Christmas is the time of the year where I tend to get emotional, romantic, nostalgic, tacky, decorative and many more qualities that make me the perfect Christmas nerd. Of course, part of my epic Advent celebrations are frequent visits to Christmas markets around the country.
Over the past decades, I collected many nice memories of visiting Christmas markets in Switzerland, Germany, France and Spain so I decided to make a special blog series about Christmas markets.
First on my list is Zurich with the “Wienachtsdorf am Bellevue” (Christmas village at Bellevue square). In total, Zurich has three different Christmas markets but this one is one I like most.
After the renovation of the square by the lake, this new market was installed and became an instant hit with the locals. It is situated right in front of the opera house, close to Lake Zurich.
The Christmas village consists of about 100 small Nordic-style wooden huts, arranged in streets to create a village character. Lots of lights connect the buildings. Here and there you will see decorations like sleighs, reindeer, trees, etc. Several Christmas trees add to the festive atmosphere. All in all, the setting is very charming and exactly what you expect from a Christmas market.
What to buy:
Compared to other Christmas markets there are not many shops to buy your Christmas gifts but the ones that sell gifts are unique. You will find lots of design, artistic, hand-made gifts; stuff you don’t really get in any shop in the city. I already found a couple of things that I will buy – soon. Soon, because the shops change every week to make repeat visits fun and interesting.
Have you been to a street food festival? Than you know what to expect. This Christmas market is in fact a four weeks long street food festival. You will find dishes from all around the world – ranging from Kaiserschmarrn from Austria to vegetarian food from Sri Lanka. Of course, you will also have a chance to enjoy a delicious Swiss cheese fondue in the “Chalet”. The obligatory Gluehwein (hot red wine) and Punsch (non-alcoholic) are on sale at several huts.
The main attraction for all youngsters is the ice field near the opera house. It is not huge but a lot of fun. Skates can be rented on location. The little ones will enjoy a ride in the vintage merry-go-round next to the ice field.
Entertainment: The program offers every day performances. To view all details per day click here: Program
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm / Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm
The last day is December 23.