23rd November to 23rd December 2017
Basel is proud to be known as Switzerland's largest and most beautiful 'Christmas City'. Buildings and bridges are magically lit up during the festive period and 100 decorated pine trees line Europe's longest 'Christmas Street'. There are two Christmas Markets, on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, with around 180 traditional wooden stalls offering a wonderful Christmas experience from 11am to 8.30pm each day. Both locations are located in the heart of the Old Town on beautiful squares, with Münsterplatz being next to the famous Cathedral. Traders and artisans present their wares, from pottery to Christmas spices, from wooden toys to decorations as well as original perfumes, candles and scarves. There are plenty of sweet gifts to stock up on, including the renowned Basel Läckerli biscuits. Hungry shoppers can enjoy an array of delicious snacks from the market stalls such as waffles, sausages and of course a warming glass of mulled wine while enjoying the wonderful festive atmosphere.
The city's shops are decorated in a festive manner and offer some great shopping in the departments stores and independant boutiques. Johann Wanner, the 'couturier of Christmas' has his famous shop in Basel's historic centre. It is well worth a visit for its beautifully made Christmas decorations, handblown glass ornaments and traditional wooden toys. There is also a cosy Christmas Parlour where you can have a rest and enjoy an afternoon coffee and cake.
There are always interesting festive events in Basel during the period - previous exampls include Salvation Army concerts, a Christmas exhibition at the Toy Museum, a special performance at the Puppet Theatre, and a musical Advent door opened each day the Basel Theatre. There is even a special city tour, where a guide takes you round the illuminated streets and squares, the Christmas trees and shares stories of the region's most charming Advent customs.
It is worth considering easyJet's direct flights to Basel (from Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Luton and Gatwick) which are perfect for a short break in this Christmas city.
Discover more about Basel by clicking here.
Find out about other Swiss Christmas Markets: Lucerne, Montreux, Bern.
Suggested Itinerary - including day trip to Bern
4 DAYS - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN BASEL AND EXCURSION TO BERN
From £690 per person
This short break is a wonderful way to enjoy Basel's festive activities in the run up to Christmas, with enough time for a day trip to Bern, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This suggested break is based on a stay in the 4 star Hotel Euler, an historic hotel which is well located in the centre of the city. However, we are able to tailor make an itinerary with a range of other 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in Basel.
Day 1 Arrival and get to know fascinating Basel with a stroll through the Old Town. Perhaps visit the Gothic Cathedral or the 16th century red sandstone Town Hall, then browse the menus of the town's many restaurants for tonight's meal.
Day 2 Shop to your heart's content in the Christmas Markets and enjoy lunch from one of the stalls offering delicious traditional treats. In the afternoon you could enjoy a river cruise on the Rhine or visit one of the city's 40 museums.
Day 3 Day trip to Bern. Enjoy the short rail journey past the town of Olten and the southern reaches of the Jura, and through the wintry pastures of the Swiss Mittelland to beautiful Bern.
Bern offers a warm welcome and thanks to being situated on a small peninsular, everything can be explored on foot. There is so much to enjoy in the Old Town - cobbled streets, covered shopping arcades, the ornate astrological clock and the fountains dating from the 16th century. The Parliament Building dates from 1852 and its central dome is a city landmark Visit the Cathedral for breathtaking views from the spire across to the snow-capped mountains of the Bernese Oberland. If you're keen for more shopping, the 'Lauben' are traditional covered shopping arcades found all over the Old Town and Bern also has its own Christmas Markets to explore. There are some great restaurants for your lunch - why not try a traditional Swiss fondue while you are in the nation's capital. More about Bern here.
Day 4 A hearty breakfast, perhaps time for another stroll through the Market then bid farewell to Basel with many happy memories and a suitcase full of Christmas gifts!
Your holiday price includes scheduled flights from Heathrow to Zurich inclusive of all airport taxes and security charges, 2nd class return rail transfers, 3 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation as described based on 2 people sharing, 2nd class return rail tickets to Bern and FREE Half fare card which entitles you to half or reduced price travel on most trains, PostBuses and lake steamers. Financial protection ATOL 3148. Booking conditions apply. Tailor Make Your Break: additional days, extra excursions, half board arrangements, higher grade hotels, upgraded rooms and additional resorts can be added. Call our team on 0800 619 1200.