Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
We started our journey in Zurich, a city we had visited many times as I am Swiss, but not during the holidays. We stayed at an Autograph Collection hotel near the “Wienachtsdorf” Christmas village on Sechseläutenplatz, where the main market is located in front of the Opera House. It was very cold, but we still walked in the Old Town and visited two other markets (Muensterhof and Werdmuehleplatz). The famous Bahnhofstrasse (one of the world’s most expensive shopping avenues) was well decorated. We ended our day eating a cheese fondue in one of the seasonal restaurants built every year for the occasion.
Just before leaving Zurich, we visited the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum. It was launched in 2020 and features a 30-foot-tall chocolate fountain. It is the largest museum of its kind in the world. They have a lot of interactive features and show the history of chocolate and its different inventors. It’s great for people of all ages and you can taste a lot of chocolate for free…
Our next stop was in Bern, the Swiss capital, a ninety minutes’ drive from Zurich. Our hotel was located in the center of the city, near the Federal Palace (Parliament Building). We stayed at the Bristol Hotel. It is a nice hotel, but it has no parking and no AC, which does not matter in the winter. Our room was facing the street and they did not tell us when we checked-in that the food market was the next day. The merchants started installing their stalls at around 5:00 am!
The Old City of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage site located on a peninsula of the river Aare. The Famous ‘Zytglogge’ Clock Tower is in the center of the city. Bern has 4 miles of arcades, making it one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe. That is very convenient when it rains. The main Christmas market is on Waisenhausplatz, not far from the Federal Palace. It was established more than twenty years ago. We also visited the market in the Kleine Schanze Park that brings together more than sixty huts with specialties from around the world. We had dinner at the legendary Schweizerhof Hotel, which opened in 1859. Their restaurant, Jack’s Brasserie, is supposed to have the best Wienerschnitzel in Switzerland, but we were disappointed. The Wienerschnitzel is much better at the Old Swiss House in Luzern.
We ended our tour at the Swiss Christmas market in Montreux. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Swiss Majestic overlooking Lake Geneva. The Montreux Christmas market is one of the most beautiful in Europe. For a month, the lake shores welcome more than 170 merchants, craftsmen and restaurants installed in illuminated chalets. They even have Santa flying high over the area in his sleigh. It is a site to see!
Switzerland has a lot of wonderful towns to visit during the holidays. Montreux, Basel, Zurich and Bern are some of our favorites.