Lausanne is a picturesque Swiss city located on the banks of Lake Geneva and also happens to be a popular starting point for walkers and a must-see attraction on the Via Francigena. Its proximity to Geneva Airport and its panoramic views of the surrounding mountains makes it the perfect starting point for your memorable journey. There are so many sites, attractions and restaurants that we had to come up with our top five favourite things to do when you visit Lausanne.
1. A Stroll Through the Old Town
Swiss cities and villages are renowned for their quaint old towns with cobbled streets and craft shops. Lausanne is no exception and the city has a marvellous old town for all visitors to explore. To find the old town follow the direction of the Cathedral Spire which you will see when you first walk out of the train station. The windy stairs will take you to the Cathedral square where you are surrounded by old buildings from the 17th and 18th century. Enjoy a splendid hot chocolate in Le Barbare before continuing on your walk of discovery.
2. Notre Dame Cathedral
Often referred to as the most beautiful cathedral in Switzerland this Gothic architectural building stands 500 feet tall and dates back to 1493. If you are not impressed by the beautiful detail in the interior walls we would recommend climbing the 235 steps to the Cathedral Steeple where you are sure to be blown away with the spectacular view of the entire city, Lake Geneva and the Jura Mountains.
3. Dine in Cafe de l’Artisans
This is exactly what it claims to be – An artists cafe. Staying in the old town you will find this relaxing cafe on Rue Centrale 16. The decor is a mixture of all artists styles with bright colours and block patterned walls. This is the perfect place for a light bite of lunch with its simple menu and fresh ingredients. Bon Appetit!
4. Take in the Sights at Lake Geneva
Borrow a bike from the Publibike Network and enjoy the scenic routes along the Lake Geneva and surrounding vineyards in Lausanne. Stop by the Olympic Museum, taking a short walk around the grounds that look out onto the impressive Lake. It is easy to see how painters and poets were inspired by the beautiful Swiss landscape since the 1800’s.
5. Cheese Fondue
This is one of the ultimate Swiss tourist experiences. Popularised as a national Swiss dish in the 1930’s fondue is now a culinary tradition throughout the many Swiss cities and towns. It consists of a communal pot of melted cheese where you dip in long stems of fresh bread. The smell can be off-putting but the taste is worth it. The panoramic view from the terrace of Le Chalet Suisse provides the ideal setting for sampling this Swiss foodie delight.
If you have a little more time to spare take a short boat trip to Evian-les-bains, home to the famous Evian springs water. We know that there are plenty of other great things to see and do in Lausanne so please contact us with your Lausanne travel tips and recommendations. Follow our blog for more travel tips!
You might also want to read our blog post: The Via Francigena from Switzerland into Italy.