If you’re in Switzerland this December, make sure you head to Zurich
Throughout the month of December the entire city of Zurich is bathed in a warm glow. The scent of cinnamon and mulled wine hangs in the air and the sounds of Christmas carols ring out wherever you go. Zurich boasts a number of
Christmas markets which provide opportunities for some excellent Christmas shopping. Just a stone’s throw from the lakeshore the “Weinachtsdorf” – or Christmas village – enchants visitors with its 100 market stalls which are grouped together against the spectacular backdrop of the Opera House. Visitors are invited to come in and browse and enjoy a glass or two of glühwein (mulled wine) at the same time. The city’s oldest Christmas market is in the picturesque Niederdorf quarter, next to the glittering 50ft tall Christmas tree at the Christkindlimarkt, right by the main railway station.
Another of Zurich’s winter attractions is its remarkable choice of open air ice rinks. The Dolder open-air ice rink which was built as long ago as 1930 is the largest of its kind in Europe and attracts ice skating enthusiasts from Switzerland and further afield. Covering an area of over 6,000 square metres, the ice rink is situated next to the Dolder Grand hotel, overlooking the city. The rink can be reached by the Dolderbahn railway which travels through a beautiful area of forest – an almost magical journey, especially when snow is lying on the ground. As well as ice skating, Bavarian curling, curling, snow sculptures, and occasionally even an ice disco can be found at the Dolder Ice Rink.
If the exercise on ice makes you hungry, it might be a good opportunity to visit one of Zurich’s many cheese fondue restaurants. Zurich’s chefs are very creative with this Swiss speciality, but make sure you’re hungry because whether you eat in an open air restaurant, on a boat or in a traditional chalet, a cheese fondue can be extremely filling!
The Christmas and New Year festivities will come to a climax with one of the highlights of Zurich’s year. Some 100,000 visitors will flock to the lakeside on Lake Zurich on New Year’s Eve. They will marvel at the spectacular fireworks display which is put on to greet the New Year. Food and drink stands, bars, and live music performed on various stages create the perfect festive ambiance.