Top 6 Christmas Markets In Geneva, Switzerland - Updated 2024

christmas markets in geneva
Anne
Anne 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 5 min read

Nestling at the southern tip of Lake Geneva, the city of Geneva is dramatically surrounded by the Jura and Alps mountains, particularly offering stunning views of Mount Blanc, the highest mountain of the Alps. Geneva’s French influence can be felt throughout the city, as well as in the language spoken and in the delicious cuisine. The city is home to fascinating, bohemian districts, including Carouge, a small city all to itself. Carouge is home to many boutiques and art studios, where craftsmen and artisans can be viewed as they ply their trade. This bohemian vibe continues with its quaint cafes, nightclubs, and jazz bars. Sights to see in Geneva include Geneva Water Fountain, set on the lake, and L'horloge Fleurie, a beautiful floral outdoor clock. The city particularly comes to life, sparkling with joy, during the festive season and you can book one of the best budget hotels for a great stay here. Scroll down to view the top Christmas markets in Geneva, Switzerland.

Upcoming events:

  • Winter in Geneva brings fun events such as Fête de l'Escalade, a historical festival celebrating the city's victory over the troops of the Duke of Savoy in 1602. This event happens in early December with parades and period demonstrations being organized.
  • If I were in Geneva in the winter, I'd embrace the cold at Winter Realms with sleigh rides, igloos, a sledding hill, ice sculptures, and ice slides. Visitors should keep in mind that the dates for this event differ from year to year, so it's important to check the website before going.

Winter in Geneva:

  • According to Weather Spark, January is the coldest month during winter in Geneva with temperatures dipping as low as 30°F (-1.11°C). On average, the highest temperature during the season is 48°F (8.88°C). It might also be a good idea to pack an umbrella as the city's skies have a higher chance of being cloudy between September and June.

Christmas traditions in Switzerland

According to House of Switzerland, Christmas is a magical time celebrated with great pomp in the country. But there is a difference—Santa Claus visits Swiss children on December 6 instead of December 25. Even the mode of transport is different, with the jolly figure going around Fribourg on the back of a donkey, around Näfels in a carriage, and around Basel and Zurich on a motorcycle, along with many other different modes. On the other hand, some Christmas traditions for the people include:

  • Children reciting verses for St Nicholas
  • Making wooden donkey heads in Oberägeri and Unterägeri with a cloth sack attached that people put sweets into
  • Enjoying a Yule Log Cake in Western Switzerland
  • Decorating a wooden frame instead of a tree with gingerbread, cookies, and apples in Appenzell

Switzerland’s cities also have lovely Christmas markets, and some of the best ones are in Geneva. If you’re going to a Christmas market for the first time, check out our detailed guide to know what to expect.

Christmas markets in Geneva

1. Christmas Market at Marché de la Fusterie

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

As if Switzerland could not get any more beautiful during winter, Geneva takes the holiday season up several notches by filling its streets with twinkling lights, cute decorations, and cheerful Christmas markets. Christmas Market at Marché de la Fustarie, or Marché de Noël à la Fusterie, showcases an array of artisan products and handmade crafts, from festive decorations to independent designer clothing. Get into the Swiss holiday spirit, partake in some shopping at the Christmas Market, and bring home a trinket or two! I can’t wait to some day pick up a few handcrafted pieces of my own.

Christmas Market at Marché de la Fusterie

Address: Marche de, Place de la Fusterie, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Dates: For updated dates and hours, please visit the official website for Marché de la Fusterie

Website: Marché de la Fusterie

Highlights: Handcrafted items

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2. Christmas Market in Parc des Bastion, Geneva

Promenade des Bastions at Christmas, Geneva
Source: Photo by user Matt Kieffer used under CC BY-SA 2.0

From December 4 to 31, Bastions Park in Geneva becomes a magic place. Lit with beautiful Christmas lights, this Christmas market offers a range of beautiful and unique gifts created by many artisans in the region. The market is also a winter street food village, selling delicious treats all day, along with mulled wine bars and the Chalet of Fondue, where the best cheeses can be tasted in best fondue style. This Geneva Christmas market is ideal for families, offering some fun things to do with its ice rink, carousel, and other entertainment options for the little ones at their most exciting time of the year.

Noël aux Bastions

Address: Parc des Bastions, entrée Place Neuve, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Dates: For the most updated dates and hours, please refer to the official website for Noël au Quai

Website: Noël au Quai

Highlights: Food stalls, Geneva fondue, Christmas gifts, Christmas lights

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3. Rue du Mont-Blanc Christmas Market

Stand Brasserie du Mont-Blanc au marché de Noël de Chambéry 2018
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Florian Pépellin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Rue du Mont-Blanc Christmas Market is held in the pedestrian street, Rue du Mont-Blanc, just down from Gare Cornavin. The small market offers dozens of stalls, which mostly target the many commuters heading from the train station into the city. The Christmas market is held each year from November 25 to December 24. If you’re looking for interesting things to buy in Geneva, the market offers a variety of Christmas gifts, including salt lamps, crystal stones, jewelry, wooden craft items, kitchen accessories, books, and toys. I don’t think there’s anything better than gorging yourself on hot wine and snacks, such as burgers, hot dogs, bakery products, and cakes, in the cold weather. Goods are displayed in several small wooden chalets along the lakeside, next to Rue du Mont-Blanc.

Rue du Mont-Blanc Christmas Market

Address: Rue du Mont-Blanc 15-30, Geneva, Switzerland

Dates: For updated dates and hours, please visit Geneva.info

Website: Rue du Mont-Blanc Christmas Market

Highlights: Minerals and stones, crystal stones, salt lamps, clothes, hot wine, and fast food

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4. Christmas at Chillon Castle

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Chillon Castle stands on Lake Geneva, where tourists will find some cost-friendly things to do. Christmas at Chillon Castle is a fairy-tale affair when the medieval castle is transformed into a magical Christmas Market in shades of red and green. This Lake Geneva Christmas market comes to life with the smells, sounds, decorations and lights of Christmas. Visitors can visit arts and crafts workshops, learn about cookery, candle-making, calligraphy and more, and enjoy storytelling and entertainment for the whole family. While other markets are free to enter, Chillon Castle does charge a small fee. The castle is the ideal day-trip from the center of Geneva and the Christmas festivities are available on the first three weekends of December.

Christmas at Chillon Castle

Address: Avenue de Chillon 21 · CH 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland

Dates: For updated dates and hours, please visit the official website for Chillon Castle

Website: Christmas at Chillon Castle

Market highlights: Jugglers and performing artists, Advent wreath making, pottery, hypocras (ancient spiced wine)

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Christmas markets nearby

5. Bô Noël Sàrl in Lausanne

Bô Noel- Lausanne
Source: Photo by Flickr user Elodie M used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Not even an hour away from Geneva is the wonderful city of Lausanne, which has its own versions of Christmas markets too. Bô Noël is the most frequented Christmas market in the city. Since its first year of exhibition, the market quickly became a tradition for locals, enlivening the holiday culture in Lausanne. Stalls are filled with unique winemakers, fashion designers, and many other artists offering their ornate works. If you still haven’t gotten your fix from the Geneva Christmas markets, I’d recommend heading to Lausanne for Bô Noël.

Bô Noël Sàrl

Address: Rue Dr César-Roux 4, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

Dates: For updated dates and hours, please visit the official website for Bô Noël Sàrl

Website: Bô Noël Sàrl

Market highlights: Little Christmas Train, carousel, carriage towers, fondue, raclette (cheese), crêpes

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6. Christmas Market in Carouge

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Les Intérêts de Carouge is the organization responsible for setting up a Christmas market each year in Rue Saint-Joseph, on the Place du Temple and the Place du Marché. Several local artisans set up stalls selling their crafts and entertainment. 180 shops in Carouge are open on four consecutive Sundays in December. The Christmas market is held on December 7, 8, and 9, where upmarket handmade gifts can be purchased along with accessories, such as hats, scarves, and jewelry. Besides the Christmas Market, shops in the area are open on Sundays in December, prior to Christmas.

Christmas Market in Carouge

Address: Rue Saint-Joseph, Place du Marché, Place de l’Octroi, Place du Temple, Rue Ancienne and the surrounding area, Geneva, Switzerland

Dates: For updated dates and hours, please visit the official website for Christmas Market in Carouge

Website: Christmas Market in Carouge

Market highlights: Wishing tree, Ice rink and Ice Bar, Santa’s letterbox, sculptures

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Christmas in Geneva is a magical time

Make your Geneva, Switzerland Christmas trip extra festive. Enjoy the pristine white snow coating the rooves of the city and the pretty lights and decorations all over town. Relax while sipping hot, mulled wine, or munching festive treats, while shopping for Christmas gifts for your loved ones at some of the best Christmas markets in the city. Do check out the best Indian restaurants as well. When you’ve had your fill of the city, consider taking some fun day trips from Geneva to explore nearby attractions.

Editor’s Note: Due to Covid-19, the business hours of these markets may differ from the stated timings in this article. Please be sure to check the updated hours from the websites.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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