What's Christmas without snow-capped mountains, an open fireplace in a cosy wooden chalet, buzzing Christmas markets, sipping the traditional mulled wine? Well, if you are living in a city that offers you none of the above and you are big on Christmas celebrations, head to Switzerland.
Christmas celebrations start in Switzerland on First Sunday of Advent, this year on December 2 and last till Boxing Day on December 26.
One of the biggest attractions of this country that sees enthusiastic travellers from all across the world are the different, vibrant and colourful Christmas markets that pop up in almost every town and village. These popular markets represent the best of Switzerlands traditional culture, whether it is in their decorations, other Christmas knick-knacks or food!
Here are the most famous Christmas Markets in the country to indulge in this winter... Have a look!
With its complete fairy-tale ambience, Montreux is home to one of Switzerland's most beautiful markets. Nestled between steep hills and the lakeside, the town of Montreux sets up over 160 chalets across the promenade to sell a wide variety of handmade Christmas souvenirs and delicacies. The main attraction to watch out for is the sound and light show in the Magical Garden and the Village of Elves a children's paradise.
With quaint Christmas markets, traditional advent concerts and impressive Christmas shows, Switzerlands largest city, Zurich, transforms from a financial hub into an enchanting winter wonderland. From the old town of Niederdörfl and the Opera house in the city to nearby romantic Rapperswil, every market emanates a wonderful festive mood in the city. But the one that attracts visitors the most is the Popular Christkindlimart in the central railway station, deemed to be one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe. A glittering feature of this market is the 16-meter high Christmas tree which is adorned with more than 7,000 Swarovski crystal ornaments.
The Lucerne Christmas Market is a charming affair with a canopy of twinkling Christmas stars and the fragrance of gingerbread, toffees, spices, punch and mulled wine. Every year several talented craftsmen, performers and chefs do a great job by entertaining and feeding visitors from around the world. A dozen Christmas stalls offer all types of handmade Christmas gifts right from traditional wooden toys and nativity scenes, to cosy knitted hats and scarves and also unique jewellery to delightful candles.
Bern offers a cosy and charming festive setting far from all the hustle and bustle. Local artisans offer their unique wares at the Münsterplatz in front of the Bern Minster, the church with the highest steeple in Switzerland. Serving the best of mulled wine, visitors can take a stroll through the wide collection of collections of arts and crafts and Christmas delicacies.
Basel arguably has the best and largest Christmas market in all of Switzerland. Running for the whole of the advent period, the quaint markets can be found on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, right in the centre of the city.
Over 180 traders and artisans offer their goods for sale in small, rustic wooden chalets alongside an array of culinary delights featuring waffles, sausages and the typical Basel Läckerli (a kind of gingerbread). A warm glass of the Glühwein mulled wine and raclette (melted cheese) make a great addition to the festive atmosphere.
The Festival of light, Lausanne Lumières is back with its seventh edition. Running all through the town, artists from Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands use the theme of light to showcase their bold and poetic artworks works through different projections and sculptures, giving visitors a chance to discover Lausanne under a different light. The best part? Entry to the festival is totally free.
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