Lausanne- Best 10 Things to Do

Lausanne is the second largest city on lake Geneva and the 4th biggest city in Switzerland! It is also known as the Olympic Capital. It’s a place with crazily beautiful lake views, lots of events and a stunning medieval town.

The city has a 28-station metro system, making it the smallest city in the world to have a rapid transit system. Lausanne is known to be a very lively city due to the amount of students that come to study here. Also, Its a great place for wine lovers as its hills are covered with plenty of breathtaking vineyards overviewing to the famous Lake Geneva.

Lausanne is perfect in any season due to the great amount of sightseeing and activities you can do here.

Must See Places:

1. Top of the Cathedral and the wooden Staircase

The first MUST visit place in Lausanne is the cathedral dating back to 1170. The beautiful cathedral is Switzerland’s most impressive piece of Gothic architecture.

But the real reason that you need to go there is because you can climb all the way to the top of the tower and enjoy crazy panoramic views to the city, the lake and the mountains!

Also, on your way, do not miss the famous “Escaliers du Marché staircase”. The stunning wooden staircase with colorful buildings around it. You can also find there a nice terrace for picnic and chill.

Entrance to the Cathedral: FREE.

Top of the tower: 5CHF for adults and 2CHF for children.

2. The beautiful Old Town

The Old Town of Lausanne has a lot of charming cobblestoned narrow streets. Where you can find plenty of stores and restaurants. One of the well known squares is “Place de la Palud”, with Lausanne’s’ oldest fountain: The Fountain of Justice.

Behind the fountain you can find The Talking Clock. Every hour historic figures walk out and a voice tells stories about the history of Lausanne. every hour between 9 am to 7 pm.

3. Promenade Quais d’Ouchy

On the shore of Lake Geneva you can enjoy one of the locals’ favorite places: Ouchy. With a relaxed promenade by the lake, feathering 3 different gardens the Denantou, the Elysée, a little further back, and the Olympic Park.

You can find as well kids playground and the Thai Pavilion– a gift from the king of Thailand to Lausanne.

You can also enjoy water activities in the area and swim in the lake on a warm day.

5. The Olympic Museum

Lausanne has been the home of the International Olympic Committee for a 100 years. Which makes it only logical to have the Olympic Museum here. There are three floors presenting the origin of the games, the competitions and the athletic spirit through over 150 screens and 1500 objects: The Olympic torches and medals of all The Olympic games, as well as the equipment of the most famous athletes.

On top of the museums you can find the “TOM Café”- offering one of the most beautiful views in Lausanne. 

Price: Adult- 20 CHF, Child- FREE.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

6. Aquatis Aquarium

Lausanne’s great aquarium “Aquatis” will take you on a journey across five continents to discover the main freshwater ecosystems! It is also the largest fresh water aquarium and vivarium in Europe. This activity is perfect for both kids and adults and suitable as well for rainy days.

Prices: Adult 29 CHF, Child 19 CHF.

Tip: if you book online you can choose to come one hour before closure and pay only 10 CHF.

7. The Sauvabelin Tower

Located in the hills on the outskirts of Lausanne and offering incredible views over Lausanne and the lake. The Sauvabelin Tower is 35 meter tall and it has 151 steps! Visiting the tower is FREE of charge and the closest metro station is Sallaz. You can also visit Parc de l’Hermitage since it’s pretty close to the tower.

8. Visit some of the many parks

Lausanne has plenty of parks, like the Promenade Derrière-Bourg, Mon-Repos, Monbenon or the Botanical Garden, Denantou Park or Elysée museum and park. There is even a park that features storytelling and legends! This park is called “Parc de la Légende”.

You can simply grab a couple of delicious local products and enjoy a picnic in one of the many options on a good day.

9. Go Wine Tasting!

Lausanne is surrounded by an immense amount of stunning wine slopes with wonderful views. You can visit one of the many traditional cellars in the area and enjoy the Swiss wine.

Some recommended cellars: Les Frères Dubois, Domaine Croix Duplex, Domaine Potterat.

10. Cruising On The Lake

There are many cruising activities you can do from Lausanne. You can cruise to Geneva and other towns on the lake, You can even cruise to France- to the medieval town of Yvoire and also to Evian Les Bains.

But one of my favorite cruises ever is cruising to the Castle of Chillon. Combining the cruise with a visit at one of the most beautiful Swiss attractions is an absolute must!

Tip for your stay:

If you’re staying in one of the hotels or hostels you’re entitled to get “The Lausanne Transport Card”- which is a guest card that allows you to travel freely in the area. The card also gives you discounts on a good variety of attractions like The top of the cathedral, Aquatis, cruising to Evian, the Olympic Museum and more! Find about the benefits here.

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