Basel is located in Switzerland, at the border with Alsace. Spending a weekend in Alsace can thus be an opportunity to visit our Switz neighbors. Over Christmas, it is very nice to go to Basel, as it has a very pretty Christmas market (weinachtsmarkt), known to be as the most beautiful in Switzerland. I have been there several times and I always leave feeling as it is one of my favorite ones.
The chalets of Basel Christmas markets are all extremely well-decorated: it is very pleasant to look up and admire various decorations. There are some really pretty things for sale, representing the Christmas theme (even though a few (only just a few) chalets are a bit discordant), as well as good Switz specialties (raclette, fondue, various sausages…). It is a true traditional Christmas market!
Basel Christmas market takes place in the old town, in two different places:
- On Barfüsserplatz. Many chalets with various themes are installed on this huge square.
- On Münsterplatz. In addition to other chalets, this is where there is the biggest Christmas tree, as well as a small village dedicated to children.
Not to be missed at Basel Christmas market
- The small village located on Münsterplatz, where there is a small train and numerous arts and crafts chalets offering activities for children.
- When you are on Münsterplatz, I recommend going behind the cathedral. You will find a beautiful point of view over the Rhine and the town. With Christmas illuminations, it is even more beautiful than usual!
For young and old alike
- The Weinachtstube chalet, located behind the Church of Barfüsserplatz, decorated with two reindeer heads that regularly start moving and singing. It makes me laugh each time!
My favorite addresses at Basel Christmas market
To eat a fondue sandwich
Go to the Wirtschaft Zihlmann, next to the church on Barfüsserplatz. The menu consists of a hollowed piece of cerel bread, (so as to do a hot dog) and filled with a good ladleful of Switz fondue. It is absolutely delicious, I can guarantee it!
To buy excellent Switz chocolate
Go to the chocolate shop Läderach, located on Marktplatz. It’s not on the Christmas market, but it will give you a chance to admire the superb Basel Town Hall at the same time. The chocolate is expensive (don’t forget that you are in Switzerland!), but it is really excellent!
To taste smoked salmon
A stall on Münsterplatz offers smoked salmon made right in front of you on a wood-fire. I haven’t tasted it, but it looked so good that I had to tell you about it! Please taste it for me.
- Splendid decorations on the Christmas market chalets
- Authentic and pretty Christmas market
- Switz specialties
- Friendly atmosphere
I liked a little less
- Quite a few people over the weekend
My pictures of Basel Christmas market
Opening dates and times
You will find here the opening dates and times of Basel Christmas market.
Bâle is located:
- 35 km from Mulhouse (about 30 minutes drive)
- 64 km from Colmar (about 50 minutes drive)
- 142 km from Strasbourg (about 1h35 drive)
To avoid having to drive in Basel and finding a parking space, it is possible to park in Saint-Louis (a French town located just on the other side of the border), to cross the border on foot and to take the tram. You will be able to park next to the stadium at the border in Saint-Louis, which is only a 5 minutes walk from the tram stop “Saint-Louis Grenze” located in Suisse. You can then take the tram 11 until the stop Barfüsserplatz (5/10 minutes) for exemple. You will then directly arrive at the Christmas market!
By public transport
You can easily get the train to Basel train station from the main Alsatian towns. For train times, have a look on Voyages-SNCF. From the train station, you will then have to walk 10/15 minutes or take the tram to go to Christmas market.