Spring! The season of sunshine, green grasses, fresh flowers, and in the case of Morges…TULIPS!
I’ve been meaning to write all about Morges, this cute little Swiss town I’d recently moved to since July last year…And I thought there isn’t any better opportunity than now to share about my beloved neighbourhood: Because spring is primetime for visiting Morges, when it plays host to the Tulip Festival!
If you’re interested in seeing the tulips blooms at their best in Switzerland, here’s my handy guide to seeing spring tulips, along with a useful itinerary on what to see and check out in Morges in 24 hours!
Where is Morges?
If you’ve not heard of Morges….I wouldn’t fault you.. Chances are: you prolly won’t find it on your regular Swiss tourist guidebook. After-all, its just a small residential town of 17,000 inhabitants in the French-speaking canton of Vaud. We made the decision to move last year from neighbouring Lausanne to Morges: partly due to commuting reasons (Morges is closer to Geneva), but more also because we simply fell in love with the Old Town, the chance to live close to the lake!
How to Get to the Morges Tulip Festival
Morges is also just two train stops away from Lausanne, making it extremely feasible for a day-trip.
The Tulip Festival is located in Le Parc de l’independence (Independence Park), about 5 mins away from the Morges train station.
Once you step out of the station: Walk out straight towards the direction of the Old Town. Cut thorugh though the Old Town and to the lakeside promenade. Then turn left towards the rows of yachts, and the park soon comes into view.
Morges Tulip Festival
Every spring season, bright multicoloured tulips cover the whole of le Parc de l’independence: highlighting the start of the Tulip Festival.
It is definitely one of the most beautiful flower shows in the Lake Léman region!
This park is also happens to be where I walk my dog Kaya every morning: so in fact, I had been observing the growth of the tulip buds…since the end of autumn last year!?! Truth be told: There were some occasions when Kaya gets naughty and run loose across the flower beds while they were still growing!
I’m just glad that the flowers are not destroyed and are beautifully blooming now 😛
Let the pictures do the talking: Just look at how splendid the tulips are!
The theme of this year’s Tulip Festival is “Numbers and Symbols”, and you will notice the tulips forming various symmetries and numbers.
Aside from tulips, other flowers are out in their fullest glory as well: From irises, narcissus, roses, to daffodils.
Tulip Light Show
If you are visiting later in the evening, consider staying longer to check out the free light-show projected on the walls of the Morges Castle situated just next to the park.
This show tells the story of the tulip through time, from its origins to its arrival in Morges. This is an exclusive creation by artist Albin Christen for the Tulip Festival.
This animation is available from March 23 to April 18. Two performances per evening are offered from Wednesday to Saturday, as well as Sunday and Easter Monday.
Timings of the Light-Show:
March 23 – 26: 8 pm and 8.45 p.m.
March 30 – April 9: 8.45 pm. and 9.30 p.m
April 13 – 18: 9 p.m. and 9:45pm
In terms of food options: there is a spacious culinary tent set up within the park premises, serving a range of hot and cold food. On Sundays, there is also a special brunch service available, at CHF 35 (without drinks). I haven’t tried it myself but I figured it’s a nice place to stop by for lunch if you are feeling peckish, and would like to enjoy having lunch with views of the lake.
To make your reservation:
Contact: +41 078 843 36 57.
Other Programe Highlights
From free face-painting for children, woodcarving demonstrations, water colour and flower workshops, there is no lack of activities for young and old from now till May! The festival was more muted last year due to Covid-19…so I’m really glad that there’s much more fun interactive activities fully lined up for this year’s Festival.
For the full programme, check here.
Do check out the rows of stalls lined up along the promenade too, each selling exquisitely handmade potteries and ceramics.
When to Visit the Morges Tulip Festival
The Morges Tulip Festival runs from 18 March to 8 May 2022. Entrance to the Tulip Festival is free and also accessible to people with reduced mobility. It is also suitable for families with strollers.
Due to the cold weather lately, the growth of the flowers has slowed down a little. At my time of visit in the first week of April 2022, many of the tulips have yet to fully bloom.
Thus, I would say that the BEST time to visit is probably mid-April to mid May! My guess too is that it wouldn’t be a problem even if you come after the end of the Festival on 8 May. The flowers would most likely still be there, it’s not like they’re possibly gonna pull out all of them! You’d only miss out on the Festival’s programme highlights.
What Else Can I Do in Morges?
Walk Along the Lakeside Promenade
Don’t leave just right after the Tulip Festival! Continue on by taking a relaxing stroll along the lakeside promenade in Morges.
It’s one of those walks that is almost dreamlike given the right weather and time of day. On good days, you might even see the view of the France Alps, all the way till Mont Blanc!
Go on a Lake Cruise
If you are up for a nautic adventure, head to the Port of Morges for an afternoon or evening cruise. There are ships that makes it way to Geneva, Nyon or to neighbouring France across the lake.
The one cruise I highly highly recommend is the gourmet cruise from Morges to Yvoire. Imagine dining out in the open lake, in a vintage belle épouque cruise ship. We did that for Vince’s birthday last year and the experience was incroyable, to say the least!
You can also read my blogpost on my beautiful daytrip experience to Yvoire.
Visit the Old Town
No visit to Morges is complete without a visit to la Grand-Rue, the heart of the Old Town. Two historic architecture flungs the both side of the pedestrian street: On the northern side, you will find the 18th century reformed Temple.
Further down southern part stands the Townhall. It’s famous for a very special reason: it’s where the marriage of Audrey Hepburn and Andrea Dotti took place in 1969! (Fun fact: Audrey Hepburn is also buried right here in Morges, but a visit to her tombstone…that’s another adventure for another day!)
If you come on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Old Town will be transformed into a bustling farmers’ market with grocers selling their freshest produces from vegetables, cheeses, hams, jams and flowers. A very typical sight in all Swiss towns!
Food in Morges
If you’re fancying a cuppa, check out Carasso! It’s a small chic café just around the corner, outside the Old Town.
It’s quite hard to find GOOD coffee in Switzerland, but this place has it. Excellent cappuccinos, decent patisserie and welcoming service. They also have a section selling specialty coffee beans, coffee machine and other fancy equipment…a small coffee oasis for aspiring home-baristas (like Vince!)
Set in an funky, eclectic setting: this lovely chocolte-coffee-tearoom is where you can find possibly the best hot chocolates in Switzerland. It’s one of the first places that always comes to mind for a cosy hangout whenever I have guests visiting in Morges.
The highlight of their menu is the varied selections of hot chocolate,with different spices and flavour profile. Now I counted 19 CHOICES on their menu…but if you just want to go for something tried and tested, then go for the Balzac 55%! It’s so thick and incredibly chocolatey, Once you’ve tried it, you’d wish all your regular Milo, Caotina or Ovalmaltine tasted just like that too.
I came here a few times, once for a brunch and found their main food offerings healthy and absolutely delicious.
This Peruvian restaurant is one of the latest kids on the block in Morges’ dining scene, and it’s a huge hit amongst locals! I don’t consider myself super adventurous when it comes to experimenting with new cuisines but boy, this place did its magic and made me fall head over heels with Peruvian food.
The Piscos cocktails were a dream here, and the Pulpo au carbon was some of the best grilled octopus we’ve ever had. Other must trys are their Ceviches (Get the Cevigrill i.e. grilled sea bass with braised avocado) and the Amarrillo). I did find the portions a tad small for sharing though (we were 4 adults and 2 children) so you might want to keep that in mind when coming in a large group.
This place is constantly overbooked, (I’ve never seen them empty whenever I pass them) so reservation is highly recommended.
Note that this restaurant is on the high-end side. We spent about 300CHF in total.
I hope you are inspired to make your way down to Morges for the Tulip Festival! This ranks high in my spring recommendations for Switzerland. And as a Morges local, I’d personally tried and experienced all of the above suggestions, so I can vouch that they’re the best activities you can do to discover this lesser-known but equally scenic part of Switzerland!
If you are looking for more travel recommendations specifically for Swiss Romande i.e. French-speaking Switzerland, be sure to check out my other itineraries and travel guides down below!
Have Fun Exploring Switzerland!