Christmas Markets: Zurich, Switzerland

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I’ve wanted to visit the Christmas Markets in Europe ever since I lived in Paris in 2003. Back then, I went home for Christmas so I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the holidays in town or visit any of the Christmas Markets. So, this year, I bit the bullet, grabbed a friend, booked a hotel, and made my way to Zurich just before Christmas!

To my surprise, Zurich has at least 5 Christmas Markets so we had plenty to do once we arrived. We didn’t plan too much outside of the markets but we did catch some of the main sights in Zurich and we even managed a day trip to Lucerne (they have their own Christmas market – more on that later)!

Here’s a rundown of Zurich’s Christmas Markets we visited: (Listed in order of preference)

“WIENACHTSDORF” (CHRISTMAS VILLAGE)  

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Located at Sechseläutenplatz, just outside the Opera House, this market has 100 stalls featuring food, gifts, and decorations. There’s also an ice rink for adults and children! This was by far my favorite market and, for a while, I couldn’t figure out why. After our second visit, it finally hit me – the market is 80% food and 20% shops. Now, it’s obvious why I loved it so much. I could have eaten every meal there then gone ice skating to work off my meals.

WHAT TO DO HERE: This market is near Lake Zurich and you can watch a beautiful sunset while enjoying the Christmas spirit at the market! If you’re hungry, grab a burger from HIN & WEG and have a seat to people watch. Then, put on some skates and take a few laps around the ice rink with your friends & family before you leave. (Closing December 23) WEBSITE

CHRISTKINDLIMARKT

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This market is located in the main train station so it’s incredibly easy to find. It has 150 stalls, an elevated bar where you can take photos of the market from above (image above), and the most elegantly-garish tree decorated with thousands of Swarovski crystals. Don’t get any ideas about those crystals – they don’t let you anywhere near that tree! There’s a massive glass barrier between us and it.

WHAT TO DO HERE: This market is inside so when it’s crazy cold outside you can stay warm while you shop and drink. Have Glühwein (mulled wine) at Glühwein-Hütte then head upstairs near the Swarovski tree to drink and people watch. (Closing December 24) WEBSITE

SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE & CHRISTMAS MARKET

Choirs, young and old, perform on this Christmas tree stage while singing carols in many different languages. We heard “Feliz Navidad”, “We are the World”, and several songs in German and Italian. On the night we attended we saw the children’s choir and they were just the cutest things on the planet! Check out the video.

WHAT TO DO HERE: While this market isn’t very big, the attraction here is the Singing Christmas Tree. After you’ve danced along to some Christmas classics, you can grab a bite to eat, some mulled wine (Glühwein) and walk over to Bahnhofstrasse to see the 12,000 twinkling lights that hang above the street. (Closing December 24) WEBSITE

There are at least 2-3 other Christmas Markets around Zurich but they were outside the center of town. We didn’t make to those but I’m sure they were just as magical!


Have you been to Zurich’s Chrismas Markets? What was your favorite? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    We love visiting European Christmas markets although we haven’t yet visited Switzerland at this time of the year. Zurich does look good for Christmas 2017 and there are direct flights from our local airport. Nothing more Christmassy than a few glasses of Glühwein.

    1. Reply

      You will not regret going to Zurich for Christmas! If you have time, take the train to Lucerne and enjoy a walk around town and stop by their Christmas market for Glühwein in a commemorative mug!

  2. Reply

    Wow! So many of them! Christmas markets are so great in Europe! We had the chance to experience some of them and it makes winter funnier!

    1. Reply

      There were some just outside the city center that we didn’t even get to! We did take the train to Lucerne and visited their market. It was small but still festive and we had the best mulled wine and brats there!

    • Kavey
    • December 31, 2016
    Reply

    Had no idea Zurich did Christmas markets in such a big way! Particularly like that one is indoors!

    1. Reply

      The indoor market was best for nighttime temperatures! However, we did go to the singing Christmas Tree in the evening but it was so cold we didn’t stay long. Whoever thought of the indoor market is a genius!

  3. Reply

    I don’t really remember Christmas markets being a thing here in England until 5/6 years ago. I didn’t actually know they were a thing. They’re very popular now, I guess they’ve been going on for ages in places like Germany and Switzerland. I’d like to experience them over here, as they’d be more authentic than the ones we have!

    1. Reply

      I agree with you! I didn’t really start hearing about them until a few years ago but I’m glad I went. Germany is supposed to have the best but I have no problem checking them out all over Europe.

  4. Reply

    Christmas in the Scandinavian countries must be so magical! Very different from sunny Southern California!

    1. Reply

      Haha, yes, it’s was very cold but very beautiful! I don’t mind going to the cold but I love coming home to Southern California!

    • Lia
    • December 31, 2016
    Reply

    These look lovely! We booked a trip to Europe all of December this year JUST to visit Christmas Markets! So far, Germany has the best ones. But these look great too!

  5. Reply

    These are such cool sights to see and indulge. I visited Zurich during summers and the scenes are totally different you know!
    Happy new year!

    1. Reply

      Happy new year! Yes, Zurich is definitely different in the winter but it’s just as beautiful!

  6. Reply

    I was told that the markets in Switzerland are some of the most beautiful ones in Europe! The ones back home in Spain are not as nice! Thank you for sharing, I will consider it as a destination for next year 😉

    1. Reply

      Spain may not have the best Christmas markets but it certainly has my heart! My husband and I love Spain and go back every chance we get. Christmas can be spent other places but Spain is year round!

  7. Reply

    Christmas anywhere is awesome however Christmas in Europe is definitely enchanting. I am reminded of our own experience of Christmas in Geneva and Brussels and how we enjoyed mulled wine from the street shops in biting cold 🙂 How I pine for it!

    1. Reply

      Agreed! Christmas is a wonderful season but for my first season in Europe, I was impressed. I’ll have to check out Geneva and Brussels next time. The mulled wine we had in Lucerne was far superior to the ones we had in Zurich. Wonder what their secret was!

  8. Reply

    Yes, I have to been to Zurich for Christmas and it’s one of my favorite places to go during the holidays because it is so festive! There’s also an ice skating rink near the train station and some smaller Christmas markets throughout the town. The kids that do the Singing Christmas Tree are so darn cute!

    1. Reply

      Zurich is incredibly festive and I saw it in pictures but it was just amazing in real life! I did see the ice rink, in fact, we passed it on the way to our hotel every day! The kids on the singing tree were definitely a highlight.

  9. Reply

    I love visiting Christmas markets. They are so beautiful even the locals one. I have been to some in the UK and Italy, but I really want to visit more. It seems that Zurich has some great markets too, I should try to check them out in this year

    1. Reply

      This was my first Christmas Market so I was really excited. Zurich, definitely stole my heart!

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