AUTHORED BY JAYA16

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It’s that festive time of the year again!  Christmas markets are beginning to open throughout Switzerland.  Vendors are busy putting up their stalls and arranging their merchandise for display and sale. There will be a whole range of crafts, gifts, food and drinks on offer.  And, of course, lots of twinkling lights making the streets glitter like stars. Since it’s not possible to visit every market, I decided to focus on the best ones to highlight below.

Starting from home base, the market at Parc des Bastions in Geneva is definitely one to visit. At the Noel aux Bastions (December 4 – 31), there will be a skating rink and a children’s pavilion. The adults will be immersed in watching local producers, artisans, designers and craftsmen.  After completing your shopping, enjoy a fondue in Le Chalet. It is advisable to make an advance booking here. You can also visit the Marche de Noel des Paquis (November 22 – 24) and the Artisans market on Rue de Mont blanc (Nov 22 – December 26). Carouge has a lovely market (December 13 – 15) and many Carouge shops also remain open for the four Sundays preceding Christmas, allowing ample opportunity to shop for everyone on your list.  New this year is the Vegan Christmas Market on December 14th at the Salle Communale de Palladium.

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Lausanne’s Bo Noel (November 20 – December 31) boasts a Christmas market with a cave for wine tasting.  Zurich is another popular place where there are multiple markets. The one in the main Zurich train station could well be the biggest indoor market. The Montreux Christmas Village by the lake (November 21 – December 24) is one of the prettiest ones with a Ferris wheel, 3D light show and a ride in Santa’s sleigh.

The Basel market (November 28 – December 23) is very popular, with artists often working among the market stalls.  It’s fun to watch them turn out their beautiful products. It is also well known for Christmas illuminations and exhibitions in the museums.

Mt. Pilatus has the highest Christmas market in Europe, while the St. Gallen market in the Old Town is famous for its UNESCO listed monastery library.  The candle stalls here are fun to watch. The market in Bern (December 1 – 24) is another good one to visit, with charming stalls gathered under the Bern Minster cathedral tower (the tallest in Switzerland.) The mulled wine in this Christmas market is also said to be very good. With all this, looks like the season is going to be busy and interesting.

Here is a list of Christmas Markets that ladies from our Club plan to attend:

Zurich Christmas Markets           December 9th

Montreux Christmas Market      December 18th

Solothurn Christmas Market      December 20th

What is your favorite Christmas market in Switzerland?  Please share in the comments below!

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/