The Christmas Season in Basel

© dietrich varaklis

The Christmas season in Basel is a beautiful and exciting time filled with a plethora of Christmas-related activities. You can stroll through the charmingly decorated old town with its festively decked-out storefronts and its quaint alleys and squares adorned with Christmas lights and trees. Also note that shops will be open on the two Sundays afternoons preceding Christmas.

© kejia liu

Basel also hosts a multitude of Christmas events—choose from the many Christmas concerts and theater; take a ride on the Christmas ferry or tram; treat the family to the Christmas circus, Cirque Noël de Bâle, or to the very special Christmas variety show at the Palazzo Colombino; join a Christmas tour; view the Christmas lights and decorations from heights of the Münster towers; pop into Theater Basel to get a daily dose of their musical Advent calendar; discover this year’s English-language Panto production of “Little Red Riding Hood;” discover the special Christmas exhibits at several of Basel’s local museums; or take the kids to meet the Santa Clauses who will be riding through town on Harley Davidson motorcycles, strolling with his donkey at the Basel zoo and Lange Erlen animal park, and even paddling down the Rhein in dozens of kayaks and canoes!

© anne kohler

Arguably, the highlight of the holiday season is the Basel Christmas markets, which attract nearly one million visitors to Basel each year and last year were voted “Best Christmas Market in Europe 2021,” by the “European Best Destinations” ranking. With their around 155 stands of wares from traders and artisans, they are wonderful places to pick up some unique Christmas gifts while enjoying the decorated trees, lights, and a warm cup of mulled wine or cider. The two main Christmas markets can be found at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz. In addition, visitors can cross the festively lit Mittlere Brücke to the Kleinbasel side of the Rhein to enjoy some holiday spirit in the Rheingasse—a beautifully decorated street lined with fur-lined outdoor seating to enjoy traditional Swiss holiday food and drinks by open wood fires.

With all of these events and markets, Basel certainly deserves its reputation of being the most beautiful and largest Christmas city in Switzerland!

Check out our calendar to be sure not to miss these and other Holiday events this season!