Lausanne city is beautifully nestled at the steep shores of wonderful Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The city is also well known as the World’s Olympic Capital. Lausanne also represents a world-class Olympic Museum and both the International Olympic Committee, and the Court of Arbitration for Sports are located here. Besides being a wonderful sports venue, Lausanne is full of historical buildings, tourist attractions, activities around the lake and picturesque spots.
There are stunning views from all across the streets of Lausanne where you will be walking with the sight of Lake Geneva and the Swiss mountains. Lausanne is the second largest city on the shores of Lake Geneva with superb commercial areas but still you feel like you are in a resort town. The beautiful city is surrounded by slopes that are covered with vineyards on hills. This makes Lausanne one of the most picturesque cities of Switzerland. The car free Old Town, small alleyways, the medieval city center, beautiful parks, and lovely boutiques in the streets are going to mesmerize you during your visit.
16 Incredible Things to do in Lausanne Switzerland
Visit Lausanne Cathedral in Lausanne Switzerland
The cathedral of Lausanne was built in the 13th century and went through a massive restoration process in 1870 by the French master architect Viollet-le-Duc. This cathedral was his last big project before he passed away. The attractions in the cathedral include a sandstone image of the Virgin and Child in the Narthex and the sculptures from the 13th century on the southern portal. There is a beautiful rose window which was built in the 13th century and is always admired by the visitors.
Collection de l’Art Brut
The Collection de l’art Brut is located in the 18th century outbuildings of Château de Beaulieu. Jean Dubuffet gathered most of these works as he was the founder of this collection movement. The collection includes a huge variety of art from all sorts of background. Pieces of folk art, drawings by children and paintings by patients who were admitted in the psychiatric hospitals. These art pieces are therefore regarded with respect and considered authentic because their artists did not create them for any personal gains. You can see a display of the artist’s biography with each piece of art.
Olympic Museum in Lausanne Switzerland
Olympic museum is one of the must visit places in Lausanne because of the fact that the city is called the World’s Olympic Capital. The museum is a great venue to dive into the information about the world’s greatest sports events. The museum is located on top of the Olympic park with a beautiful view over the Lake Geneva. The museum displays permanent exhibition on three of its floors and each floor shows you a different perspective of the famous Olympic games.
The ground floor displays historical information about the games since the ancient times and how they got restructured in the 19th century. You can also enjoy the interactive games on the top floor where you can test your Olympian skills.
Ouchy Promenade in Lausanne Switzerland
Ouchy Promenade is one of the most romantic walkways along with the Lake Geneva. The walkway is around 1 kilometer long, but it is one of the best experiences while in Lausanne. You will see many couples and families gently strolling and savoring on the delightful views of the surroundings. The nearby port is one of the busiest ports on the Lake Geneva and the Place de la Navigation is famous for hosting musical concerts and weekend markets. The hotels and cafes with prime locations on the lake front invite the visitors with a variety of dishes and offer a luxury relaxation environment.
Musée de l’Élysée
Musée de l’Élysée is one of the best photography museums in Europe located in Lausanne in a historic 18th century mansion along the beautiful lake. The museum displays a variety of 100,000 photographs in its galleries. You can also learn the interesting early techniques of photography when the equipment was larger than humans. You will be entertained by the superb evolution of the photography over the time.
Some of the acclaimed Swiss photographers such as Ella Maillart and Nicolas Bouvier have donated their lifelong collection to this museum. The museum also purchased the epic personal album of Charlie Chaplin which had around 10,000 photographs.
Old Town of Lausanne Switzerland
The Old Town of Lausanne is an amazing place for walk in the cobblestone streets surrounded by colorful buildings. You can start from the medieval Cite and move through the hill that will take you down towards the main train station. The walk is full of beautiful scenery, but you might need to go up and down due to hilly area. The small Old Town area is filled with restaurants, cafes, and shops where you can enjoy shopping or sit down and watch the people and atmosphere.
Escaliers du Marché
Escaliers du Marché is considered as the most charming walk in the Old Town of Lausanne. This wooden stairway links Place de la Palud to the Esplanade de la Cathedrale. These stairs were built somewhere in the 14th century and then were renovated in the start of 18th century. There is a beautiful cobblestone street with terraces alongside these stairs. You will be amazed by how the houses and the city of Lausanne has been built on such steep slopes of the hills.
Place de la Palud in Lausanne Switzerland
Place de la Palud is a famous pedestrian friendly square located in the center of Lausanne. The square is dominated by the 17th century city hall and many old buildings. There is an arcade which leads you from Place de la Palud to the Place de la Louve. The fountaine de la justice is located on the east side of the square which was built in early 16th century. The clock on the city hall’s tower is also a nice attraction for the visitors because when it strikes the hour, the small figures of important personalities of Lausanne make a round of the clock.
Esplanade de Montbenon
Esplanade de Montbenon is also one the best places to absorb the beauty of the city and feel lucky. You will be stunned by the wonderful scenery around the Esplanade de Montbenon. Many visitors and couples come here and sit and relax for hours while watching the beautiful panoramas. There are also some interesting attractions and monuments in this area such as Palais de Justice de Montbenon which lies on the top of the esplanade. Another attraction is the Casino de Montbenon which was the former home of the International Olympic Committee and now exhibits the Swiss Film Archives. The Cinématographe is famous for putting up big events such as film and music festivals where a large crowd is attracted.
Tour de Sauvabelin
This wonderful viewing tower was made in 2003 from only wood and is located in the Sauvabelin Forest near the city. The double helix staircase is an attraction of the tower; one takes you to the viewing platform and the other takes you back downstairs. There are around 151 steps to reach the top, but they are worth the effort as you get one of the best views of the Lake Geneva and the Surrounding Swiss Alps and French Alps.
Jardin Botanique in Lausanne Switzerland
Jardin Botanique was setup in 1824 and houses a large variety of botanical plants. This is an ideal place for botany lovers as they can find more than 6000 plants and flowers of all types. You can learn about many native Alpine plants and their medicinal properties. The place is well marked with information and you are surely going to enjoy the collection of flower plants.
Fondation de l’Hermitage
Fondation de l’Hermitage is located on the slopes of Lausanne and is a beautiful museum of arts located in a manor house built in 1850s. There is a beautiful park around the house, and you can enjoy classic views of the Lake Geneva, mountains, and the cathedral from this location. This house was given to the city in 1970s and an art foundation was opened in it. The collection kept increasing with time and is displayed during the temporary exhibitions.
Parc de Mon Repos in Lausanne Switzerland
Parc de Mon Repos is a great place to stroll along the exotic trees while in Lausanne. The layout of this English park was setup in the early 19th century by the French architect Louis-Emmanuel-Aime Damesme who re-configured this park around an 18th century villa. This villa has also been used by the International Olympics Committee from 1922 to 1967. There is also an outdoor theater in the park and some ruins of an old medieval tower which was a folly.
Palais de Rumine in Lausanne Switzerland
The Russian aristocrat Gabriel de Rumine left a fortune to the city where the Palais de Rumine was built as a public venue with 5 museums inside it. The style of structure is similar to the renaissance style of Florence.
District of Flon in Lausanne Switzerland
District of Flon is the modernized version of the city of Lausanne which provides a beautiful contrast to the Old Town of the city. Flon is located in the valley of River Flon not far from the center of Lausanne. There used to be warehouse in this place on the bank of the river which were later abandoned in the 1930s. In the 90s, most of these warehouses were torn down and replaced with latest architecture and the areas was also redeveloped. Quickly the newly built area was filled with latest branded shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars. These innovative buildings of Flon are the display of modern architecture and art.
Cruising in Lake Geneva
Another interesting way to enjoy while being in Lausanne is to hire a boat and cruise along the Lake Genava. You cannot resist falling in love with the serene lake and the huge number of picturesque villages, towns and cities along its shores. You can get a boat near the Ouchy and explore many beaches and towns around the lake. You can visit the splendid Geneva city, Montreux, Vevey town or the incredible lavaux vineyards. There are plenty of superb options all around the Lake Geneva and Lausanne city.