10 Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland

With the winter holiday season around the corner, it is time to think about which place to cozy up for Christmas. If you love the view of chalets covered in snow and the smell of mulled wine and cinnamon, Switzerland is the perfect country for you. Switzerland has some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. The magical atmosphere there brings the Christmas spirit out in everyone.

Bordered by four countries, Switzerland’s cultural identity is quite dynamic depending on the location. This diversity allows unique experiences every time you visit a new place. There is something truly magical about the holiday season — houses decked in stringed lights, mulled wine warming in the kitchen, snowy landscapes draped in white. Regardless if you celebrate or not, Christmas day offers a chance for us all to be present and savor life as the world seems to stop spinning.

Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland

The views range from scenic lakeside views to massive snow-covered mountains. Whichever you prefer, here is a list of the 10 best Christmas markets in Switzerland.

1. Basel

The city of Basel is on the border with Germany and France. It has one of the largest and prettiest markets in Switzerland. It was voted the best Christmas market in Europe in 2021. This alone says a lot about the place.

The market is active all year round, but its Christmassy side emerges in late November and lasts until right before Christmas. The market sprawls from Barfüsserplatz to one of the city’s most beautiful squares, Münsterplatz. Dozens of pine trees border the streets, and the shops are decorated to radiate the Christmas spirit.

2. Bern

In winter, Bern is beautifully decorated in festive fits and warm Christmas lights. The market in Waisenhausplatz, located in the Old City of Bern, is one of the best in Bern. It offers many local dishes and other delicacies for you to try out. There is also the market in Munsterplatz, which focuses on local hand-crafted goods. Make sure to bring enough funds because there will be so many things you will want to bring back home from these markets.

3. Lugano

Lugano feels more Italian than Swiss in the southern part of the country. The climate is milder than in the country's northern parts, and here you can enjoy ice cream even in winter! Starting in December, this market transforms into a hub of Christmas spirit and festive joy. The stalls are filled with gifts and food for all palates.

If you’re visiting with your family, visit the Christmas village. The village offers musical entertainment you shouldn’t miss out on and plenty of games and activities for children.

4. Zurich

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. Therefore, it is no surprise that it has some of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland. The city houses one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe. It is located right in the city’s main train station. The most notable landmark in the market is a giant Swarowski Christmas tree.

The tree welcomes all travelers who arrive at this place via train with its glistening decorations, which span in the thousands. The beauty of this city may make you wish to move here. However, the experts at Van Express Movers advise waiting until the winter season passes and roads become easier to travel if you want a pleasant relocating experience.

5. Lucerne

With about 70 stalls, this festive market offers plenty of wares for Christmas gifts. The Christmas market of Lucerne is in the center of the city’s Old Town. There is music, decorations, drinks, and food. It is a perfect place for children and adults.

6. Chur

If you don’t like the noise of vehicles and the smog, then Chur is the place for you. The old town of Chur, where the market is, is car-free. That is also where you can begin an enjoyable 4-hour train ride on Bernina Express, which travels through gorgeous landscapes to Italy. Tranquility and beauty are the two words that best describe Chur.

7. St Gallen

St Gallen is in the German-speaking part of the country, in the northeast. Home to the largest Christmas tree in all of Switzerland, St Gallen is on the list of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland. The St Gallen market starts from Waaghaus to Market Square. Among the many things sold on over 70 stalls, you can taste delicious traditional Christmas cookies and enjoy mulled wine here. The market closes at 7 pm, so get there early.

8. Montreux

If you’re looking for a more lakeside view, Montreux is the right place. Located in the French-speaking area of the country in southern Switzerland, on lake Geneva, Montreux has over a hundred chalets. Each of them sells all kinds of souvenirs and food. When packing for your visit to this gorgeous town, consider the things you want to bring. Knowing how to pack quickly and efficiently when traveling will reduce the chance of forgetting something important that might ruin your Christmas holiday.

9. Locarno

Locarno is on the list of Switzerland's best Christmas markets due to its coziness. Although a summer resort, this place has a unique charm even when it is off-season. Here you can find igloo bars, chalets, and even a skating rink to enjoy your winter in peace and various activities.

10. Einsiedeln

Last but not least on the list is the market in Einsiedeln. During winter holidays, this town gets an overhaul to suit the theme. With over a hundred stalls in the Monastery square, this market offers a perfect setting to spread Christmas joy. The town has the world’s most extensive nativity scene and a gingerbread museum. It can’t get more Christmassy than that.

Final thoughts

Although this list provides some of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland, there are plenty more markets for you to discover in this beautiful country. Make sure to take precautions to travel safely, and may you have a Merry Christmas!

Kalyan Panja