connect, grow & thrive.

Christmas in Lucerne

This year Christmas will feel different for everyone, in fact it may be the first time that many people will not be going “home” to spend the festive days with the family. Although the local celebrations have been pared down there are several festive activities going on in and around Lucerne which we hope will help create the sense of wonder that is usually felt around this time of the year.

First let’s look at what rules are in place. At the time we write the following will apply.

  • Private gatherings are limited to 10 people.
  • Outdoors a maximum of 15 people.
  • Restaurants only allow 4 people per table (unless it’s a family).
  • The government is recommending that gatherings outside of one’s family bubble takes place outside.

Christmas Markets:

The majority of Christmas markets have been cancelled but a few can still be found.

Bruchweihnachten Nov 26 – 28: Known for its quirky small shops the Bruchstrasse neighbourhood is organising a small Christmas market which will run this weekend.

Lucerne Craftmarket – December 5, 8, 12, 13, 19 & 20. : This street market offers mainly home crafted trinkets.

Venite Market – December 17 to 20: It had been hoped that this market would be allowed to take place but it too has been cancelled, in its lieu will be a series of small concerts in the St Peter’s Chapel

Fun Activities & Food

Christmas in Lucerne has to include a hot glühwein next to the gigantic Christmas tree at the KKL watching people twirl on the outdoor ice rink.

Live on Ice: December 12 to January 17; open from 16.00 to 22.00. This feels very Christmasy and is free (unless you need to rent skates).

There will be no candle dipping this year but children can still visit some Christmas Grottoes (mainly in shopping malls), for a bit of magic.

Schweizerhof Christmas Lounge: November 29 to January 1. The hotel Schweizerhof is at the heart of the city and as such is also known for a great place to enjoy a bit of Christmas cheer.

The Zum Pfistern restaurant has a a winter wonderland under the restaurant’s stone arches which looks magical. There you can sit outdoors, wrapped in a warm blanket and enjoy one of their versions of cheese fondue. Or for CHF 79.- you can go full out, starts with a glass of glühwein and marroni, enjoy a horse drawn carriage tour of the city whilst eating fondue and end up back at the restaurant for a piece of lebkuchen cake in the carriage (a bottle of wine, tea and glühwein is included in the price).

The hotel Kastanienbaum (in Kastanienbaum) even goes so far as to offer your own mini chalet for you to enjoy your fondue in, whilst taking in the view onto the lake .

The restaurant Moosmatt has a fondue chalet and is much closer to downtown.

The hotel Seeburg is renowned for its over the top Christmas light display and they also have a fondue chalet to enjoy a cosy evening.

Oh Tannenbaum – or where to get your Christmas tree.

We all seem to be in the mood to get decorating earlier than usual and the local shops have sensed this. There are many places to pick a Christmas tree up: Landi, Coop Bau & Hobby, Migros amongst others all have trees for sale.

But you might want to support some local producers (and maybe even rent a tree?), in which case we can recommend:

Gartnerei Niederberger in Kriens

Ottiger Baumschule in Rothenburg

Willisauer Christbaum in Willisau

Ecosapin offers several companies you can get environmentally grown trees for sale or rent.

But, of course, the big market locals wait for is the Christmas Tree market down on the Seepromenade which runs from December 16 to 23.

You are spoilt for choice. Just remember to regularly water your tree, check the electric lights and do not leave any candles lit unattended on the tree.

We will do a separate post on supporting local businesses but, as a head’s up, starting this Monday there will be a pop up store (open from 9.30 to 13.00) for small businesses at the Lili Centre until December 18th, be sure to drop by.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.