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Lausanne Tourism And Travel Guide
5.8° C / 42.4° F
April to September
2 to 3 Days
Gen?ve A?roport (60 kms)
Lausanne CFF (1 kms)
Lausanne is located in the shores of Lake Geneva, about 60km from the city of Geneva. It is the 4th largest city in Switzerland. As it is close to the French border, french is a popular language here and a lot of the place names, food items and culture has french influences. While the city is not usually on everybody's list, tourism in Lausanne is certainly booming and it has a lot to offer for tourists. Read on to know more about this enchanting city with its blend of traditional and modern culture in our Travel Guide to Lausanne.
How To Reach
You cannot fly into Lausanne directly - the nearest international airport is Geneva Airport which is 60km away. The 2nd best option would be to fly to Zurich which is 230km away. From both the airports you can take a train into Lausanne which is the most convenient and fastest way to reach the city.
The Railway network in Switzerland is very strong and Lausanne is very well connected domestically and internationally as well to neighbouring countries. There are daily trains to Lausanne from Geneva, Bern, Zurich and other cities. Direct international connections include Milan, Venice and Paris. The best part is that the train station is located in the city centre.
Lausanne is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. So you can access this city by boat from other cities that also share the same shoreline. A popular route is from Geneva to Lausanne by ferry. You can also cross the border into France by boat.
The Swiss country roads are safe, convenient and make for a splendid road trip. You can rent your own vehicle or take a public bus route from different parts of Switzerland into Lausanne. Some popular routes are - Geneva to Laussane (60 km), Bern to Laussane (100 km) and Zurich to Laussane (230 km). There are bus routes from international destinations as well like France, Germany, Spain etc.
Lausanne is a tourist-friendly city and is the 4th largest town in Switzerland. It's public transport system is top class and is the best way to get around the city. Some areas that are vehicle-free (like the Old Town area) you can walk about, but for the rest, the metro will become your best friend.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
Spring (March to May):
The weather in spring is cold yet pleasing with an average temperature of 10° C. The landscapes are lush and colourful. It can rain for 6 to 8 days a month. Popular festivals this season are the Cully Jazz Festival, Luna Park, Shakespeare Festival and more.
Summer (June to September):
Summer is the most crowded season as people holiday here for the warm and sunny weather. The average temperature during this season is 20°C and it can rain up to 9 days a month. Watersports and outdoor festivals are the flavours of the season. Popular events include Lavaux Passion, Chocolate festival and many music festivals.
Autumn (October to November):
The colours of autumn make the landscape very picturesque. The crowds are less and the average temperature is 11°C, though it may feel colder due to the wind and humidity. It can rain up to 7 days a month. Important festivals include the Lausanne Underground Film Festival, Lausanne Lumières and more.
Winter (December to February):
It does snow in Lausanne, so winters can get really cold - but hey! that may just be what you are looking for. The average temperature is 2°C. There are fewer tourists this season since Lausanne isn't very popular for winter sports activities. There aren't too many festivities as well, but Christmas and New Year are celebrated in a big way.
Things To Do
Explore The Old Town:
A landmark of the city is its beautiful Old Town area. You can walk around for hours, getting lost in its narrow alleys and admiring the architecture along the way. One especially lovely walk is from the town centre - Place de la Palud to the Lausanne Cathedral via a wooden stairway bridge. There are plenty of bars, cafes and shops to keep you satiated.
Go On A Boat Cruise:
Lausanne is situated on the banks of Lake Geneva. There are many boat excursions you can do from its port (Ouchy) to nearby islands and towns. You can also cross into France. A popular round trip tour is to Château de Chillon.
Enjoy A Beach Day At Lutry:
Lutry beach has crystal clear water and is one of the best places to enjoy on the beach. There are some water sport activities like Kayaking, Paddle-Boarding and of course swimming that you can enjoy here. The beach is easily accessible by a short bus trip from Lausanne.
Take A Trip To Servion Zoo:
The Servion Zoo has a wide range of animals in its 30 or so enclosures. From Lions, Tigers, Bears, Monkeys, Wolves to a large collection of birds and reptiles too in the nearby Tropiquarium. It is a fun day out for the entire family!
As Lausanne is close to France, a lot of its cooking is influenced by the French. Some local dishes that you ought to taste are papet vaudois, boutefas sausage, taillé aux greubons, all types of cheese, fondue and malakoff. Some interesting dessert options are les beignets des brandons, meringues with Gruyère cream and raisinée.
Popular restaurants in the city include Le Chalet Suisse, Le Pinte Besson, Coccinelle Café, Watergate, La Bossette, all very authentic and charming. If you are looking a place to enjoy a few drinks, check out Le Comptoir, Café Bruxelles and Yatus. Brasserie du Chateau is famous for its beer.
If you are looking for vegetarian and vegan options, check out Végé Café, Restaurant Le Mirabeau, Plant Smart, Racines, Abyssinia. For Indian food, visit Indian Zayeka, Nandanam, Kurry Masala, Kashmir.
Shopping is always an important activity when you are on holiday! Here are some of the best shopping streets and areas in Lausanne, where you can shop your heart out! Palud Square - The oldest centre in the city, definitely a place with a lot of activity going on. There are weekly markets that happen here too. Saint-François square - Bourg street - filled with avant-garde boutiques, you will find some interesting stuff here from clothing and jewellery to tobacco and chocolates. High-End luxury brands are also available here.
Flon - You can enjoy some retail therapy in this trendy neighbourhood of Lausanne. There are loads of shops, fashion boutiques, bars and restaurants, so you can make the day of it! La Cite - Got some interesting little craft shops.
Other interesting areas are - Saint Laurent - Ale Street, Rotillion Quarter, Sous-Gare - Grancy, Ouchy. Popular items to be shopped for in Lausanne are - Swiss-made Chocolate, Watches & Jewellery, Local Wine, Cheese, Swiss Army Knife and locally made craft items.