When the winter season comes and the first snows of the season fall, Switzerland really shifts it up a notch, particularly when it comes to Christmas markets. One pops up in almost every town and city. To help you decide where to go we’re showcasing the most magical of all of Switzerland’s markets.
Arguably the most magical Christmas Market in Switzerland is held in the town of Montreux, near Lac Léman. With a huge number of stalls selling all kinds of Christmassy gifts and enough great food stalls to make you want to come back for seconds and thirds, the Montreux market has everything you’d want and more. On top of that, the setting couldn’t be better with the huge expanse of Switzerland’s largest lake in front of you and the glistening Alps surrounding you. Children will love the fairytale wonderland held within the walls of Chillon Castle, Switzerland’s number one historic site, which is decked out in Christmas attire for the entire month of December. Open from November 23 to December 24
The whole of Zurich, from the old town to the railway station embraces the Christmas spirit. Visit the Niederdorf district to wander through Zurich’s oldest market where vendors hawk all manner of seasonal trinkets and antiques. Strolling along the famous Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s premier shopping street, takes you to the Werdmühleplatz market, where the highlight is a giant, singing tree that bursts into spontaneous song. If you’re just passing through you can also take in some Christmas cheer at the railway station where a huge 50 ft tree sparkles with Swarovski crystals.
Basel’s Münsterplatz is transformed into a winter forest that children will simply love. They can craft their own candles, guzzle down hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread and much more. Basel’s Christmas market is known to be one of the prettiest in the whole of Switzerland. There are dozens of artisanal stalls split between the Münsterplatz and the Barfüsserplatz, between which the streets are beautifully decorated. Open from 23 November to 23 November
Every year Switzerland’s capital becomes an understated, yet beautiful winter wonderland. Its market is split between two central squares; the Munzterplatz and the Waisenhausplatz, each offering different goods. At the Waisenhausplatz the air is sweet with the scent of Swiss treats such as gluhwein, raclette and roasted chestnuts and you can pick up traditional crafts. Visit the Munzterplatz if you want to browse for a special and unique handcrafted gift at the artisanal market. Open from 2 December to 23 December
St. Gallen doesn’t need Christmas to give it charm, but an extra smattering of snow and glittering fairy lights over its medieval buildings undoubtedly makes it even more special. On top of this, St. Gallen boasts the largest Christmas tree in the entire country, which is lit with a remarkable 18,000 lights every year. There are plenty of stalls to buy local handicrafts and treats, including local beers and a traditional cheesy raclette dish.