Switzerland, a neutral nation, nestled amidst the Alps had always been the celestial city. A trip to this paradise is on every traveler’s list. But if you plan to visit Switzerland during Christmas, you will find the snow-clad cities bathed in a dazzling array of hues. As the sun sets earlier, the public places are transformed into a fairytale world of sparkling lights. The Christmas music, the aroma of the fondue, and the run-up to the festivities envelop its visitors into an enchanting delight.
If this Christmas, Switzerland is your vacay destination, let us mirror the experiences of walking through the Christmas-lit romantic squares of Switzerland. There’s no chance you will be left behind in the excitement of cinnamon air enchanting the Advent period. Let’s start this digital journey –
What to expect in Switzerland during Christmas?
Before you jump into checking out the places you will get to visit if you plan on a Christmas trip to Swissland, we will give you an outline of the same. The snow-capped Swiss villages, followed by light shows at the marketplaces, joining a Christmas day procession, trying the epic cheese fondue with wine and a visit to the famed gleaming Christmas markets are at the top of the list.
We will tell you how you may plan the trajectory. Here’s sharing the best places –
Places to stop by in Switzerland during Christmas
Swiss snow-laced villages are at their enchanting peak during Christmas. From the medieval Montreux to Grindelwald’s winter scenery, coupled with the delicacies of Gruyeres, here’s a list of townships you must visit in Switzerland during Christmas.
Settled at the foot of the Alps and bordered by Lake Geneva, this little township hosts the biggest Christmas market in the country. The festive events of the city, along with the ice rinks welcome tourists during its Christmas celebrations. With Santa flying over the Lumberjack village and the medieval magic of the Chateau de Chillon, there’s no chance you will want to miss the Swissmass here.
Set amidst the snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland, Grindelwald counts as one of the most enchanting villages to check out during your Swissmas trip. Ride on the Jungfrau Railways, while checking out the beauty of the Aletsch Glacier, landing finally at the Sphinx lookout point – all of which are decorated during Christmas celebrations.
This gothic town located in this heavenly domain is also home to the 800-year-old Gruyeres Castle, a must-see for visitors. Hosting one of the best Christmas markets and light shows, this city offers treats to its visitors with its carol choirs, the aroma of roasted chestnuts, and a range of local handicrafts.
When you visit Switzerland during Christmas you will have to include Zermatt in the list of ‘must-see areas.’ Settled at the foot of Matterhorn, this quaint little village offers hiking and skiing opportunities amidst its snow-dusted vehicle-free roads.
A winter wonderland, you cannot miss the fairytale setting with the twinkling lights engulfing you in its Christmassy arms.
5. St. Moritz
Famed for hosting the Winter Olympics and home to a range of luxury hotels, this Swiss region has everything to keep you busy this Christmas. So, you have to visit the Christmas market of Fussgangerzone, candle-making workshops, music concerts, and dozens of ice rinks.
There are two things you cannot miss when visiting this Swiss village – travel on the Glacier Express (between Oberalp Pass and St. Moritz) and travel to Tirano from the Swiss Alps riding the Bernina Express.
A mecca for winter activities, this Swiss region is a must-visit if you are in Switzerland during Christmas and wish to go high in your pocket. Offering a range of branded stores for miles together – from Prada to Louis Vuitton, this has a plethora of offerings from Japanese cuisines to European desserts. Don’t leave before you ride up to the Eggli mountains in the Porsche-designed gondolas!
A quaint little city in the picturesque Ticino region, Lugano offers handmade crafts, skating opportunities on a frozen lake, and some high-end designer stores locked in its cinnamon-scented domain.
Have you visited the Swiss markets?
The Swiss markets in the alpine villages and major cities spread their twinkling enchanted arms from mid-November to Christmas Eve. ‘Tis the season to be jolly…’ as the city turns into a gleaming fairyland with carousels and red-hooded people shopping with utmost delight. Here’s a list of markets in Switzerland during Christmas where you may join the crowd –
When you are in the Swiss capital for Christmas celebrations – you will have to visit, Waisenhauseplatz’s traditional market, the Sternenmarkt of Kleine Schanze, and Bern Minster’s handicrafts market. If you wish to explore more markets, get yourself a Bern Christmas Pass guide.
The city bordering Germany and France envelops itself in Christmas magic wonderland clothes and hosts the biggest Christmas tree designed by Johann Wanner. Surrounding this are numerous Christmas trees, decorated houses, and miles of twinkling fairy lights that adorn the paths of this town.
Starting mid-November to hosting people till the New Year, this native land is known to host a children’s village during Christmas – for the young to hear stories, watch plays and participate in children’s games.
When roaming about Switzerland during Christmas Chur is a market you will not want to miss! This rustic car-free town is the oldest city of this neutral nation and is home to delightful handmade traditional Swiss crafts, home-baked goodies, and fresh barley soup.
The twinkles of Badener WunderDorf presents its Christmas market and street food. Three Christmas villages are welcoming you to mingle in their festive spirit as you stroll through the Theaterplatz.
What are some Swiss-specific Christmas customs?
As a first-time visitor, it is imperative, you must know that certain ‘Swissmas’ customs of this heavenly abode mirror that of its neighbors – Austria and Germany. Here is a plethora of customs you will get to see when visiting this land –
- Christmas in Switzerland starts with Advent. Parties and crowns mark the Advent celebrations, with real Advent calenders and houses having an Advent Window. When you visit Switzerland during Christmas mark your calendar to attend an Advent celebration.
- Christmas processions or Trychle hosted during the Advent period and days marking up to Eve are meant for driving the evil forces away. You could either be a part of the parade or watch them standing by the streetside.
- From the last week of Advent to the Epiphany, carol singing, alternatively called ‘Star Singing’ is an integral part of Swiss Christmas celebrations.
- If you have managed to reach Switzerland during Christmas Eve, then participate in the Rabeliechtli (Swiss tradition of candle lighting).
What dishes to check out during Christmas?
There’s no going anywhere without enjoying some traditional Christmas delicacies while celebrating the best time of the year amidst the Alps! Here’s a list of scoops you cannot miss –
A Christmas tradition dating back to the 18th century, this melted cheese – served with bread crumbs unites people to the table. A perfect Christmas dish, people get back home and sit down for a hearty meal with their salads, and turkeys with fondue serving up the tastebuds.
If you are looking for something experimental, you could always check out the fondue chinois which combines meat and vegetables with sauces to amplify the taste.
If you are in Switzerland during Christmas never ever miss out on the traditional Swiss – Christmas cookies. Taking the foremost position, these almond flour spice cookies are gluten-free and are a classic companion to your Swiss latte.
Filet Im Tieg
Typically for the Swiss Germans, this roasted pork dish with potato salad is sprinkled with salt pepper and yellow curry powder. Served well with wine, you could be left tongue-tied with the taste if you manage to have a plateful of it at any of the cafes lining the small Swiss towns during Christmas.
It’s Switzerland during Christmas and you are on the road engulfed by the sparkles of the festive season. Grittibanz – the traditional Christmas street food of Switzerland is your go-to dish. There are several roadside eateries that will give you a taste of the same.
Though the Swiss land has a dark past associated with chestnuts, that does not stop them from soaking them up in syrup and roasting them by the flame. You too could enjoy a handful while taking a walk.
Croute Au Fromage
This comfort food prepared by the French diaspora of Switzerland blends ham cheese with egg and sauteed mushrooms, adding a dash of white wine to create a perfect dish for the lunch. There’s no chance you are missing this out while lounging around in the Christmas markets.
Book your tickets now
So, how did you like this digital trip to Switzerland during Christmas? If you did enjoy this charted path, let us assure you the actual is times more enthralling than this. We insist you check out the flight details and the hotel bookings at the earliest, to avoid the pre-Christmas rush. Do you still have some queries? Post them here and we will get back to you soon. Till then, keep checking this page for more updates!
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.