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Basel Christmas Market

Listed under Christmas Markets in Basel, Switzerland.

  • Photo of Basel Christmas Market
  • Photo of Basel Christmas Market
Photo of Basel Christmas Market
Photo by flickr user Daniels View
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Basel switches the Christmas lights on a month before the big day, which may seem moderate compared to some cities which seem to put the lights up before Halloween., that is until you realise that they don’t just have one tree but 100, and that’s on top of enough lighting on the facades of the city’s central buildings so that the market is as bright as, well a very brightly lit room lit by thousands of delicately glowing fairy lights.

You can tell from the pomp and ceremony of this occasion – they have a boys choir but bump up the volume with other local choirs, a gala concert and then fill their city’s churches with orchestras – that people in Basel take Christmas seriously. Basel’s city officials are proud to proclaim their ‘Christmas Street’ Europe’s longest and that their market has over 100 stalls and wood cabin market stores selling Christmas treasures, edible and non-edible, from all over Europe.

The organisers of this market know that lights, music, good cheer and gift giving do not a Christmas make, and in acknowledgement of that they provide a ‘Book of Wishes’ in which locals and visitors can write their private Christmas wishes, be they that shiny new bike in the window of the toy store, health and happiness for your family or world peace.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Basel Christmas Market 2011 Dates”

The dates for the 2011 Basel Christmas Market are from 24 November-23 December.  Read more...

Written by  Sarah Perkins.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Thank you. Got the map to work now. Now just fingers crossed the Au Violon hotel has a room free.

Which side is the Christmas Market?

We can't seem to find a hotel with an exact location of the market. I thought we had to be on the other side of the river but according to your comments, the market is on the other side, away from the hotels. Can you please help?

2 Replies

Hi Tia - above the photo there's a blue button saying 'View a Map' if you click on that you'll see a map of the market's location. The Christmas Street runs through the town so it's easier to spot.

Hi Tia - above the photo there's a blue button saying 'View a Map' if you click on that you'll see a map of the market's location. The Christmas Street runs through the town so it's easier to spot.

Basel Christmas Market

Basel has its own special Christmas route – the longest in Europe - which runs from the Messeplatz via the Mittleren bridge, all the way down to the Aeschenplatz. All the businesses that line it engage in a window-dressing competition and over a hundred Christmas trees are dotted along the way to guide visitors. The Christmas market itself, though, takes place in around 130 wooden cabins arranged across the two main squares in the Old Town, selling traditional Swiss gifts and decorations, as well as artisan products from all over Europe.

There are plenty of opportunities for breaks in the shopping schedule, which come in the form of free Christmas concerts and Christmas guided tours... and, of course, simply piles of food. Try some Basler honey cookies, spiced tea and Brunsli – Christmas chocolate brownies!

If you still can't find exactly the right kind of fairy for the top of your tree, or you just can't locate a big enough stocking, don't worry: there's still the Johann Wanner Christmas House shop. If you're not feeling festive already, it's bound to put you in the right frame of mind to write your Christmas message in the town's visitor's book...

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