Top 6 Things to do in Lausanne, Switzerland!


We had never really considered Lausanne to be one of the true gems of Switzerland, like we believed Bern, Geneva, and Lucerne were; that was until we visited it!  We chose to stay in Lausanne for one week of our three in Switzerland because it was the best location to other cities at the best price (it is perfectly located only a few hours train from most Swiss cities).  We had no real desire to see the city and planned on spending most of our time journeying out of the city during our stay.  When we arrived, its beauty blew us away and now it is right up there with our favourite Swiss towns.  If you happen to be making your way to Switzerland, we highly recommend you make Lausanne one of your stops along the way!  Here are 6 things you can do in or from Lausanne to get the most out of your stay.

6. Hang out at Rue du Grand-Pont  

Lausanne, Switzerland - Rue Du Grand-Pont

This is the main street through the city, however there is a nice square located around the Flon metro station (which has a living roof).  There are many trendy restaurants and bars under the Rue du Grand-Pont and surrounding the square.

5. Explore Cathedral Notre Dame 

Lausanne, Switzerland - Notre Dame Cathedral

The largest cathedral in Switzerland, this gothic style cathedral was consecrated in the 13th century.  In the 15th century, Protestants removed most of the decorations.  Make sure to enter the cathedral to see the rose window, which is the only remaining original piece of the church.  In the 19th century, work began to restore the original decorations in the cathedral.  Take note of the amazing organ that cost 4 million CHF to make.  The cathedral is the only one that still has a watchman who climbs the tower and yells the time every hour from 10pm – 2am.  Across from the cathedral’s main entrance, there is an unmatched view of the city, the waterfront, Lake Geneva, and on a clear day, the French Alps.

4. Check out Ouchy 

Lausanne, Switzerland - Ouchy Lakeview

Ouchy is the name given to Lausanne’s peaceful lakefront.  It is easily accessed by metro from upper Lausanne.  There are many interesting features to see here including the hotel, Le Chateau d’Ouchy, which was designed to look like a medieval castle, the waterfront park and many charming cafes (we recommend Café du Vieil-Ouchy).  Also, check out the interactive weathervane directly across from the metro station towards the waterfront.

3. Cruise to the Chateau de Chillon 

Lausanne, Switzerland - Chateau de Chillon

Hop on a 100 year old paddle-wheeler and cruise from Lausanne to a medieval castle, Chateau de Chillon, located on a rocky outcropping on Lake Geneva.  The cruise itself is an enjoyable trip when the weather is pleasant.  We would recommend getting a first-class seat if possible, as the seats are much more comfortable and the view is better.  The castle is in a beautiful location and great location for defence as it was surrounded by water.  The inside is nice with an inner courtyard and many rooms throughout.  Don’t miss the latrine, as it is quite the thoughtful plan (although I would think a little cold on the bottom).

2. Take the Golden Pass Train 

Lausanne, Switzerland - Golden Pass Train

 Lausanne, Switzerland - Golden Pass Train front view

The train actually leaves from a town very near Lausanne, called Montreux.  The train travels between Montreux and Interlaken.  The train takes a very scenic path between the cities through the Alps.  Along the path you will get to see chalets, ski resorts, and farms all the way up the hills.  The best section is between Montreux and Zweisimmen.  For the most romantic experience, book front row seats ahead of time in the panoramic train (extra fee).  The train was designed so that the engineer sits in a section above the general sitting area, leaving the front of the train for passengers.  These seats provide a complete 180° view of the Swiss countryside.  The experience is well worth the extra money to reserve these seats and is perfect for loving couples traveling together.

1. Visit The Olympic Museum

 Lausanne, Switzerland - Olympic Museum

Ok, we might be a bit biased here because we are huge Olympic Games fans, but here is our number one…Located on the edge of Lake Geneva just a short walk from Ouchy (Lausanne’s lakefront area), the Olympic Museum covers the history of the modern Olympic Games.  This location was chosen because it is where the offices of the IOC are located.  Outside the Museum you will find a nice garden area that contains many neat artifacts related to Olympics or Olympic host cities.  At the top of the garden is a set of poles that list all the host cities of the summer and winter Olympics in the modern era and the Olympic Flame that continually burns.  Inside the building there are exhibits that go through a history of the host cities and their details (the torch, etc.) and the history and evolution (of the equipment) of many of the sports that are an integral part of the games. There is also a 3-D movie about the Olympics (we missed it, as the video was not working when we were there) and a video library of different events from previous Olympic Games.  Last, there is an interactive exhibit where you can try your hand at different skills needed to compete in certain events.

We realize that not everything on the list is directly in the city, but they are a short distance from Lausanne and it is the best home base in the area to get to these sights.  Well, we hope we have opened your eyes to the possibility of stopping in Lausanne on your trip.  To find out more visit our travel guide.

What are your favourite things to do in Lausanne? or  What is your favourite Swiss city/town?


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One Response to Top 6 Things to do in Lausanne, Switzerland!

  1. Pingback: Top 6 things to check out in Bern | Travels4Couples

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