Make Merry with Glühwein at Basel’s Christmas Market
Switzerland’s favorite cold weather libation is a piping hot glass of glühwein, a German-inspired mulled wine infused with the sweet and spicy flavors of cinnamon, clove, and star anise. The best place to enjoy a glass? The Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland’s largest and most charming holiday wonderland. Frequent sips of glühwein along with a fresh baked waffle will fortify you against the cold as you browse hundreds of stalls offering local European and international crafts, gifts, toys, and decorations.
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Christmas around Barfüsserplatz
The Basel Christmas market is one of the prettiest and largest in Switzerland. Many Christmas markets were originally set up at the base of grand cathedrals of Europe. In Basel, two churches share the honors: the Münster, the town's former cathedral, and Barfüsserkirche, a church named after its original founders, the barefoot Franciscans.
This year, an enormous Christmas pyramid in the passageway beside the Barfüsserkirche joins more than 100 vendor stalls in picturesque wooden chalets.
There is something for everyone, from mulled wine to gifts, even rides for the little ones. The setting is wonderfully historic, too, in the heart of the city's Old Town. Basel's is definitely a Christmas market worth seeing!
Christmas in Basel attracts visitors from all over the world, and the annual market at Münsterplatz, Basel’s best known square, is a centerpiece of the festivities.
In the big square fronting Basel’s former cathedral, there is plenty of shopping, food and drink, and activities for children. Visitors arrive on foot, by bicycle taxi or on one of the city's hand-pulled ferries from the other side of the Rhine.
The atmosphere is special at Münsterplatz, too. The square is ringed with medieval buildings on its perch above the Rheinfalz river landing. For me, the best time to be there is at dusk, when "snow globes" are at their best, sparkling in the winter-bare branches of chestnut trees against a deep blue sky.
Children love the Märchenwald, a fairy-tale forest with games and entertainment. Vendors offer goods from around the world, nearby Germany and France, as well as playful pottery items and food treats as gifts.
My Basel Christmas would not be complete without at least one visit to Münsterplatz for a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate and a stroll among the Christmas chalets!