For those craving a more alternative Christmas experience in Switzerland, we’d highly recommend a visit to Lausanne, where they do festive joy a little differently.
Since 2015, Lausanne’s Christmas Market festivities have been part of the city’s overall Christmas program known as “Bô Noël”, a cool winter festival of sorts that incorporates light installations and Christmas markets into one mega-cool package.
We first visited this Christmas market in 2018 and loved how different the vibe was here – a distinctly cooler, more contemporary version of Christmas than we’d seen in nearby markets like Montreux, Zurich or Basel.
Looking to learn more about Lausanne’s Christmas markets & Bô Noël, or perhaps need some guidance on planning your own trip there?
In this post, we’ll be covering…
- Practical Info for Lausanne Christmas Market
- A Brief History of Lausanne Christmas Market
- Why Visit Lausanne Christmas Market?
- Christmas Markets in Lausanne to Visit
We hope you find it helpful and interesting!
Practical Info for Lausanne’s Christmas Markets
Here are some quick must-knows for Lausanne Christmas Market this year:
- Dates: Nov 17, 2023 – Dec 31, 2023 [Closed on Dec 25]
- Official website: Click here
In need of a place to stay? Here are some quick hotel recommendations:
- Budget: Check prices and availability
- Mid-Range: Check prices and availability
- Luxury: Check prices and availability
A Brief History of Lausanne Christmas Market
Prior to 2015, Lausanne’s Christmas market scene could have been compared to many others in Switzerland, with a more traditional vibe than what we see today.
But when it came time for the city to reconceptualize what their markets would look like, the city of Lausanne decided to go for something “more contemporary, more innovative and more attractive”.
And so, Bô Noël was born, a new concept of Christmas markets for Lausanne that would put a spotlight on local producers, while dazzling visitors with a more contemporary version of Christmas celebrations.
With 250,000 visitors in its first year (2015), Bô Noël was a hit, and they’ve been running with the concept ever since.
Visitor numbers are now growing steadily every year, with the last edition of Bô Noël welcoming over 400,000 visitors. So, if you want to see what the buzz is about, then definitely consider adding Lausanne to your list!
Why Visit Lausanne Christmas Market?
Wondering whether or not you should visit Lausanne’s Christmas Markets? Here are some reasons we’d recommend it:
Unique Light Displays
One of the key features of Bô Noël (besides Christmas markets) is a trail of unique light installations and displays which are scattered around the city.
One of our favorite parts about visiting Lausanne at Christmas was looking for these displays, which definitely helped to set this market apart from other Christmas markets we’d seen in Switzerland.
Cool and Unique Vibe
Again, the vibe of Lausanne’s Christmas festivities feel very different to some of the cozier more traditional Christmas markets in Switzerland like in Zurich.
Here, the light installations and decor feel bolder, more daring, and distinctively fresh, a nod to Lausanne’s vibrant young population.
And while a lot of people come to Switzerland in search of more typical and cozy Christmas market vibes, we’d recommend adding Lausanne to your itinerary to switch things up a bit!
A Nice Selection of Markets
While the Christmas markets in Lausanne aren’t huge, they offer a great, diverse selection of products to choose from.
Especially noteworthy is they have a market dedicated purely to local products from the region (hello, amazing wine!) and a Creators’ market where everything is handmade by local artisans.
Christmas Markets in Lausanne to Visit
Wondering where to find Christmas markets in Lausanne? Here are some highlights:
Place Saint-François Covered Christmas Market
At Place Saint-François, you’ll find a covered Christmas market with dozens of food and shopping stalls, all under a glitzy glass canopy that’s prettily illuminated with lights and snowflakes.
While this market was no doubt the busiest we saw during our visit, it also had an awesome buzzing ambiance, so we’d definitely recommend coming early to grab a spot to perch and enjoy.
Place Pépinet Christmas Market AKA the Creators’ Market
At Place Pépinet, you’ll find a Creators’ Market filled with design-oriented stalls made by local designers, from fashion items and accessories to pieces of handmade jewelry.
This is a much more intimate market than some of the bigger ones you’ll find around Switzerland, which means plenty of opportunities to chat with the designers themselves if you so choose.
The Place d’Europe Christmas Market AKA the Marché du Terroir
At Place d’Europe, you’ll find another noteworthy Lausanne Christmas Market – the Marché du Terroir, which specializes in local products from regional producers like wines and jams.
Best of all, its location is in a fun igloo:
The Flon Skating Rink
Lastly, while not a Christmas market, we’d recommend checking out the cool ice rink in the Flon District, which is surrounded by cool lighting installations.
More Photos of Lasuanne at Christmas
Looking for more Lausanne Christmas eye candy? Here are some more photos we captured during our visit to Lausanne’s Bô Noël:
We hope you enjoyed this Lasuanne Christmas Market Guide!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about your trip – we’re always happy to help.