Let Switzerland Get You Into the Christmas Spirit
Christmas markets are big business in Switzerland. Almost all major and smaller cities start setting up festive stalls towards mid-November to bring locals and tourists alike into the much-needed Christmas spirit. Whether you opt for a smaller or longer Christmas market, they are held mainly between mid-November and 24 December. Some are open for weeks, some just for a couple of days.
Whichever you decide to visit, be sure to indulge in some tasty local treats and sip some mulled wine while marvelling at the breath-taking natural scenery Switzerland has to offer. Here, snow and mountains, as well as genuine old wooden chalets create a traditional atmosphere of the special kind.
Futhermore, Switzerland is the place to visit if you are into age-old crafts like wooden toy-making. Numerous stalls all over the country will sell traditional arts and crafts items that will sell traditional arts and crafts items that will make a perfect gift at Christmas.
After finding the last few presents for your love ones, indulge in some local sweets and culinary delights. Do not forget to try on original fondue – nothing tastes better on a cold winter evening on the Christmas market. It needs to be noted that each city’s market has its own specialities so be sure to go looking for those, whichever city or market you choose to visit. In Basel, for example, do not miss out on the ‘läckerli’, which is a spicy biscuit made out of nuts, candied peel and kirsch.
Good train connections in Switzerland make it possible to combine a visit to the country’s marvellous Christmas markets with a skiing holiday or another winter break.
ADVENT IN FIESCH
Looking to get into the pre-Christmas mood? Visitors can find it in Fiesch, in the Swiss region of Valais, before the first Advent. Here, the Traditional Gonmer Adventsmärt impresses with its attractive programme at the foot of the Great Aletsch Glacier.
Each year on the last weekend in November the Swiss gather at the foot of the Great Aletsch Glacier, the biggest glacier of the Alps, for the Gonmer Adventsmärt. With over 70 different stands from all over Switzerland, the Gonmer Adventsmärt counts among the largest Christmas markets in Valais. For the weekend the resident setup stalls across the village’s old town, with eye-catching array of traditional houses poses as a beautiful backdrop.
Visitors come from all over Switzerland come to this village to enjoy the areas delicacies, such as mulled wine from local wine producers and ‘Cholera’(a kind of pie) – a traditional dish from Valais whose name is no coincidence: when Cholera spread through Valais around 1830, people tried to leave their homes as little as possible due to risk of infection. Thus, they had to cook with what their gardens and storage had to offer.
With the authentic stands, numerous performances from local and regional arts and guarantee snow, an all round off this special winter experience for the entire family.
WIL CHRISTMAS MARKET
Wil is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the eastern part of the Switzerland, with and old city wall from the 16th century. Some of the houses dates back to the 15th century. It is this historic city background that attracts most visitors, giving the impression that you are travelling back in time.
With about 70 festively decorated huts and 50 stalls lining the streets into the pedestrian zone, during this three-day Christmas Market. Crafts people, as well private households come out to sell their festive products. Among them, are traditional arts and crafts like woodworks and natively figurines, as well as homemade products. Try the local culinary such as raclette, Chäsknöpfli, chestnuts and mulled wine.