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ZURICH AT CHRISTMAS
Christmas in Zurich is synonymous with the 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.
Zurich has not one, but four main Christmas Markets, each with its unique experience.
ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKETS 2023
ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The four major Christmas Markets in Zurich are:
- Niederdorf Christmas Market – Old Town
- Wienachtsdorf Market – Urban Christmas Village
- Werdmuhleplatz Christmas Market
- Christkindlimarkt – Zurich Train Station
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.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN ZURICH
There are four main Christmas Markets in Zurich to discover each with its own distinct style. We list these below and you can find their location on the map above.
1. NIEDERDORF’S DÖRFLI CHRISTMAS MARKET
Dörfli Weinachtsmarkt — Niederdorf Old Town Christmas Market Details
- Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 23 2023
- Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 11 am – 9 pm; Fri- Sat: 11 am – 10 pm Sun: 11 am – 8 pm
- Address: Weihnachtsmarkt im Niederdorf, Niederdorfstrasse, 8001 Zürich
- Website: https://weihnachtsmarkt-doerfli.ch/
Zurich’s oldest Christmas Market, Dörfli Weihnachtsmarkt, 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 weaves its way through the tiny festive alleyways as you peruse the Christmas goodies and gifts on offer.
The Dorfli Market is the perfect place to lose yourself in the Christmas atmosphere.
Dörfli Christmas market spills out around Niederdorfstrasse and the 11th-Century Fraumunster Church, on the opposite side of the River Limmat, makes for an eye-catching backdrop.
From here, you can walk along the Limmat riverfront towards the next Zurich Christmas Market, the Wienachtsdorf Market.
In fact, every December, the Limmat river plays host to the “Samichlausschwimmen”, 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 3rd Dec 2023
2. SECHSELÄUTENPLATZ WIENACHTSDORF MARKET – THE URBAN CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
Secheseläutenplatz Wienachtsdorf Christmas Village Details
- Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 23 2023
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 11 am – 10 pm; Sun: 11 am – 8 pm
- Address: Zürcher Wienachtsdorf, Weihnachtsmarkt, Sechseläutenplatz, 8001 Zürich
- Website: Zurich Wienachtsdorf
The largest Zurich Christmas Market is ‘Wienachtsdorf’, the urban Christmas Village. You’ll find it near the Lake Zurich shoreline, at Sechseläutenplatz in front of the Zurich Opera House.
Around a hundred stalls form the ‘Village’, with a large range of culinary delights, local handicrafts and an ice rink where the children can skate with giant-sized plastic penguins.
The Fondue Chalet sells traditional Swiss fare and there is plenty of glüwein (red wine, sweetened and heated with mulled spices and citrus). Sample the local raclette (a type of cheese that is melted and scraped onto potatoes or bread) or dip it into a festive fondue.
The Opera House, behind the Sechseläutenplatz Christmas Market, also gets into the Christmas spirit. Each day at 5.30 pm you can listen to the Opera House Christmas Musical Advent Calendar — the musical countdown to Christmas. It is held in the entrance foyer, admission is free and the program for each day and each performance is only 15 minutes long.
The Advent performances run from the 1st to the 23rd of December with each day’s program announced on its Facebook page.
ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKET: WIENACHTSDORF CHRISTMAS VILLAGE VIDEO
Here is a taster of what to expect at the Wienachtsdorf Zurich Christmas Market, taken by Timea Laslavic.
Just north of the Weinachtsdorf Christmas village is the Bellvue tram stop for the St. Nicholas tram, Jelmoli Marlitram (Märlitram) — a Christmas-themed fairytale tram for kids aged 4-10 years old. On the tram, Santa and angels read Christmas stories as it trundles along a circular route, returning to the same stop.
3. THE ‘SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE’ AT WEIHNACHTSMÄRT CHRISTMAS MARKET
Weihnachtsmart Zürich Market 2023 Details
- Dates: Nov 25 – Dec 23 2023
- Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 4.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Friday 4.00 pm – 10.00 pm
Saturday 1.00 pm – 10.00 pm
Sunday 1.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Singing Christmas Tree Choir performances 2023
- Monday to Friday 5.30 pm / 6.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday 2.30 pm / 3.30 pm / 5.30 pm / 6.30 pm
- Website: https://singingchristmastree.ch/
ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKET: THE SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE (VIDEO)
The Singing Christmas Tree and Weihnachtsmart are just off the main shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse, the street where the ‘Lucy Lights’ of Zurich shimmer and shine.
Even though it was raining as we headed towards the Singing Christmas tree, the surreal image of thousands of twinkling stars was made even more beautiful by the reflections on the 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 a romantic Christmas diamond and star-like effect.
You’ll find the Weihnachtsmart Christmas Market at Werdmühleplatz, just off Lower Bahnhofstrasse.
This was 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 and huddled beneath umbrellas enjoying the impressive spectacle.
You’ll also find a cozy Wooden Fondue Chalet here — the perfect swiss comfort food to warm you after watching the sensational singing Christmas tree.
4. CHRISTKINDLIMARKT – ZURICH TRAIN STATION CHRISTMAS MARKET
Christkindlimarkt – Zurich Hauptbahnhof Christmas Market Details
- Dates: Nov 23 – Dec 24 2023
- Opening hours: Opening hours: Sun-Wed: 11.00 am – 9 pm; Thu – Sat: 11.00 am – 10 pm (Dec 24: 11.00 am – 4 pm)
- 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 Zurich Train Station.
The centrepiece of this market is the 15-metre (49-feet) 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.
At the base of the tree, Swarovski showcases their latest collections in glass cabinets that twinkle along with the dangling crystals above.
You can create your own sparkling Swarovski Christmas tree at home with a Christmas tree ornament or spoil yourself or a loved one with this beautiful Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree, featured below or a Christmas tree duo to add sparkle to your festive decor.
Swarovski Christmas Tree Decor
This 14 cm Swarovski Christmas Tree is sure to bring a touch of yuletide magic to your home.
This glamorous ornament is crafted with 265 crystal facets — a gorgeous glittering keepsake to light up your Christmas year after year.
Artistic animations are projected on the inner walls of the station hall, and at 4 pm each evening there is a Christmas Light Show.
This was by far the busiest Christmas market we visited with packed stalls enticing onlookers with their festive temptations. We lost count of the varieties of mulled wines on offer and the wide array of food stalls.
EXTRA: SMALLER ZURICH CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Although, not as large as the four main Christmas markets these couple of markets listed below sell more bespoke Christmas goodies.
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
The Münsterhof Christmas market is located beside the Fraumunster Church. The focus of the market is to sell high-quality gifts made or designed in Zurich and the surrounding area.
You can find out more on their website here.
OTHER CHRISTMAS EVENTS IN ZURICH
In the inner courtyard of the Landesmuseum Zurich, the Illuminarium shows off its enchanting winter wonderland of light, illumination, illusion, music and culinary delights. In front of the courtyard, which has free access, there are light-filled cocktail bars and food bars for winter snacks.
(Closed: December 24th and December 25th)
At the traditional ‘Lichterschwimmen’ event in Zurich, hundreds 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 and also serves hot punch and pastries 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.
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.
Salto is a circus of acrobatics that plays annually in Zurich. This year’s show is Neverland, filled with pirates, fairies and hidden treasure.
Salto is described as:
“…a surreal-poetic event that brings together wonderful energies, colours, artistry, lights, sounds and music.’
Salto dates for 2023: 29/11/23 – 31/12/23
Other Activities in Zurich
Not only are there plenty of Christmas activities in Zurich, but there are also many interesting experiences to be had, that although not Christmassy, can be bought as a treat … it is Christmas after all.
Activities and Experiences in Zurich
❤️ CHEESE LOVERS: Why not treat yourself to a Swiss Cheese Fondue and Wine Tuk-Tuk Tour?
⭐️ 4.8/5 Star Reviews | ⏰ 1.5 hours | Book here
❤️ CHOCOLATE LOVERS: If you are like me and like to indulge in the odd piece of chocolate, you’ll love taking a visit to the Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum, where there are unlimited chocolate tastings.
⭐️ 4.8/5 Star Reviews | Book here
❤️ SPA LOVERS: Enjoy a 3-hour Roman-Irish spa cleansing ritual in one of the most iconic spas in Zurich
⭐️ 4.8/5 Star Reviews | ⏰ 3 hours | Book here
Tours and Day Trips from Zurich
While in Zurich, you might like to make the most of the opportunities to visit the scenic surrounding areas.
Here are a few well-rated day trips that depart from Zurich:
- Mount Titlis Day Tour: Discover the beauty of Lake Lucerne, enjoy a scenic drive to Engelberg, have an adventure on the Ice Flyer chairlift, and cross the Titlis Cliff Walk bridge suspended over the Swiss Alps.
| ⭐️ 4.8/5 Star Reviews | ⏰ 9.5 hours | Book here
- Day Trip to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe: Explore the snow-capped mountains of Jungfraujoch, a cable car ride from Grindelwald to Eiger Glacier, then train to Jungfraujoch and Lauterbrunnen.
| ⭐️ 4.7/5 Star Reviews | ⏰ 12 hours | Book here
- Appenzell Day Trip with Cheese and Chocolate Testings: Learn about cheese production at a typical Swiss farm, watch the craft of artisan chocolate making, and explore picturesque Appenzell and amazing views on an aerial cable car ride to the top of Hoher Kasten.
| ⭐️ 4.7/5 Star Reviews | ⏰ 11 hours | Book here
HOW TO GET TO ZURICH
TRAVEL TO ZURICH BY AIR
Travel from Zurich’s International Airport to the city centre is easy by train because it 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 amid 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.)
Check your Visa Requirements Here
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 the timetable, tickets and other information.
WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH
Ibis Budget CityWest: Value hotel is located in the trendy Zurich West district, 10 minutes by public transport from the city centre and Zurich Main Station
Click here for MORE INFO
Bristol Hotel, – We stayed here and it was just a 5 min walk from Zürich’s main train station – an excellent location. A great basic hotel that included breakfast and was perfect for our one-night stay.
Click here for MORE INFO
Atlantis by Giardano: provides exclusive rooms and suites with contemporary design, as well as an indoor and outdoor pool.
Click here for MORE INFO
Looking for more options? Search for a great deal in Zurich here on Booking .com
Zurich Christmas Markets … That’s a Wrap
You’re now all set to explore Zurich at Christmas. Enjoy the festivities and let us know your favourite Zurich Christmas Market in the comments below or drop us an email.
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