The annual Fête de la Tulipe in Morges is one of the most beautiful spring events on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Around 150,000 tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths can be enjoyed blooming in the Parc de l’Indépendence à Morges behind the chateau on the Lac Léman lakefront.
Morges, a pretty town on Lake Geneva near Lausanne, annually hosts the Tulip Festival (Fête de la Tulipe) to welcome spring. The Independence Park, which is beautifully located on the shores of Lake Geneva behind the Chateau de Morges Castle, is planted with around 150,000 tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths to remind visitors more of Holland than the Lac Léman region. The tulip festival is almost like a small Keukenhof but admission is free for all with unlimited access.
In 2023, the official tulip festival dates are 1 April to 14 May 2023 with the final Sunday coinciding with the Parade Naval in Morges. As always, the weather will determine when the tulips are in bloom.
The Tulip Festival (Fête de la Tulipe) in Morges, Switzerland
The Tulip Festival (Fête de la Tulipe) in Morges is held each year from early April to mid-May. Around 300 varieties of tulips are planted in the Independence Park behind Morges Castle – this allows the tulips to bloom at different times.
The weather, of course, determines when the tulip displays are at their best. Daffodils and hyacinths are also planted to ensure that there are at least some bulb flowers to enjoy if cold weather delays the blooming of the tulips.
The Parc de l’Indépendance in Morges is a lovely shady park with more than 50 different species of trees. The oldest trees are chestnuts from the mid-eighteenth century. Apart from the flowers and trees, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Lake Geneva views, which include lovely panoramic views of the Alps. Morges is famous for providing some of the best views of Mt Blanc from the shores of Lac Léman.
The name Parc de l’Indépendance (Independence Park) refers to the centenary celebrations held here in 1898 to commemorate the end of Bernese rule in Vaud. Monuments in the park are related to the events.
The park is always freely accessible at all times to visitors. Paths are not paved but suitable for most wheelchairs and strollers.
Special Events at the Tulip Festival (Fête de la Tulipe) in Morges, Switzerland
Special events are held in the Independence Park most weekends during the tulip festival period. Admission to these events is mostly gratis, while access to the park itself is always free.
Events usually include special cultural shows and activities for families with children. Towards the end of the festival, pottery is exhibited (and sold) from artists’ stands in the park. Bulbs are usually sold at the end of the festival.
Food and drink are usually sold from a marquee tent during the tulip festival. However, all the restaurants of Morges old town and waterfront area (more pricey but with wonderful views) are only a short stroll away.
Transportation to Morges in Switzerland
Getting to Morges is very easy by car or train. Around three trains per hour arrive from Genève-Cointrin (via Nyon) in half an hour and around ten minutes from Lausanne. CGN Lake Geneva pleasure cruise boats also call at Morges on weekends from spring. See Swiss Railways for public transportation options and online tickets.
By car, use Autoroute A1 – exit 15 when traveling from Geneva and exit 16 from the Lausanne direction only. Parking (free on Sunday) is usually available at the sport center across the Morges River from the Independence Park.
The Tulip Festival is a very photogenic event – see Photos of the Morges Fête de la Tulipe – and also a great destination for families with children. Morges has many play areas and long quays that provide endless opportunities for walks as well as cycling next to Lake Geneva. The festival, and Morges in general, is a very popular day-trip destination from Geneva and Lausanne over weekends. During the week, the park is noticeably quieter and more peaceful.