Switzerland Christmas Markets
For some reason, Switzerland doesn’t often come up when people talk about European Christmas markets. Germany of course comes at the top of the list, followed with countries such as Austria. Because of this, we went on a quest to see and experience Swiss Christmas markets for ourselves. We went to a total of three Christmas markets during our trip, in three different cities. Each market was unique and special in its own ways - lets dig into each one of them right away!
Zurich - Zurcher Wienachtsdorf
This was the first Christmas market we visited in Switzerland. Based on my research, I think there might have been multiple Christmas markets in Zurich, but as we had little time we went to the largest one at the Sechseläutenplatz. The market is called “Zurcher Wienachtsdorf” and has many cute decorations, including a huge Christmas tree and a cute little ice skating area. I definitely would have gone ice skating if it wasn’t raining that day. The market itself is not too large, I would say it is medium in size. We got some Glühwein and Bratwurst - the sausages were some of the best we’ve ever tasted. In terms of food, there was also a Raclette restaurant in addition to some other unique food stalls (Indian food, Vietnamese food, etc.). By the food choices, you can really tell that it’s a Christmas market for urban settlers. Overall, this was the most decorated Christmas market we went to in Switzerland, everything seemed to be well thought of by the organizer!
For more information about the market, go here.
2. Luzern - Lozärner Wiehnachtsmart
Luzern (or spelled as Lucerne in French) is predominantly a German speaking area, and has slightly more German influence. The town is small, with only about 85,000 people (compared to about 400,000 in Zurich). The Christmas market certainly reflected the drastic population change. The market is located in Franziskanerplatz, which is just referring to the space in front of the famous Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche). I would consider this market to be small as it probably only has about 30 vendors in total. We had more Glühwein here and of course more sausages, although somehow the sausages were different from the ones we had in Zurich. Here, the sausages were cut in pieces and there’s some sort of curry sauce on top of it. I personally liked the plain sausages better so we actually ordered another portion - this time without the curry sauce. Other than that, there wasn’t a lot of variations in terms of food options.
The nicest touch was the live music played in front of the church, it definitely made the market feel even more festive (not even sure if that’s possible). I also love that this market was situated in the old part of Luzern - if definitely gave the market character!
For more information about Luzern’s Christmas Market, click here.
3. Montreux : Marché De Noël
I have to say that Montreux’s Christmas market was my favorite. The Christmas stalls were laid along the sidewalk by the lake and is probably more than a mile long! Unlike the Zurich and Luzern Christmas markets, this market had a french twist to it. This is because Montreux is in a part of Switzerland that is mainly French influenced. I noticed that there were a lot of crepe stands, something that the Zurich and Luzern market did not have. In addition, there were a lot more varieties in the vendor selections, from arts and crafts, perfume to food. At the end of the market there was also a sort of townhall with even more vendors and also a huge ferriswheel.
At this market we also tried something called Tartiflette, which is a mix of potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. It was surprisingly super good but very creamy at the same time. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to finish a whole bowl alone (I barely finished a quarter of a bowl). In addition to Tartiflette, we got chocolate crepes and Glühwein (yes, again).
At the market townhall, there were Christmas trees where visitors’ could hang their wishes on. We took some time to write down our wishes for the new year and hung the wish on the tree. All the visitors were really enthusiastic and reading the wishes was very touching to me! The wishes were written in all sorts of languages, from Japanese to Arabic. You can tell that Montreux is definitely a destination much loved and visited by people from all sorts of nations.
I loved this market so much that I didn’t take many pictures. I was busy trying to absorb everything that was happening around me and just enjoying the Christmas festivity. I would definitely highly recommend a visit to this Christmas market.
For more information about Montreux’s Christmas market, click here.
If you made it here, I just wanted to say thank you for following along with this post. The intention of this post is to share some of the knowledge and experiences that I have gone through, and to also document my travels for myself. I find that when travels are left undocumented, pictures get lost and the memories get blurry. I hope to be able to look at this post again years down the road and reminisce the good times we had together at Switzerland’s Christmas markets. I also just wanted to mention that in no way is this list exhaustive of all the Christmas markets in Switzerland, as there are many others that we didn’t get to visit. If you get to visit Switzerland during this time of year, make sure to plenty of time in the evenings to explore!