While Christmas is becoming more and more commercial in many countries, luckily Switzerland is staying loyal to tradition. Swiss Christmas usually lasts from the beginning of Advent to the end of Epiphany (so from around the end of November until the beginning of January). On the 1st of December children will open the first window of their Advent calendar to find a yummy treat, each week families will light one candle on the Advent wreath until Christmas Day and on Christmas Eve they will ornate the Christmas tree with lit candles, a tradition which dates back to the 16th Century. Let’s see what happens in terms of Christmas markets.
When it comes to Christmas, Switzerland’s cultural capital doesn’t mess around! I am telling you – Basel is called the Christmas city of Europe for a reason. Maybe because the city hosts the largest Christmas market in the country? Or maybe because the streets of the Old Town seem magical in the golden Christmas lights? Or it could be because of all the concerts, shops, traditional treats and drinks and hundreds of tall pine treas. All these things give Basel a magic feeling. The market is open from 26 November to 23 December.
Just like any other big, respectable city, Zürich host quite a few Christmas markets every year. The Christmas market in the Old Town, the one by the Zürich Opera House, the Romantic Rapperswill market and the Einsiedeln markets are all lovely, but they is a special one that really got my attention: the Christmas market from the main train station. What makes it stand out is the fact that it is indoors – it is actually one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe! I am always cold so at least I am not going to freeze while I pig out on roasted peanuts and Swiss chocolate. The market is open from 24 November to 24 December.
The highlight of the Montreux Christmas market is the breath taking view over the Alps – it can’t get more Swiss than that. The city decorations are quite spectacular too. Glowing snowflakes hanged in trees and on houses glow at night, making you feel like you would be in a fairytale. The kids will definitely love the Christmas sweets, the giant nativity scene and Santa’s house while history lovers will love the weekend Medieval Market at the Château de Chillon. The market is open from 24 November to 24 December.
Every year talented craftsmen, performers and chefs are doing a great job at entertaining and feeding visitors from around the world. Tourists and locals gather in the centre of Lucerne’s Old Town for a huge festive feeling boost. Come on an empty stomach so you can enjoy verything Lucern has to offer. The market is open from 3 December to 21 December.
Switzerland’s capital becomes even more charming in the glow of the Christmas lights. Walk around the narrow streets, admire the Christmas trees and make your way to the Waisenhausplatz or Münsterplatz Christmas markets, or why not to both. Go to Münsterplatz for arts and crafts and to Waisenhausplatz for traditional items. The markets are open from around 3 December to 24 December.