What to see in Lausanne? The Olympic and cultural city

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Pau Monfort


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Lausanne is a pretty picturesque city to discover. She knew how to handle modernity and centuries of history. Dotted with parks and gardens, it is one of the greenest cities in the world. Cultural and sporty, its inspiring setting matches its quality of life. A remarkable choice of places and curiosities to see in Lausanne, guarantees you a surprising stay.

Here is our selection of the 10 things to see or do in Lausanne.

Visit the Olympic museum

Overlooking Lake Geneva, the museum has been classified as a cultural property of national importance since 1995. All sports are represented! Discover with emotion, the objects that belonged to great world sportsmen. Take the time to browse this interactive museum and its sports exhibitions. The visit is fun and rewarding, ideal with children. Once in the museum park, go in search of real works of sporting art. So as not to spoil anything in this place, admire the panoramic view of the Alps and the lake. End your visit, going down the park, to reach the exit on the quays of Ouchy, which is essential to see in Lausanne.

The Olympic Museum of Lausanne

Walk along the quays of Ouchy

This walk is very popular with locals at all times of the day. It will take you from the port of Ouchy to the Denantou park, where a 16-meter Thai pavilion has stood since 1823. Accompanied by its many swans, enjoy the serenity of the place and its breathtaking view at the water's edge. The quays of Ouchy allow connect some large city parks. A multitude of gardens populate the city of Lausanne to the delight of all. Your arrival at the port invites you to embark on a unique boat trip. Take the opportunity to discover the famous boat "La Vaudoise" from 1932, which was once owned by the Pirates of Ouchy. Ice cream parlors, restaurants and bars line these long quays to satisfy small appetites.

Quays of Ouchy with view of the castle

Take a walk in the historic center

Discover centuries of history, by borrowing the lively streets of the old town. Follow the cobbled passages and admire the many architectures and monuments, telling the events of the city. Place de la Palud is an essential place to see in Lausanne. It is the crossroads of many streets leading to various places. In its center, reigns a superb fountain representing justice. Look up, the famous talking clock gives you the time and comes alive to tell you a story. Sit on the terrace or enter one of its countless cafes and restaurants. Maybe you will go taste Vaudois cuisine at Grütli, a mythical and authentic place, from the oldest brewery in the city. Wednesday and Saturday morning are market days: take this opportunity to meet the producers and discover the local terroir.

The historic center

Explore the cathedral

Gothic cathedral, built at the end of the 12th century, it has become over the years, city ​​emblem. Enter the heart of the building and marvel at these magnificent stained glass windows and its unique organ in the world. Enjoy this moment of tranquility outside the noise of the city. Outside, the panorama offered by this square is extraordinary. If you want to know more about its secrets, follow the guided tours offered. Then come back in the evening and live one of the last traditions a time that no longer exists: all year round, between 22 p.m. and 2 a.m., a watchman comes out of his booth and announces the time at the auction. This traditional moment remains surprising and original.

Lausanne cathedral

Discover the museums

The city has many museums to see in Lausanne. Some are essential during your visit.

  • The foundation of the Hermitage : museum of fine arts presenting 2 exhibitions per year. The location of this mansion in a magnificent park, offers the chance to observe the cathedral and the lake.
  • The History museum : the city of Lausanne intrigues you and you want to know more about it? This institute traces the history of the city of Lausanne, from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  • Rumine Palace : Italian building, located on the Place de la Riponne. It is an essential place which brings together 3 museums. Sublime site shared by the immense university library, the museum of geology, zoology, as well as that of archeology and history.
  • Art brut museum : Exhibition on 4 floors, ofsurprising works of art and interesting. Several forms of art come together. Paintings, constructions and sculptures are made by overwhelming people. It is a unique museum not to be missed.
Rumine Palace

Climb the Sauvabelin tower

Located in the heart of Sauvabelin Park, it is a wooden tower of 35 meters which towers over the city. Before enjoying this point of view, 151 steps must be climbed to reach the top and enjoy this breathtaking view. Observe this 360 ° panorama on Lake Geneva, the mountains and the Lausanne region. It is best to go there on a sunny day in order to enjoy a clear view. Finish by spending a pleasant moment with the farm animals at the edge of the lake. Sensitive to vertigo? Your turn to judge !

The Sauvabelin tower

Have fun at the Esplanade du Flon

It's the lively and commercial district to see in Lausanne. Meeting place multicultural young people, many trendy bars and shops abound in this former industrial district. The opportunity to enter the clubs of the city for a festive evening. If you have a little time in your trip to Lausanne, don't hesitate to stroll through the city's immense shopping arcade. Also, le Europe market keeps its promises from February to October. Once or twice a month, you can find clothes, wellness products, crafts or even minerals.

Flon Lausanne

Browse the Aquatis

L'aquarium from Lausanne is a unique concept in Europe, through the use of new digital technologies. Come and see in Lausanne, what this novelty consists of. You will learn about the different ecosystems that our planet hides. The magic happens as soon as you arrive. Decorations, floor mirrors and observation windows invite you to explore this 3500 m2 space. Interactive terminals, films, models, greenhouses and exhibitions enrich your knowledge of the aquatic environment. Catering is on site and allows you to fully enjoy your day. This initiatory journey also makes you aware of planetary ecological problems.

Aquatis in Lausanne

Walk the terraces of Lavaux

You have to get out of town to discover the Lavaux wine region. Its terraced vines have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. These small neighboring villages will blow your mind, but not as much as the panoramic view that you will discover. Stroll through Chexbres, Lutry or even Puidoux which serve many hiking trails. You don't need to be a good athlete to walk through vineyards and hills. Enjoy this magical setting. On your return, wine lovers will be able to enjoy a drink in one of the region's cellars.

The vineyards of Lavaux

Taste culinary specialties

Enter the city's many brasseries and restaurants. You are sure to find Lausanne a charming and authentic place to savor the local cuisine.

  • The Vaudois papet is a cabbage sausage, served with potatoes, leeks, cream and white wine. It is a winter dish typical of the Lausanne region.
  • Perch fillets with meunière sauce are a typical Lausanne dish.
  • The baked wine pie is not prepared with cooked wine as the name suggests, but with a thick fruit syrup.
  • The character is a popular delicacy in French-speaking Switzerland. Its green icing is recognizable in all pastries.
The famous Carac

The unmissable places to see in Lausanne… and after?

A multitude of events punctuate the year. The countless curiosities to see in Lausanne meet the satisfaction of every traveler. This beautiful city suits the needs of young and old.

Do you want to know more about Switzerland? Many choices are available to you. Take the direction of Geneva, an international city, or that of Montreux, upscale seaside resort of the Riviera, before setting out to discover the region of Gruyères and its famous cheese. You can also take a trip to the Vallée de Joux, a real watchmaking institution and an authentic paradise for nature lovers.

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