Looking for a festive way to celebrate Christmas this year? Then look no further than Basel, Switzerland, where the Christmas markets are sure to get you into the holiday spirit!
With plenty of stalls offering traditional Swiss goods, handmade gifts and delicious food and drink, there's something for everyone at these special markets.
So mark your calendars for 2022 and start planning your trip to Basel now – you won't be disappointed!
Christmas Markets in Basel
Basel has one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the country. Known for its charming wooden chalets, mouthwatering local food and gifts, and extensive pre-Christmas programming, this elegant market is a must-visit for any lover of the festive season.
In Fact: The European Best Christmas Markets award in 2021 has been given to the Basel Christmas market.
With over 160 individual stalls lining the streets of Basel, it is no wonder that this market has become famous for its wide selection of goods and delicious culinary offerings.
Beyond its incredible selection of shopping options and delectable delights, what truly sets this market apart is its range of special events and activities.
From traditional concerts and carolers to craft workshops and outdoor skating rinks, there is always something new to discover at this spectacular holiday hotspot.
Christmas market Barfüsserplatz
At the annual Christmas market at Barfüsserplatz, you will find a warm and festive atmosphere, complete with brightly decorated stalls filled with unique gifts and delicious treats.
Here, you can browse for one-of-a-kind holiday decorations, or enjoy some of the most iconic Swiss Christmas snacks, like the famous Chäsbängel baguette filled with savory cheese fondue.
But what truly makes this market stand out is its majestic mulled wine Christmas Pyramid. Towering 13 meters high, the glistening pyramid beckons visitors to gather around and sip on steaming mugs of hot spiced wine as they take in the bustling Christmas festivities all around them.
And if you're feeling creative, you can even try your hand at candle dipping and create a special handmade gift to give to your loved ones this holiday season.
So whatever your reason for visiting this most beautiful Christmas market in Switzerland, be sure to stop by Barfüsserplatz for an experience you won't soon forget!
Dates: Nov 24 – Dec 23, 2023
Open daily from 11.00 am to 8.30 pm (open until 8.00 pm on 23 December 2023)
Münsterplatz Christmas Market
The Christmas market is set up in the huge area just in front of the Basel Minster, and a wonderfully adorned Christmas tree welcomes you.
The Münsterplatz Christmas Market is one of the most beautiful and festive markets in all of Basel. Nestled beneath towering trees adorned with glowing snowballs, the market offers a wide array of goods, food, and drinks to suit every taste.
But that's not all—for even more holiday magic for kids, be sure to check out the Christmas Fairytale Forest known as "Märchenwald", in the market.
Here, under the sparkling lights hanging from the trees, young children can participate in hands-on activities like make, pour and decorate candles, cookie baking, decorate gingerbread, make Christmas floral decorations, and much more besides.
To truly appreciate all that Basel has to offer this holiday season, be sure to climb aboard one of the nearby Pfalz viewing platforms where you can sip on steaming mulled wine as you take in views of the dazzling cityscape against the backdrop of the Rhine River.
With too many activities for the whole family, visiting Münsterplatz should definitely be at the top of your list!
Dates: Nov 24 – Dec 23, 2023
Open daily from 11.00 am to 8.30 pm (open until 8.00 pm on 23 December 2023)
Basel Old Town Christmas Market
In addition to these two markets, the charming Old Town in Basel forms another key destination for any fan of the holiday season.
Located just behind the famous 500-year old town hall, with its colorful red facade, this charming market is a must-visit for foodies and shopaholics alike.
Throughout the year, local producers sell a variety of goods at this bustling outdoor market, from locally-sourced produce and delicious baked goods, to beautiful artisan crafts.
But as Christmas approaches, the Basel Old Town Christmas Market transforms into an even more wonderful destination for visitors from near and far.
Here, you'll find a wide range of fresh local produce and tasty artisan baked goods, as well as a special selection of other festive goodies like jam,wine, honey and homemade liqueurs.
And if all that shopping works up your Christmas appetite, rest assured that there are plenty of delicious snacks on offer as well.
From hearty stews to steaming sausages and rich plum cakes, this Christmas feast is sure to delight even the most discerning foodies.
In addition, be sure to visit the Basler Wunschbuch or "Wish Book". Located in the courtyard of the Rathaus, this giant book invites people to write their hopes and dreams for the coming year.
Whether you want to wish for good health or better grades in school, there's no limit to what your dreams might be.
And the best part? This tradition has been going strong for over 25 years now, with completed books actually being stored away in the State Archives!
So if you're ready to experience all the magic and wonder that Christmas has to offer, don't miss out on the Basel Old Town Christmas Market. This one-of-a-kind festival truly captures the spirit of the holiday season!
Adväntsgass in Glaibasel - Kleinbasel's Christmas food mile
As the holiday season approaches, there is no better place to celebrate than in Rheingasse in Kleinbasel.
Amidst the charming Christmas stalls, row after row of bright lights and festive decorations, this bustling neighborhood comes alive with a true winter wonderland.
Here you will find an array of delicious food and drink, including mulled wine, hot apple cider, and Virgin Cocktails.
Alongside these traditional offerings are unique local specialties like handcrafted truffles and artisanal cheese.
In addition, there are a variety of activities for both children and adults, including circus wagons, Christmas stories, and other festive events.
Whether you're visiting Basel to enjoy all that this charming city has to offer or simply looking for the best Christmas destination in the region, Rheingasse is truly a magical experience that cannot be missed!
Dates: Nov 22 – Dec 24, 2022
Monday to Friday: 5-10pm, Saturday & Sunday: 2-10pm
Read also: 14 Best Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Another Christmas Advent time events in Basel 2023
Christmas in Basel is the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy the holiday season.
During Advent, the city comes alive with festive events and Christmas markets, offering a magical experience for locals and visitors alike.
At the heart of Christmas in Basel lies the iconic Christmas tree at Barfüsserplatz, which towers over the market and serves as a gathering spot for Christmas revelers.
Here you will find hundreds of stalls selling everything from traditional Christmas decorations to tasty treats like chocolate-covered almonds and glühwein.
But Christmas in Basel isn't all about shopping; there are plenty of other activities on offer during this special time of year.
Advent Calendar at Theater Basel
Looking for a Christmas activity that is truly unique and inspiring? Then check out the Theater Basel Advent Calendar is an incredible attraction that shouldn't be missed.
Every day from December 1st to 23rd, from 5 to 5:30 pm in the Grosse Bühne foyer, guests can enjoy a short performance of various stories, songs, ballets, and dances.
Whether it's Christmas carols you seek or a dance performance that will delight your senses and leave you inspired, the Theater Basel Advent Calendar has something special waiting behind each door.
So if you're looking for a unique Christmas event to bring some magic and cheer into your holidays this year, be sure to check out the incredible Advent calendar at theater Basel!
The Basel Christmas Ferry
The Basel Christmas Ferry is one of the most cherished festive traditions in the city of Basel.
During this magical time of year, as the sun sets over the Rhine and lights along its banks shine brightly, you can take a ride on this ferry and experience the enchanting atmosphere that it exudes.
The Klingental Ferry is one of four current-driven river ferries that are a pleasure to ride at any time, but at Christmas it truly shines with all its festive charm.
Whether you catch a short one-way journey on the water or make a night of it by booking the boat for a special Christmas party or fondue night, there's no doubt that experiencing the Basel Christmas Ferry will be an unforgettable experience.
So Book Your Ride and prepare to be swept away by this truly magical tradition!
Cirque Noël de Bâle
There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by attending the Cirque Noël de Bâle.
From December 19th to 29th of 2022, this magnificent Christmas circus show will take place in a specially designed tent on the Rosentalanlage Park in Basel.
With dazzling lights, talented performers, and festive music, this spectacular event is sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Whether you are young or old, small or large, there is something for everyone at this Christmas cirque show. So don't miss your chance to experience this remarkable Christmas tradition for yourself - Grab Your Tickets Today and be swept away by the magic of Cirque Noël de Bâle!
The Basel Weihnachts-Drämmli / Christmas Tram
The Basel Wiehnachts-Drämmli, or Christmas Tram, is a unique and festive way to experience the beauty of the city of Basel during the holiday season.
This vintage tram is fully decked out in festive decorations, and provides guests with a scenic 45 minute tour of landmarks and attractions around the city.
Christmas Tram is free for all visitors, making it an ideal option for both children and adults.
Not only is this tram a fun way to explore Basel's unique neighborhoods during the holidays, it is also a great chance to kick off your Christmas celebrations.
You can book a ride as an individual or with your friends or family, the aperitif ride in the popular Christmas Drämmli will leave you feeling festive and ready for your holiday feast afterwards. So if you want to create special memories that will last for years to come, be sure to don't miss this attraction.
Enjoy the Christmas lights from Basel Minster Cathedral
As the Christmas season begins, there are countless opportunities to take in the magic and beauty of the holiday. One such event is the illuminated view from atop Basel Cathedral.
From 28 November to 22 December, between 4 and 6pm Basel Cathedral St. Martin's tower stairwell is open to visitors, allowing you to take in the dazzling sight of twinkling Christmas decorations against the backdrop of Christmas markets and listening to festive music from above.
At the annual Harley Niggi-Näggi event, thousands of costumed Santa Clauses take over downtown Basel on their elaborate and decked-out motorbikes.
This fun, festive holiday tradition has been going strong in Basel for over two decades, and it's easy to see why.
The parade features row after row of jolly, bearded Santas riding Christmas decked-out Harleys that have been modified to look just like sleighs.
Following the parade, they take the time to meet with children and hand out gifts.
The parade takes place on the 5th of December, from 17.00, and its venue starts at Messeplatz and ends at Marktplatz.
So if you're looking for a Christmas event that's truly unique, be sure to head over to Basel for the Harley Niggi-Näggi!
"Em Bebbi sy Adväntsbox uff em Märtplatz"
Every Thursday evening in the weeks leading up to Christmas, between 5pm and 8pm, the backdrop of the Marktplatz is beautifully transformed into a magical Christmas lounge.
With cozy music playing in the background, this festive setting is perfect for savoring traditional holiday foods like raclette and mulled wine, or simply enjoying some time spent with loved ones.
Whether you're celebrating Advent with friends or family, 'Em Bebbi sy Adväntsbox uff em Märtplatz' is the perfect place to unwind and take in all the magic of the season.
What to eat and drink at Basel Christmas Markets
If you're looking for some festive foods and drinks to try at Christmas in Basel, look no further than these traditional favorites.
What to Eat:
For a unique, cheesy treat, be sure to try the popular Chäsbängel (Fondue Baguette), which is basically a baguette filled with light and airy fondue cheese.
Another popular option is Raclette, a delicious grilled cheese dish often served with crispy scalloped potatoes.
Alternatively, if you're looking for something a bit lighter, you can sample Flammkuchen - a traditional tinny pizza topped with caramelized onions and bacon.
Fans of traditional Swiss Fondue will be delighted by the many variations of this dish offered at Christmas markets around Basel, from classic cheese fondue to more inventive options like chocolate fondue or fondue chinoise.
And for those who fancy something a little sweeter, there are plenty of festive treats as well-from Basler Läckerli a traditional hard spice biscuit to Grättimaa- a small bread man. Whatever your tastes may be, Christmas in Basel is sure to delight!
What to Drink:
There are many different drinks to try during Christmas in Basel, each with their own unique flavor and appeal.
Perhaps the most iconic of these delicious Christmas brews is Glühwein, also known as mulled wine or spiced wine.
This warm and cozy beverage is typically made with red wine, but can also be crafted using other types of alcohol or even non-alcoholic beverages like apple cider.
The next is the Feuerzangenbowle, an alcoholic drink that involves setting a rum-soaked sugarloaf on fire and allowing it to slowly drip into mulled wine below.
Not a fan of wine? Don’t worry, you can drink a mulled beer - Glühbier, which is simply mulled beer heated up with spices and ingredients that has been added for added warmth.
Whatever your tastes may be, there's something special awaiting you this Christmas when you celebrate in beautiful Basel!
Read also: Christmas Markets in Zurich 2022
Hotel near Basel Christmas Markets
When visiting Basel over the holidays, finding a hotel that is conveniently located near the Christmas Market can be crucial for making the most of your trip.
Thankfully, there are many beautiful hotels in Basel that offer ideal proximity to this festive shopping and dining destination.
From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels with easy access to public transportation, Basel offers plenty of options when it comes to hotels near the Christmas Market.
Hotel Basel - a charming hotel located just a few minutes' walk from Barfüsserplatz, one of the main hubs of the market.
Not only is Hotel Basel conveniently situated in Basel's historic downtown area, within easy reach of top restaurants and niche boutiques, but it's also just a short walk from Basel's second largest market at Market Square.
With its beautiful light chains, charming Christmas tree, and picturesque city hall, Market Square truly captures the magic of the holiday season.
Art House Basel - which features boutique-style rooms in Basel's historic center. Only a 3-minute walk from Barfüsserplatz, this charming hotel is perfect for anyone seeking an authentic Basel experience during the holidays.
Motel One Basel - if you're looking for convenience and comfort at an affordable price point, then Motel One Basel is the right choice that offers spacious rooms and helpful staff right near Barfüsserplatz and all the festive fun at Basel's Christmas Market!
Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois - which is located in the heart of Basel's Old Town and offers stunning views of the Rhine River.
Hotel Alexander - offers clean and comfortable rooms near Basel's Christmas market at Rheingasse.
Consum Residence by Krafft Basel - a unique and modern design hotel with close proximity to all of the best attractions. Located in Kleinbasel, also a home to a vibrant Adväntsgass in Glaibasel - Christmas food mile.
Regardless of where you choose to rest your head this holiday season, Basel is sure to sweep you off your feet with its charming holiday atmosphere and bustling markets!
Read also: Christmas Markets in Montreux 2022
Basel is a city that celebrates Christmas in style. From the traditional markets to the stunning lights, there’s something for everyone in this charming Swiss city.
There are plenty of things to do, and it’s a great place to buy gifts for loved ones. If you get a chance, be sure to visit this charming market in Switzerland.
Basel’s Christmas markets are a must-see if you’re in the city during December. There’s something for everyone, with a great mix of traditional and modern stalls selling everything from mulled wine to handmade ornaments.
And be sure to check out the festive decorations – they really make the market come alive! If you’re looking for a Christmassy adventure outside of Zurich, Basel is definitely worth considering. So what are you waiting for? Get packing!