“Visiting Zurich Christmas markets is a day filled with twinkling lights, mulled wine, sparkling Christmas trees and full of festive cheer”
Zurich at Christmas
PLEASE NOTE: I spoke to Zurich Tourism on 10/11/20 and ALL ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKETS ARE CANCELLED FOR 2020.
Zurich has to be one of the most festive cities in Europe due to its many Swiss Christmas Markets and other Advent activities and attractions that can be found in this sensational Swiss city. The city has not one, but four main Christmas Markets, each with their own unique highlights and unique experiences.
Christmas in Zurich is synonymous with a quintessential Christmas; Sparkling Christmas trees, mulled wine, fairy lights, festive fare, chocolate treats and Christmas carols ringing out across the cold, crisp air. Delve in and find out all about the Zurich Christmas Markets and the cornucopia of Christmas cheer in this festooned city.
The Zurich Christmas Markets
The four main Christmas Markets in Zurich are:
Zurich Christmas Markets
- Niederdorf Christmas Market – Old Town
- Wienachtsdorf Market – Urban Christmas Village
- Werdmuhleplatz Christmas Market
- Christkindlimarkt – Zurich Train Station
4 Best Christmas Markets in Zurich
1. Niederdorf’s Dörfli Christmas Market
Niederdorf Old Town Christmas Market Details
- Dates: Nov 25 – Dec 23 2021
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 9pm; Sun: 11am – 7pm
- Address: Weihnachtsmarkt im Niederdorf, Niederdorfstrasse, 8001 Zürich
- Website: https://weihnachtsmarkt-doerfli.ch/
Zurich’s oldest Christmas Market, Dorfli, is held in the Niederdorf quarter of the picturesque Zurich old town. Here, the festive market stalls line the main thoroughfare and festoon off into the side streets.The aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon floats through the tiny festive alleyways and weaves its way through the fairy lights and festive decor as you peruse the Christmas goodies and gifts on offer. The perfect place to lose yourself in the Christmas Atmosphere.
Christmas Colour and Sparkle at the Zurich Christmas Markets
Dorfli Christmas market spills out around Niederdorfstrasse and the 11th Century Fraumunster Church, across the River Limmat, makes for an eye-catching backdrop to a couple of the Christmas market stalls here.
Backdrop of Frauminster Church behind Zurich Christmas Market Stalls in the Niederdorf Quarter.
You can walk along the Limmat riverfront towards the next Zurich Christmas Market, the Wienachtsdorf Market. Even the winter covered fishing boats added a certain charm and crispness to the already chilled air.
In fact, every year the “Samichlausschwimmen” event takes place in this very river. Yes, IN the river. At the beginning of December, around 300 people, some dressed in Santa outfits, swim in the freezing cold river to raise money for charity.
“Samichlausschwimmen” Next event is 5th Dec 2021.
Views of Zurich by the River Limmat – fancy diving in?
2. Wienachtsdorf Market – the Urban Christmas Village
Wienachtsdorf Christmas Village Details
- Dates: Nov 25 – Dec 23 2021
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 10pm; Sun: 11am – 8pm
- Address: Zürcher Wienachtsdorf, Weihnachtsmarkt, Sechseläutenplatz, 8001 Zürich
- Website: Zurich Wienachtsdorf
The largest Zurich Christmas Market is ‘Wienachtsdorf’, the urban Christmas Village, near the Lake Zurich shoreline, atSechseläutenplatz in front of the Zurich Opera House. Around a hundred stalls form the ‘Village’, with a large range of culinary delights, local handicrafts and even an ice rink where the children can skate with plastic penguins.
The Fondue Chalet here offers traditional Swiss fare and there is plenty of glüwein (red wine, sweetened and heated with mulled spices and citrus).
The cutsie Christmas Shop at the Urban Village Zurich Christmas Market
Ice skating at Wienachtsdorf Christmas Market, Zurich
Zurich Christmas Market food stalls come in all shapes and sizes and offer both international and Traditional Swiss foods.
Zurich Christmas Market: Wienachtsdorf Christmas Village Video
Here is a taster of what to expect at the Wienachtsdorf Zurich Christmas Market, taken by traveller, Timea Laslavic.
3. The ‘Singing Christmas Tree’ & Weihnachtsmärt Christmas Market
Weihnachtsmart Zürich Market 2020 Details
- Dates: Nov 25 – Dec 23 2021
- Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 4.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Friday 4.00pm – 10.00pm
Saturday 1.00pm – 10.00pm
Sunday 1.00pm – 9.00pm
Singing Christmas Tree Choir performances 2021
- Monday to Friday 5.30pm / 6.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 2.30pm / 3.30pm / 5.30pm / 6.30pm
- Website: https://singingchristmastree.ch/
Zurich Christmas Market: The Singing Christmas Tree (VIDEO)
The Singing Christmas Tree is just off the main shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. We were heading to it in the evening from the Zurich railway station subway and were, at the time, unaware of the ‘Lucy Lights’ of Zurich.
As we neared the exit, we were greeted by a surreal image of thousands of twinkling stars. This sight was made even more beautiful by the reflections on the shimmering rain-soaked street.
These lights are named ‘Lucy’ after the Beatles song, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. Each of the LED bulbs (around 12000) is surrounded by a crystal to create the romantic Christmas diamond and star-like effect.
‘Lucy Christmas Lights’ on Bahnhofstrasse Zurich
You’ll find the Weihnachtsmart Christmas Market at Werdmühleplatz just off Lower Bahnhofstrasse. This has to be our favourite of all the Zurich Christmas markets because of its unique ‘Singing Christmas Tree’.
Unfortunately, when we were there, the rain gave no thought to the evening’s festivities. It bucketed down, just as the ‘Singing Christmas Tree’ prepared to serenade its audience. Nevertheless, the choir took its place on the tiered podium, in the shape of a giant Christmas tree, seemingly unperturbed by the relentless downpour.
Meanwhile, visitors and locals alike, sipped mulled wine huddled beneath umbrellas and hoods enjoying the impressive spectacle.
You’ll also find a cozy Wooden Fondue Chalet here – just the perfect swiss comfort food to warm you after watching the sensational singing Christmas tree.
The famous ‘Singing Christmas Tree’, Zurich
4. Christkindlimarkt – Zurich Train Station Christmas Market
Christkindlimarkt – Zurich Hauptbahnhof Christmas Market Details
- Dates: Nov 25 – Dec 24 2021
- Opening hours: Opening hours: Sun – Wed: 10:30am – 9pm; Thu – Sat: 10:30am – 10pm (Dec 24: 10:30am – 4pm)
- Address: Christkindlimarkt, Hauptbahnhof Zürich, 8001 Zürich
- Website: Christkindlimarkt
With warm mulled wine pleasantly flowing through our veins, we headed back to the train station and Zurich’s most centrally located Christmas Market, Christkindlimarkt. It is one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe and is held in the main concourse of the Train Station.
The centrepiece of this market is the 50 foot Swarovski Christmas tree. It looks oddly out-of-place in a train station but majestically stands, with thousands of sparkling crystals dripping from its branches.
Zurich’s 50ft Swarovski Christmas tree
This was by far the busiest market we visited, but that may have been due to our timing. The stalls, decked out in all their glory, enticed onlookers with their festive temptations. We lost count of the many varieties of mulled wines on offer and array of food stalls to choose from.
Zurich Christmas Market Stall
Some Smaller Zurich Christmas Markets
City Christmas Market
The City Christmas Market is near the train station at Lintheschergasse – between the Jelmoli and Globus department stores. Market traders sell their handicrafts in decorated market huts.
Münsterhof Christmas Market
This market is right beside the Fraumunster Church. Local businesses sell high-quality gifts here.
Where to find Zurich’s Christmas Markets: Zurich Map
Click on the expand button in the top right-hand corner and you will find the key on the left-hand side. The red stars are the Christmas Markets in Zurich.
Other Christmas Events in Zurich
In the inner courtyard of the Landesmuseum Zurich the Illuminarium offers up an enchanting winter wonderland of light, illumination, illusion, music and culinary delights. In front of the courtyard, which is free access, there are light-filled cocktail bars and food bars winter snacks.
At the traditional ‘Lichterschwimmen’ event in Zurich, hundred of tiny lanterns are launched from Stadthausquai, and they float down the Limmat River creating a magical scene in the middle of Zurich. The event is organised by Zurich Tourism who also serve hot punch and a pastry for onlookers at Weinplatz as a way of saying thank you to the people of Zurich for their hospitality towards national and international visitors.
We were lucky enough to witness this event when we were in Zurich.
The Christmas Lichterschwimmen event in Zurich – tiny lanterns floating down the Limmat River
Santa Claus Parade (Samichlaus Parade)
On the last Sunday of November, Santa Claus and his helpers have a parade through Bahnhofstrasse and give out gingerbread cookies to the children. Date: 28 November 2021 5.00pm
Salto Natale is a circus of acrobatics that plays annually in Zurich. It is said to be,
“…a surreal-poetic event that brings together wonderful energies, colours, artistry, lights, sounds and music.’
Salto Natale will return to Zurich on the 19/12/21.
How to Get to Zurich
Travel to Zurich By Air
Zurich has an international airport and travel from the airport to the city centre is easy by train, which runs directly from the airport.
Zurich Airport to Zurich Main Train Station (Zurich HB) by train takes about 15 minutes.
(We flew into Zurich from Athens, (a 2.5-hour flight). This Christmas holiday was in the midst of our year-long Europe Motorhome trip so we left the Campervan in Athens while we had a family Christmas skiing in Bettmeralp, with Zurich being our first stop.)
Travel to Zurich By Train
Zurich’s main Train Centre is situated in the centre of Zurich, therefore access to the city is easy.
Go to the Swiss Rail website (SSB) to get timetable, tickets and other information.
Bristol Hotel, – We stayed here and it was just a 5 min walk from Zürich main train station – an excellent location. A great basic hotel that included breakfast and was perfect for our one night stay. Rated
We hope this post gives you an idea of all of the festive options available and what to expect in the Zurich Christmas Markets.
Have you visited any European Christmas Markets that you would recommend? Which one is your favourite? We’d love to hear from you – just drop a comment in the section below or drop us an email.
You may also enjoy reading:
- Bettmeralp Skiing – the magical Winter Wonderland of the Swiss Alps
- Banff National Park – What to do in Winter
- Vancouver Christmas Vibes
- Christmas in July
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