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Nothing gets us all into the festive spirit better than Christmas markets. Sweet winter scents, wooden chalets, hot drinks, childhood melodies, handicraft gifts… Let’s check these top 3 cities for a fairytale Christmas in Switzerland!

It´s hard not to fall in love with this wonderful country: beautiful landscapes, friendly people, fresh mountain air, crystal clear water, food & cheese, safety …  I could talk forever about all the things I liked in Switzerland. It would be almost perfect, if only Switzerland was not one of the most expensive countries in Europe.

Nevertheless, Swiss cities and landscapes always pop up in the lists of my favorite places to go. And while a Glacier Express Trip is still on the top of my travel bucket list, I´ve already handpicked my top 3 favorites to experience the Swiss Christmas spirit!

Fairytale Christmas in Switzerland: Top 3 Cities


Lucerne Christmas Market

Christmas Lucerne looked like a story from fairy tales: cozy Christmas markets, a beautiful lake with thousands of swans and mountain landscapes with snow caps on the backdrop. And last but not least: if compared to other Swiss and European cities, Lucern felt significantly less crowded for the Holiday Season.

This is a huge plus, believe me: I’ve experienced the opposite during my trip to Christmas New York. All the decorations were extremely beautiful, but the city was flooded with tourists coming to check out the infamous Rockefeller tree, magical window displays, light shows, and  ice skating rinks. Walking around there was a nightmare. New York is always a busy city (during the fall season in the Big Apple as well), but with Christmas around the corner it was at its peak with tourists coming to visit!

Lucerne offers to its visitors an opposite kind of experience. Actually, it was the first Swiss city I got to visit and it had embraced my love for this country in many ways. My first weekend in Lucerne was absolutely magical, so the city itself would definitely be my first choice for a Christmas in Switzerland. And as if it would not be enough – Lucern is absolutely on the top of my list of fairy-tale holiday destinations in Europe ever since.

Lucerne Christmas Market
Lucerne Christmas lights
Lucerne Christmas


If you want to combine Christmas atmosphere with some interesting sights – basing you trip in the Swiss capital of Zurich could be a smart thing to do. To sum up: there are simply more Christmas Markets, more things to do and see, and of course, more people around (still not as crowded as Vienna or Prague for the winter holidays though).

The decorations in the city center were extremely beautiful, even lavish at times, including a huge Swarovski Christmas tree at the Railway Station. By the way, make sure to check this Christmas Market at the Zurich Railway station. There was a food stand, where I’ve had the best Apple strudel in my life.

Zurich views
Christmas tree Switzerland
Apfelstrudel in Switzerland


If I am completely honest with you: the city of Basel is, probably, less picturesque than the first two Swiss cities I’ve already mentioned. But don’t lose your wanderlust – Basel is a perfect Christmas destination for two reasons.

Firstly, the Christmas markets here are also quite magical. They´ll remind you even more of the traditional German Christmas Markets.

Secondly, the best thing about Basel is its location: a sort of a border triangle between France, Germany and Switzerland. So, if based in Basel, not only could you enjoy the Swiss Christmas, but also take a day trip to a magical Colmar in the French Province of Alsace or even head to Germany´s Black forest.

Another good thing about Basel is that it is also more of a budget option,rather than Zurich or Lucerne, when it comes to food and accommodation.

Basel Christmas Market

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