Welcome to Lausanne

Guide to Lausanne, Switzerland
“Standing on the esplanade, in front of the cathedral, I could see beyond and above the house-tops, the lake; above the lake, the mountains; above the mountains, the clouds; and high above the clouds, the stars.” Victor Hugo, The Rhine

Built on three hills, the city of Lausanne twinkles above Lake Geneva’s gentle mists, and the Savoy Alps rise like a theatrical backdrop beyond. Its location is as delicately beautiful as a Chinese painting, and as the setting sun glows cadmium on the water, it would be easy to imagine that Lausanne is a fairytale city, a place of dreamy wanderings and innocent peace. In part, it may be- but it is also a commercial powerhouse, a place where the Olympic Committee, Nestle and Philip Morris have their headquarters, where financial and scientific institutions thrive and invest- which makes this city exceptionally successful, in every sense. Its streets may not be paved with gold but they are lined with wealth, its buildings as elegantly regal as any Viennese Palace, and its medieval old town as neat and clean-swept as an illustration in a children’s history book.

Down by the lake, at Ouchy, swans gather beside super-yachts, and children eat ice creams in the flower gardens, while exquisitely well dressed citizens stroll by on their daily walk, tiny dogs in tow. It is hard to feel unhappy, sitting on a sun-warmed stone by the lake, as passengers board the old-fashioned paddle-steamer and ducks bob in its wake. Back in the town, there are café tables spilling onto the pavements, and in Winter, cosy restaurants serving ten kinds of fondue. In the snow, Lausanne is grand and graceful- in the sun, its lake and mountains shimmer with promise.

Guide to Lausanne, SwitzerlandGuide to Lausanne, Switzerland


Port D'Ouchy

South of the city, a short Metro ride from the centre, is Ouchy, the beautiful harbour area, with its wide promenade and views across the lake to the hazy Alps more
Chemin Des Pecheurs 1007 Lausanne Ouchy

Cathedral de Notre Dame

Lausanne’s cathedral is famed for its Gothic beauty more
Rue Vuillermet 6 Place de la Cathedrale 1005 Lausanne Bessieres

The Musée de l’Elysée

Lausanne is home to one of the world’s greatest museums of photography, the Musée de l’Elysée more
18, Avenue De l'Elysee 1014 Lausanne 021 316 99 11 Delices then Bus No 25.



The Café Del Mar of Lausanne, the Myo sushi restaurant is famous for its sunsets more
Allee Ernest Ansermet 1003 Lausanne 021 323 22 88 Lausanne Flon

Café De Grancy

With its white walls, wooden ceilings and mildly bohemian vibe, this is positively edgy for Lausanne, a city more used to dining on a grand, formal scale more
Avenue De Rond Pont 1 1006 Lausanne 021 616 86 66 Grancy

La Table D'Edgard

This one Michelin star restaurant is a calming, stylish space...a solid, timeless backdrop to the view of Lake Geneva and the Alps beyond more
Lausanne Palace Spa- 7-9 Rue du Grand Chene 1002 Lausanne 021 331 31 31 Lausanne Flon

Guide to Lausanne, SwitzerlandGuide to Lausanne, Switzerland


Le Barbare

Famous hot chocolate prepared by proprieter Marta Tombolan, from her mother’s secret recipe. more
Escaliers du Marche 27 1003 Lausanne 021 312 21 32 Bessieres / Riponne

Nomade Vinoteque

A buzzing, contemporary wine bar with a huge selection of wines more
9 Place de Europe 1003 Lausanne 021 613 10 00 Vigie


Hotel De La Paix

The most important thing to remember when booking Hotel de la Paix is to request a view of the lake more
Avenue Benjamin-Constant 5 1003 Lausanne Lausanne CFF - 600 yds,

Hotel Movenpick

As cool and calm as a luxury spa, the Movenpick sits on the shores of Lake Geneva and offers dramatic views of the Alps from its modern picture windows more
4, Avenue de Rhodanie 1006 Lausanne Ouchy

Beau Rivage Palace

For a celebration or special anniversary, the Beau Rivage Palace is hard to beat more
Place du Port 17-19 1006 Lausanne Ouchy

Guide to Lausanne, Switzerland

In The Mood


Hotel du Lac- Anita Brookner. Set on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Daisy Miller- Henry James. Set in nearby Vevey


Merci Pour le Chocolat by Claude Chabrol (A thriller partly filmed in Lausanne)


Symphony No. 4 Lausanne (1992) Leonardo Balada


Lausanne is easy to walk round, and the public transport system is excellent, so it isn’t necessary to drive into the centre- much of the old town is pedestrianised.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the old town area, which are less expensive that those by the lake. Fondue is a speciality; try the Rue De Bourg for a good selection of eating places.

Service is always included on the bill- only tip if the service was outstanding.

Getting Around

Car: Look for   ‘P + R’ signs to find car parks with fixed longer rates – daily or nightly – though prices vary depending on the car park. It is advisable to use Lausanne’s public transport.

Public Transport: A free bus and metro pass – valid for two weeks – is given to every hotel in the city. Otherwise, tickets can be bought from a machine at every stop. There are two main Metro lines that travel throughout the centre and into the suburbs – the M1, due North from Ouchy and the M2, due West -with destinations at every landmark and place of note. Buses are regular and abundant – there’ll be a bus stop a few minutes in any direction. The LEB company also run trains to the outer suburbs. Tickets are priced by distance, though there are daily and weekly tickets available for a fixed rate from station kiosks.

Your Swiss Pass can grant access to free public transport and discounted exhibitions and public attractions in ‘Switzerland’s San Francisco’.

Bike Hire: Bikes can be hired from Lausanne Roule, just outside the Lausanne Roule metro station, for very reasonable daily prices – 6 CHF for a day with a 90 CHF daily deposit. Bear in mind that the city itself is quite steep, though cycling is very popular by the lakeside.

Tourist Office Avenue de Rhodanie 2 Lausanne 021 613 73 73  

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