Unmissable December events in Switzerland

December's not just about Christmas. There are plenty of fantastic non-festive events happening all over the country, too

Polaris Festival - Verbier
Alpimages - Thomas Roulin

Sure, Christmas is a big deal, and we love a mulled wine and a carol concert as much as the next person. But alongside all the festive activities taking place in December, there are many brilliant non-Christmas events taking place in Switzerland, too. Find the best below...

RECOMMENDED: Discover the best Christmas events in Switzerland this year

December events in Switzerland

Zentrum Paul Klee
© Zentrum Paul Klee

10 Americans. After Paul Klee · Zurich


This show carves out Swiss-born artist Paul Klee a new place in art history, revealing the influence he had on the US art scene during the ’30s and ’40s and the birth of abstract expressionism. Works by Jackson Pollock and Mark Tobey feature.

Until Jan 7 2018.


Ai Weiwei: It’s Always the Others…· Lausanne


The celebrated dissident Chinese artist held his first European solo show in Switzerland in 2004 thanks to Bernard Fibicher. Now the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts’ director has invited him back, this time to fill the Lausanne museum with 40 works.

Until Jan 28 2018.

Vitra Design Museum
© Thomas Dix
Museums, Art and design

Charles & Ray Eames: The Power of Design · Weil am Rhein


Regarded as two of the most important figures in 20th-century design, the husband-and-wife duo are being treated to a comprehensive retrospective just over the German border in Weil am Rhein that encompasses furniture, interiors, exhibitions, films and photos.

Until Feb 25 2018.

Things to do, Ice skating

Ice skating at Dolder Sports · Zurich


Make sure your boots are comfy, because Europe’s largest open-air ice rink offers 6,000 square metres of super-chilled action. It first opened in 1930 and once hosted the Ice Hockey World Championships, but it’s a great place to learn other winter hobbies too – the complex also offers curling and snow sculpture lessons. Warm up with a fondue in its igloo-style tent.

Until Mar 11 2018. Mon, Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-10.30pm, Wed 9am-5.30pm, 7.15pm-10.30pm, Sun 9am-5.45pm.

Flon ice rink, Lausanne
Things to do, Ice skating

Ice skating at Flon Ice Rink · Lausanne


It isn’t big and it isn’t fancy, but it offers a fun-packed schedule of events and an excellent location right in the heart of Lausanne’s trendiest district. Try to tame your two left feet at one of the weekend discos or let off some steam at a snowballing party – they’ll be new winter traditions before you know it.

Until Feb 25 2018. Daily 11am-10pm.

Exhibition ice skating

Ice skating at Vaillant Arena · Davos

With capacity for 7,080 spectators, 3,280 of them seated, the home of HC Davos ice hockey club is definitely the place to enjoy some ice sports for those less inclined to get their skates on. With hockey champs, ice dancing and even the odd show held under its beautiful timber roof, it offers plenty to gawp at.

Until March 5 2018.

Various times and prices, see more information on the website.

Lausanne Festival of Lights
© Lausanne Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights · Lausanne

Rediscover Lausanne by night through a series of intriguing light installations set up around the city by 15 contemporary artists.

Until Dec 31.

Visit the website for more details.

Theatre, Performing arts space

Last Work · Geneva


Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s electrically charged show aches with emotion. Articulating their movements with utmost precision, 18 dancers from his Batsheva Dance Company haunt the stage, hurling their bodies around as if for the last time.

Dec 17-19. 


Le Chanteur de Mexico · Lausanne

Ville Marché

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s muse Rossy de Palma stars in French composer Francis Lopez’s catchy 1951 operetta in two acts and 20 scenes. If you don’t come out giddily humming ‘Acapulco’, you should probably get your hearing checked.

Dec 22, 23, 27-29, 31.

Fondation Beyeler, Basel museum, Time Out Switzerland
Swiss Tourism

Paul Klee · Basel


The first major exhibition to focus on Swiss painter Paul Klee’s abstract work reveals both his sense of playfulness and the gentle musicality of his compositions.

Until Jan 21 2018.

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