Our vision is to take you on day trips to cities around the world. Featuring the best local hangouts so you can experience life like a local on your adventures. Join us for A Day In Lausanne, Switzerland.
A city on Lake Geneva, Lausanne offers breathtakingly and relaxing walks by the water, where majestic mountains act as a backdrop for the still waters. Birds have also taken a fancy to the tranquil environment, settling in for hours on end in the calm water, and swans gather near the shores, hopeful for bread crumbs from tourist passerby.
We started our visit with a walk along the water, arriving in the early morning from Bern, we dropped off our luggage to go exploring. The sun was shining bright, so we decided the best course of action would be to stroll down to the water to capture the beautiful views.
Friends and families gather to bask in the sun, taking their time to breath in the fresh air and to catch up at the park benches facing the water.
Wander away from the water to climb the hilly cobblestone streets to reach the old city, where you can get lost amongst the medieval, shop-lined streets.
HISTORY || Palud Square
The oldest town square in the city. You will undoubtedly catch sight of this colourful statue as you explore the old city. Be prepared to climb some stairs to get to the iconic 12th century Gothic Cathedral at the top of the hill, it makes for good exercise and once you witness the interior of the cathedral you will feel that it was well worth it.
ARCHITECTURE || Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne
Construction for the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 and was completed, consecrated and dedicated to Our Lady in the 12th century. Since then the cathedral has undergone several additions, with the latest being the majestic organs installed in 2013.
URBAN HANGOUTS || Le Flon
This would be considered the cool, urban district in a central neighbourhood in Lausanne. A large ice rink sat idle in the plaza as we wandered the area early in the day.
A mulled wine stand and an ice skates rental stand overlooked the rink, surrounded by hip shops and eateries. The whole area gives us the feeling that this should be where the young and hip gather to socialize, with its trendy restaurant design, healthy make-your-own-burger shops, and neatly-lined outdoor patio seating.
As you stroll through you will want to snap photos of cool architectural designs lining the streets. Even the shop signage for each of the shops are photo worthy! Art pieces line the street, showcased in 'CUBES', creating an added highlight for passerby.
One of our favourite finds in Le Flon is this eatery called "Bad Hunter", a cheeky name as its a vegetarian eatery, opened by 'bad hunters' unable to capture game for their meat dishes.
MUSEUM || Palais de Rumine
Place de la Riponne 6, 1005 Lausanne
We chanced upon the Palais de Rumine as we were searching for a road to head to dinner. It was extremely cold in the middle of January, and after we had spent the majority of the day climbing stairs, we were ready for some time spent indoors. We saw a small bridge connecting to the Palais de Rumine and slipped in just as the door was closing after someone exited.
Glancing to our left and right, we realized we were in a Zoology museum, filled with various animal specimen ranging from tigers, to lions, wildcats, and a variety of other species. Other hallways within the building led us to the Museum of Archeology and History, so we ended up doing a bit of exploring before heading to our dinner reservation. If we had more time we would've taken a closer look at all the interesting artefacts, as the expansive building also houses the Cantonal Museum of Money, Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, and Cantonal Museum of Geology.
DINE || Pinte Besson
Rue de l'Ale 4 - 1003 Lausanne Vaud - Switzerland
Enjoy hearty, regional cooking at this cozy restaurant. Founded in 1780, this is one of the top-rated eateries in town, and we made an early reservation to avoid the crowds. While there were tourist groups arriving early for dinner, the regulars trickled in starting from 7PM, until the restaurant was packed with men chatting over pints of beer.
We enjoyed two hearty steaks, complete with four dipping sauces and capped off our meal with a pear tart served with ice cream. Needless to say we took the long way around to walk back to the hotel in an attempt to work off our meal (or at the very least, jumpstart our metabolism!)
STAY || Hotel AlaGare
Rue du Simplon 14, 1006 Lausanne
We had chosen to stay at Hotel AlaGare as we researched hotels on booking.com, coming across this unique, train-themed boutique hotel. We loved the various details such as the encased train tracks under our feet in the dining room. The room doors are equipped with a brass door knock, and rustic coat hanger and a wooden desk. Light sleepers should take note that the hotel is quite close to the train station, so you will want to request the upper floors to minimize the foot traffic by your window. The hotel does supply ear plugs though, an appreciated touch for a light sleeper like myself!
Read our review of the hotel in our feature article here.
We feel Lausanne is the perfect pit stop to take a break between the bustling cities of Bern and Geneva, which both attract more tourists and business travellers; the added activity makes you keep pace with all the happenings going on around you, whereas in Lausanne you can take a moment to simply enjoy the scenery. We leave you with the beautiful sunset we captured, the vibrant, orange sun setting against the purplish clouds, creating a scene much-alike a painting.