Our suggestions for Swiss Christmas markets

Christmas markets in Switzerland

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The Christmas market in the old town center of Basel, Switzerland.

The Swiss Christmas markets, and more

The Christmas markets are a good reason to visit Switzerland in late November or December. Combine a city trip, one or more Christmas markets, and a visit to the snowy mountains for the ultimate Christmas feeling. There's only day light from about 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, so plenty of time to enjoy the illuminated Swiss cities and towns.

Famous Christmas markets

There are smaller and larger Christmas markets all over Switzerland, mainly between mid November and December 24. Some are open for weeks, others just a day or two. Big ones can be found in Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Montreux and Zurich (both in town and in the train station), for example. There is even one on top of Mount Pilatus (November 17-19, 2017): the highest in Europe.

Ideal December itinerary

Our proposal for an ideal December visit to Switzerland: start with a few days in a city to experience the cosy December feeling and of course the Christmas markets. Then travel to the mountains, preferable by a scenic train. Enjoy a couple of days of snow and good views from the peaks of the Swiss Alps, before returning home to celebrate Christmas. Do note that this time is considered low season, so do check the timetables and opening hours of places you'd like to visit. Some cableways and mountain trains may not be operational.

Itinerary suggestion: Zürich and Wengen

First spend a few days in Zurich. Your can visit the Christmas markets in Basel, Bern, Lucerne and Zurich from here if you wish. Then spend a day on scenic railroads: take the train to Chur, then the Glacier Express route to Brig, and finally travel to Wengen to enjoy the mountains. A shorter route is Zurich - Lucerne - Interlaken - Wengen via the Golden Pass line.

Itinerary suggestion: a week in Lucerne

The city of Lucerne offers many options, including a Christmas market. Your can also make day trips to the Christmas markets in Basel, Bern and Zurich from here. Apart from that, mountains like Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis are nearby and make for an easy day trip.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN SWITZERLAND

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Christmas in France, Germany and Switzerland in 1 day

This tour starts in Colmar, France. If you stay in Colmar, the bus can pick you up at your hotel. You'll first visit the fortification of Neuf-Brisach in France. Then you'll go to the Christmas market Freiburg, Germany. At night you'll visit the Christmas market of Basel in Switzerland.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: christmas market;
    city tour
  • Escort: mix of guided/not guided
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com

Day trip to the Chamonix Christmas market from Geneva

A bus takes you from Geneva to Chamonix in France, at the base of the Mont Blanc. You'll enjoy the crafts, gifts, food, live music and illuminations at the Christmas market. You can optionally take a trip with the cable car to admire the views. Finally you'll take the bus back.

Details & prices

Visit to a Swiss Christmas market from Milan

Depending on the date you book, you will visit the Christmas market of Zurich, Einsiedeln, Lucerne, Montreux, Bremgarten or Rapperswil-Jona. Transportation from and to Milan, and a guide during the day are included.

Details & prices

3 days to the Basel and Colmar Christmas markets

You'll stay in Basel for 2 nights to visit the Christmas markets in Basel and Colmar (France). A guided tour of the market in Basel is included, as well as public transport in town, and a return train ticket to Colmar.

Details & prices

4-day pre-Christmas trip to Montreux from Zurich

You'll take the train from Zurich to Montreux to visit the Christmas market. The next day, a scenic ride with the cogwheel train takes you to the home of Santa Claus, on top of the mountain Rochers-de-Naye. On day 3 you can visit the medieval Chillon Castle. The trip ends in Zurich on day 4.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: museum;
    natural site, mountain top, by train;
    city tour;
    christmas market
  • Escort: independent (no guide)
  • Region: Zurich (Region Zurich)
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Details & booking: Tours4fun

5 day trip to the Golden Pass line, Jungfraujoch and Christmas markets

You'll start with the Montreux Christmas market with its 160 little chalets. Then you'll take the Golden Pass train to Interlaken for a snowy ride to Jungfraujoch. You conclude the tour in Zurich to visit the Christmas markets in the old town and at the train station.

Details & prices
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