When you think of Switzerland, you probably think of the Alps, skiing, cheese, and chocolate. You will probably also think of the most famous sights and cities, such as Zürich and The Matterhorn. You may even think of Lake Geneva, but have you ever heard of the incredible Olympic Capital, Lausanne? Lausanne is a beautiful, unique Swiss city situated right on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Lausanne is most famously known as the headquarters of the Olympics. Some of the best things to do in Lausanne include learning about the history of the Olympics, indulging in Swiss wines, chocolates, and cheeses, and taking in the city’s stunning scenery. Lausanne is for all of my food and mountain lovers, outdoor adventure people, and art and culture lovers. I was astonished at how great the food options in Lausanne were! The city has its own street food festival, a farmer’s market, and a variety of fantastic restaurants, chocolatiers, wine shops, and gourmet shops.
You will also fall head over heels for Lausanne if you love fantastic scenery. In the end, Lausanne is all about Lake Geneva and its stunning scenery. The city offers many activities by the lake. Some activities include paddle boating, eco-cruising, dining at lakeside restaurants and bars, or simply going for a beautiful walk along the lake.
In the magical month of December, I was kindly invited on a Press Trip to Lausanne by The Lausanner. In this blog post, I will go through all the top things to do in Lausanne, everything we got up to, and what I thought of each attraction! Let’s start by first figuring out the essential information; how to get around Lausanne and where to stay in Lausanne.
How to get around Lausanne
One of the best things about Lausanne is its accessibility. If you stay at any hotel in Lausanne, you will get the Lausanne Transport Card included in your stay. This means you can travel anywhere around Lausanne free of charge. It makes it easy and convenient for you to see the most in Lausanne. If you are not staying at a hotel, you can purchase a Lausanne Pass online, or at the Tourist Board at The Lausanner in the city’s central station. If you are looking for a Lausanne travel guide, you will also be able to find one at The Lausanner.
Where to stay in Lausanne
There are many unique places to stay in Lausanne. While some are right on the shores of Lake Geneva, others are in the center of the city, next to all the chocolate and cheese shops! Where you want to stay depends on your trip’s goal. If you are like me and want to be close to all the fantastic cafés, restaurants and chocolatiers, I recommend staying in the city’s center.
I stayed in the fantastic Hotel des Voyageurs, which The Lausanner kindly gifted. The hotel is modern, clean, and a very comfortable, convenient stay for any traveller. They offer breakfast each morning, which has a variety of different food and drink options. If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, such as being a vegetarian or vegan, you can inform them ahead of time, and they will gladly help you. The hotel is situated right in the city’s center, a 10-minute walk from one of the best chocolatiers in Lausanne, Noz Chocolatier. If you want to be close to everything yet have a quiet and beautiful stay, consider staying at Hotel des Voyageurs.
Now that we have that covered, let’s start exploring the city!
Are you ready to start exploring? This is your Lausanne travel guide with some of the top places to see and explore!
The best things to do in Lausanne
1. Visit The Olympic Museum
When looking at things to do in a Lausanne travel guide, one you will stumble upon more than once is The Olympic Museum. The Olympic Museum first opened in 1993 and is the world’s largest archive of the Olympics. The museum is one of the world’s most exciting and interactive museums. It is filled with interactive exhibits, such as competitive games, making it a great, memorable experience for adults and kids. I was still determining what to expect when I first entered the Olympic Museum, but one thing is for sure, I was positively surprised.
I loved visiting and learning about the history of the Olympics. It does not matter whether you are a fan of the Olympics or not. The Olympic Museum is exceptionally well-executed, interactive, and touching. It is one of the best things to do in Lausanne for anyone visiting!
Admission Fee: 20 CHF
2. Explore the art museums at Plateforme 10
Just a short walk from the central station, you will find Plateforme 10, the new art district of Lausanne. Platforme 10 arose on a former railway locomotive repair shed. With a single admission ticket, you will get access to all of the different museums and exhibitions at Platforme 10. They are all located close together, and they take you on a journey through the disciplines of fine arts, photography, and design. At the moment, a few exhibitions are A Chair and You, After Nature, #Ukraine, and 60 Species of Photographic Spaces.
Platforme 10 also has a variety of food options for everyone. There are restaurants, cafés, and arcades, all conveniently located at Platforme 10, so you can enjoy your break right next to the art. Plateforme 10 is one of the top things to do in Lausanne, especially for my art lovers. I recommend visiting Platforme 10 for a unique experience and special art exhibitions.
Admission Fee: 25 CHF
3. Wander through the Old Town
The Old Town of Lausanne is filled with all the best things to do in Lausanne, including unique shops, restaurants, cafés, and attractions such as the Lausanne Cathedral. The Old Town is the perfect place to start your explorations of Lausanne. You can wander around the Old Town and stumble upon some of the most famous spots in Lausanne.
A few sites I recommend checking out in the Old Town are:
- Place de la Plaud: the most incredible and beautiful restaurants
- Escaliers du Marché: the iconic Lausanne photo spot!
- Lausanne Cathedral
4. Go for a wine tasting at Domaine Croix Duplex
One of the best things to do in Lausanne is to taste it! And one of the best ways to start your tasting journey is to go for a wine tasting. I had the incredible opportunity of tasting the delicious wines from Domaine Croix Duplex. From the lovely staff to the fantastic views and their delicious wine, I know you will fall in love with Domaine Croix Duplex just like I did. Their wines are some of the most delicious I have ever tasted, so much so that I ended up going away with not one but two bottles! If you are a wine lover, you must add this place to your Lausanne bucket list.
Wine Tasting Price: 20 CHF per person, including 4 wine tastings
5. Visit the amazing cafés and restaurants
Next on the list of taste tours is food! One of the best things to do in Lausanne, which you will also find at the top of every Lausanne travel guide, is to explore the food scene in Lausanne. You could spend an entire trip in Lausanne just exploring its many cafés and restaurants. Inside the cafés and restaurants, you will find a running theme of dark wooden interiors and warm fireplaces.
It is a perfect destination for those who love a cozy atmosphere and a Swiss winter interior aesthetic.
When I went, I visited a few of the fantastic restaurants and cafés in Lausanne.
A few of my favourites were:
- Le Nabi (Address: Place de la gare 16, Plateforme 10, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland):
The most delicious lunch spot right at Platforme 10! Perfect spot to have a lunch break while exploring the art museums.
- La Brasserie de Montbenon (Address: All. Ernest-Ansermet 3, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland):
The most delicious green curry I ever had. Beautiful interior and a lovely view of Lake Geneva.
- Loxton (Address: Pont 22, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland):
The perfect Brunch spot in Lausanne!
- Royal Savoy Rooftop (Address: Av. d’Ouchy 40, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland):
If you want a delicious meal with a gorgeous view, then this is the place you should go!
- Café Madeleine (Address: Rue Madeleine 3, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland).
6. Indulge in the city markets
The city market is where you will find all the locals of Lausanne, and as a tourist, it is one of the top things to do in Lausanne. Every Wednesday and Saturday morning at Place de la Riponne to the Place Saint-François, the town market sets out its stalls. The stalls are filled with everything delicious you could ever imagine. You will discover a variety of baked goods, grocery products, meats, cheeses, vegetables, plants, and flowers. Alongside the market, you will find Palais de Rumine. At Palais de Rumine, flea markets have various second-hand items such as books, antiques, textiles, and more.
Address: Place de la Riponne et alentours, 1005 Lausanne
7. Get a Panoramic view of the city
One of the top things to do in Lausanne is to enjoy the stunning views. If you want to see the city’s best views, I recommend going on the Panoramic Stroll. I went on this excellent walk on a cloudy day, so it was hard to see the otherwise incredible views of the city. However, if you go on a clear morning or day, you will get stunning 360° views of the city. If you want the best views possible, you should head up to the Sauvabelin Tower to get the whole experience and a 360° view of the city. While you talk on a wide tarred forest pathway, you will stumble upon many notable sites in Lausanne.
A few of them are:
- Sauvabelin Tower: Great lookout spot.
- At the Signal de Sauvabelin: Another great lookout spot.
- Hermitage Park
- On the St. Maire Castle Esplanade
- Lausanne Cathedral
- From the Flon Footbridge
- Montbenon Esplanade
8. Taste the Swiss Cheese and Chocolate
On every single Lausanne Travel guide, you will find cheese and chocolate shops listed. It is one of the best things to do in Lausanne, and you cannot come to Switzerland without trying authentic Swiss cheese and chocolate! So if you came to Switzerland with the intent of doing a lot of tasting tours of the fantastic cheese and chocolate, you are in luck! Lausanne is filled with excellent cheese shops and delicious chocolatiers. The streets of Lausanne are brimming with shops like these, so it should be no problem to find places to taste test. If you are as much of a food lover as me, you need to spend a day just exploring the food scene in Lausanne!
Here are a few of the best places to taste Swiss Chocolate and Cheese:
- Noz Chocolatier (Address: Rue Marterey 11, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Manuel (Address: Rue de Bourg 28, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Nessi (Address: Av. du Temple 65, 1012 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Maison Buet (Address: Rue Grand-Saint-Jean 6, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Blondel (Address: Rue de Bourg 5, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Macheret Fromage (Address: Rue Pré-du-Marché 3, 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Au Paradis du Fromage (Address: Rue du Simplon 25, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland)
9. Stroll along the Ouchy Promenade and see Lake Geneva
As previously mentioned, one of the top things to do in Lausanne is to enjoy all the incredible views. One of the best ones to find is at Ouchy Promenade. If you love idyllic scenery and beautiful lakefronts, you must stroll along the Ouchy Promenade.
The lake’s immensity and calmness, the mountainous backdrop, and the soothing greenery from the parks are all excellent reasons why you need to take the time for a walk here. You will also stumble upon boats and charming Swiss buildings and cafés. So should you get tired, there are plenty of options for a coffee stop with a view.
So there you have it: the best things to do in Lausanne! I hope this blog has inspired you to book a winter trip!
What are your favourite things to do in Lausanne?
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