Christmas in Basel attracts visitors from all over the world–more than 1/2 million of them. Since 2011, the Christmas market at Münsterplatz, Basel’s best known square, has been a centerpiece of the city’s Christmas festivities. This year’s Basler Weihnacht kicked off in late November at the big square fronting Basel’s former cathedral, and until shortly before Christmas, offers shopping, food and drink, and activities for children.
At Münsterplatz, vendors offer goods from around the world, nearby Germany and France. There are locally crafted pottery and glass object as well. The Tinguely Museum has a stall here, and across the way, a Märchenwald, or fairytale forest, is popular with families. As at Barfüsserplatz, there are food stalls, as well as gift stands. In the evenings, everything is bathed in the light of “snow globes”.
On Basel’s Cathedral Hill
A fantasy forest
Sweet & savory market treats
Year-end at Münsterplatz
The Christmas market runs until 23 December. The Münster holds weekday afternoon services during Advent, and will have a Christmas Eve program featuring the Knabenkantorei Basel (Basel Boys Choir). Come Sylvester, as New Year’s Eve is called here, Münsterplatz will be the place for many locals to ring in the new year with a glass of champagne. A brief concert features the trumpets and trombones of the Stadtposaunenchor playing on the upper balcony of the church, and is followed by fireworks over the Rhine.