12 tips for the best Christmas markets in Switzerland (recommended by locals)

Christmas markets in Switzerland are also known as Adventsmark, Weihnachtsmarkt, Christkindlimarkt (or Märit, Märet, depending on the local dialect spoken 🙂 ) Each market has its traditions, decorations, and food. Ornately decorated stalls nestled together, merchants selling handmade products, Christmas decorations, mulled wine, and, of course, the best cheeses in the world. After going to well-known Christmas markets in Prague, Dresden, or Regensburg, I made it my mission to visit some of the best in Switzerland. 

I asked my readers to contribute to this post, and below, you can find their recommendations. So, in today’s post, I bring tips for the 12 Christmas markets we visited and which locals (understand: my husband’s work colleagues 🙂 ) and my readers recommend. So save the date, here we go:

Updated on 11. 12. 2023

We visited

Adventsmarkt Burgdorf (3. 12. 2023)

Unlike most Christmas markets, this one has not a central location, but over 200 stalls stretch across the streets of Burdorf – from Mühlegasse to the Gebrüder-Schnell-Terasse. When we visited the Advent Market in Burgdorf for the first time, the medieval craft market was held on the castle’s premises. Children could decorate their gingerbread and see the angel appearing in the window of the castle tower 🙂

Kambly Weihnachtsmarkt, Trubschachen (1. -3. 12. , 8. – 10. 12. 2023)

In the picturesque Emmental village of Trubschachen, the Christmas market is held on the first two Advent weekends in the premises surrounding the Kambly Biscuit Factory. You will find stalls with hand-made crafts and mulled wine here, and children can meet Samichlaus (St.Nicholas).

It may be overcrowded if you want to buy some biscuits in the Kambly shop. And other visitors will shop as if the world’s end should come. And the only thing that will help them to survive are kilograms of various kinds of delicious Kambly biscuits 😀

Bern (Berner Weihnachtsmarkt 1. 12. – 23. 12., Sternenmarkt 23. 11. – 29. 12. 2023)

In Bern, Christmas markets are held in several different locations. We visited the Münsterplatz, which is famous for its offer of handicraft products. The market is smaller; I would rather say “intimate,” but that’s just what suits us 🙂

Edit 2019: Just before Christmas Eve, we also went to another Bernese Advent market, the “Berner Sternenmarkt” on the Kleine Schanze near the Parliament building. This one is really lovely and to tell the truth, I liked it more 😉

Chlouser Märit Aarberg (1. – 3. 12. 2023)

We liked St. Nicholas Market in the town on the Aare River. The shops on the square were beautifully decorated, and despite the winter cold, the cozy restaurant invited you to the outdoor seating under the heaters and the fur-covered chairs. For children, a small carousel and a small steam train took them for a ride around the square. Well, of course, you could meet St. Nicolas 🙂

Huttwil (29.11. – 3. 12. 2023)

In Huttwil in the Oberaargau region, the Christmas market, which is said to be one of the most romantic, is held on the first advent weekend. I would like to visit this one this year. (Edit: Visited in 2018)

Biel (2. – 23. 12. 2023)

If you’re in Biel pre-Christmas, I recommend checking out the local Christmas markets. These stretch along the Nidaugasse shopping avenue and end at a small square at the junction of Nidaugasse, Zentralstrasse, and Oberer Quai.

Christkindlimarkt Zurich Main Station (23. 11. – 24. 12. 2023)

I visited this Christmas market in 2021 when the highlight was still the Christmas tree decorated with Swarovski crystals. This year, Lindt took over the decoration, and it didn’t take away from the beauty of this Christmas market. With 120 stalls, it still holds the top spot as the largest indoor Christmas market in Europe.

Adventsdorf Olten, SO (2. – 23. 12. 2023)

I visited this Christmas market only because our son had a hockey game there. I wasn’t expecting anything but was enchanted, even though it was raining. You will find many attractions for children (theatre, carousel, giant slide, ice rink, donkeys, and lamas to pet) and good food, drinks, and stalls where you can find lots of inspiration for Christmas gifts. And the giant “Glühwein-Pyramide” reminded me a lot of the Christmas markets in Dresden.

Recommended

Basler Weihnachtsmarkt (23. 11. – 23. 12. 2023)

My dear readers Debra and Klara have agreed that the Christmas Market in Basel is great for kids on the Münsterplatz! There is a “Märchenwald”(fairy tale land) that is so magical and beautiful! There are many stands where kids can make candles, gingerbread, “blacksmithing,” etc. “Just a great, lovely atmosphere.”

Photo Credit: Debra

Montreux Noël (23. 11. – 24. 12. 2023)

The most famous and largest Christmas market in Switzerland is Montreux. Santa visits the market on his flying sled daily on the lakeshore at 17, 18, and 19:00.

Einsiedeln Weihnachtsmarkt (1. – 10. 12. 2023)

My readers Veronika, Heather, and Kate have agreed that the atmosphere of the Christmas market at the Einsiedeln monastery is quite different from the markets in bigger towns (“It’s more of a local craft Christmas market, not all mass-produced stuff like Zurich HB”). You can also visit the monastery during the markets and the world´s biggest Nativity scene (Diorama in Benzingerstrasse 23).

Weihnachts- und Christchindli-Märt Bremgarten (7. – 10. 12. 2023)

The second Advent weekend in Canton Aargau takes place at the biggest Christmas market in Switzerland (by the way, did I not write the same thing about the Montreux Christmas market? I´m confused by what this page says :O What is the biggest market in Switzerland?) Anyway, in Bremgarten, you will find over 300 stalls, food, drinks, decorations, and many ideas for Christmas presents.

By the way, you can find lots of beautiful photos from this Christmas market on Anita´s  Travelita blog.

Photo credit: Anita www.travelita.ch

Christkindlimärt Rapperswil-Jona (7. – 23. 12. 2023)

Although officially, the Christmas market in the town on the shores of the lake begins on December 14, a week earlier, from 7 December, the “Advent village” is open with about 50 stalls offering Christmas gifts. The carousel and miniature railway are also ready for children.

Christkindlimärt 2023 will take place on the second and third weekends of Advent, from Thursday to Sunday, and on the fourth weekend of Advent, from Wednesday to Saturday.

And what about you? Do you enjoy Christmas markets as one of the most festive ways to get into the season’s spirit? Which is your favorite? 

If Christmas markets are not your cup of tea and you want to experience something quieter, I recommend Christmas Path Weihnachtswäg in Aeschi near Spiez near Lake Thun.

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Hana Hurábová

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