Die Mittlere Brücke mit Weihnachtsbeleuchtung.

Christmas magic

This is Basel.

Christmas in Basel

Basel is well known as the Swiss city with the biggest Christmas tradition. This fame rests not only on its Christmas market but also on its wonderful Christmas illuminations, spectacular special exhibitions in its museums and galleries, a “public wishes book”, and numerous concerts and events. 

Advent events

During the run-up to Christmas, many events and spectacular special exhibitions in the city’s museums further enrich its cultural scene.

For instance at Theater Basel, where a new window is opened each day in the “literary-musical Advent calendar”. The Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum) and the Museum der Kulturen (Museum of Cultures) present exhibitions relating to Christmas, while Basel’s Marionettentheater (puppet theatre) features special Christmas performances for adults and children as part of its repertoire.

This year’s Basler Stadtlauf (city run) takes place on 20 November, and numerous events will take place in Basel’s churches during the Advent period. Gospel Night in the Cathedral (Münster) is one of the fixtures in the Basel Christmas calendar. Among the other many festive highlights are the Christmas variety show Palazzo Colombino at the Rosentalanlage and the “Harley Davidson Santas”. 

Christmas 2021: highlights

“Basler Weihnacht” Association Board

Drawing in around 900,000 visitors each year, the Basel Christmas Market has become one of the city’s major public attractions. Its success is due in large part to synergies in terms of both organization and communication. Since 2010, the Verein Basler Weihnacht (Christmas in Basel Association) has ensured close cooperation between representatives from public administration, business and the authorities.

Association Board

The board of the volunteer-run association is made up of the following representatives:

  • Dr Gabriel Barell, Director of the Basel-Stadt Trade Association (Chair)
  • Adrian Ambord, Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB)
  • Matthias Böhm, Managing Director of Pro Innerstadt Basel
  • Daniel Egloff, Director of Basel Tourism
  • Sabine Horvath, Head of Division of External Affairs and Marketing of the Canton of Basel-Stadt

Your contribution counts!

It is thanks to the close cooperation between all parties involved and the contributions of our loyal sponsors and patrons that Christmas in Basel (“Basler Weihnacht”) can continue to grow.

Many thanks for your donation to post office account number 40-711465-4

Häufig gestellte Fragen

Good to know.

  • Special highlights include the Christmas trees in the Town Hall courtyard and on Münsterplatz. The latter location is decorated by Johann Wanner every year, one of the largest makers of handmade Christmas decorations. 

  • The Basel Christmas market at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is considered to be one of the prettiest and largest in Switzerland.

  • At Christmas, the streets of Basel delight visitors with a variety of Christmas lights. Each district has its own tradition. The Freie Strasse, Spalenvorstadt, St. Alban-Tal and Clarastrasse are all worth a visit. And of course, Münsterplatz, with its spectacular snow globes.

  • On the afternoon of Saturday in the week of 6 December, white-bearded Santa Clauses flit through the city centre on their motorcycles and collect donations for a good cause – an event very much in the Basel style: different, heartfelt and community-based.