Lausanne is popularly known as the Olympic capital as it is a top tourist destination in Switzerland. Sitting on the northern shore of Lake Geneva the court of arbitration for sport and international Olympic committee all have their main offices in the city and there is an exceptional sports museum that you can visit while in the city. The gothic and Romanesque cathedral in Lausanne is one of the focal points that people use as a reference when visiting the region.


The city has this vertiginous layout and there are a lot of places that you can stop by during your visit. The shore of Lake Geneva is set for easy walks, bathing in the lake and you can catch ferry cruises in one of the best European lakes. Packed with history, culture and diversity, Lausanne is a perfect centre buzzing with markets, cafes, restaurants and several neighbourhoods that presents the best place to visit.  You will surely enjoy your visit to Lausanne as it is a perfect destination to explore in Switzerland.

How to get to Lausanne

You can get to Lausanne through various means and it is largely dependent on you on how you want to get in. The top common form is by train.

Lausanne is served by an efficient and well-organized rail system run by the swiss federal rail system. The trains run roughly every half hour and you can come from any European city to this location. The trip from Zürich to Lausanne would take around 3 hours. Check all the time schedules and ticket prices right here: Swiss trains. If you are staying longer in Switzerland, I highly recommend considering Swiss pass which will save you tons of money: Swiss pass. Trains are fast and very comfortable in Switzerland.

On the other hand, you can get to Lausanne via plane. The nearest airport is Geneva international airport and it is served by nearly all the European carrier and transatlantic flights.  Once you are at the airport you can catch a train to Lausanne or travel by car. Alternatively, if you are travelling by bus then there is a high chance that you can catch European buses from major cities in central Europe to Lausanne.

What to do in Lausanne

1.    Lausanne Cathedral

This is the city’s solemn cathedral that was built in the 13th century and it is one of a kind in Europe. The cathedral underwent a restoration process in the 1870s and it now sits perfectly with modern as well as the ancient features.  You can explore the cathedral and get to know its history. There is a sandstone image of the virgin Mary and a child. Besides, there are sculptural figures at the southern portal and these date back to the 13th century as well.

More information about cathedral right here: Lausanne Cathedral.

2.    Lake Geneva

The crescent-shaped lake is one of the most visited lakes in Switzerland because of its unique feature. Lake Geneva is unique because it separates Switzerland and France making it is a perfect location where you can see alps as you explore the lake.  The shore of lake Lausanne goes up to Montreux area where there is Swiss riviera and you can enjoy sunlight throughout the day. There are picturesque villages, palm trees, and exceptional shore gardens that surround the lake. The best way that you can enjoy the lake is to board a boat that will take you around as you get to know the features of the lake.  There are cruise boats that also serve food and you can take your lunch as you explore the lake.

Geneva lake
Geneva lake

3.    Explore the Olympic Museum

The Olympic museum is one of the rich history museums that you will get to know some of the unique places in Lausanne. Along with the history of the competition, artefacts and overlooking Lake Geneva, the Olympic museum is a perfect location where you can get to know much about Olympic sports. It has been recently renovated with other features included to it. You will see the span of all Olympic games, from the origin in Greece to the current location. You will see historic posters, Olympic torches, equipment, and clothing worn by Olympians. If you are a sports enthusiast you can relive the memories of Olympic games.  You can follow the evolution of sports as well as the changes in fashion and design in sports as well. In addition, you will experience interactive experiences in the building with well-manicured grounds and other sculptured works.

All information about the museum you can find here: Olympic museum.

4.    Château d’Ouchy and Promenade

Just below Lausanne city centre, there is a lakeside neighbourhood called Ouchy. The district has elegant hotels that are connected by flower-lined promenades. There is a 12th-century castle Château d’Ouchy and this is the location where peace treaty between Greece, turkey and allies was signed. The castle is now a luxury hotel offering fine dining. Near the village, there is a perfect location where you can walk along the lake as you enjoy some breeze from the lake.


5.    Cathedral of Notre-Dame

This is a medieval cathedral that dates back to the 13th century and it is adorned with beautifully painted sculptures and other features. Inside it are windows with over 105 glass panels that are made of beautiful 13th century stained glass.  Besides, some sculptures date back to several centuries ago and they are well preserved. The interior also has a focal point organ with over 6000 pipes. On the southern aisle, there is a carved choir stall that dates back to 1509.  The early gothic cathedral has five rising towers from the hilltop and the 72-meter-high central tower, there is a watchman who calls out hours from 2200hrs to 0200hrs. This tradition has been ongoing for the past six centuries.

6.    Collection de d’Art Brut

This is one of the world’s leading museum that was created by French artist Jean Dubuffet and it has a rich collection of art and gallery. This museum is a perfect place where you can learn about art as well as how things have changed over time.  Inside the museum, you will find naïve paintings, masks, sculptures and work from a variety of media. The exhibition changes and various themes are depicted from time to time. The collection housed is splendid and you will find something to enjoy when you visit the area.

Additional information about collection is right here: D’Art Brut.

7.    Hermitage Foundation

This is a newcomer museum but is one of the most unique museums in Switzerland. The museum was launched in the year 1984 and ever since then it is has grown from level to another. There are over six hundred works represented in the museum. The artists that you can see in the museum include Degas, Monet, Manet, Boudin, Braque among others. The museum also has exhibitions of major artists in the 19th and 20th century.

More information right here: Hermitage Foundation Lausanne.

8.    Palace de la Palud

Before you arrive at the cathedral in the winding streets of the old city, you will find yourself at the Palace de la Palud. At this location, you will see the oldest fountain with a centrepiece.  There is a local clock which shows animated scenes of the history of the city. People usually sit on the steps as you head to this palace as they watch the history shown on an hourly basis.  On Saturday and Wednesday mornings the market stalls selling local produce fill the streets. In addition, you can see the town hall built in the 15th century and modified in the 17th century with stained glasses.

9.    Escaliers du Marche

This is one of the most picturesque sights in Lausanne and you will not miss it as you visit the region.  It is covered with flight steps leading to the place and the terrace in front of the cathedral’s main door. Besides the steps and rising with layers, you will see rows of buildings that date back to the 15th century.  Built-in the 13th century it is a critical place connecting the market and the palace de la Palud. If you are climbing you can take a break and enjoy some coffee at the café on the terraces.

More information right here: Escaliers du Marche.

10. Sauvabelin Tower

Built during to mark the change to the new millennium the 35-meter tower stands in the middle of the forest on the hill which is located above Lausanne. It was constructed from local wood and it has an unusual round structure with spiral staircases.  You can have a look of the beautiful city from the observation deck high above. From the vantage point, you have a panoramic view of Lake Geneva, the swiss alps, Lausanne city and the Jura region. The tower is built in a park and you can take boat rides as well as enjoy some fun activities at the playground.  the park at the tower is free to visit and you can visit from March to October. It is a perfect location where you can watch a beautiful sunset.

Top things to do in Lausanne conclusion

Lausanne is one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland with a very rich history and nature right next to it, so it has something for everyone: art lover, architecture explorer, nature lover. It is a perfect city for a weekend trip.

If you have any questions about Lausane, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.

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Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.