The snow is falling lower and lower on the mountains and the days will soon be the shortest of the year. But in case the darkness and chilly temperatures are tempting you home, Lausanne has been busy preparing a Christmas season that’s sure to call you back out again.

We love Christmas in this city. The snow-capped mountains, the twinkling lights, and deep dark forests just a short bus ride away are Christmas scenes that existed only in pictures and in imagination from the vantage points of our childhoods in Texas and California.

Lausanne is Christmas as we always thought Christmas was supposed to be. And every year the city takes its role as of bastion of good cheer more and more seriously. The lights get more creative, the Christmas markets multiply, and the champagne gets even more delicious. (Okay, maybe not, but you get the idea…).

This year, like every year, we want to make sure you have all the info you need to make the most of December. Below is a list of practical information and a December agenda of events that we think look amazing.

There’s a lot here for kids because kids make Christmas all the more magical (and you’ll need something to do with the extra energy they’re getting from Christmas cookies). We’ve also included Christmas concerts galore because it’s hard to imagine something more beautiful than voices carrying carols to the rafters of the Cathedral or in the candle light of St. François church.

We hope from the bottom of our hearts that you have the merriest of Christmas seasons and that this list helps you to celebrate with your friends and family. We’ll be out and about lots this month, so if you see us, please stop and say hello! It’s seriously our favorite thing.

Also, be on the lookout next week for the start of our Christmas giveaways! We’ve got two weeks of FABULOUS gifts to share.

Merry Christmas, friends! And happy happy New Year.

-The Lausanne Guide team

Christmas Markets – Vin chaud, raclette, oysters, champagne. Basically, diets are off until January!
  • A couple of years ago, the Lausanne Christmas Market upped its game, and it hasn’t looked back since. Each year it seems to grow and grow, and now you can shop the petit chalet all the way up until December 31.
  • The Montreux Christmas Market is apparently world famous. That’s probably true, but it’s a bit too large and crowded for our taste. If you do set out to visit, be sure to take the train. Parking is a challenge!
  • There are lots of shorter Christmas markets throughout the month, and we’ve included many of them in the agenda list below.
Crèches – Welcoming Baby Jesus in miniature
  • Until January 14, you can visit the crèche at l’Eglise du Sacré-Cœur – it’s a 110m2 miniature village surrounding Baby Jesus and his manger. We can’t wait to take our kids!
  • Until January 20, the Cathedral will also have a beautiful crèche on display, which they say will lead you from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Christmas Trees – Or, where to buy your perfect Tanenbaum
  • The Christmas Tree Market at Riponne runs from December 4-22, everyday (including Sunday!)
  • We buy our tree each year from the Christmas Tree market in Chailly.
Les Nocturnes – Go to buy Christmas presents, stay for the party

For three nights in December, Lausanne stores will stay open until 10pm. In the spirit of all things Christmas, the streets will be filled with activities for families, a live nativity scene, carolers, and all the yuletide fun you can imagine. December 15, 20, and 22.

Several Lausanne hotels offer special deals these nights in case you prefer to sleep as close to the reverie as possible. Check out the deals here.

Your Definitive Christmas Agenda

December 4

  • Tonight! A Christmas party at Viva Frida. Details.

December 6

  • OMGeee this is cute. The Maison du Vallon invites you to come up to la Cité to meet Père Noel and then follow him and his donkey through the streets for a parade before heading back for a story time and soup. Details.
  • Every Wednesday the Christmas Market stands at Chauderon kick the party in the high gear with food and a DJ. Details.

December 7

  • Learn to make Christmas cocktails at the Beau Rivage Hotel. Details.
  • WIN (Women’s International Networking) is holding a Christmas apéro at the Palace. Details.

December 8-10

  • The blog Chouquette is hosting their Christmas market, featuring some of the best local businesses out there as well as lots of fun arts and crafts workshops throughout the weekend. There will also be a brunch on Sunday. Details.
  • Another Christmas market with local artisans on display – this time in a magical looking location in Le Mont-sur-Rolle. Details.

December 9

  • At the Casino de Montbenon, kids will be selling their old toys at the marché des jouets. Details. Thanks to Lausanne Mom for alerting us to this event!
  • Part athletic event, part costume party, Lausanne’s Christmas midnight run is 100% good fun. Sign up required. Details.
  • The businesses and art galleries of Lausanne’s oldest neighborhood invite you to come and explore. It’s Portes Ouvertes de la Cité! Details.
  • Head to Dubner Moderne for a festive exhibit opening, featuring some of Vernon’s favorite female artists. Cookies, coffee, aperitif, and live music! Details.
  • A traditional Christmas music concert at the church in Crissier. Details.
  • Uniquement Vôtre, the mid-century design furniture store, is having a Christmas party with raclette, aperitif and activities for kids. Details.

December 10

  • Take any used toys (in good condition) that you no longer need to the Bénévolat-Vaud offices just next to the train station (Avenue Louis-Ruchonnet 1) and they will be donated to four organizations serving local families in difficult situations. They’re accepting toys for children and teenagers. Details.
  • Make the quick trip to Lutry for their Christmas market. There’s also an arts and crafts area for kids. Details.
  • The new local artisan shop Les Gens is teaming up with Les Patronnes for a Christmas party. Details.
  • Places We Love is organizing a Christmas market, featuring Lausanne boutiques at the Palace Hotel. Details.
  • Ride a historic train with Santa Claus! Details.
  • A traditional Christmas concert at the Temple de Chailly. Details.

December 12

  • Meet at the circular swing set at Place de la Louve for games, snacks, and soup from 16h-19h.

December 13

  • Label Unicorn and the Beau Rivage are co-hosting a great Christmas event for your kids, complete with marshmallow roasting, a full snack buffet, and the merry-go-round. Reservations required before December 11. Details.
  • Every Wednesday the Christmas Market stands at Chauderon kick the party in the high gear with food and a DJ. Details.
  • Head to the library at Entre-Bois for Christmas cookie decorating and festive ambiance. Details.

December 14

  • Learn to make Christmas cocktails at the Beau Rivage Hotel. Details.
  • French Christmas, a concert at St. François. Details.

December 15

  • A Christmas sing-along concert at the Lausanne Cathedral! How fun is that?! Details.
  • Meet at the circular swing set at Place de la Louve for games, snacks, and soup from 16h-22h.

December 15-16

  • Another opportunity to shop local designers this Christmas. This pop up market features five area artisans. Details.

December 17

  • A Christmas Carol sing-along in ENGLISH at the Eglise St. François. Details.

December 18

  • Meet at the circular swing set at Place de la Louve for games, snacks, and soup from 16h-19h.

December 20

  • Every Wednesday the Christmas Market stands at Chauderon kick the party in the high gear with food and a DJ. Details.
  • Meet at the circular swing set at Place de la Louve for games, snacks, and soup from 16h-22h.
  • The Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne is celebrating Christmas with kids through a special children’s concert. Details.
  • The Lausanne Children’s Choir has a Christmas concert at St. François. Details.

December 21

  • Learn to make Christmas cocktails at the Beau Rivage Hotel. Details.
  • Sweet Christmas, a candle-light concert at St. François. Details.

December 22

  • Meet at the circular swing set at Place de la Louve for games, snacks, and soup from 16h-22h.
  • Sweet Christmas, a candle-light concert at St. François. Details.
  • Luxury second hand is still luxury – check out this designer and luxury vide dressing. Details.

December 25

  • Enjoy all the fanfare of Christmas with a Christmas Day organ concert at the Cathedral. The program includes some of the very best festive classical pieces. Details.

December 31

  • Ring in the New Year at Lausanne’s beautiful Cathedral with a midnight organ concert. The program is a surprise but will be called “Fireworks,” so it sounds promising! Details.

 

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