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The 2021 Christmas markets in Switzerland

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Basel Christmas market

The Christmas market in the old town center of Basel, Switzerland.

Swiss Christmas markets

The Christmas markets are a good reason to visit Switzerland in late November or December. Combine a city trip, one or more Christmas markets, and a visit to the snowy mountains for the ultimate Christmas feeling.

There are smaller and larger Christmas markets all over Switzerland. Nearly all major cities have one. Several smaller towns do too. And some markets are held at very special locations. There’s one on top of Mount Pilatus for example.

Opening dates and times

Swiss Christmas markets are mainly open between mid November and 24 December. Dates vary for each market. Some are open for weeks, others just a day or two.

Average opening hours are late morning to early- or mid-evening. In late November and December, sunset starts about 4:30 PM. Many markets and town centers are beautifully illuminated at night. So the late afternoon and early evening are a perfect time of the day.

2021 Christmas markets in Switzerland's cities

Basel, Montreux and Zurich are ideal Swiss cities for Christmas markets. They have some of the most beautiful markets. They also provide quick access to other towns with more Christmas fairs.

  • Basel. There are two markets in the old town center. One is at the Barfüsserplatz. The other is at the Münsterplatz near the famous Münster cathedral. Both are open from 25 November to 23 December: www.basel.com.
  • Bern. The market is located at the Waisenhausplatz. This can be reached in a few minutes on foot from the railway station. The Christmas market is held from 26 November to 24 December. A New Year's Market is open from 27 to 29 December: www.weihnachtsmarktbern.ch.
  • Geneva. There are several markets in town. More interesting is the l'Escalade festival, held in the weekend closest to 11 December: www.geneva.info.
  • Lausanne. There are several festivities and a market in the old town. Festivities are available from 18 November to 31 December. The market is closed on 25 December: bo-noel.ch.
  • Lucerne. There are various dates and places with markets, from early December to Christmas. The Christmas and Crafts market at the Weinmarkt is a traditional one: www.luzern.com.
  • Lugano. The town center is beautifully illuminated and a market is open from 5 December to 24 December: https://www.ticino.ch.
  • Montreux. The "Montreux Noel" market is one of Switzerland's most famous Christmas fairs. It's located at the boulevard along Lake Geneva. There are lots of activities for kids too. The market is open from 19 November to 24 December: www.montreuxnoel.com.
  • St. Gallen is called "City of Stars" in winter. A market is open from 25 November to 24 December: www.sternenstadt.ch.
  • Zurich has no less than 3 Christmas markets. One is at the central railway station. Others are located in the old town. They're open from 25 November to 23 or 24 December: www.zuerich.com.

2021 Christmas markets in smaller Swiss towns

Many smaller Swiss villages have beautiful Christmas fairs too. Some examples are:

How to combine Christmas fairs with other activities

Our proposal for an ideal December visit to Switzerland: start with a few days in a city to experience the cosy December feeling and of course the Christmas markets.

Then travel to the mountains, preferably by a scenic train. Explore the peaks of the Swiss Alps and other winter activities, before returning home to celebrate Christmas.

Note that this time is considered low season, so check the timetables and opening hours of places you'd like to visit. Some cableways and mountain trains may not be operational.

Itinerary suggestion 1: Zürich and Wengen

First spend a few days in Zurich. Your can visit the Christmas markets in Basel, Bern, Lucerne and Zurich from here if you wish.

Then spend a day on scenic railroads: take the train to Chur, then the Glacier Express route to Brig, and finally travel to Wengen to enjoy the mountains.

A shorter route is Zurich - Lucerne - Interlaken - Wengen via the Golden Pass line.

Itinerary suggestion 2: a week in Lucerne

The city of Lucerne offers many options, including a Christmas market. Your can also make day trips to the Christmas markets in Basel, Bern and Zurich from here.

Apart from that, mountains like Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis are nearby and make for an easy day trip.

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The best Swiss towns for Christmas atmosphere, snow fun and winter scenery.



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Guided Magic Christmas group tour in Zurich

Your private local guide will show you the center of Zurich, and the Christmas markets at the central station and in the Niederdorf district. The maximum group size is 15 people.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: City tour;
    Christmas market
  • Escort: private guide
  • Region: Zurich (Region Zurich)
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com

Guided Magic Christmas group tour in Geneva

Your private local guide will show you the center of Geneva, and the Christmas market at the Rue de Mont Blanc. The maximum group size is 15 people.

Details & prices

Guided Magic Christmas group tour in Basel

Your private local guide will show you the historical center of Basel, and the Christmas market at the Barfüsserplatz. The maximum group size is 15 people.

Details & prices

Guided Magic Christmas group tour in Vevey

Your private local guide will show you the center of Vevey and its Christmas market near Lake Geneva. The maximum group size is 15 people.

Details & prices
COVID-19 Clean & SafeActivities with extra hygiene measures to guarantee your safety. Swiss "Clean & Safe" label or similar. Free cancellationAt least one (usually all) retailers listed here offer free cancellation for this activity

Guided small-group walking tour in Christmassy Lucerne

Explore the historical center of Lucerne in the weeks before Christmas during this guided walking tour along the Christmas decorations and the markets. Up to 6 participants.

Details & prices
Free cancellationAt least one (usually all) retailers listed here offer free cancellation for this activity

Christmas in France, Germany and Switzerland in 1 day

The tour starts in Colmar (France), which is 45 minutes by train from Basel. The bus can pick you up at your hotel in Colmar. You'll visit the fortification of Neuf-Brisach in France, and then the Christmas market in Freiburg, Germany. At night you'll visit the market of Basel, Switzerland.

Details & prices
  • Attraction type: Christmas market;
    City tour
  • Escort: mix of guided/not guided
  • Duration: 1 day or less
  • Details & booking: Viator.com
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