Hiking season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that I’m staying home until the snow melts next year. The cold has arrived at the most perfect time: Christmas is here! Just a few days after my last hike in Calfeisental, the Christmas markets have sprouted all over Swiss cities and Christmas lights are now shining on during the darkest days of the year… And I can’t be happier! If you have been following my blog during the last years, then you already know that I adore these Advent days (I have to confess that my Christmas tree has been adorning my living room for a few weeks already)…

This year I have a goal: to visit as many traditional Christmas markets as I can before going to Spain to spend the holidays with my family. I have a trip planned for this purpose (I hope I can show you some photos next week), but I also want to see some Swiss cities and their Christmas markets. The first one has been Basel. I went there last weekend, in part because we wanted to run away from the fog that’s been covering Zurich for weeks. I’ve also heard very nice things about the Christmas markets of this Swiss city.

This was my second visit to Basel. The first one was a several months ago during a cold and grey winter day. Even if the day wasn’t very pretty, I loved the colorful streets of Basel, its pretty houses with wooden shutters, its market and the impressive Roothuus, the City Hall building. Last week I arrived earlier and with a bit more time to explore the city before I had to take the train back to Zurich. This time, I found the city under a beautiful blue sky. Christmas lights adorned the main streets in the city center and there were a lot of streets with small Christmas trees (just firs, some of them with golden lights) at both sides. And the best part, the Christmas markets, were full of people. Smells of fondue, Glühwein, sausages and chocolate filled the atmosphere while other stands were selling beautiful handmade Christmas ornaments and nativity scenes. OK, there were also a few stands selling soaps, food from other countries and other handcrafts but not as many as in some other Christmas markets I’ve been. After strolling around the pretty streets of Basel and exploring its Christmas markets, I had enough time to enjoy a hot chocolate in Schiesser (a confectionery in the market square dating from 1870) before going back to Zurich. It was a pity that I didn’t get to see the city at night, with all its Christmas lights on… But I’m sure this is a city I will visit more times in the future, specially during Christmas!

Here are some photos I took during this trip, the first with Christmas atmosphere of this year… I hope you like them! I think this is just an aperitif of a great Christmas season on the blog!

Marktplatz. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/400sec. ISO100
Rathaus. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/25sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 63mm f/11 1/50sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 55mm f/11 1/25sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 57mm f/11 1/100sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 50mm f/11 1/100sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 53mm f/11 1/30sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 42mm f/11 1/125sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 42mm f/11 1/80sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 61mm f/11 1/320sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 70mm f/11 1/80sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/13sec. ISO100
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 24mm f/11 1/13sec. ISO100


  1. ¡Me encanta Mer! Las fotos que haces de las ciudades iguales de bonitas que cuando vas a hacer hiking. Gracias por compartirlas.

    • mercedescatalan

      Mil gracias, Carmen!!! Bueno, no se yo si igual de bonitas, jejeje, que los paisajes suizos son demasiado!! Aunque también es verdad que todas estas cuidades tienen muchísimo encanto, y más aun en Navidad!! Un besote enorme y gracias por leerme!!! 🙂

  2. Beautiful street photography!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne!! If you don’t count my week in Amsterdam, I think this year I’ve been only taking photos outdoors… If street photography was already out of my comfort zone, the feeling is not improving, hahaha! But with all the Christmas atmosphere who can resist to go out and try to capture part of it? I always feel like a little girl during these days, and with the camera, even more!! 🙂

  3. Great pics! That Rathaus is so beautiful!! Happy to hear you’re into Xmas too, I’m very much enjoying everything Christmassy this year!!! 😀

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, S! I love Christmas!! Now that almost all mountain trails are closed, Christmas markets are the place to be these days! Glühwein, roasted chestnuts, Christmas carols… this year we’re exploring more cities in Switzerland and around and I’m loving every single Christmas market we visit! 🙂
      For now, Basel is one of the best so far! Probably the most traditional in Switzerland!

  4. Gorgeous photographs of what looks like an enchanting city. I heard that accommodation there was super expensive – would that be true?

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a lot!! Zurich is beautiful, charming… and very elegant! I love this city! And during Christmas Zurich has a lot of magic!
      But yes, I’m afraid it’s totally true! Hotels and other types of accommodation are expensive… and everything else! Travelling around Switzerland can be a bit expensive (although I’m sure there are cheaper option), but in general the experience is totally worth the expense!

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