Love Christmas and chocolates and creative gifts, but hate battling the frigid cold (even while sipping hot cocoa and mulled wines)?
Then a visit to Zürich’s indoor Christmas Market is sure to feel like a special holiday treat! Our Coon Rapids Travel Agent spotlight is featuring a girlfriends getaway in December 2018 with our Christmas Market Cruise down the Rhine River, including a stop in Zurich. Wondering what you’ll experience in Zurich? Read on to get a glimpse of Zurich at Christmas.
Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof Train Station
The festive Christmas Market held at Zürich’s busy Hauptbahnhof Train Station (aka Zürich’s Main Station) is one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe. It may be a White Christmas and winter wonderland outside but keep cozy and warm in here — with 150 festively decorated market stalls to get in the yuletide spirit. The fragrant scent of cinnamon, Glühwein (mulled wine), Glögg (another mulled wine), traditional tirggel biscuits (which have been enjoyed here since 1461), Christstollen fruit loaf and roasted almonds waft through the station, beckoning commuting travelers and shoppers alike. Find handmade gifts full of character – including Christmas ornaments, jewelry and handmade candles as you listen to Christmas carols. But of course, the big showstopper here is the 50 foot Christmas tree decorated with between 5,000-7,000 Swarovski crystals and ornaments.
Touring the station
While the Christmas market is a highlight, many tourists come to see the magnificence of the station. The market, which was originally starting in 1994, had humble beginnings starting with just a dozen stalls. While it has flourished in the relatively few years since its founding, its location of the Hauptbahnhof station lends it an older, more established feel.
The station, which opened in 1871, is a Neo-Renaissance masterpiece which features an elegant triumphal arch at the main entrance and faces the dazzling Bahnhofstrasse. Richly decorated lobbies, atriums, restaurants, halls and a monumental fountain commemorating Swiss Alfred Escher – it is clear to see why it is listed as Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National Significance – and a must-see in its own right.
Of course, there are many other ways to celebrate Zürich’s holiday season. One of the most popular favorites is strolling down the vibrant and exclusive Bahnhofstrasse. This is Zurich’s most tantalizing shopping avenue and it is always at its most stunning when aglow for the holiday! Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive and exquisite shopping avenues in the world, on par with New York City’s 5th Avenue – and home to stores like Bvlgari, Hermés, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Shopping here anytime is a special treat but during the holidays, the street becomes particularly magical. As if the bling in nearby Tiffany’s and Dior weren’t quite enough, 12,000 glittering LED lights are sure to keep the festive twinkle in shoppers’ eyes. The annual Santa Claus Parade also uses the Bahnhofstrasse as its annual route.
The Wienachtsdorf Market
The Wienachtsdorf is another one of Zürich’s popular markets. Set in Old Town by the spectacular Opera House, the market caters to shoppers with 100 red market stalls, delicious foods and artisanal goodies. Look for incredible fondue chalets and intricate wooden ornaments to add a something cheery and bright to the festivities.
The Market at Werdmuhleplatz
The Christmas Market at Werdmühleplatz is Zürich’s newest market. It is still notable for its sweet ‘singing Christmas tree.’ No, this is not some hokey electronic tree – but a many tiered stage (rising up in the shape of a tree), where kids line around and sing out carols. This sweet and charming small market is sure to charm you as you shop and explore the wonders of Christmas.
Ready to board our cruise and book your girlfriends’ getaway? Coon Rapids based Riverdale Travel is ready to help!