Christmas Markets on Lake Geneva in Switzerland

Montreux, Lausanne, and Geneva have the best Christmas markets (Marché de Noël / Weihnachtsmarkt), decorations, and Xmas lights to visit in 2023 in the Lac Léman region of Switzerland.

Christmas Market in Montreux on Lake Geneva will open again in 2021.

The advent season before Christmas brings some color and holiday cheer to towns in the Lake Geneva region. Many towns will see an increase in cultural events – not all music will necessarily be religious in nature – and Christmas lights will brighten many streets and public spaces. Often, shops have the best Christmas decorations, while the odd Christmas market will invite visitors to eat, drink, and be merry. Snow in towns on Lake Geneva is possible but in no way common in December. Christmas markets are generally held from around November 24 to Christmas 24 but the market in Lausanne and some ski resorts continue until December 31.

Montreux Marché de Noël – Best Christmas Market on Lake Geneva

The Marché de Noël à Montreux is the best Christmas market in the Lac Léman region. The Montreux Christmas market is a relatively new event and only two decades of history cannot really compete with the centuries-old traditions of many a German Christmas market. Germany, however, is more than a three-hour drive away.

  • In 2023, the Montreux Christmas market is open from November 23 to December 24, 2023.

The Montreux Marché de Noël is spread over several distinct areas. The main market is on the banks of Lake Geneva with wonderful views not only of the lake but also of the snow-covered Alps. Around 150 open-air stands here sell various trinkets as well as ample food and drink. A few rides are available too.

Nearby, in the market hall, is the covered Marché de Noël with a Santa’s workshop. Each year, Montreux invites a country to do a special Christmas presentation. 

The Montreux Christmas market is open from November 23 to December 24, 2023. Opening hours are generally 11 am to 8 pm (10 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and opening at 10 am on weekends. Admission is free. Transportation by train, especially over weekends, is highly advisable.

A special Santa’s House on Rochers-de-Naye and a Christmas town in Caux require train reservations and admission fees. The special medieval Christmas market at Chateau de Chillon also has an admission fee but reservations are not required.

See Also for More on Christmas in Montreux:

Geneva’s International Christmas Markets

The main Christmas market in Geneva is on the Quay Mont Blanc and the Jardin Anglais on the banks of Lake Geneva just below the old town. The current name of this market is Noël au Quay but Noël au Jardin is also often used.

The Geneva Christmas market combines some entertainment, a few market stalls, a Christmas pub, and a fondue chalet. Many of the stalls at the Genève Marché International de Noel sell clothes or accessories.

In 2023, the market will function from November 16 to December 24, 2023.

Unfortunately, the Geneva Christmas market seriously lacks atmosphere, and visitors with high expectations of a traditional German Weihnachtsmarkt are likely going to be disappointed. Many Genevois travel to Montreux for a better Christmas market experience. In Geneva, the celebrations surrounding L’Escalade celebrations in mid-December are often more interesting and fun.

More positively, Geneva often sports some of the best Christmas decorations in the region. Rue du Marché usually has the largest displays while the high-end shops in Rue de Rive often have very classy Christmas windows too. Many public spaces are also tastefully decorated.

Lausanne’s Marché de Noël (Weihnachtsfeier / Christmas Celebrations)

Lausanne has an active events program during Advent. The main Marché de Noël (Christmas market) is on Place St Francois where just over 50 stalls sell decorations and food. Several further markets are spread throughout the center of the city but visitors should keep in mind that Lausanne is very hilly and walking more challenging than in many other cities on Lac Léman.

The Village des Enfants (Village for Children) is at the Cathedral — the finest Gothic building in French-speaking Switzerland but it is also worth going up here for the fantastic panoramic views of Lausanne, Lake Geneva, and the Alps. Children (and adults) may also enjoy the luge at Place Central.

  • In 2023, Christmas markets in Lausanne are scheduled for November 21 to December 31, 2023. (Closed December 25.)

Further Christmas Markets in the Lake Geneva Region

Many ski resorts also have their own Christmas markets that are often open on Christmas day as well. Many towns near the lake will have handicraft markets on a few weekends during Advent. Towns with castles have good backdrops with the market on some weekends at Morges Castle very picturesque.

Further small markets are often held in villages or neighborhoods of Geneva (e.g. Paquis and Carouge) but only for one or two weekends — more likely end November than mid-December. Such village Christmas markets are mostly aimed at the locals and are a bit hit and miss but worth visiting if staying nearby.

Other Christmas Activities near Lake Geneva