As December unfolds its wintry embrace, Switzerland transforms into a magical wonderland, where snow-capped landscapes, festive markets, and the warm glow of holiday lights paint a picturesque scene.
Whether you’re a local resident or a fortunate visitor, Switzerland in December offers a unique blend of traditions, culinary delights, and enchanting experiences. Join me on a journey through the heart of this Alpine paradise as we explore the captivating wonders that make December truly special in Switzerland. From dazzling Christmas markets to the allure of winter sports against a backdrop of stunning mountains, let’s embark on a festive adventure that captures the essence of December in Switzerland.
So I gathered for you here a list of festive events and lovely Christmas markets to visit this month, let’s go!
1st of December
Einsiedeln: The Christmas market in Einsiedeln takes place in front of the stunning Einsiedeln Monastery and along the entire main street has a very special charm. When: 01.12-10.12.
Brunnen: The Christmas market on the lake in Brunnen is a beautiful and contemplative Christmas market on the lake promenade and in the village centre in Brunnen on Lake Lucerne. When: 01.12-03.12.
Fribourg: Every year during the first weekend of December, the city of Fribourg honors its patron saint, St. Nicholas, with a special celebration including a parade.
Neuchâtel: If you live in the area of Neuchâtel here are the Christmas markets and events in the region.
Bischofszell: The Advent market in Bischofszell is one of the most beautiful Advent markets in Eastern Switzerland and takes place in the festive and historic old town with over 120 decorated market stalls. When: 01.12-03.12.
Vully: Open wine cellars – during this weekend, all wine cellars in the Vully are open for visitors. Inviting you to come and taste different local wine specialties in a special atmosphere.
Aarberg: A Traditional Christmas market in the beautiful and charming village of Aarberg. When: 01.12-03.12.
2nd of December
Olten: The Olten Advent Village, blending a Christmas market and festive charm. When: from December 2 to 23, 2023, in Olten’s city center. Attracting over 100,000 visitors with 55 decorated chalets offering a rotating selection of pre-Christmas goods, diverse activities. The highlight is the flying Santa Claus at 18:00. From food options to a Christmas carousel, the event caters to all ages, making it a festive delight for families and friends alike.
Geneva: The Marmite Race in Geneva- a non-competitive funny race, where having fun in moving is the most important. Therefore, there are no rankings or rewards but you should put on your best costume! Departing from: Rue de la Croix-Rouge, arrive: Parc des Bastions.
Biel / Bienne: The Biel Christmas market is the largest in the region with charming little chalets and around 80 exhibitors offering their products, most of them handmade. When: 02.12-23.12.
Estavayer-le-Lac: The Estavayer-le-Lac Christmas market with stands of artisanal and local products snuggle up on the cobblestones of the city center.
Gruyères: St. Nicholas in Gruyères- This event is mainly for families but since we are talking about Gruyères it’s still beautiful whether you have kids or not. The St. Nicholas Parade will start at 17:30 but during the day you will have fun activities such as gifts hunting, Bingo for kids and little farm animals. Afterwards, I’d warmly recommend you to enjoy a hot fondue at the Fondue capital.
Lugano: The magic of Christmas returns to Lugano with the traditional tree decorated in Piazza della Riforma. Where you can enjoy delicious gastronomy, live music, entertainment and festive Christmas decorations.
Thun: The Honky Tonk Festival in Thun is A Pub Festival in Thun with 16 different pubs each host a concert from 16 different live bands. Undoubtedly, a cool experience! Each concert last 45 min and you will have 15 min to reach from one pub to another. Altogether you will be able to enjoy 4 different concerts.
Brienz: A small Christmas market in the old town of Brienz. When: 02.12-03.12.
3rd of December
Zurich: A somewhat unusual – but all the more popular – tradition is the Samichlaus swim. Hardened swimmers in Santa Claus costumes plunge into the Limmat every year in December.
Lugano: Piazza la Fondue is the gastronomic event promoted by the City of Lugano that will be held in conjunction with the Christmas markets.
Appenzell: An atmospheric Christmas market in the colorful town will take place from the 3rd till the 4th of December.
5th of December
Küssnacht: One of the highlights this month is the Küssnacht Klausjagen. The huge procession featuring magical Iffele, standing over 200 to 2.5 meters tall, and accompanied by Santa Claus, torchbearers, and hauntingly beautiful music, drawing up to 30,000 spectators each year.
Stans: The big Santa Claus parade takes place in Stans every year on December 5th. Carried through the village of Stans on December 5th every year, accompanied by Schmutzlis and torch bearers and many trychlers. The parade starts at 19:40. Route: Dorfplatz-Nägeligasse-Stansstaderstrasse-Dorfplatz
6th of December
Bulle: The Christmas Market in Bulle invites you to explore its cozy ambience in 90 different little chalets. When: 06-10.12.
Solothurn: The traditional Christmas market in Solothurn gives the oldest square in the city a magical atmosphere with its Christmas scent of chestnut, fir branch and mulled wine. When: 06.12-07.12.
7th of December
Bremgarten: With more than 320 stalls, this Christmas market is one of the largest and most attractive in Switzerland, attracting more than 100 000 visitors a year. When: 07.12-10.12.
Brig: The “Chrischchindlimärt Brig” takes place for the first time. Around 50 market stalls are part of the Upper Valais “Advent magic” under the Simplon Pass between the7th to 10th.
Geneva: The CHI Geneva is one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events. Every year, Palexpo, the world’s largest indoor arena with its 5,400 m2, welcomes the world’s best riders and drivers.
8th of December
Geneva: The Fête de l’Escalade in Geneva. The craziest traditional event in Geneva is back from the 8.12-10.12! Unquestionably, this is THE time to visit Geneva. What to expect: Amazing parades, demonstrations, music, cannon fire, loads of chocolate(from the traditional chocolate pot that you see in the picture), vegetable soup, and mulled wine.
Gruyères: The Christmas fairytale settles in Gruyères with 40 little chalets of artisanal goods and delicious foods. When: 08-10.12 and 15-17.12.
Murten: A Christmas magic in the medieval town of Murten with more than 90 stalls offer visitors specialties, tastings and Christmas gifts.
Willisau: A romantic Christmas market in Willisau with decorated market stalls, the scent of marroni, mulled wine and spices as well as musical entertainment. When: 08-10.12.
9th of December
Klosters: A traditional big village festival in Klosters at the beginning of the winter season.
Bad Zurzach: The Christmas market in Bad Zurzach invites you to enjoy smells of mulled wine, cinnamon and fine, Christmas spices. When: 09.12-10.12.
Adelboden: Stroll and tinkle- This year Adelboden combines the traditional Winterylüte with a varied Christmas market.
Andermatt: VERVE Techno Festival attracts numerous festival fans to Andermatt in December. Enjoy a unique atmosphere surrounded by an imposing mountain backdrop in the ski resort of Uri.
14th of December
Payerne: The Payerne Christmas market takes place from the 14th to the 17th December.
Engelberg: Engelberg is not only home to the largest ski jumping facility in Switzerland. Engelberg is also the only venue where the world’s best ski jumpers compete in the FIS World Cup.
Lantsch / Lenz: The Biathlon World Cup is a series of international competitions in biathlon held in winter and is the highest level of competition in biathlon.
16th of December
Lausanne: Christmas Run in Lausanne- This funny and festive running event features categories for all ages and fitness levels. In addition to musical entertainment will keep you in the Christmas spirit.
Geneva: Coupe de Noël- A festive swimming race on the lake. The traditional race remains the 100m, along the Jardin Anglais.
17th of December
Ascona: The traditional “Corsa da Natal” or Christmas race, takes place along both the Borgo lanes and the lakeside promenade of Ascona.
23rd of December
Rapperswil: On Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. the traditional caroling will take place in Rapperswil. The Christmas caroling will take place under the castle steps on the main square. In addition, there will be a procession of carol singers through the alleys of the old town.
Wengen: Mulled wine festival in Wengen- Hands down, mulled wine is the best way to celebrate winter and Wengen decided to make a festival dedicated to this heart warming beverage. Apart from trying different mulled wines there will be music entertainment.
Davos: FIS Snowboard WorldCup Davos- parallel slalom with the world’s snowboard elite and a great party with all fans of winter sports.
24th of December
Crans-Montana: Set off from Ycoor, take part in an enchanting Christmas parade that will take you to the Charmettes Plaza, and be transported by the magic of the talented artists leading the procession.
25th of December
Meiringen: Trychel Week in Meiringen. At the end of each year Meiringen celebrates an ancient custom: Trychel Week and the Ubersitz. During these days the villagers use masks, bells and giant Trycheln cow-bells to cast out haunting spirits.
Veysonnaz: Santa’s torch descend in Veysonnaz. Merry Christmas everyone! How about a torchlight descent down the Mayen run with the Swiss Ski School and Father Xmas? Meet at the end of the day at the top station of the gondola lifts. Additionally, a torchlight parade, mulled wine and Christmas tea are on the plan.
Kandersteg: On Christmas and New Year’s Day, the furry creatures parade through the village from midday until late in the evening.
27th of December
Blatten: Witches Christmas in Blatten. As some of you may know, this area is known for its history with witches! The perfect atmosphere for some invited to the torchlight walk, the witches’ dance around the fire and the roasting of fine sausages and marshmallows.
Engelberg: The Continental Cup Ski Jumping, which will be held on 27th and 28th December 2023 on the Gross-Titlis ski jump, guarantees a special ambience.
30th of December
Herisau: Appenzell celebrate the new year twice. Once according to the Gregorian calendar, on 31 December, and then according to the Julian calendar on 13 January. On December 30th and January 13th , the Silvesterchläuse mummers roam the streets! Undoubtedly a tradition that you shouldn’t miss!
31st of December
Zurich: New Year’s Eve magic in Zurich. Every year, more than 150,000 visitors from Switzerland and abroad attend the big New Year’s Eve party at Zurich’s lake basin and marvel at the illuminated sky on New Year’s Eve.
More events are coming soon! I wish you all a magical December full of fun adventures and a lot of fun exploring around!