Happy Holidays People of Lausanne! The streets are teeming with twinkle lights, the vin chaud is piping hot, the Christmas chalets are selling all sorts of strange things you probably don’t need but will buy anyway… oh, the holidays; they are indeed upon us. If there’s one thing about the end of the year that seems to be universally true, it’s that the season flies by and before we recover from our cheese-, champagne-, oyster-, foie gras- (should we continue?…) induced coma, it’s January and we have to wait 12 more months to do it all again. So we’ve complied a list of everything you need to know to make the most out of the magical month of December…

Activities and Shopping

Christmas Markets – Duh. You’ve seen them of course. They’re awesome. Our favorite time to visit is after dark and with an empty stomach ready for some raclette, chestnuts and champagne. Oh, life.is.hard. 😉

  • Lausanne – Visit the chalets in St. François until 20h every day until Christmas Eve.
  • Montreux Christmas Market – This is the area’s most famous Christmas market and it should definitely be experienced at least once. Beware that crowds are plentiful and parking is scarce…
  • Morges – Our neighbors in Morges have an indoor market from Dec 10-14.

Les Nocturnes – For three nights this month (Dec 17,19, and 23), stores around town will stay open to accommodate the Christmas shopping frenzy. But even if you aren’t in need of more gifts, you’ll definitely want to come and enjoy the explosion of Christmas in the streets. There will be carolers, a live nativity (living animals included), free refreshments in many of the shops and an overall jolly good time to be had.

Nuit des Etoiles – Certain hotels in town are offering special prices on the same nights as Les Nocturnes!

Christmas Midnight Run – Want to channel your Holiday spirit in a community run? Why not participate in the upcoming Christmas Midnight Run on December 13? Here’s the promo video to get you excited! Props to the guy or gal who ran in a Christmas tree costume last year…

Festival des Lumières – If you’ve been out and about at all in the last week, you’ve noticed our fabulous lights festival in Lausanne – some displays are beautiful and whimsical, others are a tad strange, but in any case, you’ll definitely want to check it out. Here’s a map you can follow

Ice Skating in the Flon – Did somebody say date night? Because everyone is really good at ice skating… 😉

Christmas Trees – Fellow Lausanne-Blogger LausanneMom complies a great list of places to find your perfect tannenbaum

And MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL – The Lausanne Guide has some fun surprises up our sleeves starting next week. We’ll give you a two-word hint: FREE STUFF. Stay tuned…


Les Urbaines – Interesting non-Christmas themed art festival from December 5-7. Full disclosure: we’ve never been, but think it sounds pretty cool – here’s how their site describes the event: “During three days, Les Urbaines will take you on a surprising journey of discovery through the cultural practices of today. The festival is a laboratory for adventurous aesthetics, bringing together 40-odd performances, installations, shows, exhibitions, projections and concerts – all completely free.” We are intrigued…

Picasso Exhibit – Also, not Christmas-related but potentially awesome – there is a Pablo Picasso exhibit in Lausanne until Dec 20. We’ve not been yet, but are definitely planning to go!


Gift Wrapping Workshop – At Café de la Couronne d’Or Dec 15 from 13:00-16:00

Christmas Candle-making Workshop for Kids – In front of The Great Escape Fridays from 16:00-19:00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00-19:00. Reservations recommended!


Christmas Carols at St. François Church – Dec 20 from 17:00 – 17:45

Christmas Organ Concert at the Cathedral – Dec 25 at 17:00

If your business is hosting a holiday event that you would like for us to add to this list, please contact us at thelausanneguide@gmail.com.


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