Glühwein, Raclette, Crêpes and 6,000 Swarovski Crystals

No Christmas market here in Switzerland would be complete without mulled wine (Glühwein in German, vin chaud in French), Raclette (Swiss cheese melted under a grill and scraped off onto a slice of bread), and crêpes.  That’s especially the case at Zürich’s Hauptbahnhof, the city’s main train station, where you’ll find the largest indoor Christmas market in all of Europe.  Both traditional and festive aromas waft up and down the spacious rows – cheese, sausage, gingerbread, anise, sugar, more cheese, and oh that Glühwein.  You are never more than a few stands away from a huge vat of hot, spiced red wine.  Nor are you ever out of view of the Christmas tree near the entrance to the station.


That might have to do with the fact that it’s a 50 foot (15 meter) tall Christmas tree, decorated with 6,000 Swarovski crystals, each one glistening all day and night, as commuters hop on and off their trains, and tourists and locals alike gather around to take pictures.  The Austrian crystal company is certainly busy this time of year – they decorated Christmas trees all over the world (click here to see the 15 locations), including Mexico City, Dubai, Australia and New York City, the latter having an original Swarovski creation: a 9 foot (3 meter) diameter, 550 pound (250 kilogram) star that tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree each year.  Here in Zürich, you can only but stare in awe at the amount of crystals hanging as ornaments from the tree and on stands encircling it.  Animals, storybook characters, stars and shapes of all kinds.  It’s truly a sight to see.

Zürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, Switzerland

You certainly can spend a great deal of time admiring the details that went into decorating this massive tree.  But save some time for the market stalls themselves! There, you can zigzag about, checking out Swiss culinary specialties, Christmas decorations, wooden toys and handwoven hats and scarves, without forgetting your most interesting array of random doodads.

If you can’t make it to the market, feel free to browse the stands below.  Enjoy!

Zürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, SwitzerlandZürcher Christkindlimarkt, Switzerland

Zürcher Christkindlimarkt
Hauptbahnhof, Zürich’s Main Train Station
Switzerland
November 28 to December 24
Monday to Friday: 11am to 9pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 8pm
Special Christmas night shopping on Monday, December 22: 11am to 10pm
www.christkindlimarkt.ch

6 Responses to “Glühwein, Raclette, Crêpes and 6,000 Swarovski Crystals”

  1. Jenn says:

    Thanks for sharing all these great photos. What an amazing tree — how exciting that that’s right in the town you live in! A far cry from the dilapidated Christmas tree in Boston Common. 🙂

  2. Yield to Pedestrian says:

    Ah! This is killing me. So beautiful. And what smart marketing by Swarovski. The urge to go out and buy a bunch of little sparkling crystals is overwhelming! Fortunately, my budget restrains me. These are lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sarah says:

    Zurich at Christmas is awesome; I forgot how great the markt in the bahnhof was.

  4. Dominique says:

    A precision: the Raclette is never served on a slice of bread, it’s totally heretic to do that way… here a picture of the authentic raclette, melted near fire, and served on a plate with potatoes, onions and cucumbers:

    //www.martigny.info/info/site-images/raclette.jpg

  5. zbjernak says:

    this is so awesome
    to have the shopping in bahnhof, covered and wont died freezing.. ehhe
    i was amused to see the recent beach volleyball match held in the bahnhof… and now this lovely market…

    i want winter right away, spring so far has no big impressions to me
    hehehehehhehe

  6. Tweets that mention Glühwein, Raclette, Crêpes and 6,000 Swarovski Crystals | MyKugelhopf -- Topsy.com says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kerrin Rousset, Essa. Essa said: Swarovski, please make a repeat of this dazzling crystal-laden tree in Zurich. And in Berlin, too! //bit.ly/3IcsK0 [via @MyKugelhopf] […]

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