Seven Special Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Christmas Markets to Discover and Enjoy
The first Christmas market stalls are usually already set up in the end of November. Visitors are put in the Christmas mood and can be entertained by all kinds of different attractions. In Switzerland, there are a few extra special Christmas markets you won’t want to miss.
Every year at Christmas time, the Eichhörnliwald (squirrel forest) in Lenzerheide is transformed into a fascinating Zauberwald (magic forest). Here the organizers put on a light festival where impressive stories are told with the help of light and music. This makes visiting the market quite a spectacle. In the market village you can also find small wooden chalets that offer tasty treats from regional restaurateurs and hand-made gifts. There are also various kinds of live entertainment on the concert stage in the forest. Childcare is also taken care of; your little ones will be entertained by a children’s programme in magical yurts.
Opening hours: 15 - 30 December 2019 (limited operation on December 24)
Magic forest: 17:00 - 23:00
Light displays: 17:00 - 22:00
Market village: 17:00 - 22:00
Concerts: from 20:15
The Fadali car park is the official parking area for visitors. A space here costs 5 CHF. You can also park your car in other pay-to-park lots in the city centre and outskirts such as Julier, Allod, or Clavadoiras. From there it’s only 5 to 10 minutes by foot to the magic forest.
If you want to experience true Christmas spirit in Zurich, you should visit the «Zürcher Wienachtdorf» at the Bellevue Square. The ice rink, measuring roughly 700 square meters, is an especially popular attraction. There you can ice skate together with your friends and family and also try your hand at Ice stock sport, also known as «Bavarian Curling». At the Wienachtsdorf you can also find over 200 market stalls and marvel at the traditional and modern pieces of craftsmanship they offer. Some stalls also allow you to create your own pieces of art under the guidance of experienced artists, which you can then give as a present to your loved ones. A wide variety of international dishes provides you with the best culinary experiences. At the chalet «Klosters» you can also enjoy fondoue variations in a cozy atmosphere at the fireside. Additionally, the Zürcher Wiehnachtsdorf delights with a varied entertainment programme for young and old. Kids will also be enchanted by the plays, concerts, arts and crafts as well as many other activities at the «Elfendörfli».
Address: Sechseläutenplatz, Zurich
Monday to Saturday: 11:00 bis 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 to 20:00
23th December: 11:00 to 20:00
Monday to Thursday: 11:00 to 23:00
Friday to Sunday: 11:00 to 24:00
23th December: 11:00 to 22:00
Monday to Saturday: 11:00 to 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 to 20:00
23th Dezember: 11:00 to 20:00
Monday to Sunday: 11.00 to 20:00 Uhr
You can use the car parks nearby for easy parking. As the Christmas market is near the «Stadelhofen» train station and the streetcar stop «Bellevue», it is also possible to use public transport.
The Lucerne designing exhibition “DesignSchenken” is quite a change of pace compared to a traditional Christmas market. Here, over 100 Swiss designers present their products. There’s no elaborately planned programme since the focus is on the one-of-a-kind products being presented. Here you’ll be sure to find individual gift ideas that are affordable for both large and small wallets alike. Things like home accessories, jewellery, fashion, books, and even furniture are available. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own products in a workshop and observe designers at work.
Opening hours: 6 – 8 December, 2019
6th December: 12:00 to 20:00
7th December: 10:00 to 19:00
8th December: 10:00 to 17:00
You can find parking at the Kino Maxx in the Centrum Seetalplatz.
Medieval Christmas Market in St. George’s Abbey
In St. George’s Abbey in Stein am Rhein you can experience Christmas as it was in the Middle Ages. In one of the best-preserved monastery complexes in Switzerland you’ll be able to see how trade and daily life functioned in those times. You could, for instance, watch while tailors and blacksmiths make clothes or forge iron. Most importantly, you’ll be able to dive in and experience the Christmas festivities of this time. At various stalls you can try foods and drinks typical of the time as well as buy medieval-themed gifts. Ceramic flutes will also play Christmas music in the background for you to enjoy while strolling through the abbey’s courtyard.
Kloster St. Georgen, Fischmarkt 3, Stein am Rhein
Opening hours: 13 - 15 December 2019
13th December from 14:00 to 20:00
14th December from 10:00 to 20:00
15th December from 10:00 to 18:00
You can use the parking lots located at Mühlenstrasse and Chlini Schanz. These are only 300 metres from the abbey.
Christmas Market on the lake
Konstanz may not be located in Switzerland, but it’s not that far away and is worth the trip for Christmas market enthusiasts. The Christmas market in Konstanz features about 160 festively decorated stalls that stretch from the city’s market square to the harbour. The highlight here is the Christmas market ship. On the ship you can enjoy the view of the Alps from the 360° panorama bar or be inspired by the various hand-made crafts and gift ideas available. The organisers of the Christmas market purposely feature hand-made crafts by regional craftsmen. Only 20 per cent of the market stalls sell Glühwein, Lebkuchen, or other tasty treats. In order to promote local societies, various music associations perform on the weekends. They’ll provide you with musical entertainment while you relax and enjoy the view from the ship. On St. Nicholas Day, December 6, a St. Nicholas also hands out gifts to children and adults.
Hafenstrasse 2, Konstanz / Germany
Opening hours: 28 November - 22 December 2019
daily: from 11:00 to 20:00
Friday and Saturday: from 11:00 am to 21:30
To find a suitable parking space, it’s best to follow the car-park routeing system of Konstanz.
Christmas Market Montreux Noël
At the Montreux Noël Christmas market you’ll be completely immersed in a winter wonderland. This market is considered the most beautiful Christmas market in Switzerland and offers something for everyone. At the Chillon Castle you can experience Christmas as it was in the Middle Ages or you can go on a leisurely stroll through the magic garden illuminated by Christmas lights. A couple of highlights for kids are visiting Santa Claus and the Elves’ Village. In addition, Russia is the cultural guest of honour at the Christmas market this year. Besides typical Swiss treats and hand-made crafts you’ll also be able to sample and admire all kinds of delicacies and specialties from Russia.
Grand-Rue 24, Montreux
22 November - 24 December 2019
Artisans and Market Traders:
Monday - Tuesday: 11:00 - 20:00
Wednesday - Thursday: 11:00 - 21:00
Friday: 11:00 - 22:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 22:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 20:00
Food and Drink:
Monday - Tuesday: 11:00 - 22:00
Wednesday - Thursday: 11:00 - 23:00
Friday: 11:00 - 23:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 23:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 22:00
Christmas market visitors can use the various parking garages at the market place, train station, casino, and Montreux Palace.
Locarno on Ice
In Locarno the Piazza Grande is transformed into an artificial ice rink in wintertime. Here visitors can get a bit active in a wintery atmosphere and skate together with their children or friends in an illuminated rink. There is a red carpet laid out around the rink with small wooden huts and four transparent igloo bars. Here you’ll be able to relax after skating and end the day comfortably with an aperitif. In addition, live acts occasionally provide musical entertainment.
Piazza Grande, Locarno
Opening hours: 21 November 2019 - 6 January 2020
Monday - Sunday: 10:00 - 01:00
You can find parking in the Largo Zorzi and Piazza Castello parking garages.
Whether in a medieval style, on a ship, or in the forest - there’s something for everyone at all of these Christmas markets. Here you’ll find one-of-a-kind handicrafts and individual designer products. Enjoy the day at these markets with a hot mug of Glühwein and a delectable Swiss treat. These markets will be sure to make Advent an extraordinary experience