Christmas Markets in Zurich: a magic of lights and colors

December 5, 2014

In addition to being the capital of Switzerland, Zurich is also the capital of the European Christmas markets, famous all over the continent for the magic atmosphere it holds during this time of the year. From November 20 until Christmas Day, the city is full of decorations, lights and many colorful booths, where locals and tourists can buy souvenirs and original gifts.

The biggest market of Zurich, as well as one of the largest covered markets across Europe, is the Christkindlimarkt, located within the Central Station. It consists of 150 booths, that look like small wooden cottages, all decorated to the nines. Visitors can find all sort of stuffs in here, from the most hilarious gift ideas to clothes and jewelry, objects in carved wood, scented candles or soaps, and of course toys and Christmas decorations. It also has a very wide gastronomic offer, ranging from sweet to savory: you can walk through the booths while tasting cinnamon rolls, peanut brittles and fried apples, or munching on roasted corns and baked potatoes, while drinking the typical mulled wine. Music and circus shows are also held in this market, but its highlight is undoubtedly the 15 meters high Christmas tree, decorated with more than seven thousand Swarovski jewelry. It is open from Sunday to Thursday, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, and from Thursday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.

The oldest Christmas market in Zurich takes place in the "Niederdorf" quarter, which represents the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. The 120 lovely chalets of this market are all located outdoors, scattered along the streets of the neighborhood. Just like in the Central Station market, you can find articles of all kinds in here, and there are plenty of stalls selling drinks and gastronomic products. Visiting this market requires a greater resistance to cold conditions, but it also allows you to admire the beauty of the city. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Among the newer markets of Zurich is the one of Werdmühleplatz, which quickly became a favorite for both locals and tourists thanks to its main attraction, the Singing Christmas Tree. Inside this market was built a stage in the shape of a giant Christmas tree, as tall as a house and properly decorated; every day, different children's choirs from all over the region alternate on this stage, singing Christmas carols. It is open from Monday to Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Very charming and romantic is the market of Rapperswil-Jona, which is located in a medieval setting. This market has more than 200 stalls, but it also offers musical and entertainment performances, while children can listen to fairytales. It is open from Tuesday to Thursday, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, on Friday from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm, on Saturday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Sunday from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm.

Between the Central Station and the nightlife district, stands the relatively new market of Europaallee, which has about 40 small and perfectly decorated chalets. Here you can buy Christmas trees, sit in the fascinating Pyramiden bar and savor the delights offered by the "Piz Europa" fondue hut. It is open from Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturday from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm.

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