1st December - 20th December 2017
The annual Lucerne Christmas Market is held in the atmospheric Old Town, on Franziskanerplatz in front of the St. Maria Church. This magical event features around 70 little wooden stalls selling all the typical handmade Christmas gifts you can imagine, from traditional wooden toys and nativity scenes, to cosy knitted hats and scarves, from unique jewellery to delightful candles. You can also stock up on beautiful decorations and Christmas cards, as well as delicious confectionary, nuts, cakes and wines. There are plenty of stalls offering tempting treats such as crèpes and mulled wine to enjoy as you browse around the market.
A huge advent wreath placed across the fountain serves as a striking centrepiece, with hundreds of pretty lights and candles standing 4 metres high! On the fountain steps, performances from local brass bands and choirs add to the festive atmosphere. Visitors are warmly welcomed into the church itself for the morning Eucharist and occasional carol services. The market is open until 9pm, offering a very atmospheric evening shopping experience amongst the illuminations and candles.
A second market also takes place within the main hall of the railway station from 23rd November to 24th December. Here, there are a further 20 Christmas stalls to stroll around and again, live festive music to create a cheerful holiday mood.
Another annual tradition in Lucerne is the fairy tale ice rink, perfectly situated on the lake shore. This is a truly magical place to skate and enjoy the views of this historical city, the lake and its backdrop of majestic mountains. You can hire skates at the rink, which is open from late November.
Discover more about Lucerne by clicking here.
Find out about other Christmas Markets: Montreux, Bern, Basel.
Suggested Itinerary - including stunning Mount Titlis
4 DAYS - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN LUCERNE AND EXCURSION TO MOUNT TITLIS
From £626 per person
This short break is a wonderful way to enjoy Lucerne's festive activities in the run up to Christmas, with enough time for a day trip to the stunning winter scenery of Mount Titlis.
This suggested break is based on a stay in the 3 star superior Waldstätterhof, ideally located in the Old Town close to the Christmas Market. However, we are able to tailor make an itinerary with any of the Lucerne hotels mentioned below.
Day 1 Arrival and get to know lovely Lucerne with a stroll along the lakeside. Perhaps start your shopping extravaganza, then browse the menus of the town's many restaurants for tonight's meal.
Day 2 Shop to your heart's content in the Christmas Markets and enjoy lunch from one of the stalls offering delicious traditional treats. There may be time for a museum visit, ice skating by the lake or a sightseeing cruise.
Day 3 Day trip to Mount Titlis. Travel by rail to pretty Engelberg, then by gondola cableway and the world's first rotating cable car to the summit for unforgettable winter views. There are plenty of mountain restaurants and even the world's highest watch shop!
Mount Titlis is easily reached from Lucerne and the journey itself will afford some wonderfully scenic views. Your trip will take you via Engelberg, an idyllic ski resort and a nice place to stop for a warming hot chocolate. From here, it's the six-seater cable car to Trübsee, followed by the aerial cableway to Stand glacier station and finally the Titlis Rotair rotating cable car to the summit at 3,020m above sea level. Take in the panoramic views of snow-covered mountains and if the weather is good, you can brave Europe's highest suspension bridge at 500 metres, also with spectacular views. At the glacier park you can whizz down the mountain on the minibobs or snowtubes and there are plenty of mountain restaurants in which to enjoy a leisurely lunch. More about Mount Titlis here.
Day 4 A hearty breakfast, perhaps time for another stroll through the Market or the Old Town, then bid farewell to Lucerne with many happy memories and a suitcase full of Christmas gifts!
Your holiday price includes scheduled flights from Heathrow to Zurich inclusive of all airport taxes and security charges, 2nd class return rail transfers, 3 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation as described based on 2 people sharing, 2nd class return rail tickets to Mount Titlis and FREE Half fare card which entitles you to half or reduced price travel on most trains, PostBuses and lake steamers. Financial protection ATOL 3148. Booking conditions apply. Tailor Make Your Break: additional days, extra excursions, half board arrangements, higher grade hotels, upgraded rooms and additional resorts can be added. Call our team on 0800 619 1200.
Winter Scenic Rail
Extend your stay and enjoy Switzerland's perfect snowscapes
Lucerne is perfectly placed as the starting point for a classic scenic rail journey. So, after the Christmas Market, travellers can enjoy the next part of their holiday - taking in wonderful views of the wintry countryside en route to a stay in another part of this beautiful country. Winter can turn the Swiss sky a deep blue, while the snow covering the mountains and pastures is an unspoiled blanket of purest white. While you are warm and cosy in the carriage, perhaps enjoying a steaming coffee, the passing scenery produces mile upon mile of mesmerising beauty. Even for those who have previously enjoyed a summer scenic rail trip, this is an experience not to be missed.
There are three winter scenic rail options from Lucerne. The destination resorts shown are just examples - please ask if you have a different itinerary in mind.
The Gotthard Panorama Express
An unforgettable journey to inviting Lugano in the Ticino region. Stay at the 4 star Parco Paradiso and enjoy great food and lakeside walks in this stylish resort.
The lake section of this journey takes you to Flüelen. Whilst you dine in the boat's first class restaurant, the landscape of bays and villages - so picturesque in the snow - silently glides by. Then it's all change to first class panorama rail cars as the trip continues through the ravines of the Reuss Valley and on to the world-famous Gotthard line which climbs swiftly to 1,100m. Winter weather is no problem on this amazing mountain railway! After the 15km long Gotthard Tunnel, you'll travel through the lovely scenery of the Leventina Valley en route to Lugano.
The Luzern-Interlaken Express
Cross the Brünig Pass en route to Interlaken. There is a good choice of hotels in town, which is a great base for enjoying many winter lake and mountain excursions.
This is a classic journey and the panoramic windows of the Luzern-Interlaken Express trains afford wonderful wintry views as you pass through the countryside. Even visitors who have visited this area many times in summer will be delighted to experience a completely new perspective on the scenery. You'll pass through the historic sites of the Lucerne region, travelling across the Brünig Pass and alongside Lake Brienz to Interlaken, perhaps enjoying an onboard lunch in the dining car.
The GoldenPass Line
Enjoy even more of Switzerland's scenery on a longer journey to Montreux on stunning Lake Geneva. A choice of hotels, all handy for the Old Town and the lake.
Travel on the first leg of this journey to Interlaken, as described above, then change to the famous GoldenPass Line train. From Interlaken, it's a spectacular journey to the beautiful lakeside village of Spiez and a change in Zweisimmen. The final leg of the journey winds its way through the beautiful Simmen valley via Gstaad, famous as one of the world's most glamourous ski resorts. The final descent through the snow of Les Avants and past Lake Geneva's vineyards to Montreux is just stunning.
Tailor Make Your Break. Additional days, extra excursions, half board arrangements, higher grade hotels, upgraded rooms and additional resorts can be added. Call our team on 0800 619 1200.