Friday, December 18, 2015

A Visit to the Christmas Markets of Lausanne, Switzerland

This lovely city was the last one  to explore on the itinerary of my recent Thanksgiving week trip to Switzerland. 

I took the train from Geneva, where were were based for the week. When you arrive in Lausanne, the city is a big uphill hike from the train station. The streets are beautiful to walk so if you are up for it, I recommend walking instead of taking a bus or the metro. 

Lausanne is most famous for being the Olympic Capital but at Christmas time, it's Festival of Lights (Festival Lausanne Lumières) is the star of the city. 

The many light installations are located all through the city. Dedicated tours are available to view them. I had to get back to Geneva for a dinner engagement. Since I was there during the daytime, I did not get to view them.

A mere 37 minute train ride from Geneva's Cornavin train station, there are charming small to medium sized markets to explore in this lovely Swiss city.  

A visit to the Olympic Museum was high on my list after the markets. Unfortunately I ran out of time. However, I did manage to visit a very interesting, off beat museum and some other lovely landmarks in Lausanne I will describe in a future post. It's Christmas market season, so I will stick to the theme. 

The Christmas markets in Lausanne were recently redesigned to be more contemporary, innovative and attractive but taking care to retain a traditional, artisanal flavor. 

The three markets I visited, all within walking distance of one other, were each different in look and offerings.

I started my Christmas market tour at Place Pépinet (Marché des Créateurs des Artisans de Pépinet) which was focused on artisanal goods. 

Even though there were tons of handmade items to buy, there was also a good choice of fare to eat and drink.

Freshly made Churros seem to by popular at Swiss Christmas markets. 

This place look cozy and inviting. 

The second Market I visited was located under the arches of the Grand-Pont (Le Marché du Terroir et de la Vigne des Arches) and was the most dramatic in looks. 

The booths were beautifully placed against the arches architecture.

This cafe won for the coolest location.

There were also a section of booths across the street where I scored some hot ginger wine.  Even thought it needed a bit of sugar, it was my foodie find of the day.

 The perfect hot drink to warm up with.

Lots of great nibbles, including these homemade meringues in a huge variety of flavors. 

No shortage of homemade nougat either.

The third and largest one was tucked cosily around the Church of St. François. This is also a covered market. (Le Grand Marché Couvert de Saint-François).

A good portion of this market is covered. Complete with a festive disco ball.

This market had some fancy features. Like a raw bar. 

A a hut featuring truffle products.

No shortage of sausages.

Or sweets.

There is a good deal to see, eat and buy in this market.

The plus is the covered section. Christmas markets can be a bummer in rainy weather.

Unfortunately, in order to not be late for our dinner plans, I had to head back to the station at this point. Outside of the Christmas markets, there is a lot more to see and do. I look forward to coming back with my list.

Like this post? 
Check out some of the other Christmas markets I have visited over the years:

Aachen, Germany Christmas Market
Basel, Switzerland Christmas Market
Colmar, France Christmas Market
Cologne, Germany Christmas Market
Freiburg, Germany Christmas Markets
Geneva, Switzerland Christmas Market
Hamburg, The Sexiest Christmas Market in Germany
Maastricht, Holland Christmas Market

Montreux, Switzerland Christmas MarketMunich Christmas Market
Strasbourg, France Christmas Markets
Valkenburg, Holland Christmas Market in the Caves

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