Christmas Market in Zurich

The Christmas Markets of Europe are legendary.  We spent the better part of November in Zurich, Switzerland with family.  The trip was mostly for the purpose of greeting our second grandson and helping out, all great fun but not the usual tourist activities.  We did, however, take  a few hours one day to stroll around the city and enjoy the Christmas season atmosphere of Zurich and it’s Christmas Market.  I wanted to give you a glimpse of the sensory feast that is Zurich at Christmas time.   (Be sure to also read the captions included with many of the images.)

Many towns in Europe, large and small, have Christmas Markets.  Zurich’s is located in the main train station, though the nearby shopping district along the famous Bahnhofstrasse also takes on the air of a Christmas Market.

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Zurich main train station, Bahnhofstrasse entrance.

The main train station is often teeming with people.  This was a “slow” Monday morning as we tried to avoid the crowds.

Zurich Christmas Season-1

A slow mid-morning on Monday at the Hauptbahnhof in Zurich.

The ubiquitous Mondaine clocks of the Swiss Railway, a smaller version of this clock can be found at every train stop in Zurich.  True to Swiss precision, they self correct every minute.

Zurich Christmas Season-1

The huge clock in the main station in Zurich.

As you turn around from the previous scenes, the Christmas Market fills the other end of the station.  Grüezi” is the Swiss German equivalent of “Hello”.   The huge central Christmas tree is dripping with thousands of Swarovski crystals. 

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All manner of items are on display.  My favorites were the intricately carved wooden decorations and the pop-up cards.

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Zurich Christmas Season-1

The Christmas Market spills over into the outside corridors of the station as well as along the famed Bahnhofstrasse.

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Just a few of the special foods that tempt in the Christmas market.

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In the US , our notion of “swiss cheese” is pitifully limited. This is a very small selection of Swiss cheeses.

Zurich Christmas Season-1

A plain pretzel from Brezelkönig (Pretzel King). You can also get them with butter, with cheese, with meat, and much more. There are pretzel stands on most every corner in Zurich.

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One of the many sources of chocolate. The Swiss chocolate shops are more like jewelry stores. This one even had a guard by the front door.

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Läderach chocolate Santas.

Zurich Christmas Season-1

Roasted Chestnut (Heisse Marroni) stands dot the city beginning in November.

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Christmas cookies are an age old tradition in most European cultures.

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Christmas cookies with intricate “painting” of traditional Swiss farmers.

I found this little pocket for Christmas  solitude and meditation in a corner of a shopping area.

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I hope you enjoyed this tiny glimpse into the Christmas market in Zurich.  It’s always fun to be exposed to traditions that are unique to our own but it also makes me pause to consider what my traditions are.  Take time to savor and appreciate the details of your family’s particular holiday traditions.

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