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The Swiss Christmas markets opening in November

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
The Swiss Christmas markets opening in November
Some Christmas markets in Switzerland open in November. Image by Chris Spencer-Payne from Pixabay.

The leaves haven’t totally fallen off the trees across Switzerland yet, but Christmas markets in some areas are already setting up their stalls. Where can you eat, drink, and be merry in November?


Even though it’s still officially autumn in Switzerland, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the song says.

Towns big and small are preparing to celebrate the holiday season in — so far, at least — a pandemic-free environment. In fact, the festive mood makes it easy to forget that in 2020 markets were closed, and in 2021 some places required a Covid certificate to enter.

While most markets in Switzerland will open at the beginning of December to coincide with the start of the Advent on December 1st, some will be inaugurated in the coming weeks. 

Here's an overview of where you can begin the Christmas season in Switzerland in November.

Winterzauber Baden

The long-running Winterzauber Baden near Zurich is divided into two Christmas villages: s’Badener Wunderdorf and the Unterer Bahnhofplatz.

While the former invites visitors to browse its many Gschänkli (gift) villages, filled with cosy market huts, bars, a lounge tent and more, at the Unterer Bahnhofplatz you can munch on fondue at Humbels Fonduehütte (provided you pre-book a table).

Open: November 8th until January 6th

Lausanne, ‘Bô Noël’

Starting on Thursday November 21st, the Vaud capital will inaugurate small Christmas markets in various locations throughout the city:

  • Place Saint-François
  • Place Pépine
  • Arches du Grand-pont et place de l'Europe
  • Terrasse Jean-Monnet
  • Place Centrale
  • Esplanade de la Cathédrale
  • Esplanade du Flon

Various activities from Christmas shopping to eating, drinking, and entertainment for the young and old will be plentiful at all the sites.

Open: November 21st to December 31st


Geneva, Jardin Anglais

The traditional market, located in the middle of a lakeside urban park, is opening on November 16th.

Like any Christmas market worthy of the name, it will feature an artisan market where you can purchase holiday decorations and other trinkets, as well as enjoy typical fare like mulled wine and raclette. (Christmas purists may argue that melted cheese is not really a ‘typical’ holiday dish, but you are, after all, in Switzerland).

Open: November 16th to December 24th

People enjoy fondue.

People enjoy fondue. Image by M W from Pixabay


Geneva, Noël du Mont-Blanc

As a complement to the Jardin Anglais site, Geneva’s second Christmas market, on rue du Mont-Blanc, will open on November 16th.

As every year, it will feature a wide range of artisanal products and local specialities.

Open: November 16th to December 24th

Montreux (Vaud)

Scenically located along the shore of Lake Geneva, the "Montreux Noel" market is one of the country’s most famous Christmas fairs.

Attractions include Santa Claus flying on his sled as well as special activities inside the legendary Chillon Castle, located just a snowball away from the cite centre.

Open: November 23rd to December 24th

Basel: Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz

Spread across two squares, Basel’s annual Christmas market – open from November 24th – is one of Switzerland’s largest and most picturesque.

About 200 booths offer an array of things traditionally associated with this holiday, from exquisite hand-made ornaments to regional delicacies.

Open: November 23rd to December 23rd

READ MORE: The rules around returning Christmas gifts in Switzerland

Zurich, several markets

Switzerland’s largest city has not one, not two, but FIVE Christmas fairs spread around town, all opening on November 23rd: at Sechseläutenplatz, Old Town, Bahnhof, Münsterhof, and Werdmühleplatz.

They include attractions like a singing Christmas tree, one decorated with 7,000 crystals, along with gifts, decorations, food, and drink.

Open: November 23rd to December 23rd


Bern: Sternenmarkt

Though most of Bern’s Christmas markets open in December, the Sternenmarkt (or star market) – based in the capital’s centre – opens on November 23rd.

The market will include 80 wooden huts serving winter delicacies, hot drinks, and ever-changing exhibitors in the shopping area. There will also be fondue and raclette sections, Winter Wonderland, and a carousel for kids.

Contrary to Switzerland’s love for cash, the market stalls will not be accepting cash payments and visitors are advised to bring their credit cards.

Open: November 23rd to December 29th


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