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Lucerne, Christmas markets with a view of the Alps

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Lucerne, Christmas markets with a view of the Alps

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Located on Lake Lucerne, in the middle of an incredible mountain panorama, the City of Lights, as it is known to most, is a must-see for anyone visiting Switzerland. With its old town centre, historic wooden bridges, lakeside promenade and high mountains, this small and hospitable town is perfect for a weekend getaway during the Christmas season, when the city becomes even more charming, decorated with thousands of lights and Christmas trees reflected in the lake and riverside. In this article we give you all the information you need to explore the Christmas markets in Lucerne.

We love... Lucerne!

Situated on Lake Lucerne and surrounded by a magnificent mountain landscape, Lucerne represents a perfect synthesis of all that Switzerland has to offer to visitors and, also for this reason, it is an unmissable stop for those visiting the country for the first time. The small, hospitable and people-friendly town has a quaint, well-kept old town centre, an elegant lakeside promenade and numerous attractions not to be missed. But the city of lights – as it is often called – also shines during the advent weeks! Traditional Christmas markets are held in the city starting in mid-November, and the whole town is filled with elegant decorative lights and decorations that, reflected in the waters of the lake and riverfront, make the town even more charming.
In this article we give you all the information about Christmas markets and major Christmas events in the city!

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The visit

Where to stay in Lucerne

For a short stay, our advice is to choose one of the many hotels in the old town or in the immediate vicinity, so that you can move around freely on foot. The historic centre is in fact entirely car-free and the town is small enough to get around on foot without too much effort. The city has many hotels of all categories. However, our suggestion is to stay near the old town, on the north bank of the river Reuss. Alternatively, a very lively and dynamic area of the city is Neustadt, which is built around the railway station and the south bank of the river Reuss.
For a lower budget solution, our advice is to stay outside the city centre in a location that is well connected by public transport. We suggest the Holiday Inn Express in Kriens, from which you can easily reach the city centre by bus or train.

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Lucerne's Christmas Markets

The Christmas market at Franziskanerplatz

Intimate and cozy, Lucerne’s oldest and most traditional Christmas market takes place at Franziskanerplatz, right in the middle of the old town and a short walk from the train station. A small village made up of wooden cottages and Christmas lights is built here every year, while the ancient fountain in the center of the square, decorated with candles, lights and fir branches is transformed into a giant Advent wreath.
In 2023, the Franziskanerplatz market will run from Dec. 1 to 21, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., while the food stands will continue their activities until 9 p.m. Don’t miss the opportunity to sip a mulled wine, traditionally served in originally decorated ceramic mugs each year.
You can find all the information on the official website (in german only).

Rudolf's Christmas at Inseli Park and The dancing Christmas trees in Europaplatz

The city’s largest Christmas market is located at Inseli Park, just a short walk from the train station. Traditionally dedicated to good food and togetherness, Rudolf’s Christmas offers visitors numerous food stands, including a quaint chalet where they can enjoy a traditional fondue.
In 2023, Rudolf’s Christmas runs from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23, Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., while the chalet remains open until 11 p.m. Throughout the event, numerous art and music events are also offered. You can take a look at the program here, while you can reserve your table at the Chalet here.
You can find all the information about Rudolf’s Christmas on the official website (in german only).
But before you get to Rudolf’s Christmas, along the way we suggest a short stop at Europaplatz, in front of the KKL – a modern convention center on the lake – where many of wooden Christmas trees dance and come to life to the rhythm of music every quarter of an hour, from 5 to 10 p.m.

The Craft Market in Weinmarkt

Unlike the other city Christmas markets, the Weinmarkt craft market does not take place continuously every day throughout the advent period, but only on specific dates. However, we recommend you to visit it because it is the perfect place to buy your Christmas gifts. In fact, the market is home to numerous artisans who offer their handmade products at reasonable prices.
In 2023 the craft market takes place on December 2, 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 8 am to 5 pm.
The official website has all the information about the craft market.

What to do in Lucerne during a weekend

Although the Christmas spirit is the most characteristic part of the city during the advent season, visiting Lucerne is always an excellent opportunity to admire one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland and to explore its best-known and most hidden corners.
In this article we have pointed out some of the must-see attractions and a suggested route to visit the old town.

How to get there

Arriving by public transport

See the location in Google Maps. Lucerne is easily accessible by public transport. To find the best travel option for you, as always we recommend using the SBB website or the SBB App that you can also use to check the timetables and operating status of the lines and purchase tickets.

Arriving by car

See the location in Google Maps. Lucerne can also be reached by car. To find the best travel option for you, as always we suggest you use Google Maps. The city has many paid parking options. At this link (in German) you will find a map of the city’s car parks, their current availability and their websites.
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Tips

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If you are in town and if you love good food, there are two stores that you just can’t miss! The first is Max Chocoatier’s store, which offers a wide variety of handmade chocolate in all forms, from pralines to bars and even spreads. The small and elegant store has recently moved to a new location and is now located at Hertensteinstrasse 7, in the center of the city. A little further on, on the same street at the intersection with Museggstrasse, you will find Barmettler’s Cheese Shop (Chäs Barmettler), a historic store selling alpine cheeses and regional specialties. Enjoy a quick snack with a warm “Chaeschuechli” – a savory cheese cake.

2

Guests who decide to stay in one of the city’s hotels will receive the Visitor’s Card, which allows free use of buses and trains within zone 10 and a number of valuable discounts on cable cars, mountain railways, museums and excursions. The card also gives you access to “Free WiFi – Luzern.com” hotspots throughout the city. You can find all the information here.

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Are you planning a visit to Lucerne? Do you have questions or need additional tips? Leave a comment in the box below and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!

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