnhofplatz by Zürich Hauptbahnhof passing Rennweg, Augustinergasse and Paradeplatz before it ends after 1.4 km at Bürkliplatz on Lake Zurich (National Bank, Hotel Baur au Lac).
Paradeplatz, one of the most famous squares in Switzerland, is situated towards the end of the Bahnhofstrasse closest to Lake Zurich. The two biggest Swiss banks, UBS and the Credit Suisse Group, have their headquarters there. Paradeplatz is also known for its chocolate shop and cafe, Confiserie Sprüngli.