The perfect base for a multi-stop Christmas Market trip is Basel. Not only did we visit Basel and Zurich Christmas Markets, but with only a short train journey, we visited Colmar in France and Freiburg in Germany too.
Firstly, by staying in Basel, you receive complimentary public transport. At your hotel they will provide you with a BaselCard to use, although for travel from the airport on arrival, you can use your accommodation confirmation. This is an excellent way to get around, especially during winter when it is a little colder.
With tram connections across the city, we decided to stay close to the main train station as we planned to visit Zurich, Colmar and Freiburg during our stay. After arriving early evening in Basel and checking into our hotel, we decided to scout the local area before heading for a late bite to eat.
Colmar, this was our first Christmas Market experience of the holiday, even before visiting the Basel Christmas Market. We caught a mid-morning train so that we could spend the day in Colmar. In less than an hour, we had crossed into France and arrived. The cobbled streets and half-timbered buildings were the perfect setting for the Christmas Markets in the old town, which was only a short walk from the train station. With a variety of shops, wooden huts and dining options scattered throughout the streets, the sense of the festive season was in full swing.
Basel, as we returned from Colmar and as the night crept in we headed into Basel to see the Christmas Markets under the lights. Using the local tram service we arrived and walked between the two main areas Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz. Whilst Christmas Markets look fantastic during the day, at night they come alive with the mix of lights, colours and the smell of mulled wine and sweet treats.
Freiburg, using the mid-morning train option again, in just over an hour we had arrived into Freiburg. In traditional German fashion, the Christmas festivities could be seen across the city, from small side streets to the City Hall Square showcasing traditional arts and crafts from the Black Forest region.
Zurich, today we took a slightly later train and within the hour we were in Zurich. By simply stepping off the train, the Christmas festivities can been seen with an amazing indoor market and a spectacular Swarovski Christmas tree in the main station. As we ventured out across this city, there were many other smaller markets on show as we walked along the river.
This was a perfect way to experience Christmas Markets across multiple countries.