FESTIVE FESTOONS IN ZURICH
City breaks are popular in Europe in December. Picking the right city to get festive is equally important. That’s why Zurich was a complete surprise. It was meant to be a week’s trip, part-solo, to explore, adventure and eat! The massive added bonus that bowled me over was the extent of festivities leading up to Christmas.
‘Bah Humbug,’ I thought.
So to land in a city overflowing with tall traditional fresh Christmas trees at every turn, classically decorated in reds, golds and elegant twinkling lights creating magical fairytale settings, I was in my winter element!
WHY IS CHRISTMAS SO SPECIAL PERSONALLY?
Growing up, the only time my parents could take a break from the business was Christmas. The anticipation in my house, was immense. And the magic was every child’s dream, largely fuelled by the fact that my Mum actually believes in Father Christmas! (We’ve genuinely tried to tell her but the little girl in her just cant accept anything else.)
So if Christmas means as much to you as it does to me in terms of family, love, laughter and light, I hope these images raise your festive spirits. Drop me a line at the end with your memories of Christmas or festive plans…
Cafe Schober is one of the prettiest
…and most spectacular tea rooms in Zurich. The split-level haven of freshly baked cakes, chocolates and gourmet patisseries is lavishly decorated in crushed velvets of deep mahogany, cosy & intimate, covered in chandeliers, lights and sparkle. Stepping in feels an occasion!
Don’t miss the Salon Rouge which becomes a live piano house every Thurs-Sat evening with impromptu performances from members of the audience who head here from all over Switzerland armed with their expert musical instruments, just to play to cafe-goers whilst they sip on house hot chocolate and eat strudel.
Zurich’s shop windows are a little girl’s delight!
You won’t see the ‘Sale’ and ‘Discounts’ sign emblazoned across London’s Regent Street. Zurich’s shops are individual oases of design and decadence, each ringing in a truly authentic Christmas ambiance.
Second to Cafe Schober, I adore Cafe Felix.
Located by the grand ‘Opern Haus’ or Opera House in Zurich, this is a somewhat larger & grander affair. The interiors are decorated in stunning Christmas colours…all year round. I tuck into some mini-sables biscuits and dark chocolate florentines.
Zurich shops celebrate the best cities in Europe.
Not only are Zurich’s Christmas decorations exquisite, all the shops are inviting and colourful.
The Christmas markets in Switzerland are a recent highlight.
Until recently the Swiss would head to Germany for the renowned markets. But now, the Swiss markets have gained huge prominence as Christmas markets have sprung up everywhere. In Zurich alone, I visit 7-8.
The biggest being inside the main Hauptbahnhof train station, an indoor market said to be the largest in Europe. I also visit the Swiss capital Bern, to browse it’s historical markets and beautiful street decorations. Aside from the traditional food and drink, I adore the global curios on offer.
The gigantic Christmas tree
…featured in the indoor Christmas market at Hauptbahnhof station is certainly unique. Typically Swiss, it’s sponsored by Swarovski and is covered to within every inch in Swarovski crystals. Such a dazzling display, people just stop and stare, taken aback at the overt display of fabulous.
Along Lake Zurich, one of my favourite little restaurants by the Lake is transformed into a winter wonderland.
The Christmas street decorations in the Swiss capital of Bern are exquisite.
They’re traditional, classical and truly heart-warming, capturing the true essence of Christmas. Below are a couple of examples but look out for my next post on Bern itself.
A MODERN TWIST
Zurich’s Christmas markets aren’t all traditional though. I enjoyed capturing these modern, funky and stylish elements of today’s Christmas.
CLASSICAL IS BEST!
But nothing beats the traditional and simple scenes of Zurich at Christmas…
- Winter Wonderland: Snow in Zurich (ani-shah.com)
- Best time for night photography in Zurich: Christmas! (artborghi.wordpress.com)
- Deck the Stalls: Christmas Markets, Marchés de Noël, Christkindlmarkts (livingingeneva.wordpress.com)
- NewInZurich Guide to Christmas Markets Part 1 Switzerland (newinzurich.com)