With the streets aglow with fairy lights and the scent of cinnamon wafting through the air, festive cheer is in abundance in Zurich. Winter in Switzerland’s largest city also offers an array of Christmas shopping options, hosting some of the most renowned Christmas markets in Europe.
The oldest and most traditional market is the Niederdorf Christmas Market, an assortment of yuletide themed stalls sprawled over three locations. 2012’s offering starts up on December 7th, lighting up the streets on Hirschenplatz, Niederdorfstrasse and Rosenhof, until the 23rd.
While glitzy décor and show stopping light-shows take over the premium shopping district of Bahnhofstrasse and shoppers cram the halls of Zurich’s railway station for the mammoth Christkindli Market, the Niederdorf Christmas market offers up barrel-loads of traditional charm. Here, you can wander the narrow streets of the old town, where frosty shop fronts and cozy cafes are hidden away down lantern-lit alleyways and festive stalls add a warm glow to the cobblestones. Arts and crafts are a big seller at the Christmas market, with beautifully decorated tree ornaments, carved-wooden toys, handmade gifts and glittering decorations, but they’ll be plenty of traditional foods on sale too. Tuck into boxes of iced gingerbread stars, warm your hands on a cup of spiced mulled wine and fill up on cinnamon-infused pastries.
The market is open from 11am – 8pm on weekdays, or 6pm on weekends, and it’s one of the city’s shortest running Christmas markets, so make sure you don’t miss out.