Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas in Zurich

I haven't travelled to many exotic locales during the Christmas season. I was privileged to see Chamonix, France during the holidays a few years ago. I've seen Canada and Malta, too. And with these few places as points of comparison, I can confidently say that Zurich is the most Christmas-y city I've ever been.


It is as though Zurich was made for this time of year. Wonderful red and green gingerbread buildings line the streets, which drip with strings of lights. Millions of them. It's mind-boggling. There are real fir trees on every street, too, drooping with glass balls. There are Christmas markets in every little square. A 'living Christmas tree' of with carollers sings near Bahnofstrasse (the main shopping street in Zurich). Enterprising guys roast chestnuts over big braziers. The smell is intoxicating. 




At the train station you'll find Europe's largest indoor Christmas market, dominated by a stunning Swarovski-decked Christmas tree (it is Switzerland, after all) and bursting at the seams with fur rugs, mulled wine, holiday chocolates, and raclette stands.


It seems, as you turn every corner, you can't escape Christmas in Zurich. But it's not brash, it's not particularly plastic, or cringingly commercial. It feels genuinely cheerful, special, and fun.

After experiencing the magic of Zurich at Christmas, I'm totally inspired to make all of my Christmases more Swiss.

And if that means eating more chocolate and cheese, well, so be it. 

7 comments :

  1. This is exactly why we planned our Swiss trip for December. Prague was also great around Christmas & I hear Austria is fantastic as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Austria was stunning in February, so I can only imagine that it's extra special during the holidays too. I'm excited to see what you think of Switzerland!

      Delete
  2. Amsterdam is full of Christmas "villages" at the moment. They're basically anywhere that can hold a couple of log cabins! The cabins hold a mixture of food stalls (regular street-food and traditional Christmas-time food), fairground-like games (eg. small archery range where you can win prizes for hitting the balloons on the bullseye), Christmas scenes composed of life-sized statues, etc. I also saw a huge snowglobe that a group of people can go inside and throw fake snow around. There are Christmas lights everywhere too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard Amsterdam at Christmas is absolutely fabulous. They have a Festival of Lights that extends through January too, right?

      The fair games aren't something I've heard of before, but that sounds super fun!

      Delete
  3. Oh, it is totally made for Christmas! Bring on the extra chocolate and cheese. And vin chaud (or the Swiss-German equivalent).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I want a Swarovski decked Christmas tree ;)

    ReplyDelete

Let's talk.