Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Expat in Switzerland's Favorite Christmas Markets

Last year, there was a big argument at my office in Zurich when my German boss claimed that German Christmas markets were far superior to Swiss Christmas markets in front of a group of Swiss colleagues. I tried not to take sides, but after four years of European Christmas Marketing, I too have found that German Christmas markets are more to my liking than Swiss ones. 

The main reason I prefer German markets is that they're usually larger and I'm an American so I like large things. Of course, there's something to be said for small markets, and I always enjoy Baden's little market because I can walk out my door and be there in five minutes. With a commute that small, I don't mind that the market will only occupy me for less than a half hour. But I felt much differently when I went to Bern's market, which took up two hours of total transport time, but only offered about an hour's worth of entertainment. 

In any case, after awhile, all of these Christmas markets start to feel the same. They all have glüwein. They all have mandeln. They all sell millions of trinkets I don't need but buy anyway. But still. There's something festive about all of them. Especially ones that offer 1/2 Meter Bratwursts.

So for what it’s worth, here are some markets in Europe I especially enjoyed:

Switzerland:

Basel (if you like big markets, this is arguably Switzerland’s largest)

Germany:

Stuttgart (great weekend destination from Switzerland, good deals on the train from CH)

Esslingen (adorable town near Stuttgart with a fantastic market, including a medieval one)

Düsseldorf (free ice skating and ½ Meter Bratwursts)

Schloss Dyck (they sold golden gnomes here, something I couldn’t pass by)

But enough about what I think. What are your favorite Christmas Markets in Europe?

This post was written on behalf of AffordableCallingCards.net, a new expat community blog. This blog offers affordable calling cards in Switzerland as well as information about living abroad in Switzerland and in many other countries.

28 comments:

Kristin said...

Yay! I'll be in Basel next week, so I'm excited to hear they have a good (read big) Christmas market! Thanks for the tip :D

Chantal said...

Yes, the Basel market is my favorite one in Switzerland. Have fun!

Teresa said...

Oh!
I just ADORE Christmas markets in Germany!
Not Switzeralnd is my all time favorite place EVER! In the world! But those German Christmas Markets are just so authentic.
Never forget the one in Rothenburg. Oh...like a fairytale! So jealous you live in Switzerland! Need to send you some pics of our latest trip into the Berner Oberland.
Stayed two weeks in Murren!
Oh so quaint!
XOOXX

Chantal said...

Ooh, I would love to see the one in Rothenburg. Maybe next year.

Love Mürren! Lucky you! Two weeks there would be amazing.

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