Insider tips from Basel: top events, competitions and special offers

Sign up now

Christmas Market

The Basel Christmas market at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is considered to be one of the prettiest and largest in Switzerland. During the run-up to Christmas, many events and spectacular special exhibitions in the city's museums further enrich its cultural scene.

Münsterplatz Weihnachten

22 November to 23 December 2018

Open daily from 11 am to 8.30 pm

Except:
23 December 2018, Münsterplatz: 11 am to 6 pm
23 December 2018, Barfüsserplatz: 11 am to 8 pm

Sennenhütte on Claraplatz is open from 11 am to 8.30 pm

Our city on the Rhine has a very special charm in the Christmas period. The quaint Christmas market can be found on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, right in the centre of the city and at the heart of the festively decorated Old Town. A magnificent Christmas tree stands on the Münsterplatz, with ornaments by the well-known decorator Johann Wanner. On Claraplatz, the "Sennenhütte" opens its doors again to guests for a fun fondue dinner. 

Over 180 traders and artisans offer their goods for sale in small, rustic wooden chalets. Anyone still looking for gift ideas can seek inspiration in the wide selection and enchanting ambience. Culinary delights also abound with waffles, glühwein, genuine Basel Läckerli (a kind of gingerbread), delicious Swiss raclette or the popular grilled sausages. Like last year, visitors can also enjoy Christmas delicacies and a festive atmosphere at Claraplatz (in Kleinbasel, on the right banks of the Rhine). This year you’ll again find a small but delicious culinary offering at Claraplatz as well as at the neighbourhood Christmas market in Rheingasse. The market is enriched by numerous pre-Christmas events.

The prettiest Christmas market stands in 2017

One week after the start of the 40th Basel Christmas market in 2017, judging of the prettiest stands took place in the Barfüsserkirche. Prizes were awarded to the best three in the non-food segment and the best stand in the food segment. The lucky winners received a certificate and prize money in the form of Pro Innerstadt vouchers.

Discover the prettiest Christmas market stands

Official opening of Christmas in Basel

Christmas in Basel will be officially opened at 6.30 pm on 22 November 2018, when the city's Governing President, Elisabeth Ackermann, switches on the Christmas lights at Münsterplatz. At the same time, visitors will be able to admire the splendid illuminations adorning the numerous Christmas trees lining the streets of Basel.

The musical accompaniment for the opening ceremony will be provided by the Musik Akademie Basel horn ensemble conducted by Stefan Ruf and Theater Basel's Extra choir, conducted by Michael Clark.

«Christmas fairy-tale forest» adventure playground activities

In the Christmas fairy-tale forest on the Münsterplatz, children can make, pour and decorate candles, make torches, forge metal objects, decorate gingerbread, eat campfire bread and drink hot chocolate, ride on the kiddies’ train, bake cookies, pour tin, visit the star workshop, make Christmas floral decorations, have a go on the wheel of fortune, mint coins and much more besides.

When: 29 November to 22 December 2018, Monday to Friday from 1.30 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Where: Münsterplatz, Christmas market

Costs: CHF 5 to 15 (depending on the activity)

Currency: “Märchentaler” (fairy-tale dollars) (Swiss francs can be exchanged 1:1 at the cash desk)

Special: Christmas trees for sale from a Swiss Christmas tree nursery