Basel, Switzerland Christmas Markets.

By Posted in - Blog & Destinations & France on December 19th, 2014 Basel, Switzerland Store Window

By Cacinda Maloney

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

BEWARE: THIS ARTICLE IS PHOTO HEAVY as I love photographing anything Christmas!

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Near the Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

It was my first day of arrival into Switzerland and I could not wait to get the Christmas Market tour under way. Arrival into the small city of Basel was fast and cheap on the train from Zurich. Basel is located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet and is the third largest city in Switzerland. It also has suburbs in France and in Germany. I had heard that the Basel, Switzerland Christmas Markets were ones not to miss, so I was excited to see my very first one.

I made my way to the Rhine River via Tram #5 from the main train station and got on board the Viking River Cruise Ship TOR, which would be my home for the next 8 days. Check-in was a breeze and soon enough, I unpacked all my things and got them settled into my new home away from home.  That is a mega perk of cruising.

Viking River Cruise down the Rhine: Ship TOR

Viking River Cruise down the Rhine: Ship TOR

Word on the ship was that there was a great market in Basel, so I wanted to start things off right away and headed out the door to take the tram into town. Basically, I was told to get off “when you see the markets”, as Viking had a tour scheduled later in the afternoon with the tour director, but I wanted to go right away.   There are two markets, only a few blocks from each other. I chose to get off the tram on the furthest one away from the ship and then walk my way back to the other one. The Christmas Markets in Basel are called Basler Weinnacht and are located at Barfusserplatz and Munsterplatz and are easily within walking distance.

Basel, Switzerland tram near the Christmas Markets

Basel, Switzerland tram near the Christmas Markets

Little did I know, as a novice in European Christmas Markets, that this would be one of the best ones I experienced and I did it with barely any direction and found my way around quite easily. What I loved about this market was that is was quiet and easy to get around and yet had all the elements of the wonderful bigger markets.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

It was also less crowded than some of the larger markets I eventually saw, but I had no idea how popular these markets had become over the years and how they have literally taken on a life of their own. My recommendation is not to miss this one if you are any where near this tri-country location.  It could be that since I was there on a Friday afternoon instead of the weekend it was less crowded, but even so, I loved this market and it is a great market to go to.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

While there, I saw Christmas “cabins” that had candle making, glass firing, jagertee (tea), glühwein (mulled wine) and jus. chaud (hot juice in orange or pomegranate), as well as chestnuts roasting with all the smokiness that comes along with that.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Glass Firing – Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

I saw Christmas merry-go-rounds for the kiddos and paper star lights (one of my favorite things).

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

There were things that glowed, twirled, and attracted me with all their glittery lights.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

They were also playing Christmas music and had trees, garland and full live manger scenes, with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus galore.  I also saw snowmen, Santa Clause and evergreen sprigs stapled to the sides of wooden buildings. As well as, wreaths, red-striped North poles, reindeer and Christmas ornaments, stars, strings of lights, bows, candy canes and angels.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Plus trains, heart ornaments and stockings, not a single thing was missing.

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Everything that is the Christmas spirit was here. Even the biting cold and gingerbread houses and cookies could be found here in this small market in Switzerland. If you can not get in the Christmas Spirit here, then nothing else will work other than to be stuck by the holy one himself inside the cathedral!

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market

Basel, Switzerland Christmas Markets

Disclosure: My time spent in Basel, Switzerland was courtesy of the Viking River Cruises, while I spent time on the Christmas Market tour on the Rhine Getaway.

(8) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Lori Abercrombie -

    December 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

    How absolutely lovely. The Europeans really ‘do’ Christmas up, don’t they. I’ve always been a little cruise tour averse, but your observation about settling in for 8 days, while continuing to travel (!) really makes sense. Think I need to add a European christmas tour cruise to my bucket list! I’m going to Berlin on a University Art Study Tour in May 2015 (I’m 55 and a first year art history/visual arts student) and so looking forward to it!

    Love your blog, btw. 🙂

    • Cacinda Maloney -

      December 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Oh Lori, it was a great way to see the markets! I don’t think it would be easy to see as many markets as we did in 8 days by car because of the logistics of it. Viking truly does cater to the over 55 crowd (although they were as young as 25 and as old as 80 when I was there), so this would be perfect for you. What a great journey this University Art Study Tour sounds, have fun and let me know what you think when you are there as I might want to come!

  • Emiko -

    December 19, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I’m ‘missing’ Christmas this year since I’m traveling, so I LOVED all the photos. Especially that santas made out of logs. I guess I’ll just go have to celebrate by eating some roasted chestnuts here in Turkey.

    • Cacinda Maloney -

      December 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Oh man, well Turkey doesn’t sound so bad!

  • Ein Wochenende in Basel | soleseeking -

    December 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    […] There are more great photos of Basel’s Christmas markets here. […]

  • Kerwin -

    December 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Way cool; Basel is one of my favorite cities despite its cost :-). European Christmas Markets are really exciting; wait until you see one at night :-).

    I’m always intrigued by the sheer number of ornaments they have. It’s just crazy.

    Plus the hot wine is to die for!
    I did not get to do any Markets this year and looks like I can’t fit any in, so I’m living vicariously through yours.

    Thanks for sharing this experience -:).

    • Cacinda Maloney -

      December 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks for reading, Kerwin. The European Christmas markets are amazing this years and the people came in droves.

  • […] Switzerland – One of the quaintest markets I came across from the beginning day of the cruise. This one is small, yet honestly, after seeing a […]

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