Basel Christmas Market: What to Pack, See and Do

Let me take you round Basel Christmas Market, and show you the sights, scenes and stalls, so you know what to expect when you visit this super festive event.

I’m just back from Basel Christmas Market, my first time checking out some Crimbo stalls in Europe. FIRST TIME. It was great. After my limited experience at the delights of Manchester German Market, and London Christmas Market, this one was definitely bigger, better and had a much bigger variety when it came to the stalls.

In short, it was way better.

Basel Christmas Market what to expect

So for today’s festive post, I just wanted to give a few tips on what to pack, what you’ll see at Basel Christmas Market, and a few tips on what you can do around Basel while you’re there too.

Basel Christmas Market is taking place from 25 November to 23 December 2021

“The Basel Christmas market at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz is considered to be one of the prettiest and largest in Switzerland. And what’s more: Europe’s best Christmas market will be held in Basel in 2021!”


What to see at the Basel Christmas Market

Basically, you’ll be wandering around looking at all the pretty things while sipping on your Gluhwein. That’s the way these Christmas Markets seem to go.

Basel Christmas Market shopping

There were so many cute little stalls to buy all kinds of things from jewellery, to candles, to wooden toys, to bags and gats. Y’know how you go to some Christmas Markets and it’s the same thing repeated, not so at Basel Christmas Market.

I could’ve spent a lot of money here, if I had it. 

What to see at Basel Christmas Market

Of course, you need to eat at the Christmas Market. From wursts to meat skewers to potato rostis and Toblerone donuts, there’s loads of food to choose from. I kind of feel like I didn’t make the most of all the foodie opportunities, but, it was because of this treat…

Basel Christmas Market eats

Don’t leave Basel Christmas Market without booking into one of the fondues there. Soooo good. We went to Wicker Fonduestubli, at the tourist board’s recommendation. Oh yessss.

And of course, drink all the mulled wine.

Don’t feel bad about eating as much as you can either. You need it all to stay warm!

Packing for Basel Christmas Market

After a FREEZING weekend in Oxford the one before I wasn’t taking any chances in packing for Basel Christmas Market. I even packed two coats just to be sure I’d be warm.

This is my list for two nights and three days – I had checked luggage but you can definitely fit this in carry on.

Basel Christmas Market stalls

The key to packing for Christmas Markets is layers, of course. You’ll be outside in the snow / rain / cold, then you might be sat next to a heater enjoying a Gluhwein, and then, indoors, and sweating that mulled cider out right away.

You need to be warm and comfortable. Say it with me – ‘warm and comfortable’.

  • 2 pairs of jeans – you might think you’ll get away with one, but what if they get wet?
  • 2 vest tops – layer up
  • 2 long sleeved tops / shirts – I ended up wearing all my clothes by the third day
  • Chunky cardigan – not so chunky it doesn’t fit under your coat though
  • 4 warm socks – always nice to change in an evening
  • 4 knickers – same, keep it fresh
  • 2 bras
  • pyjama bottoms – nice to be cosy when you get home
  • Another coat – be prepared
  • Scarf – essential – a nice big, thick one if you have it
  • Hat – you know you lose a whole load of your heat outta your head, don’t you?
  • Gloves – I took fingerless ones, great for still being able to fondle all the goodies at the Christmas Market, so I thought, and then ended up buying full ones because it was blummin FREEZING.
  • Nice top – depends what you’re doing, but we had a night at a fancy meal scheduled and so I took it to wear there.
  • Knee boots
  • Ankle boots – I packed two pairs of boots in case of rubbing, uncomfortable, extreme weathers, and wore them both.
  • Shoes are the most important tool to keep you warm and happy – don’t take this decision lightly.
Basel Christmas Market

Remember, warm and comfortable. Better to be too warm and be able to take a layer off, than too cold and frozen and moany.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother with thermals, but that depends where you’re going and how cold you get. I think they’re more of a skiing packing list thing. Up to you!

  • Toiletries
  • I didn’t bother with shampoo and conditioner, seeing as the hotel provided and it was only two nights, but depends how often you like to wash your hair (me? Twice a week).
  • Make up
  • Moisturiser – that cold wind is baaad for your skin
  • Lip balm – and your lips
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Hairbrush
  • Camera, of course, and charger
  • Phone
  • Plug adaptor

Hope that helps with your packing list for Basel Christmas Market. If you want more on how to pack for winter trips, check out my winter holiday packing list here.

What to pack it in

Basel Christmas Market packing tips

This Thule Subterra carry on case is blummin brilliant. I’ve had it for a while now and used it for weekends away, including the last time I went to Switzerland, to Saas Fee. It’s got two sides making it easy to organise, and you can split it so you can make one side fit in cabin luggage, and then carry the other side on board.


There are two front pockets for essentials (for me, cosmetics) or for stuffing a few last-minute things in.

It’s strong, sturdy, has good zips and looks sleek too. All this fit in with plenty of space for souvenirs (Toblerones) to bring back.

What to do in Basel

Make sure you eat at Rubino. Gawd, we had an incredible four-course meal there. It was so good. I mean, it was a press trip so I didn’t see the bill, but if you’ve got some cash to splash, go for it.

Restaurant in Basel
Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market
Basel Christmas Market things to do

Walk along the river, take pics, go in the boat, walk the bridges, ride the trams, go to the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel toy museum, and get in the Christmassy spirit!

Pin this guide to Basel Christmas Market for later


  1. When I was younger, I spent the summers working in Basel and have a soft spot for the city still. Your pictures have brought back memories. I’ve not been for Christmas, so I’ll add that to my list.
    If you enjoyed this, Basel also has a big carnival (Fasnacht) before Easter. They shut the town centre for 3 days and the carnival is pretty much non-stop for the whole time.
    Well done scoring a meal at Rubino! Probably best you didn’t see the bill… it was probably 3 figures per head…

    1. Oh yes, everyone was telling me about that. They said I really need to go back for it – sounds like a great party!

      One thing I did find really weird about Basel was just how quiet it is. I thought there’d be music at the Christmas Market to help the atmosphere, but for some reason I don’t think I heard any.

      Rubino was delicious!

      1. Music-wise (or lack of it) – they make up for that at Fasnacht. Bigly.
        Hmmm… I think I’m talking myself into another visit now…

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