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Basel Christmas Markets

In December, Basel is a city of stars. Streets are decorated with lights that twinkle and glow. Stars sparkle and shine on the evergreen Christmas tree in front of the Munster cathedral. At the Christmas market in Barfusserplatz , a wooden tower goes round and round, stars silhouetted in the evening sky. Kids will enjoy trying all kinds of different chocolates and cookies in the shape of stars, especially the Basel specialty, Lackerli gingerbread cookies.
Altstadt Basel has two traditional Christmas markets in Barfusserplatz and Munsterplatz. Barfusserplatz is the bigger market, but Munsterplatz has a special "Marchenwald" for kids.
Basel Christmas Markets Photo Album
    Barfusserplatz Christmas market
   

Market stalls, decorated with lighted gold and silver stars, angels, reindeer, are stocked with wooden toys, Christmas ornaments, smiling snowmen, lambs wool stuffed toys, puppets, porcelain miniature villages (like traditional Swiss villages, with the city hall, cafe-bistro, hotel, church, restaurant, bakery, snow covered trees), creche figurines, snow globes.

   

The market also has fun food - fondue, raclette, chocolates, sweets, cookies, punch without alcohol (Kinderpunsch), and mulled wine (Gluhwein). Our favorite is Heisse Shoggi, (or Shokolade), hot chocolate. Try the Kinder Shoggi, comes with plenty of whipped cream (Rahm), and a souvenir mug.

     

Don't miss the "Christmas pyramid" (Weihnachtpyramide), a rotating wooden tower with nativity scenes – Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus in the manger, shepherds, three Wise Men, stars going round and round.

    Munsterplatz Christmas market
   

In the Marchenwald, watch artisans make hand blown glass ornaments, roast bread treats over an open fire, ride a little hand-pushed scooter train, check out the creche with nativity figures, and take a miniature pony ride (on weekends). At the stall with a traditional blacksmith shaping metal into ornamental pieces, kids can also try their hand - put on a jacket and safety goggles and hammer away

     

Along with Shoggi (hot chocolate) and Gluhwein, from the stalls, sample pretzels (Brezels), soup, grilled sausages Basel style, chocolates shaped like tools.

    Rathaus - Marktplatz
     

In the square (Marktplatz) in front of the Rathaus is a gorgeous multi-story high evergreen Christmas tree, decorated with red baubles. Going off from the square, Freie Strasse is beautifully illuminated with an arcade of silvery lights.

   

Fun food

     

At the Christmas season, along with traditional Lackerli (gingerbread type cookies) and Swiss chocolates, there are seasonal treats. Kids will want to try the "Grattimaa" (Grattimann, Grittibanz), a puffy bread boy with raisin currant, cranberry or almond eyes, covered with pearly sugar sprinkles (like snow).

     

Stop in to the many confiseries (sweet shops) for chocolate Christmas cookies, chocolate "bark" and trees, chocolate stars, butter cookies.

     

Tip: We loaded up on cookies and chocolates to bring back for Christmas. To keep them from getting crushed in our luggage, we stopped into a supermarket to buy plastic containers. Everything arrived home without a crumble.

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