Christmas in Switzerland: 11 Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland

christmas in bern switzerland

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Switzerland starts to dazzle and bustling with hundreds of Christmas markets in late November onwards. Christmas markets of Switzerland magically appear in several alpine villages and major cities with their flair and focus.

We have listed the best Christmas markets in Switzerland, which reflect their charm and regional culture across the nation.

You will be treated with great holiday charm in Italian, German, and French cantons by visiting the Christmas markets in Switzerland 2019.

While strolling around such festive places, you can find your favorite foods, treasured traditions, and the artisans due to which each region sparkles.

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What time of the year the markets open?

The Christmas markets in Switzerland usually open from the last week of November to Christmas Eve. Some of the markets are also located in ski resorts and smaller towns, which open only on weekends or for just a few days in the Christmas season. Markets usually open in the late morning to around 9 pm. Early evening is often a refreshing time to explore the open-air markets.

The best Christmas markets in Switzerland usually do not open on December 25, but some open on December 24, i.e., Christmas Eve, but not at night.

Today, the markets are extended to remain open for a few days after Christmas Day and also till New Year in some tourist places.

Read also: Top 10 Best Christmas Markets in Europe

11 Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland

Lucerne

Franziskanerplatz becomes one of the best mini towns and Christmas markets in Lucerne Switzerland during Advent with gaily designed stalls to look like timber houses.

In the heart of Old Town, Franziskanerplatz is going to be one of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland 2019 by forming a great and evocative seasonal environment. It draws both local and foreign tourists with festively decorated 70 stalls offering a lot of unique gifts and wares.

Here, kids would love the Christmas carousel for the seasonal blend of choirs and brass ensembles, and adults would taste different F&B offerings.

Its air is filled with the spicy fragrance of mulled wine and punch. It is known for a great festive ambiance where visitors can browse, stroll, and linger.

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Bern

A lot of people have the wrong belief that the capital city of Switzerland is Bern. But it is not valid. Instead, there is no specific capital city of the Swiss Confederation, and all of the 26 Cantons are governed themselves.

During winter, Bern is well adorned with a lot of festive firs and twinkling lights. Waisenhausplatz and Munzterplatz are some of the best Christmas markets in Bern, Switzerland.

Read also: Winter in Europe: Top 21 Winter Destinations in Europe

zurich christmas market

Zurich

Being the largest city in the country, it goes without mentioning that there is no lack of stunning Christmas markets in Zurich, Switzerland.

The main central station of Zurich houses one of the largest European indoor Christmas markets. The ice skating rink, carousel, and raclette chalet are located facing the huge opera house.

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Basel

Basel is the art city of Switzerland, which shares the border with France and Germany. Be sure to land into the right country if you are getting here via the international airport. You can quickly take a bus ride to the center of the city. It is very easy to visit all year round.

You can also visit the best Christmas markets in Basel, Switzerland. Here, the festivities are based on various places in the city. Kleine Schanze is one of the newest demands. The Waisenhausplatz has 50 stalls offering different wares.

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Chur

Also known as the oldest city of the nation, Chur is well recognized as the car-free old town. It is well known as a starting point for the Bernina Express, the spectacular train ride, and several Swiss buildings. It is also the best place in Switzerland for Christmas markets in winter.

You can shop Glühwein and different types of Christmas desserts and Swiss cheese while walking around the streets covering the serene cathedral and the station.

Be sure to visit the rooftop terrace atop the MANOR departmental store to get some of the peaceful views of the city.

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christmas market in Einsiedeln

Einsiedeln

It houses one of the best baroque architectures of Switzerland, the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey. During Christmas, the town is filled with all 130 stalls around Monastery square. It makes the most beautiful Swiss Christmas market.

Nothing could be more Christmassy than a town filled with around 450 figurines representing the birth of Jesus, a gingerbread museum, and the largest nativity scene in the world.

Don’t miss some homemade bread dough, grittbänz. This dough is deep-fried and filled with creamy raspberry jam.

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Frauenfeld

Located in Thurgau canton, Little Frauenfeld is one of the best destinations for Christmas markets. From the soaring St. Nicolas Church, it radiates its endless charm by filling the narrow streets in all of its directions. With the Advent Parade, the red fun starts with wise men, camels, and a cute choir for kids.

There are sheep and donkeys in opposite stalls. Almost every shop displays the nativity scenes and hangs items in silhouette style. You can choose from handmade items by the local artisans. You can witness the memorable light show on the buildings in the evenings. The market opens only three days.

Lugano

Lugano has recently been closer than ever to Zurich thanks to the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is opened recently. When it is raining or cold up north, you can have a day trip to sun-kissed slopes and palm-fringed lakes of Ticino.

The famous Christmas market of Lugano is set under the Piazza Della Riforma, the famous Italian façade, and covered by the giant Christmas tree.

The market closes earlier than others. So, be sure to plan to buy your gelato, amaretti, and panettone. Also, taste some local cheeses, prosciutto, and salami in December.

Read also: 30 Fairytale like Towns and Places to Visit in Europe (That Will Tickle Your Wanderlust!)

Montreux

Located on the shorelines of Lake Geneva, the Christmas market of Montreux has some of the most beautiful settings of Switzerland. It is also going to offer some of the closest attractions like 2000m high cog train to Santa in his house located at Rochers-de-Naye.

Along with it, you can also visit the historic enchantment in the walls of iconic Chateau de Chillon and the windy Christmas village of Caux. The Montreux Christmas market has appealed to over 500,000 tourists annually for more than 22 decades from different parts of the world.

Along with shopping, this Christmas market has a lot of other attractions to make it one of the best in Switzerland. One of the main reasons is its huge Ferris wheel at this Christmas market. Elves Square is filled with great views of Santa Claus and workshops for kids.

You can explore the home and office of Santa Claus by hopping on a train running up the hills of Rochers-de-Naye. This attraction is available from Wednesday to Sunday when the Christmas market is held. It also hosts the beautiful light show every evening after 5 pm at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace.

Rapperswil

Visit here to witness thousands of small lamps illuminating the entire Christmas market. Christkindlimärt is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in town. From December 6 to 11th, the market initially opens at Fischmarktplatz.

From December 13 to 15, it moves to the shore of Lake Zurich and the old town. Finally, from December 17 to 22, it remains open only at Lake Zurich.

Location is not the only reason why this market is the crowd puller. It hosts candle-dipping classes, musical performances, some cheese fondue and cooking classes along with the Christmas market.

It also houses the vast collection of shops selling the dreamy foods like several hot chocolates, waffle crepes, and apple and honey punch. You can explore whopping 250 stands of crafts and food all night.

St. Gallen christmas market

St. Gallen

Also known as the “Swiss Star City,” the Christmas market of St. Gallen is a must-visit. During Advent, more than 700 stars shine above the squares. It has also become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This way, St. Gallen Christmas market has become one of the most attractive and romantic Christmas markets in the country. The lights shimmer over the sky from November 28 until December 24. Therefore, you should spend your Christmas Eve here.

A lot of restaurants offer special holiday menus during the Christmas season. Even though you have been here before, be sure to come back again at Christmas to have a completely different experience. St Gallen Christmas market is going to be the best market this December.

Read also: The Most Colorful and Vibrant Travel Destinations in Europe

Final thoughts

There is no lack of beautiful Christmas markets, and all of them are worth to spend hours in Switzerland. Therefore, it was not that easy for us to narrow down the best ones to visit.

By considering the unique aspects like medieval architecture and gingerbread museum, we have listed ample option for you to visit this winter.

There is no better way than strolling along with the chalets lined with beautiful stalls and decorated with glimmering candles and bright lights in December. Be sure to plan a holiday to explore these markets for a great holiday experience.

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