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Switzerland Christmas Markets vs. German Christmas Markets

We are planning a visit to the Christmas markets with my parents and children (11 &13). We are planning on a 1-week visit and my mother will probably need to use her wheel chair to get around as walking for more than a few minutes is difficult for her. We are looking at visiting either Germany or Switzerland. How are the markets in Switzerland? Is it worth a visit for just the Christmas Markets? Would one country be easier than the other for wheel chair use?
Thank you!

Posted by
8889 posts

I don't think one country is very different from any other as regards wheelchair use.

The largest Christmas market in Switzerland is in Basel. See here:
The conditions will be the same as a German Christmas market, or the nearby ones in Strasbourg (recomended) or Colmar.

  • You will not be able to park nearby. Expect to come by public transport, which will be wheelchair-friendly (see here and here, both photos of Basel trams). If you have a car, leave it at the hotel.
  • The markets themselves will be crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder. Finding room for a wheelchair could be difficult. People will try and move out of your way, if there is room.
  • The markets are often in historic old squares, very pretty, but paved with cobblestones which are not wheelchair friendly.

Generally people are very wheelchair-tolerant and will give you space. You say "walking for more than a few minutes is difficult", but you may have to stay with the wheelchair at the end of a row of stalls, and and let her walk along the row, just because of the sheer weight of numbers.

All said, German / Swiss / Alsation christmas markets are a magical experience for young and old.

Posted by
12040 posts

Smaller city and town markets might be easier to navigate with a wheel chair. But these generally only last for a few days, so you would need plan your visit to coincide with the markets. There's a website that lists shows a nearly complete schedule in Germany....I can't link it from my smartphone, but perhaps someone else can post it. Or, just Google "Weihnachtsmarkt".

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for the information! We are still trying to decide where to visit but your info. helps.
Thank you so much!