Best of Switzerland’s Christmas Markets
Headed to this beautiful country before Christmas and wondering about the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland?
Is there anything more magical and festive than a Christmas market? If you have never been to one of these holiday markets and seen the decorations, the wares being sold, and the food and drink, then you have to visit this holiday season. Switzerland has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. But which ones should you see?
This post will tell you which are the Switzerland´s best Christmas markets, as well as their location and times. So many are worth a visit, but you can’t go wrong with the markets on this list.
Christmas Markets in Switzerland normally start in the last November week and last until the 23rd December. However, please make sure to check out the exact opening hours for the Christmas market you want to check out to avoid disappointment.
By the way, I also have post for visiting Switzerland in December.
Zurich in winter also means visiting beautiful Christmas markets. There are lots to choose from and you’ll surely find one to please everyone. In the Old Town, there is a very beautiful and historic market – the oldest one in Zurich.
The Weihnachtsmarkt im Dörfli Christmas market is festive and colorful, as well as one of the most traditional in the city.
Do not miss the Christmas market at Werdmühleplatz, where you will see the Singing Christmas tree – rows of choirs arranged on a podium and singing Christmas carols. I
The Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Station has 140 stalls selling foods and goods, but also has a gorgeous Christmas tree that is almost 10 meters tall with thousands of Swarovski crystals on it.
The Münsterhof Christmas market is also popular, especially if you like local goods. This is their focus and it is located between the Fraumünster church and traditional guild houses. This market also has a culture tent where you can enjoy concerts, workshops, and readings.
The Christmas market at Lintheschergasse is famous for its mulled wine, so if that is one of your favorite Christmas traditions, then you should visit this market located between two department stores and near the Bahnhofstrasse. It’s a good place to do shopping for handcrafts as well as in the stores.
Check out my guide on where to stay in Zurich.
The Christkindlimärt Christmas market is one of the most popular in Switzerland. It actually opens in different parts of the city, moving from one location to the next. It starts at the Fischmarktplatz, then moves to the Old Town, and finally ends right before Christmas at the shores of Lake Zurich.
The ambience and size of this Christmas Market in Rapperswil is why it is so popular. The streets are lit with lamps, and the sights and smells of the food and lights make it very enjoyable to stroll through. You will find activities like candle dipping, cheese fondue, and cooking classes. There is live music going on and about 250 stalls to shop at. You can find many kinds of handcrafts, local food, and drinks.
The surrounding scenery includes Lake Zurich and Rapperswil Castle – so if you get tired of shopping, you can enjoy the views of these picturesque landmarks.
I think Lucerne is a beautiful city and I am not alone – whether you visit in Lucerne winter or at any other time of the year. Its timbered houses and picturesque Old Town make it a perfect place to visit a Christmas market – and these are some of the best Christmas markets to see in Switzerland.
There are actually a few different ones in the city, but they all have a very festive atmosphere, lots of food and drink, and special stalls selling handmade gifts and decorations. Lucerne Christmas Market in the Old Town has a carousel for kids, choirs singing, and live music playing.
A few other markets to check out in Lucerne during the holidays (please check the times)
- Handcraft Market – you can get many fine handcrafted items from local artisans in Weinmarkt place in Lucerne’s Old Town.
- Design Schenken – Located by the town hall and offering designed gifts. It runs from November 27-29.
- Venite – Features food, drinks, and performances from other countries (this international market just runs for a few days each year)
- Christkindlmarkt – Located by the rail station, it offers about 50 different market stalls.
- The Christmas Tree Market – This is where the many types of Christmas trees are sold, as well as decorations. It runs from December 16-23, from 9:00am-8pm (M,W,F), 9:00am-9:00pm (Th,F), 9:00am-6:00pm (Sat), and 10:30am-7:00pm (Sun).
The Mt. Pilatus Christmas Market, near Lucerne, is a very unique and fun experience.
You take a panoramic cable car up the mountain to see and shop the highest Christmas Market in Switzerland (about 2000 meters above sea level).
There are many stalls selling handmade gifts, food, and mulled wine. Some stalls are outdoors and others are inside, and they have a variety of winter favorites to choose from.
But you don’t go to a Christmas Market on top of a mountain without enjoying the view! There is a panoramic terrace where you can enjoy the scenery. You can also see a lot from the cable car, or you could take the cogwheel train.
Also, there are usually sunchairs and other places to sit if you just want to relax and enjoy the crisp mountain air. Mt. Pilatus is not the most traditional or largest Christmas Market in Switzerland, but it does have the most interesting location.
Basel is a charming city and is known for the best Christmas Market in Switzerland which is very picturesque, especially with its festive decorations.
The most popular Christmas market is the one at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz – over a million people visited last year. It is very large and split into two sections. The first part is Münsterplatz, which is located in the square next to the pretty Basel Cathedral.
There are about 40 stalls here and children can explore and do activities at the Fairy Tale Forest. There is a beautiful Christmas tree decorated and in front of the cathedral – it is actually lit at the opening of the market on November 26.
The second section of this Christmas market is Barfüsserplatz, which has over a hundred market stalls to stop for gifts, drinks, and food. There are also children’s rides.
Overall, there are about 160 market stalls with delicacies and handmade toys and jewelry, and a very festive atmosphere. Basel is located right by the Rhine River and it just makes the town even more beautiful.
It runs from November 26-December 23 from 11:00am-7:30pm every day (it closes a little earlier on December 23rd). Check out my Basel winter guide.
If you visit the official capital of the country, Bern, you´ll find more Christmas markets in the old town of the city where you can indulge in gingerbread, roasted almonds, mulled wine, and more. There are two markets here and they are both worth visiting.
The Bern Christmas Market by the Münsterplatz is famous for well-made artisan goods. So, if you are looking for nice handmade gifts, then this should be your first stop. Enjoy the festive decorations and location – this Christmas market is surrounded by buildings from the 15th and 17th centuries, and the tallest bell tower in Switzerland on one side.
Now take a quick stroll to the other Christmas Market in Bern – on the Waisenhausplatz. This one has more handmade goods, as well as food and drinks to enjoy. The many stalls have lots of gifts, household goods, and treats for sale. They are also beautifully decorated and smell like spices and gingerbread.
Geneva is a city with a very unique Christmas market. Not as traditional as some others in Switzerland, the Geneva Christmas market is very appealing to those who want a more international experience. This market has a section of shops devoted to goods from around the world, so you can get some unique gifts and decorations here.
Inside the Christmas market, there is also the Christmas Village. This is about 8,000 square meters filled with Christmas goods, very festive decorations, and delicious food. Throughout the market, you can enjoy the music and smells that make you think of Christmas. Rue du Marché has some of the prettiest displays of decorations and you can see more in the shops on Rue de Rive.
Another Christmas market to visit in Switzerland is the one in Carouge – the lively area in the traditional Italian part of Geneva. You will see a lot of stylish accessories here and quality handcrafts.
Montreux has one of the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland. The Marché de Noël à Montreux is on Lake Geneva and is very iconic.
It has about 160 stalls to shop at and plenty of places to eat. The smells of the mulled wine and all the lights and decorations make this market very festive and fun. It is also a very picturesque location, so good to wander through and explore.
There is also a lot of holiday fun to be had at the Marché de Noël. It has a huge Ferris wheel that visitors can ride. And there is an area where children can find workshops and see Santa Claus in his sleigh, called Elves Square.
They can ride the train to Santa’s house up Rochers-de-Naye Mountain. And at night, there is a light show to enjoy at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. This Christmas market has a lot of activities to keep visitors busy while they shop for Christmas gifts and treats.
The Christmas Market in St. Gallen is a magical place. There are over 700 lights hung about the streets of the town that give it a beautiful glow.
The 20-meter-high Christmas tree in the Klosterplatz is also decorated and twinkling with lights, giving the whole area a Christmasy feel. When you visit the Christmas market, you will find about 70 different stalls, which are decorated Swiss cottages. They are selling high-quality, handmade goods, toys, jewelry, and other gift ideas.
There are also many selling local foods and mulled wine.
St. Gallen also has Christmas concerts being held at the cathedral if you want to listen to some music to get you in the spirit of the holidays. And for the chocolate lovers, you can take a tour of Maestrani’s Chocolarium and bring home some sweet treats.
The atmosphere at the St. Gallen Christmas Market is very warm and cozy, and the decorations and lights really make it one of the best Christmas Markets to go to in Switzerland.
Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein is right near the border between Switzerland and Germany – it is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland.
In December, you can see the stunning medieval buildings while visiting the city’s Christmas market.
It really is a beautiful sight when the Stein am Rhein Schaffhausen Christmas market is going on. There are lights everywhere and many activities going on, and festively decorated stalls for shopping. It has a fairy tale atmosphere that makes it a great Christmas Market to visit.
You can purchase artisan goods and treats at one of the many stalls throughout the market. There are also lots of activities to enjoy, like a carousel, a steam train, and Santa Clause with his ponies. Another benefit of the Stein am Rhein Christmas Market is that it runs until after Christmas each year, so you have extra time to enjoy the scenery, festive atmosphere, and tasty food.
You can combine a trip to the Christmas Market in Stein am Rheine with the Rhine Falls (biggest waterfall in Europe).
Einsiedeln Schwyz Christmas Market has one of the loveliest backdrops with the Einsiedeln monastery nearby. Located in central Switzerland, it is a very popular destination when visitors are looking for a unique and fun Christmas Market.
Here there is a gingerbread museum that you can visit, so if that is your favorite Christmas treat, then this is the Christmas Market for you. They also have a very ornate nativity scene and a large Christmas tree in the middle of the market. If you have a sweet tooth, there are pastry shops all along the road from the Christmas market to the train station.
The only downside to this market in Einsiedeln is that it’s only open for a short time in comparison to other Christmas markets in Switzerland. So, if it fits into your schedule, try to visit this pretty area with its festive lights, shops, and goods before the end of the season.
BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN SWITZERLAND – CONCLUSION
If you are visiting Switzerland at the end of November or in December, then you should not miss the chance to see one (or many) of the Swiss Christmas Markets located throughout the country. There is something for everyone and hopefully this list of the best Christmas Markets in Switzerland helps you find the one that is the best fit for you.