Dec 20, 2022
Geneva is a lovely city to visit any time of year, but it’s positively magical come Christmas time. The city is brimming with opportunities for you to immerse yourself in Yuletide cheer and festivities unlike you’ll find anywhere else. Use our guide to plan the perfect Geneva Christmas, whether you’re going to be in town for a short or long stay this year.
Look no further for the top activities in Geneva in Winter. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a foodie, or someone who enjoys a healthy dose of exercise and fresh air, you’ll find plenty to do.
If you’re staying in Geneva, one of the best things about this time of year is the many Geneva Christmas markets that really bring the season to life. You’ll find the most traditional of the markets on Rue du Mont-Blanc. Located not far from the Cornavin Station, this market boasts an array of stalls selling handmade gifts, Christmas decorations and ornaments, beautiful trinkets, baked goods and other festive foods, and vin chaud, a French-style version of mulled wine. The market runs daily until 28 December.
The Noël au Jardin takes place at the Jardin Anglais and is not to be missed, especially if you’re visiting the city with your family. In addition to cute wooden stalls selling an incredible variety of gifts, ornaments, toys, seasonal foods and beverages, apparel, handcrafts, and more, you’ll also find funfair rides and a plethora of children’s and family-friendly activities. Noël au Jardin runs until 23 December.
Other great Geneva Christmas markets to visit include Noël aux Bastions in Parc des Bastions, the market at Quai Général-Guisan, the market at Chillon Castle on the shore of Lake Geneva just south of Veytaux, about an hour from Geneva, and the Marché de Noël à Montreux in Montreux, about 40 minutes away by train.
Ice skating is one of the best outdoor activities to enjoy in Geneva in winter when you’re in the mood to get active. You’ll find several ice rinks in the city, but if you’re looking for one that’s sure to take your breath away with its gorgeous setting, head to the Parc des Bastions. Entry to this open-air ice rink is free, although you’ll need to hire ice skates.
Winter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, making this the perfect time of year to take a chocolate tour of the city famous for one of the world’s favourite confections. There are plenty of chocolate tours running in Geneva in winter, and most of them are walking tours which take in most of the city’s best chocolatiers as well as a few hidden gems.
There’s nothing quite like taking a tip in the thermal bath in the middle of winter, and there’s no shortage of them in Geneva. The baths around the city are filled with water that bubbles upfrom hot springs, which many people believe to be beneficial and therapeutic.
Enjoy an evening out while in Geneva in winter by wining and dining at one of the many excellent restaurants in the city centre before taking in a concert at the exquisite Victoria Hall. This historic three-storey concert hall with refined Renaissance-style detailing is best known for hosting classical music and jazz concerts.
Get your adrenalin pumping by visiting Les Diablerets ski resort near Geneva, where you’ll find skiing, snow sports, and a range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing. The resort is the home of Glacier 3000, which you’ll find at the top of Scex Rouge. From there, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Tsanfleuron Glacier. If you’re feeling brave, go on the Peak Walk, a suspension bridge that links the summits of two different mountain peaks.
The dairy-based Swiss specialities are delicious all year round, but they’re particularly comforting in winter. If you’re going to be enjoying a Geneva Christmas this year, make sure you indulge in one of the city’s (and country’s) most famous dishes – yes, we’re talking about fondue! There are two ways you can approach this. First, you can pop down to a nearby delicatessen or grocery store and pick up a pre-grated fondue cheese mix and the other required ingredients before whipping up a delicious fondue in your kitchen at Fraser Suites Geneva. Second, head to one of the city’s finest fondue restaurants and let the chefs do all the hard work. A few of our favourite fondue restaurants include Café du Soleil near the UN headquarters, Café-Bonvin in the Eaux-Vives neighbourhood, and Le Gruyérien on Rue de Chêne-Bougeries.
A picturesque 30-minute train ride takes you to Lausanne, a city on the upper end of the lake, northeast of Geneva. This charming city is perfectly located for a short visit in the afternoon and early evening, when you’ll be able to see the Lausanne Festival of Lights in all its glory. The festival runs until 25 December.
These are only a few of the many wonderful seasonal activities that await you in this gorgeous city. Make Fraser Suites Geneva your home from home and enjoy an unforgettable Geneva Christmas.