A weekend of magic: Christmas market

Each December, St.Gallen hosts one of the most atmospheric Christmas markets in Switzerland since 13 years. The St.Gallen Christmas market is worth visiting! At Day-time it’s nice, but the market completely transform itself at night! There’s something magical about the lights! A beautifully decorated street of over 50 stalls in St.Gallen during December. And be sure not to miss the «Christkindli» market at the weekend with over 120 stalls! 10 days before Christmas the Gallusplatz is is filled with Christmas trees! And not enough: 700 stars light the streets in magical light.

When is the Christmas market?

Officially, the St.Gallen Christmas market for 2018 will start on November 29th (Friday) and end on December 24th (a Sunday). Put it on your calendar. The St.Gallen Christmas market starts on Friday (10am to 9pm) and ends on Sunday at 6pm. On Friday and Saturday, the Christmas market is open to 9pm.

With 53 stalls, you’ll find enough to keep you occupied for a whole afternoon or more if you’re looking for gifts. Compared to elsewhere in Switzerland, I found that the St.Gallen Christmas market had some of the best selection of unique Christmas gifts and goods for those looking for last-minute surprises for loved ones.

To avoid the worst of the crowds, come in the early morning or in the late afternoon (4pm). Most people started leaving around 5-6pm.

Glühwein (Mulled Wine)

Glühwein and Beer are the most popular drinks at the St.Gallen christmas market. Brigitte Maier hands cups with Glühwein over the counter. Since 2006, she and her husband have been leading the «Maiersäss» at the «Vadiandenkmal». The «Chlausbeizli» in the «Neugasse» has been there every year since over 13 years. There, you get the «Glühwein» in four different flavours: pure, with amaretto (Nussknacker), with maraschino (Lady’s Dream) or with a surprise.

Take out cash before you go! Unfortunately, most of the stalls do not accept cards in any form! If you need to warm up, you can stopp for a coffee or tea at the Blumenmarkt.

Fondue, Raclette

There are some good places to try out Fondue or Raclette. For example the Fondue Beizli on the Brühlgasse 26, the Restaurant Chalet on the Katharinengasse or the Fondue Alp (8.11.-19.01.19) on the Neugasse.

«Christkindli» market

The «Christkindli» market is on 2.12 and on 9.12, from 9am-5pm at the Gallusplatz with over 120 stalls! This market is fantastic and sooooo inspiring.

The «Christkind» is a sprite-like child, usually depicted with blond hair and angelic wings. Children never see the «Christkind» in person, and parents tell them that «Christkind» will not come and bring presents if they are curious and try to spot it. The family enters the living room, where the Christmas tree has been put up, for the opening of presents, when the parents say that they think that the «Christkind» who has brought the presents has now left again. The departure is announced by the ringing of a small bell, which the parents pretend to have heard or which is secretly done by one of the adults in the family.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

This year on 22.12./19.15. This is the best you can do in Christmas time! This event is always in the Cathedral and really worth to see and hear!

Candle making

01.12.–21.12.2019 – Make your own candle by dipping a wick into tubs of hot, molten wax in a pavilion on Kornhausplatz. All you need is a bit of patience, as the wax needs to cool before you dip it again. Good to slow down for a while in the frantic pre-Christmas period and good for kids. You pay according to the weight of the candle when it’s finished and the proceeds go to charity.

But for now I wish you a dreamful Advendszeit, a wonderful Christmastime and a generally happy, healthy and successful new year!