Lausanne

The 7 best attractions and things to do in Lausanne 2022

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Lausanne is a French-speaking city on Lake Geneva. It is located right next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lavaux wine terraces on hills and slopes. The altitude difference within the city reaches 500 meters. Switzerland's only metro covers 338 meters of altitude on a 6 km route alone. The cultural and university city is a lively city that also has historical sights to offer. It is also considered the Olympic capital.

Places in Lausanne

Find out more about Lausanne

10 Highlights in Lausanne

  • The city of Lausanne is located on Lake Geneva amid vineyards and ancient castles
  • With 500 meters of altitude difference, the city nestles on slopes and stands on hills. These were once formed by the Rhone glacier
  • Since 2007, the region with its picturesque wine terraces has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lausanne has been the capital of the Olympic Movement since 1994. The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee is located in Lausanne. The interactive Olympic Museum provides information on the history of the great sports games. The 8000 m2 Olympic Park is located on several terraces on the shore of Lake Geneva.
  • The former industrial district "Flon" contrasts pleasantly with the young, creative and lively side of Lausanne.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral, completed in the 13th century, is considered the most important Gothic building in Switzerland. It stands in the center of the city and offers a good view over the city and the lake from the tower. During the night hours the watchman calls out the time to the city.
  • 3 large and numerous small theaters and concert halls can be found in Lausanne. Festivals and dance competitions are also held here regularly.
  • The only metro in Switzerland runs on a 6 km long line in Lausanne. It has 14 stops and a height difference of 338 meters. The subways are fully automatic and run without a driver.
  • Bathing places on Lake Geneva can be found in the Ouchy district or on the beach at Vidy.
  • Lake Geneva is Europe's largest inland lake and Lausanne is the fourth largest city in Switzerland.

Lausanne is a lively, multi-faceted city. On the one hand, the unique landscape, Lake Geneva and the numerous wellness offers provide recreation. On the other hand, you can discover various museums, cultural and sporting events and indulge in a wide range of culinary delights.

With 140,000 inhabitants, Lausanne is one of the larger cities in Switzerland. The city is very well connected thanks to public transport and the Métro. Lausanne is also considered a student city with excellent educational opportunities. The multicultural flair and the openness of the inhabitants will surprise you positively

View over Lausanne and the lake (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme))View over Lausanne and the lake (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme))
Lausanne in winter (Photo LT Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)Lausanne in winter (Photo LT Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)

Sights in Lausanne

Lausanne offers a wide range of experiences, especially for culture and sports fans. But you can also relax in one of the parks or go shopping.

Lausanne Cathedral

In the middle of the city is the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral. It is considered one of the most important and beautiful Gothic buildings within Switzerland and even beyond the country's borders. A special highlight is the rose window from the 13th century. It represents the then known world and for us today the medieval world view

At night between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., it is the task of the cathedral's watchman to call out the time to the townspeople. Even though the watchman no longer watches over the city from the tower, this tradition, which is over 600 years old, is still lived.

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Opening hours Notre Dame Cathedral in Lausanne

monthsweekdaysfrom to (clock)
April to Septemberdaily09:00 - 19:00
October to Marchdaily09:00 - 17:30

Prices Cathedral Notre Dame in Lausanne

ageadmission (CHF)
up to 16 years2.00
from 16 years5.00

Métro Lausanne

In Lausanne you will find the only Métro in Switzerland to date. The train runs every few minutes on two different lines. It is completely remote-controlled and about half of the route is underground. Since Lausanne is very hilly, the Métro makes it much easier for you to discover the city

The M1 and M2 rail lines connect various stations and neighborhoods within Lausanne, such as the main train station, Ouchy and Flon, with the two neighboring communities of Renens and Epalinges. A third connection is in the planning stage. Tickets can be purchased conveniently via the SBB app or at the respective vending machines.

Lausanne Cathédrale (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)Lausanne Cathédrale (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)
Lausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)Lausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)

Aquatis Lausanne

Located on the outskirts of Lausanne, Aquatis is considered the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in the world. On 3500 square meters, 46 aquariums, terrariums and vivariums invite you to discover. The journey across five continents, from the Rhone in the Valais to the Amazon in South America, is intended to show the importance and task of the various freshwater ecosystems.

At the same time, Aquatis also offers various educational workshops and educational activities to raise awareness in the field of ecology. For example, laboratory workshops, conferences and special exhibitions

Admission prices Up to 6 years: Free 6-15 years: 19 CHF From 16 years: 29 CHF

Special rates are available for families and groups.

16 Museums in Lausanne

Whether film, architecture, history, zoology or sport - in Lausanne there is probably an interesting museum for every visitor. The numerous, changing exhibitions thus also attract the most diverse guests to the city on Lake Geneva.

  • Cantonal Art Museum: The Cantonal Art Museum is dedicated exclusively to art and shows several, changing exhibitions every year. In addition, workshops and other events are held. On the first Saturday of the month, admission is free

  • Fondation de l'Hermitage: Located above Lausanne, with a magnificent view of Lake Geneva, is the villa of the Hermitage Foundation. The foundation is responsible for organizing the large, changing exhibitions. The nearby restaurant L'esquisse invites you to brunch in the adjacent park.

  • Olympic Museum: The museum in the Ouchy district specializes in interactive exhibitions related to the Olympic Games. State-of-the-art technology allows for a unique, up-close experience.

Other museums in Lausanne:

  • Cantonal Geology Museum
  • Cantonal Numismatic Museum
  • Cantonal Museum of Zoology
  • Cantonal Museum of Archaeology and History
  • Roman Museum Lausanne-Vidy
  • Collection de l'Art Brut: art museum for self-taught art with unusual materials and idiosyncratic forms of expression
  • Musée Bolo (museum of computer games)
  • Musée et jardins botaniques cantonaux de Lausanne
  • Musée historique Lausanne
  • Musée de design et d'arts appliqués contemporains MUDAC
  • Musée de l'Elysée
  • Musée de l'immigration
  • Musée de la main (at the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois)

Other places of interest

  • Quartier Flon: The former industrial quarter has developed into a lively center in recent years. Here people work, live and enjoy a variety of leisure activities.

  • Harbor quarter Ouchy: The quarter directly on the lake promenade invites you to relax and marvel at the water or in one of the various parks.

  • Parks: 350 hectares of parks and gardens make Lausanne one of the greenest cities in the world, enchanting visitors and residents alike.

  • Plateforme 10: In the former locomotive depot, the new art quarter with three museums as well as various catering and recreational facilities will be built by 2022.

  • Market Staircase: The market staircase dates back to the 18th century in its current form and connects the cathedral with the Place de la Palud. This winding and covered wooden staircase is one of the most picturesque places in Lausanne. It is located next to a very steep cobbled street.

  • Rolex Learning Center: The Rolex Learning Center immediately catches the eye with its eye-catching architecture. The information center of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne houses a 6200-square-foot library as well as catering, training and exhibition facilities. Private tours can be booked in advance.

Market stairs (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)Market stairs (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)
Art Museum (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)Art Museum (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)

Excursion destinations in Lausanne

Lausanne brings together relaxation, pleasure and active experience. Both the city and the unique nature that surrounds it offer something for everyone

Lake Geneva boat trip

Practical transportation from A to B or as a time-out with a view. A boat trip on Europe's largest inland lake is an experience. The ships call at around 40 ports on the Swiss and French shores. For example, Chillon Castle, Montreux or Nyon.

On a round trip you can also enjoy. Whether on a gourmet cruise or a family outing, culinary accompaniment is provided. The panorama provides the perfect setting. You have a view of the Alps, the vineyards and the various castles.

Swiss Activities offers:

Lavaux

The terraced vineyards above Lake Geneva are a great destination to enjoy. The imposing vineyards of Lavaux are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland. Between Lausanne and Montreux you will find an educational trail where you can learn interesting facts about the region while hiking. In addition, you have the opportunity to taste the regional products and the local wine directly in the entire area.

During the summer months, the Lavaux Express (a small train on wheels) takes care of tired legs. A sporty alternative is a bike tour with a fantastic view of the lake and as far as the Alps.

Other excursion destinations

  • Chillon Castle: The romantic castle is located directly on the lake and offers cultural exhibitions and events, workshops and a tasting area for regional products.

  • Montreux: The town at the head of Lake Geneva is famous for its annual jazz festival, but the Christmas market on the lake promenade also promises a fairytale atmosphere

  • Maison Cailler and Maison du Gruyères: Two typical Swiss specialties can be discovered just 45 minutes from Lausanne. Start in Gruyère, visit the cheese dairy and walk through the castle to Broc. For the sweet end, visit the Maison Cailler with its countless chocolate variations.

 Lavaux UNESCO Wine Terraces (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme) Lavaux UNESCO Wine Terraces (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)
Navigation (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)Navigation (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)

Swiss Activities Tips for Lausanne

Lausanne City Pass

The City Pass is available for one, two or three days. The pass is valid as an entrance ticket for the given basic offers (e.g. the Olympic Museum or the Cathedral) and can be individually supplemented with further options. The easiest way to purchase the City Pass is online

By bike through the vineyards

A great way to discover the Lavaux region individually is by bike. On the route from Lausanne to Montreux, you will also learn interesting facts about the region and its unique wine terraces. The return journey is possible by train and takes just under 20 minutes. This route is particularly impressive in autumn, when the vines turn yellow and red.

Visit to Bleu Lezard/Cave du Bleu

This "bistro" in the center of Lausanne has become a popular and trendy meeting place. With various offers, the restaurant attracts a wide variety of guests. These include rich Sunday brunch, simple lunch, cozy coffee in the afternoon. In the evening, the Cave du Bleu is a bar and club. The location reflects Lausanne as a lively, trendy, diverse and creative city.

Guided tour of a wine cellar with tasting

In the vineyards around Lausanne there are countless offers. You can learn more about their work from winemakers and taste their wines. You can combine a tasting with a brunch or a gourmet dinner. It all depends on your wishes. A highlight is the "Vaud Wine Cellar Open Days" in June 2022.

Restaurant de l'Hôtel de ville Crissier

You want to indulge in culinary delights in a very special style? This is possible in one of only 3 award-winning 3-star restaurants in Switzerland. In the "Restaurant de l'Hôtel de ville" in Crissier, dinner becomes an experience. Under the direction of chef Franck Giovannini, creative, healthy and seasonal cuisine is offered at the highest level. Reservations in advance are essential. Crissier is located about 8 km outside of Lausanne.

Activities and experiences in Lausanne

The openness, creativity and versatility of the city are reflected in the various leisure activities that you can experience in Lausanne. Especially the water plays a big role - whether in a classic open-air swimming pool, the extensive wellness oasis or during a leisurely get-together at or on Lake Geneva.

Lausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)Lausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)
LauLausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)sanneLauLausanne (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)sanne

Popular activities in Lausanne include:

  • Escape Rooms
  • City tours
  • wellness
  • Swimming and bathing
  • shopping
  • Ice skating

Escape Room Lausanne

Do you like it especially tricky or are you more into an exciting game with a proper creepy factor? Whether with family or friends, in Lausanne you will find a large number of Escape Rooms to choose from, so you are sure to find a suitable puzzle.

The different providers in Lausanne:

  • Evade Game
  • 42nd Street
  • The Key
  • Lasered Lausanne
  • The Door

In our Escape Room Guide you will find additional information about the providers and the special features of each room

City tours in Lausanne

Of course you can discover Lausanne on your own by foot or with the support of the Métro. However, the city offers a wide range of different guided tours on specific themes. Water is your element? Then the guided tour "Around the water" would be the right one for you. Or are you more interested in the culinary beauties of a region? Then discover the city on the tour "Sweet Lausanne".

Other ways to discover the city:

  • Heli Lausanne: Discover the city on a helicopter tour
  • Segway City Tour: Guided discovery of the city by Segway
  • Themed Tours: Guided discovery of exciting themes (Olympic Capital, Lausanne in the open air, Wines of Lausanne)
Lausanne View (Photo: Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)Lausanne View (Photo: Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)
Jetee de la Compagnie (Photo: Lucas Girardet)Jetee de la Compagnie (Photo: Lucas Girardet)

Wellness Lausanne

The canton of Vaud enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of health, wellness and relaxation: in addition to thermal baths and private clinics, many of the hotels have a small wellness area with the usual facilities. However, Lausanne also offers you the opportunity to really pamper yourself in a wellness temple.

Three very special wellness experiences:

  • Lausanne Palace Spa: This SPA scores with state-of-the-art equipment and the elegance of a Roman bath. Various massages, a Moroccan hammam, a weight room, a heated indoor pool with terrace and a beauty salon can be found here. At the Lausanne Palace Spa you can pamper yourself from A to Z

  • Spa Cinq Mondes (Beau-Rivage Palace): Over 1500 square meters offer pure relaxation and coming to rest. Only natural products are used in the treatments. Animal products, silicones and the like are dispensed with. The highlight of the wellness temple is the tree of life in the patio.

  • Spa at the Hotel Royal Savoy: The top modern spa area offers a wide range of relaxation options and cosmetic treatments. The fitness area is accessible 24 hours. Moreover, nothing stands in the way of a relaxing girls' day: At the Royal Savoy there is a zone reserved especially for women

Swimming and bathing in Lausanne

Water plays a major role throughout the city of Lausanne. In addition to the various wellness facilities, there is no shortage of indoor and outdoor pools. The highlight for a refreshing plunge into the cool water or an extensive day of swimming is, of course, Lake Geneva.

Cooling down and relaxation are promised:

  • Mon-Repos indoor swimming pool: The classic version with 25-meter pool, non-swimmer area and paddling pool for the little guests. From time to time, sports events such as the 24-hour swim also take place here.

  • Bellerive-Plage outdoor pool: The outdoor pool is located directly on the shore of Lake Geneva and is the meeting place for locals and guests, especially in summer. Three large pools on a spacious area offer bathing fun for young and old. On peak days, up to 8000 people gather at the outdoor pool

  • Park Louis Bourget and Vidy beach: The park is located at the western end of Lausanne and offers the only natural beach in the city. You can walk along the lake, rent a pedal boat, refresh yourself in the cool lake and have a nice barbecue in the park in the evening. So nothing stands in the way of a perfect summer sunny day.

SPA (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)SPA (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)
Strand de Vidy (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)Strand de Vidy (Photo: Lausanne Tourisme)

Shopping in Lausanne

The city center of Lausanne offers numerous shopping opportunities. From souvenir stores to regional markets to luxury boutiques, there is much to discover in a variety of segments.

Three different shopping experiences:

  • Palud Square: In the center of the square in the middle of the pedestrian zone, you can admire the oldest fountain in the city. Every Saturday morning, a farmer's market is held throughout the square.
  • Flon: The former industrial quarter has undergone a major transformation and is now a popular shopping district with its numerous shops and cozy bistros
  • Rôtillon Quartier: Trendy stores and small boutiques hide in the small alleys of the Rôtillon Quartier. The quarter is one of the oldest in the city and enchants with its colorful houses with a very special charm.
Place de la Palud fontaine (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)Place de la Palud fontaine (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)
Rue de Bourg 7 (Photo: Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)Rue de Bourg 7 (Photo: Laurent Kaczor Lausanne Tourisme)

Ice skating

Ice skating is a popular pastime in Lausanne. This is not surprising, as winter sports can be combined with a cozy get-together over a fondue

Ice skating possibilities in Lausanne:

Montchoisi Ice Rink: Near the Olympic Museum, you will find two large ice fields (60x25m and 65x18m) on this artificial ice rink. You can rent skates on site and warm up in the restaurant/bar overlooking the rink

  • Vaudoise Aréna:** In the Vaudoise Aréna you can watch sports events and work out yourself. There are two ice rinks, one outdoor rink, several swimming pools, a fencing center and a table tennis center
  • La Pontaise: ** The open-air ice rink is especially popular with families with children. It is located near the Olympic Stadium north of the city center

Other activities

Lausanne is a city where you will discover very different activities

  • Stand up Paddle: On the beach of Vidy, for example, there is the possibility to rent a so-called SUP.
  • Skiing in the surroundings: Leysin and Les Paccots are the two closest ski resorts (1 hr 15 and 50 min by public transport / 60 and 30 min by car)
  • (Pedal-)Boating: Especially in the warm summer months the lake offers a large number of water sports. You can rent (with an appropriate pass) a pedal or motor boat or take a ride on water skis or a funtube.
SUP (Photo: MySwitzerland)SUP (Photo: MySwitzerland)
Ice rink du Flon in the city center (Photo: Valdemar Verissimo Lausanne Tourisme)Ice rink du Flon in the city center (Photo: Valdemar Verissimo Lausanne Tourisme)

Events in Lausanne

In the Olympic capital, sporting events take place at regular intervals, of course. But also outside the active sector there is variety all year round.

Recurring events in Lausanne:

  • March: During the Les Printemps de Sévelin festival, various workshops, film screenings and vernissages take place. Visit one of the dance performances and immerse yourself in modern choreographies by regional as well as international artists.

  • March: The Urban Trail Lausanne offers two variants: The classic 18-kilometer route and the more challenging 31-kilometer route. The trail starts at dusk and takes place at night in a very special atmosphere. A good headlamp is therefore an absolute must.

  • April: The cozy Jazz Festival in Cully brings spring to the visitors. The concerts take place in the alleys and vaults of the small town in the middle of the picturesque Lavaux and invite you to enjoy.

  • May: The Panathlon Family Days are all about getting young people interested in new sports. By appointment, 30 different sports can be tried out at the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise

  • June: Discover the excellent wines of the canton of Vaud at the Open Wine Cellar Days. Over 300 wine cellars open their doors and invite you to taste. Travel comfortably by public transport and enjoy the culinary delights

  • July: In July, Lausanne will be the stage of the Tour de France. In line with this event, the city offers complementary offers around the bike and cycling during this period.

  • August: The Athletissima is considered THE sports event in Lausanne and regularly attracts up to 15,000 visitors and sports enthusiasts. The event promises thrilling moments with the Swiss and international athletics stars

  • September: The Triathlon for amateur athletes takes place in the Ouchy district, directly on the lake. Shortened distances or family runs are offered for children and young people.

  • September: At the Equissima international riding and horse enthusiasts as well as top athletes come together for a unique exchange. In addition to classic competitions and demonstrations, there will also be pony rides for children, for example

  • November: The Jazzonze+ Festival takes place in different locations and surprises with a wide range of artists and sometimes free concerts

  • December: During three days under the motto Pintes Ouvertes, the fondue and the pubs are celebrated. This event is organized by GastroVaud and allows you to discover typical regional products in selected gastronomic establishments. A reservation in advance is required.

Festival de la Cité (Photo: Marie Pugin MySwitzerland)Festival de la Cité (Photo: Marie Pugin MySwitzerland)
Illuminarium (Photo: Illuminarium MySwitzerland)Illuminarium (Photo: Illuminarium MySwitzerland)

Getting to Lausanne

Lausanne is located on Lake Geneva in the southwest of Switzerland and close to the French border. The city is easily accessible by car, public transport and even from the international side via the airport in Geneva.

by car

The easiest way to reach Lausanne is from Basel, Zurich, Bern and Geneva via the A1 highway. From the direction of the canton of Valais, the A9 will take you directly to your destination on Lake Geneva.

by public transport

The SBB train station in Lausanne is considered an important transportation hub in Switzerland. The city is therefore very well connected - within the country and even via TGV line to Paris. You can reach the airport in Geneva with a direct connection after a good 50 minute train ride. The Métro lines M1 and M2 can be used comfortably within the city as a very special transport experience.

Hotels in Lausanne

In Lausanne you will definitely find a suitable accommodation. From the modern yet simple youth hostel to the luxurious 5-star wellness oasis, there is something for every occasion

Royal Savoy Lausanne

The impressive and very elegant 5-star hotel is considered a landmark of Lausanne. built in 1909 and completely renovated in the meantime, it tells its guests many a story and captivates with its unique ambience. The other rooms as well as the surrounding park, are made available for seminars, private events and weddings. The "Spa du Royal" invites on 1500 square meters for absolute relaxation.

suitable for travelers with a higher budget, bridal couples, guests who want to be really pampered_

Ibis Lausanne

Located in the city center, you can reach the sights, the train station and Lake Geneva within a few minutes. With this location, it is the ideal starting point to discover the city as well as the entire region. The hotel is modernly furnished and has good facilities

suitable for city travelers, guests with a lower to medium budget, short-stayers_

Lausanne Youth Hostel

The youth hostel is located just outside the city center, but is easily accessible by public transport or car. The simple and plain rooms are complemented by a great outdoor area. The lake and great swimming opportunities can be found in the immediate vicinity at the Vidy beach. The nearby Park Louis Bourget invites you in summer to barbecue and linger until late at night.

suitable for uncomplicated travelers, short stayers, young and young at heart, groups and guests with a lower budget

Christmas (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)Christmas (Photo: Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme)
Night (Photo: Julien Dorol Lausanne Tourisme)Night (Photo: Julien Dorol Lausanne Tourisme)

Restaurants in Lausanne

The canton of Vaud has a high density of highly decorated restaurants, which makes the region particularly popular with gourmets. You'll eat just as well, albeit a bit heartier, at a typical regional inn. There you will find regional specialties such as leek and potato stew, cheese dishes or a Vaudoise saucisson.

Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic

The gourmet restaurant at the Beau-Rivage Palace is one of the most highly decorated, with 2 stars and 18 Gault Millau points. The chef Anne-Sophie Pic stands for French cuisine with Swiss influences and the inclusion of regional products. With 75,000 carefully stored wine bottles, the wine cellar of the Beau-Rivage is considered one of the most important in Europe. The right wine accompaniment to a fabulous feast for the palate is therefore definitely provided.

Suitable for gourmets, connoisseurs, culinary enthusiasts with a higher budget

Le Chalet Suisse

As the name suggests, the restaurant serves classic Swiss cuisine. Beautifully situated just above the city, the terrace in particular offers a wonderful view over Lausanne, the lake, all the way to the mountains in the warmer months. On the other hand, the rustic furnished interior promises a cozy get-together in the cooler season. In the immediate neighborhood you can visit the Fondation de l'Hermitage and stroll through the park

Suitable for guests in the middle price range. It has a great view, cozy ambience and classic Swiss cuisine

Le Spot

This takeaway creates the trendy original Hawaiian dish "Poké Bowl" with Swiss influences and products. Vegetarian options are always offered. You can take the bowls with you and enjoy them comfortably by the lake or another place of your choice.

Suitable for Take Away, the light and healthy food that you can enjoy individually at the most beautiful places in the city

Lausanne is a cosmopolitan and internationally mixed city. Besides a cozy old town and a relaxing Lake Geneva, you will find good educational opportunities and sports activities.

Photo rights large photo

  • Régis Colombo Lausanne Tourisme

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