Want to see as many Christmas markets as possible in one week during the most wonderful time of the year? We’ve got you covered. This unbelievable Christmas-filled vacation around Switzerland and France has just the jolt of Christmas magic we’re all looking for this year. Save some headaches and many hours planning by stealing our itinerary. Here we go!
Seven-Day Itinerary Overview:
- Day 1: Fly to Zurich
- Day 2: Zurich to Basel
- Day 3: Basel to Colmar
- Day 4: Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr
- Day 5: Colmar to Zurich
- Day 6: Zurich
- Day 7: Fly home
Day One: Fly to Zürich, Switzerland
- Take off from your home airport and try to get some sleep on the flight
- Here are a few of our favorite things to get us through those long overnight flights
Day Two: Zürich to Basel, Switzerland
- Arrive at the Zurich airport early in the morning
- Go through customs, then follow the airport signs to the airport’s train station.
- Take the train from Zurich Airport to Basel SBB
- Purchase train tickets easily from your phone upon exiting customs with the Trainline app.
- Arrive at Basel SBB, then take an Uber or Freenow rideshare to your hotel.
- We loved our stay at The Passage near Old Town.
- Walk around the Old Town and visit Basel’s two most popular Christmas Markets, Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz.
- Want the full guide to visiting Basel for Christmas? Check it out here!
- Walk back to the hotel or Airbnb and sleep off the jet lag and prepare for a full day tomorrow.
Day Three: Basel, Switzerland to Colmar, France
- Check out and take the morning train to Colmar
- This is a quick and easy transit day as Colmar is less than an hour away from Basel by train!
- Purchase train tickets easily from your phone with the Trainline app.
- Check into your stay, drop your bags, and head out for lunch
- Explore Colmar’s Six Christmas Markets
- Enjoy dinner at the incredible Gourmet Market followed by a streetside nutella crêpe for dessert
- Recommended: literally anything in the Gourmet tent! We ate there three times and thoroughly enjoyed everything we tried, from foie gras to onion soup and everything in between.
- Walk back to your overnight stay and rest up for the next day
Day Four: Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr, France
- Casual French breakfast
- Typically consists of espresso and a croissant.
- Take the Christmas Shuttle to Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé
- On weekends, the Alsace region continuously runs a Christmas shuttle to the neighboring towns, including Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr. Plan your trip accordingly to ensure you can visit this area on the weekend! Ask any local, and you’ll find Riquewihr’s markets are clearly the area’s favorite.
- Explore Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé’s Christmas Markets
- These small but incredibly charming towns offer very different vibes but similar coziness. Each can able experienced in a few hours each.
- Shuttle back to Colmar and rest for the next day
Day Five: Colmar, France to Zürich, Switzerland
- Wake up, pack up, and head to the Colmar Train Station
- Heads up, you’ll probably want to reserve a taxi ride in advance unless you want to walk 15 minutes with a suitcase through town.
- Take the train from Colmar to Zürich
- Skip the ticket line and easily purchase train tickets from your phone or desktop from Trainline.
- You’ll always make one stop and transfer to a new train in Basel along the way to Zurich. This is a quick and easy train journey that takes about two hours total.
- Check into your stay then enjoy a Swiss fondue lunch
- Recommendation: Le Dézaley
- Give yourself a brief break from Christmas Markets and explore around Zürich for the day
- Enjoy a nice dinner (that’s not market food!)
- Recommendation: Restaurant EquiTable
- Head to bed after a full day tomorrow
Day Six: Zürich’s Christmas Markets
- Enjoy a relaxing morning then head out for the first of the four main Christmas markets.
- Want the full guide to visiting Zurich’s Christmas markets? Check it out here!
- Don’t miss the singing Christmas tree’s daily performance
- Full itinerary for the performances listed here.
- Enjoy the city ambiance and Christmas lights down the city’s main street (Bahnhofstrasse) before heading back to call it a night
Day Seven: Fly Home
- Wake up, clean up, and pack up
- Take an Uber back to the airport
- Check-in at the airport and kiss the markets goodbye (for now!)