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Swiss Christmas Market dates 2016

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Oct 28, 2016 - 1:21 AM

Hi everyone

This is for the benefit of several people who have mentioned visiting Christmas markets. I have done research for our own visit in early December so thought I would pass on the results for other people.

  • Lucerne - the one in the station runs from 24 Nov to 24 Dec. In Franziskanerplatz from 3 to 21 Dec, Kapellplatz only 15 - 18 Dec. and the handcraft market in Muellerplatz on 3, 8, 10, 11, 17 and 18 Dec.
  • Bern Christmas market 3 to 24 Dec. Biel/Bienne also starts on 3rd Dec and I think goes on till 23rd.
  • Zurich has several markets, main ones in Old Town and Railway Station both Nov 24 to Dec 23.
  • Basel Nov 26 to Dec 23.
  • Montreux late Nov to Dec 24. also St. Gallen and Winterthur similar. (Montreux was one of our favourites last time we were there in December.)
  • Morges 2 to 11 Dec.

There are quite a few other markets in smaller places but usually limited to just one weekend.

The only place I know of which has activities after Christmas is Interlaken which has ice rinks from late December to February. You can also book sledging and such during this time - details on Myswitzerland website - enter Interlaken in the search engine - it should come up under events. The Switzerland Travel Centre sent me details in a newsletter: www.stc.co.uk/interlak en_winter_activities.h tml

I hope all this is useful to someone out there!


Last modified on Oct 29, 2016 - 6:32 AM by Arno
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Oct 28, 2016 - 9:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Thank you Maggie, very useful!

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Oct 29, 2016 - 7:51 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Maggie-

Thanks for compiling and posting that useful list.

My Swiss friends have noted that the markets at Basel and Montreux are probably the largest, and that the one in Montreux has a different "feeling' or "style" when compared to the ones in the German speaking region.

I have not been to the one in Montreux to offer first hand comment or comparisons. The one at Luzern seems small to me. The only one that I have seen there is on the lower floor of the main station. Near the Schwanenplatz there is a small market offering foods from several different countries.

Since my trips to Switzerland a that time of year are brief, I tend to use the one in Zürich main station, which is a normal part of my itinerary to see friends. It meets my limited and fairly simple needs quite well.

One constraint on quantity for me is how much I can carry back to the USA, since I don't want to pay to ship overseas inexpensive but sometimes fragile Christmas presents, which, in turn, I might have to re-ship in the USA to my dispersed relatives in time for Christmas. I'm too impatient to file them way for next year. ;-)

Several of my relatives are handy with tools, or even work for companies that make specialized mechanical parts and tools. They have enjoyed small ( or not so small) hand tools or even threaded nuts and bolts made of chocolate. They have become available at the Zürich fair in the past few years. Cast with typical Swiss precision, the nuts can be threaded on the bolts. I usually try to take back a few hand-blown glass Christmas tree ornament, too.


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Oct 29, 2016 - 10:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks for replying. We visited Switzerland in 2010 to visit the markets and "did" the main ones then! Basel and Montreux were the biggest we found and are very different from each other, Basel being very similar to the ones in Germany and Montreux having a very French "feel" in comparison. Just comparing the hats on sale is interesting! Typical German knitted hats with obligatory attached plaits in Basel and a much more French chic variety on offer in Montreux!

We stayed in Biel which has its own quite small market but we liked it for its homely atmosphere and the fact that quite a few artisans were demonstrating how they made their wares - for instance making the twisted glass icicles for Christmas trees. We also enjoyed the markets in Bern and Winterthur very much. The highlight of the Zurich Bahnhof market has to be the huge Swarovski Christmas tree.

We didn't get to go to Lucerne that year so will include that in this year's trip as we want to try to get to some we didn't visit last time, so Lucerne, St. Gallen and Morges are on our list and possibly Einsiedeln and/or Zug. But will definitely re-visit Montreux as it was our favourite both for atmosphere and pretty location by the lake.

Best wishes.


Last modified on Oct 29, 2016 - 10:52 AM by Removed user


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