Do you hear the Christmas bells approaching from a distance?
Soon the sparkling lights and decorated trees will take over the streets and squares of towns, and the long awaited Christmas markets will be all over Switzerland. This year we want to make a Christmas markets tour, so we are sharing with you some of our favorite Christmas markets in Switzerland that we will try to visit: Christmas market Montreux, Zurich, Basel, Geneva and a couple of others.
Zurich Christmas markets, spreading joy across the city!
Dates: 24 November – 23 December 2022
Zurich hosts several Christmas markets that are spread across the city to multiply the joy! There are four main ones, each has their character and charm, so it’s advised to visit all if you have time on your hands.
- Christkindlimark, located at Zurich main train station, is one of the largest indoor markets in Europe and is our favorite among all Zurich Christmas markets. It has around 140 stalls of souvenirs, crafts, local Swiss food and wine. Its main attraction is a huge Christmas tree decorated with thousands of crystals that makes it a feat to the eyes. This market in Zurich became an attraction for travelers who have connection trains at Zurich main station.
- Zurich’s “Wienachtsdorf” – or Christmas village is held directly in front of the famous Opera House at Sechseläutenplatz, just steps from the lakeshore. It has around 100 stalls organized to form a mini Christmas village, attracting both the young as well as the older. It’s such a spectacular sight with the Opera House in the background, making it very distinctive. “Wienachtsdorf” offers distinctive crafts such as amazing jewelry by local designers, and mouthwatering culinary treats, from traditional Swiss food to international delights. Great ambiance is guaranteed, as people can spend time strolling and sipping a cup of hot wine or helping their children make candles at Bürkliplatz.
- Dörfli Market in the Niederdorf, is the oldest of Zurich Christmas markets. It is located in Zurich old town and has numerous diverse stalls. Here you will enjoy both the historic old town of Zurich and a great Christmas atmosphere. Food tasting here is amazing!
- Münsterhof market focuses on local businesses, Zurich brands and high-quality products from the surrounding stores and boutiques. From the traditional writing utensils of Landolt-Arbenz, and DillySocks to Swiss food such as the historical Zurich Tirggel cookies from the Bäckerei St.Jakob and Tsüri sauces . If you are searching for distinctive local Christmas gifts here you can find your gems that can make any Secret Santa envious!
Montreux Christmas market, wonderland by the lake!
Dates: 18 November-24 December 2022
One of the most beautiful settings in all of the Christmas markets in Switzerland! Right at the Geneva lake shore, and with the backdrop of the surrounding gorgeous hills & mountains!
During the Montreux Christmas market, the famous lakeside promenade extending more than one kilometer is dotted with about 150 stalls that display many wonderful products and goodies. Here you can find great gift ideas, artisanal crafts, mulled wine, and food tasting verifying from Swiss food to international cuisines.
The highlight of Montreux Christmas market is Santa Claus. His home and office is at the mountain top of the Rochers-de-Naye( at the height of around 2000m). The visit to meet Santa, via the cogwheel railway, is a remarkable experience for children and all the family. Santa is there Wednesdays to Sundays, from 24 November to 24 December 2022, as well as, exceptionally, on Tuesday 6 December 2022.
That’s not all! Santa makes a magical appearance on his flying sleigh every day at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm(& Saturdays at 4 pm additionally). It’s such an enchanting sight, that you can see the children’s face beam with astonishment as they watch Santa flying in the sky. For a wonderful view over Montreux Christmas market you can take the Grande-Roue(The big wheel next to Freddie Mercury Statue), where you can watch all the decorations, lights and lake merge from above, what a sight!
Geneva Christmas market, not a newcomer but a big comer!
Dates: 17 November – 23 December 2022
Our beloved Geneva is getting better and better in the Christmas markets (unofficial) competition. The market “Noël au Jardin” moved its place to Jardin anglais just next to the lake side, overlooking the famous Jet d’Eau. Around the Jardin anglais fountain, and all along the lakeside in a double row, you can visit numerous stands with crafts and food tasting delights. In the evening, the reflection of the Christmas lights on the lake waters and the Jet d’eau in the backdrop, makes Geneva Christmas market a magical place to enjoy the holiday ambiance.
If you are visiting Geneva by train, make sure to pass by place de Mont Blanc. It hosts charming Christmas decoration and wooden stalls facing the train station (Gare Cornavin). You can also visit Carouge Christmas Market, a cute local gem at Saint-Joseph street that’s available for only one weekend (December 10-12 2022).
Basel Christmas market, look for the Christmas tree!
Dates: 24 November-23 December 2022
Basel Christmas market is a no miss for the market lovers (who is not??!). One of the biggest in Switzerland with 180 wooden chalets. It offers local artisanal products and Swiss Food treats such as glühwein and the delicious Basel Läckerli. The market is so rich in Christmas gift ideas such that we think Secret Santa comes to shop here!
The Christmas tree is a central piece of Basel Christmas market, just as in Zurich. The well-known Johann Wanner of Basel is traditionally decorating it. The market takes place both on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz.
Opening times: 11 am to 8.30 pm, except 23 December when the markets close at 6 pm (Münsterplatz) and at 8 pm (Barfüsserplatz)
Bremgarten Christmas market, the view from the tower!
Dates: 1-4 December 2022
For one long week-end in December, Bremgarten is turned into a Christmas heaven! More than 300 stalls are spread over Christchindli-Märt, making it definitely worth a visit. It is also one of the traditional markets in Switzerland as it has been there for almost 30 years! Bremgarten Christmas market is impressive, not only with its diverse collection of stalls, but also with its spectacular view. However first you have to climb Spittelturm, the historical tower of Bremgarten with its 100 steep steps. You will get your reward – an amazing top view of the lights of Bremgarten. There are also several guided tours every afternoon that can introduce you to the town.
Gruyères Christmas market, so tasty!
Dates: 9-11 & 16-18 December 2022
A small but cute market, the Gruyères Christmas Market is held for two week-ends in December. The main square and street of this medieval town turns into a traditional marketplace. It hosts about 30 craftsmen stalls presenting items and gifts as authentic as the town itself. It’s worth combining a visit to the market with a visit to Gruyères historic castle. Of course don’t forget to enjoy the famous Gruyère double cream with meringue, what a tasting!
Einsiedeln Christmas market, charm at the backdrop of the monastery!
Dates: 25 November – 4 December, 2022
If you happen to be near Zurich, Lucerne, or Zug region during the Christmas period, then you must visit Einsiedeln and its charming Christmas Market. The market spreads along the main street of the village with a wonderful backdrop of the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln. Einsiedeln market is beautifully decorated with amazing lights and an enormous Christmas tree that make the eyes sparkle with delight. A variety of stalls and shops enrich the offerings of this Christmas market with their local products and crafts.
Throughout the coming period, we will try to visit many of these wonderful Christmas markets in Switzerland. And will share with you the latest findings, so stay tuned!
Till then, don’t forget to browse our Christmas Gift Ideas for 2022, and keep your Secret Santa on their search toes!