River Cruise Buzz: Basel Christmas Markets via Uniworld Cruises

Basel Christmas Markets

Uniworld S.S. Antoinette featured port excursion

On tour in Basel with our local guide.

Basel – The Christmas City at the heart of Europe

Basel, Switzerland’s second-largest city is located in the three countries corner of Switzerland, France and Germany.  Our guide told us that the area of the river where Basel occupies is referred to as “the knee of the Rhine” due to its location. We learned all about Basel’s Celtic roots and the famous battles that shaped this region’s past during the city highlights portion of our tour before getting set loose to enjoy the Christmas markets.


Middle Rhine Bridge Basel. Photo by Carrie Finley-Bajak – all rights reserved.


Basler Weihnachtsmarkt – Basel Christmas market

The nearest holiday market where I live is located at South Coast Plaza. In the mall I am able to “shop til’ I drop”, visit Santa, ride a carousel, and enjoy great food. Today I was able to see Santa, shop for the holidays and I discovered a taste for Glühwein. I loved wandering through the winding streets of the historic Old Town district browsing my way through the Christmas markets in Basel, Switerland.


Winter Markets Basel
The Swiss authorities responsible for the markets at Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz did a great job with marketing.   I was very comfortable walking on my own browsing without getting lost. The only danger I faced were pickpockets, a nuisance in all crowded spaces. Our cruise guide Wouter forewarned us to be on the lookout and even stated that he would try to catch us unaware to pick our pockets for practice.

Get a cup of Glühwein – for some it’s a tradition

Gluhwein is a hot spiced wine. In Basel, Gluhwein is served in coffee cups, which you can keep as a souvenir.  Once you put down a deposit on the mug you can walk around sipping the wine while shopping. You have the option to get a refill at either the location where you made the purchase or you can a refill at another vendor.


The power of suggestion. Signs for Glühwein beckon me into the market.


A gift from the angels: Gluhwein, which is hot spicy wine.


Between the two markets there were approximately 150 stands and wooden huts. The handicrafts featured were from all over Switzerland and the Basel region. Eye-catching ornaments, candles, and little carvings were everywhere.


Christmas Market



Basel market scene


Unique ornament made from stainless steel forks.
Basel was a great place to start our European Christmas adventure on Uniworld Cruises. For more information about the Christmas markets in Basel, visit www.basel.com/christmas.


  • Information about Basel Christmas Markets (click here)
  • Basel Tourism Twitter account @baseltourism
  • Google map http://goo.gl/maps/3ZzXq

Sail along with me live: December 2-9, 2012 via social media

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