My favourite season to visit Switzerland is just before Christmas, as the ambiance in the cities feels magical. Switzerland, renowned for its scenic beauty and festive spirit, hosts some of the most enchanting Christmas markets in Europe. These markets are anticipated to be even more amazing in 2023. Let’s take a tour of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland, which, I promise, will bring you a truly unique winter wonderland experience.
Christmas Market in Montreux
The Montreux Christmas Market is a beautiful fusion of Swiss traditions and global flair, nestled along the shores of Lake Leman. The market’s numerous kiosks selling handicrafts, artisanal goods, and delicious delicacies are set against a beautiful lakeside setting. The quaint Santa’s House, a comfortable cottage where kids can see Santa Claus, is the market’s main attraction. After that, take a leisurely stroll down the Christmas-lit promenade that runs along the lake in Montreux.
Dates and Times of the Montreux Christmas Market
The Montreux Christmas market will be operating in 2023 from November 23 through December 24.
The opening hours for the shop kiosks will be Monday, Tuesday and Sunday from 11am – 8pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 9pm; and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm.
The food and beverages kiosks will open from 11am to 10pm on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it will be open from 11am to 11pm.
All the kiosk will operate from 11am to 5pm on December 24th.
The Bar des Étoiles has special opening hours. These are from 5pm to 12pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday opens from 5pm to 1am. On Saturday from 12am to 1am and on Sunday from 12am to 12pm.
The bar will remain close on December 24th.
Christmas Market in Zurich
One of the biggest and most well-known Christmas markets in Switzerland is the Zurich Christmas Market. This market, which is set against the city’s historic Old Town, is a fascinating display of lights, crafts, and holiday happiness. The enormous Christmas tree that is covered in thousands of Swarovski crystals serves as the centerpiece. Visitors can browse more than 100 booths filled with artisanal goods, Swiss treats, and handmade presents. Visit Santa’s Village and take a leisurely stroll along Lake Zurich to see the magnificent ambience created by the Christmas lights reflecting on the water.
Dates of the Zurich Christmas Market
The market is celebrated from November 23th to December 24th, 2023.
Christmas Market in Basel
Basel, a city renowned for its extensive cultural history, is transformed into a winter paradise over the holidays. The Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz-based Basel Christmas Market has a wonderful atmosphere with hundreds of stalls selling unusual presents and festive fare. The charming “Läggerli” tram, a charmingly lighted vintage tram that offers passengers a festive journey around the city, is a highlight. The exquisite nativity scene displayed at the nearby Munster Cathedral also contributes to the market’s charming traditionalism.
Dates of the Basel Christmas Market
The market will take place from Thursday, 23 November until Saturday, 23 December 2023. Basel is considered one of the top Christmas destinations in Europe. This Christmas market is considered the largest Christmas market in Switzerland.
Lucerne Christmas Market
With its picturesque lakeside location and ancient architecture, Lucerne is a dream visit all year long. Christmas, though, gives it an even more enchanted air. A feast of lights and ornaments, the Lucerne Christmas Market is situated on Franziskanerplatz and Mühlenplatz. A vintage carousel and an ice rink increase the festive atmosphere. Don’t forget to explore the neighboring Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), which appears especially charming lit up at night. Sample Swiss specialties like raclette and fondue.
Dates of the Basel Christmas Market
From 1st December to 21st December 2023.
Geneva Christmas Market
Geneva, known for its international institutions and cosmopolitan atmosphere, hosts a Christmas market that reflects its diversity and sophistication. The Geneva Christmas Market is situated in the heart of the city at the stunning Parc des Bastions. Here, visitors can browse through over 100 stalls offering a wide range of gifts, crafts, and gourmet treats. A visit to the towering Christmas tree and the festive merry-go-round is a must. Additionally, the market’s location makes it a perfect starting point for exploring Geneva’s cultural and culinary delights.
Dates and Times of the Geneva Christmas Market
It will be open from the 16th November to 24th December from 11.30am to 9pm.
Bern Christmas Market
The charming capital of Switzerland, Bern, charms visitors with its well-preserved historical buildings and medieval old town. The Bern Christmas Market, which is situated at Waisenhausplatz and Münsterplattform, gives this lovely city a festive air. The wooden chalets at the market are lit up, making for a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Customers can find artisan items, mouthwatering Swiss treats, and mulled wine. Take a spin on the antique carousel for a one-of-a-kind experience and take in the charming setting.
Dates of the Bern Christmas Market
From 1st December to 23rd December 2023.
Lausanne Christmas Market
With its picturesque Christmas Market, Lausanne, which is located on the banks of Lake Geneva, welcomes travelers to celebrate the festive season. The market has a carousel, an ice rink, and a festive spirit that permeates the city. It is situated in Place Saint-François and on the Esplanade de Montbenon. You may shop for regional crafts and taste in Swiss delicacies against the breathtaking backdrop of the illuminated church and the imposing Château d’Ouchy.
Dates of the Lausanne Christmas Market
It will be open from 7th November to 31st December 2023.
St. Moritz Christmas Market
The world-famous luxury resort of St. Moritz has a sophisticated and elegant Christmas market. The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel’s extravagant St. Moritz Christmas Market features an ice rink, gourmet food stands, and a variety of upscale shops. Despite the absence of traditional Swiss handicrafts, the market’s luxurious atmosphere and breathtaking mountain surroundings make it a special and unforgettable Christmas event.
In conclusion, the Christmas markets in Switzerland offer a special fusion of history, allure, and breathtaking scenery. These markets feature everything you could possibly want, whether you’re looking for unique handmade gifts, delectable Swiss fare, or just a wonderful setting to get into the holiday spirit. So, if you want to experience the romance of the holiday season in all its fullness in 2023, wrap up warm, sip on some hot Glühwein, and enter the wonderful world of the Swiss Christmas markets!