BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN GENEVA 2019 – INCLUDING NEW AND ALTERNATIVE ONES
The only guide you’ll need!
by Alexandra Osvath
Temperatures dropping, rumours of snow… Christmas is just around the corner!
We’ve decided to plunge right in with the definitive guide of Christmas markets in and around Geneva. Get ready for vin chaud, twinkling lights, and perhaps even a visit from Santa if you’ve been good this year. We can’t wait!
NOËL AUX BASTIONS – right in the heart of Geneva!
It’s a scene from your very own Christmas movie. Now in its second year, Geneva’s Christmas Village at the Parc des Bastions is THE place to get you in the Christmas spirit this year. The village consists of traditional wooden cabins selling local food and drinks and offering special Christmas shopping in a traditional Swiss yuletide setting.
You’ll be able to taste local specialties, such as raclette and fondue and sweet treats such as apple strudel or for more exotic tastes, opt for something different such as a luxurious lobster roll. There will be over 30 food stalls, but the special attraction is the Fondue Chalet. It is an authentic fondue restaurant with 160 seats, which will serve nothing but fondue. Be sure to book your table in advance online here!
You’ll also want to check out the Christmas Pub, which will offer hot and cold drinks and charcuterie boards. DJs will bring festive cheer on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays! Perfect for afterwork drinks or just chilling with family and friends. This is where you’re likely to find us in the run-up to Christmas.
Stroll around the stalls taking in the traditional crafts and Christmas treats, with a glass of warming mulled wine in hand.
Children will love the ice-skating rink, which is usually in the park at Christmas time, and a beautiful ancient carrousel, as well as a Chalet for children. The Chalet is where stories, workshops and other children’s activities will take place.
From 4 to 31 December 2019
From Monday – Wednesday: 11:00 – 21:00
From Thursday – Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
On Sundays: 11:00 – 20:00
Special hours: 4 December: 17:00-22:00, 24 December: 11:00 – 16:00, and 31 December: 11:00 – 16:00
25 December: Closed
Parc des Bastions
CAROUGE CHRISTMAS MARKET – THE ARTY, BOHEMIAN ONE
Image credit: Nicolas Dupraz
The Italian quarter of Geneva, Carouge has many cute boutique shops and restaurants and it also boasts its very own Christmas market. The Christmas Market in Carouge offers upmarket handmade gifts, stylish accessories such as scarves, hats and jewellery, decorations and treats and is very much worth a visit. More than 100 shops are also open every Sunday for four weeks prior to Christmas, making this an ideal Sunday afternoon Christmas shopping experience.
With an ice-skating rink, ice bar, Advent calendar throughout the city, a wishing tree, workshops and activities for all ages, Carouge will be full of Christmas cheer. Read our article about REDISCOVERING THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS IN CAROUGE.
Christmas market: 13, 14, and 15 December
Open Sundays – when shops are open: 1, 8, 15 and 22 December
Rue St-Joseph, Place du Temple, Place du Marché, in front of City Hall
VEGAN CHRISTMAS MARKET – New this year!
For the first time ever, Geneva is hosting a vegan Christmas market, for ethical and cruelty-free holiday celebrations!
Shop 100% Vegan food from mostly local vendors: chocolates, pastries, cookies, faux gras, vegetable-based cheese and milk…
And in the true spirit of Christmas, you’ll also find ethical and cruelty-free gifts: bags, faux leather goods, coats, cosmetics, and jewellery.
Saturday, 14 December from 09:30 – 19:30
Sign up for the desserts workshop from 14:00 – 16:00
Salle Communale de Palladium
Rue du Stand 3BIS, 1204 Geneva
Tram 14, Palladium stop
LOCAL BIO CHRISTMAS MARKET – shop local, handmade and organic!
FERME DE BUDÉ
This Christmas market is your one-stop shop for organic, handmade and regional products from 20 local artisans.
You’ll find the perfect holiday gifts, from soaps to ceramics, books, jewellery, clothes, chocolates, oils, juice, beer, wine, spirits and more.
There will be activities to entertain the little ones, as well as music and food in a festive atmosphere.
Friday, 13 December from 15:00 – 20:00 (Night market and afterwork!)
Saturday, 14 December from 9:00 – 16:00
Chemin Moïse-Duboule 2
1209 Geneva (Petit-Saconnex)
Bus line 3, Petit Saconnex stop
CHRISTMAS MARKET MONT BLANC – a quick stop
This market is also comprised of numerous little wooden chalets with local and handmade products near the lakeside and Cornavin Station on Rue du Mont-Blanc.
It is good for popping into if you’re shopping in town, but is not as atmospheric as some of the other markets. It’s worth a quick stroll through but you won’t be tempted to stay long, in our opinion.
From 22 November till 26 December
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 10:00 – 19:30 and on Saturday from 10:00 till 20:30.
Closed on Mondays, except 23 December (from 10:00 – 19:30)
Rue du Mont-Blanc 15-30
GRAND LANCY CHRISTMAS MARKET – neighbourhood charm
If you live in Geneva’s Grand Lancy neighbourhood, be sure to stop by the local Christmas market at Place du Premier-Août. Kids can meet Santa Claus, enjoy live music, ride on the free carrousel, and even see a clown on stilts!
Eat, drink and be merry in a festive atmosphere.
Thursday, 28 & Friday, 29 November from 18:00 – 21:00
Saturday, 30 November from 11:00 – 21:00
Sunday, 1 December from 11:00 – 17:00
Place du Premier-Août
Tram 15, Grand-Lancy-Place stop
Buses 22, 23, 43, Grand-Lancy-Place stop
CHRISTMAS MARKETS NEAR GENEVA
If you want to head further out, there are several great Christmas markets worth visiting near Geneva. Take the family along on a day trip and take the opportunity to see different places and soak up the holiday atmosphere.
MONTREUX – best for families and very special!
The Montreux Christmas market is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! Located along the beautiful lakefront with spectacular views over the snow-capped Alps, 172 open-air chalets offer traditional Christmas gifts and trinkets. When it comes to food, you’ll be spoilt for choice with traditional cheese favourites such as fondue, raclette and tartiflette, as well as traditional German sausages, waffles, churros and more.
Families will love this market. Don’t miss Santa on his flying sleigh (between the Lumberjack village and the Place du Marché).
‘Elves Square’ is a part of the market where children can take part in special workshops or heat up their own sausage over an open fire. Did you know it is even possible to visit the real Santa who lives in the mountains above Montreux? Take the traditional Swiss scenic cogwheel train to go up the Rochers-de-Naye mountain from Montreux train station to visit Santa Claus in his office! Have your picture taken with Santa in this magical setting and visit a real Christmas village in Caux. Santa and his elves live on Rocher-de-Naye from 22 November until 24 December. Remember to book your tickets in advance: http://www.goldenpass.ch/fr/goldenpass/offer/view?id=68
From 21 November till 24 December
CHRISTMAS IN A CASTLE – the fairytale one!
A medieval castle in a romantic setting along the lake transforms into a fairytale Christmas atmosphere. Would you like to see how Christmas was celebrated in this beautiful castle, one of Switzerland’s best, in the olden days? Watch the castle come to life with Christmas sounds, scents and decorations. Arts and crafts demos and workshops ranging from calligraphy and cookery to candle-making will keep the whole family entertained.
Just past Montreux, the castle is a day-trip from Geneva and is open on the first three weekends of December.
From 30 November to 15 December
Avenue de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland
Visitors are advised to take the train to Montreux and then bus number 201 to Villeneuve and get off at the “Chillon” stop.
GRUYERES CHRISTMAS MARKET – step into a postcard!
This picture-perfect medieval Swiss village is beautiful throughout the year, but at Christmas it is even more magical.
Warm drink in hand, stroll along the main street and find the perfect handmade Christmas gift at the 35 chalet market stalls. Holiday activities include glassblowing demonstrations and candle-making workshops, with Christmas tunes and the scents of Advent in the air.
On Saturday, 7 December, children will love the traditional “gifts hunt” and the Saint Nicholas parade. Children up to the age of 12 can sign up for the “gifts hunt” at the Gruyères Tourist Office until 1pm on the day (at no cost). While the Christmas market won’t be open then, families will enjoy the holiday festivities.
Christmas market: Weekends from 13-15 December; and from 20-22 December
Family day: Saturday, 7 December (the Christmas market won’t yet be open)
Rue du Bourg, 1663 Gruyères, Switzerland
CHRISTMAS IN A CASTLE – quaint and cheerful!
Join the festivities at Medieval Morges castle this Christmas. With traditional chalet market stalls, musical entertainment, a Christmas brunch and visits from Santa Claus, it’s the perfect outing for the whole family.
From 4-8 December; and from 11-15 December
Wednesdays – Fridays: 16:00 – 21:00
Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 – 19:00
Christmas Brunch: Sunday, 1 December from 11:00 – 15:00. Make your reservation here.
Rue du Château 1, 1110 Morges, Switzerland
CHRISTMAS IN LAUSANNE – activities for everyone!
Just under an hour from Geneva, Lausanne is brimming with Christmas festivities this year. The city’s “Bo Christmas” has 5 markets, a children’s village, two lively squares and 11 satellites across the city. From Christmas brunches to a silent disco, a treasure hunt, curling, a giant Santa, 100% local wines, a cheesemaking demonstration, children’s workshops, and much more, celebrating Christmas in Lausanne is a must.
Open every day from 20 November to 31 December
Mondays and Tuesdays: 11:30 — 21:30
Wednesdays to Saturdays: 11:30 — 22:30 (Christmas market stands close at 20:00)
Sundays: Noon — 20:00
25 December: Closed
Children’s activities on the Cathedral square:
- From 23 November to 31 December
- Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 13:00 — 19:00
Night markets: 18, 20 and 23 December
- Markets open until 23:30
- Shops open until 22:00
New Year’s Eve
31 December from 20:00 — 02:00 am
Detailed programme available from 10 December
Tickets at smeetz.com