Christmas market visitors at market stalls in front of a lit-up forest
© Zauberwald Lenzerheide

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.

A tree in the forest decorated with light
© Zauberwald Lenzerheide

Lenzerheidner Zauberwald

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.

Adress:
Eichhörnliwald, Lenzerheide

Opening hours:
15 - 30 December 2017 (limited operation on December 24)

Magic forest: 17:30 - 22:00
Light displays: 17:30 - 23:00
Market village: 17:30 - 22:00
Concerts: from 20:00

Parking:
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.

Christmas market in the Zurich train station concourse
© OK Christkindlimarkt

Zürcher Christkindlimarkt

For those of you who want to get out of the cold, the Christkindlimarkt in the Zurich central station is a great choice. This is the largest indoor Christmas market in Europe. Something that will really catch your attention is the 15-metre Christmas tree, which is decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals. In the evening, visitors can be marvelled by the impressive Christmas light show on the historical façade of the central station building. In Emmentaler Stöckli (typical Emmental architecture) you can try some tasty Christmas treats and observe craftsmen at work. Children can also have their fun in the Venetian World where they can get their face painted, ride on the carousel, or even visit Santa.

Adress:
Zürich Hauptbahnhof, Museumsstrasse 1, Zürich

Opening hours:
23 November - 24 December 2017

Sunday - Wednesday: 10:30 - 21:00
Thursday - Saturday: 10:30 - 22:00
24 December: till 16:00

Parking:
For parking you can use the surrounding parking garages. However, since the Christmas market is located in the train station, it’s more convenient to travel there by public transport.

Market visitors look at products on display
© DesignSchenken

DesignSchenken

The Lucerne designing exhibition “DesignSchenken” is quite a change of pace compared to a traditional Christmas market. Here, over 90 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.

Adress:
Viscosistadt, Emmen

Opening hours:
1 - 3 December

1 December: 14:00 - 20:00
2 December: 10:00 - 20:00
3 December: 10:00 - 17:00

Parking:
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.

Adress:
Kloster St. Georgen, Fischmarkt 3, Stein am Rhein

Opening hours:
15 - 17 December 2017

Friday: 14:00 - 20:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 20:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00

Parking:
You can use the parking lots located at Mühlenstrasse and Chlini Schanz. These are only 300 metres from the abbey.

Christmas market ship in the harbour next to the Christmas market
© Achim Mende

Weihnachtsmarkt am See

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 170 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.

Adresse:
Hafenstrasse 2, Konstanz / Deutschland

Opening hours:
30 November - 22 December 2017

Täglich: 10:00 bis 20:00 Uhr
Friday and Saturday: till 21:30

Parking:
To find a suitable parking space, it’s best to follow the car-park routeing system of Konstanz.

Weihnachtsmarkt 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, Portugal 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 Portugal.

Address:
Grand-Rue 24, Montreux

Opening hours:
23 November - 24 December 2017

Artisans and Market Traders
Monday - Thursday: 11:00 - 20:00
Friday: 11:00 - 22:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 22:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 20:00

Food and Drink
Monday - Thursday: 11:00 - 22:00
Friday: 11:00 - 23:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 23:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 22:00

Parking:
Christmas market visitors can use the various parking garages at the market place, train station, casino, and Montreux Palace.

Ice skaters in the artificial ice skating rink in Locarno
© Locarno On Ice

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.

Adress:
Piazza Grande, Locarno

Opening hours:
23 November 2017 - 7 January 2018

Monday - Sunday: 10:00 - 01:00

Parking:
You can find parking in the Largo Zorzi and Piazza Castello parking garages.

Summary

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

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