15 Best Things To Do In Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland is a beautiful city full of culture and lots of popular things to see. Whether you visit Lausanne for the weekend or just passing through for a day, there are plenty of amazing sights and Lausanne attractions to keep you entertained. From gastronomy and sightseeing to outdoor activities and nightlife, this guide will give you some insights into the best things to do in Lausanne.

1. Lausanne Cathedral

Lausanne Cathedral

Lausanne Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre Dame of Lausanne) is one of the most iconic religious buildings in Switzerland. Situated in the city of Lausanne, it stands atop a hill overlooking Lake Geneva and serves as a landmark within the city. The gothic cathedral was built between 1170 and 1250, making it one of the oldest churches in Switzerland.

It has a Gothic style design with two towers on either side connected by an archway. The exterior walls are made from sandstone blocks that have been carefully carved to give them texture and character; while the interior features ornate decorations with fine artwork adorning its ceilings.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame is home to several relics including fragments of cloth said to be from Jesus’s robe and other items associated with Christian saints such as St. Francis de Sales, who was bishop of Lausanne from 1602-1622.

Contact:

Address: Pl. de la Cathédrale 1, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 316 71 60

2. Collection de l'Art Brut

Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne

Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne is a museum dedicated to showcasing, researching and protecting the artwork of art brut - which literally translates to “raw art”. This kind of artwork is often created by self-taught artists without any formal training. Art brut first emerged in the 1940s originating from French painter Jean Dubuffet and this museum was opened by him in 1976 as part of his Foundation for Art Brut.

Its unique exhibits feature a wide variety of artwork such as drawings and paintings but also includes sculptures, installations and objects made from both conventional materials like paper and fabric, or unusual ones like stones, branches or feathers.

This museum focuses on works that are imaginative, creative and express nonconformist views which extend beyond traditional artistic expressions.

Contact:

Address: Av. Bergières 11, 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 315 25 70

3. Olympic Museum

Olympic Museum

The Olympic Museum is one of the world's premier attractions in Lausanne for athletics history and inspiration. This sprawling destination hosts a variety of exhibitions and interactive experiences related to the Olympic Games. The entire complex covers over 4,000 square meters, split into two buildings at the shore of Lake Geneva overlooking the Alps.

Visitors from around the world come to explore incredible collections documenting more than a century of sports history. On display are thousands of medals won by famous athletes as well as various artifacts that tell stories about memorable moments in sports.

There are also videos, photographs, art installations and interactive displays which allow guests to truly immerse themselves in Olympic history. Additionally, each year special exhibitions are held focusing on particular Olympics or sport activities throughout history.

Contact:

Address: Quai d'Ouchy 1, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 621 65 11

4. Ouchy Promenade

Ouchy Promenade

The Ouchy Promenade, located in the Swiss city of Lausanne, is a beautiful and scenic avenue stretching along the east side of Lake Geneva. It has been a popular tourist attraction for many years, due to its amazing views of the lake and surrounding area. The promenade is lined with lush gardens and trees that provide ample shade during hot summer days. Visitors can enjoy walking along the boardwalk or take a leisurely boat cruise ride around the lake. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore while taking in all that nature has to offer.

The Ouchy Promenade also hosts several special events throughout the year, such as outdoor concerts and art festivals. Local artists line up their wares on display featuring unique crafts from all over Switzerland as well as other European countries.

5. Musée de l'Élysée

Musée de l'Élysée

Musée de l'Élysée is one of Europe's best places to visit for any photography enthusiast. Located just minutes from the center of Lausanne, this museum offers a wide range of exhibits and activities for guests to explore. The permanent exhibition showcases the most iconic images from the world’s greatest photographers, including some from Lausanne itself.

Travelers can also browse through special exhibitions that feature a variety of topics such as fashion photography or children's portraits. It's a great opportunity to not only view some classic photographs but also learn more about how they were taken and their importance in art history.

In addition to the exhibits, the Musée de l'Élysée also offers workshops and educational programs so visitors can gain deeper insight into photography.

Contact:

Address: Pl. de la Gare 17, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 318 44 00

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6. Place de la Palud

Place de la Palud

One of the best places to see is Place de la Palud, a stunning public square located in the center of Lausanne, Switzerland. It is known to be one of the prettiest squares in all of Europe. This square is often used as a meeting spot and provides a tranquil atmosphere in which residents and visitors can get to know each other.

The Place de la Palud may be most known for its breathtaking fountain that appears to be made of white marble and bronze. The fountain was built by an Italian sculptor named Giambologna during the 16th century. The rectangular shape of the pool around it symbolizes the end of religious wars between Catholics and Protestants from that era. Additionally, surrounding the pool there are three marble statues each representing one element: air, water, and fire; all elements essential for human life.

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7. Esplanade de Montbenon

Esplanade de Montbenon park in Lausanne

Esplanade de Montbenon is an expansive urban park located in the heart of the city. It offers a wide range of recreational activities for people of all ages to enjoy. The esplanade is situated beside Lake Geneva and it provides the best views of the lake and the Alps.

The Esplanade de Montbenon consists of several green spaces with benches and paths winding through them, making it an ideal spot to take a leisurely stroll or spend time reading while taking in the beautiful scenery. There are also plenty of outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts, football fields, beach volleyball areas and other amenities that offer great opportunities for sporty individuals or families looking to have some fun outdoors together.

Contact:

Address: All. Ernest-Ansermet 3, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 315 57 15

8. Sauvabelin Tower

Sauvabelin Tower

Sauvabelin Tower is a prominent landmark situated in the city's largest park, it provides a breathtaking bird's eye view of the Lake Geneva region. Built in 1889 and renovated in 1894, Sauvabelin Tower stands at a height of 35 meters and is made up of four levels that offer views of the surrounding area. The first level is reached by climbing 164 steps up the main staircase. At this point visitors are greeted with an observation deck offering panoramic views of Lausanne and its surroundings; as far as France on one side and the Jura Mountains on the other.

On the second level there is another outdoor terrace where you can enjoy refreshments while admiring 360 degree views of Lake Geneva and its majestic Swiss Alpine backdrop.

9. Fondation de l'Hermitage

Fondation de l'Hermitage museum

The Fondation de l'Hermitage museum in Lausanne is a unique place for art lovers. Located in the city center, this museum is home to some of the most impressive works from international artists. Its stunning collection includes over 6,000 objects spanning from antiquity to modernity and covers a wide range of disciplines such as painting, sculpture, graphic arts and photography.

Visitors can admire several masterpieces from renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, Klee and Modigliani among others. The museum also hosts major exhibitions throughout the year focusing on different themes each time. What’s more, there are various educational programs designed to help discover art in an interactive way as well as guided tours that provide interesting facts about every piece on display.

Contact:

Address: Rte du Signal 2, 1018 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 320 50 01

10. Parc de Mon Repos

Parc de Mon Repos

Parc de Mon Repos is an expansive public park that was established in 1884 and has since become a popular place in Lausanne for its scenic views and wide range of activities. It covers over 29 hectares of land, making it one of the largest parks in Switzerland.

The top attraction at Parc de Mon Repos is its picturesque landscape. Visitors can take leisurely strolls along well-manicured paths that wind around luscious green lawns, colorful flower gardens, and tranquil ponds with small fountains.

There are also numerous benches throughout the park so tourists can enjoy the views while relaxing outdoors. Additionally, there are several areas with fun things to do, such as playgrounds for children, tennis courts for sports enthusiasts, and a large outdoor pool for swimming during the summer months.

Contact:

Address: Av. Mon-Repos, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 315 57 15

Best Flights To Lausanne

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Lausanne. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Lausanne.

11. Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC)

Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts

The Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts is a world-renowned institution that celebrates modern design through its vast collection of objects. Started in the early 2000s, the museum has quickly become known as one of the leading institutions for contemporary design. It houses a diverse range of objects from furniture to jewelry, sculpture to fashion, often featuring pieces from local emerging artists.

The museum is renowned for its innovative exhibitions, which explore concepts such as sustainability and reuse through various mediums. Visitors can explore works by some of the world's most influential designers, as well as cutting edge designs created by young up-and-coming creatives. The exhibitions are thoughtfully curated to offer detailed insight into the creative process behind each piece while also presenting an exciting visual experience.

Contact:

Address: Pl. de la Gare 17, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 318 44 00

12. Palais de Rumine

Palais de Rumine

Palais de Rumine is a historical building situated in Lausanne. It was built between 1902 and 1908 by the architect Charles-Edouard Lance in Neoclassical style. The building houses several museums and galleries which together form the cultural center of the city. The exterior of Palais de Rumine features impressive Corinthian columns and bas-relief sculptures that represent allegorical figures such as Justice, Strength, Wisdom and Learning; making it one of the most beautiful buildings in Switzerland.

The Palais' interior consists of nine different salons which are lavishly decorated with marble fireplaces, gilded coffers and Tiffany stained glass windows. One can also admire many works of art from various schools including Gothic paintings from Italy and Flanders, Baroque carpets from Turkey or Dutch tapestry from the 16th century.

Contact:

Address: Pl. de la Riponne 6, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 316 33 10

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13. Escaliers du Marché

Escaliers du Marché in Lausanne

The grandeur of the Escaliers du Marché in Lausanne is something that must be seen to be believed. Spanning almost 70 meters and leading from Place Saint-François to Rue de Bourg, these stairs are a breathtakingly beautiful sight. Carved from warm yellow sandstone, each step has its own unique pattern and character; it's no surprise that this location is considered one of the most beautiful landmarks in the city!

Known for centuries as a key transportation route between two different parts of Lausanne's old town, the Escaliers du March have been popular with locals since at least 1650. The stairs were originally built as part of an expansion project to make it easier for locals to move around their city. Today, visitors from all over come to marvel at the stunning architecture and admire its historic significance.

14. Rolex Learning Center

Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne

The Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne is an inspiring place to visit during your stay in Lausanne. Constructed by the renowned architects SANAA, it is considered a landmark example of modern design. Located on the campus of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, it is a vibrant center for learning and exploration.

Its open design allows visitors to explore its many facilities and resources, from the 1500-seat auditorium to the large library with more than 10,000 books. The building itself is a marvel of modern architecture with its curved walls and bright colors that create an inviting atmosphere.

The center offers numerous programs and activities for all ages, including lectures, exhibitions, workshops and conferences. Visitors can also take advantage of its digital media lab, video recording studio and 3D printer. There are plenty of opportunities to explore new technologies used in research or educational endeavors as well as participate in interactive projects related to science and engineering topics.

Contact:

Address: Rte Cantonale, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 693 11 11

15. Chateau De Chillon

Château De Chillon

If you want to go on a day trip while In Lausanne, Château De Chillon is a majestic French Renaissance castle located in the canton of Vaud and definitely worth a visit. Built in 1559 by Jacques de Salenton, this castle has been owned and maintained by several noble families since its conception. The structure of the castle consists of four wings that form an inner courtyard with tall towers and a drawbridge. Its exterior walls are made from large blocks of stone, which have remained unaltered for more than four centuries.

The interior of the chateau is breathtaking; it features painted ceilings, wall frescoes and grand antique fireplaces that provide a glimpse into the past. Visitors to Chateau De Chilon can explore multiple rooms such as the drawing room, library and chapel which retain their original décor from when it was first built in 1559.

Contact:

Address: Av. de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland

Phone: +41 21 966 89 10

Best Flights To Lausanne

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Lausanne. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Lausanne.

FAQ

Q: Is it worth visiting Lausanne?

A: Lausanne offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that make it a worthwhile destination. One of the main highlights of Lausanne is its rich history. The city's Gothic cathedral stands proudly in the heart of Old Town and provides visitors with a glimpse into Lausanne's past. Meanwhile, exploring the narrow streets lined with medieval buildings allows you to immerse yourself in centuries-old architecture and soak up the ambiance of this enchanting area.

Q: What is Lausanne known for?

A: One of Lausanne’s most famous landmarks is the Olympic Museum, which pays tribute to the city's close association with sports. As the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Lausanne has been hosting this prestigious institution since 1915. The museum not only displays an impressive collection of Olympic artifacts but also provides interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it feels like to compete at the highest level.

Q: Is Lausanne an expensive city?

A: In terms of accommodation, Lausanne offers a range of options to suit various budgets. From luxury hotels with stunning lake views to budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses, there are choices available for all travelers. However, it's important to note that prices can be high compared to other cities in Europe. On average, a night in a mid-range hotel in Lausanne can cost around $150-200 USD.

When it comes to dining out and entertainment, expect similar pricing patterns. Dining at restaurants in Lausanne can be quite costly compared to other European cities.

Q: Are people in Lausanne friendly?

A: The answer is a resounding yes! Lausanne is home to some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. One of the reasons why people in Lausanne are so friendly is their genuine love for their city. Residents take great pride in their community and are eager to share its beauty with visitors. Whether you're lost and need directions or looking for recommendations on where to eat, locals are always willing to lend a helping hand. Their knowledge of the city is unparalleled, making them excellent guides for tourists looking to explore all that Lausanne has to offer.

Q: Does Lausanne have a good nightlife?

A: Lausanne boasts a bustling and diverse nightlife that caters to all tastes and preferences. From trendy bars and clubs to cozy pubs and live music venues, Lausanne has it all. The city's Flon district is particularly renowned for its lively atmosphere after dark. Here, you can find an array of hip bars and nightclubs where both locals and tourists gather to dance the night away.

Q: Can you swim in the lake in Lausanne?

A: The answer is an unequivocal yes! With its crystal-clear waters and well-maintained beaches, Lake Geneva provides an ideal setting for swimmers seeking a refreshing dip. The city boasts several designated swimming areas along the shores of Lake Geneva which are carefully monitored by lifeguards during the summer months. Ouchy Beach, situated at the heart of Lausanne's waterfront district, is undoubtedly one of the most popular spots for swimming. This sandy beach provides direct access to the lake's calm waters and also features amenities like showers, changing rooms, and restaurants nearby.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO LAUSANNE

Book Your Hotel In Lausanne

You can book your hotel in Lausanne with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Lausanne

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Lausanne. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Lausanne?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Lausanne here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Lausanne?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Lausanne, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Lausanne.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Lausanne without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Lausanne. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Switzerland:

Be sure to visit our Switzerland Travel Guide for even more planning tips.

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