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Lausanne tourist information & hotel reservations.


We warmly welcome you to visit Lausanne and wish you a wonderful vacation.

Lausanne tourist info Lausanne tourist attractions Lausanne transport info

Lausanne Switzerland

Lausanne is located 66 kilometers north-east of Geneva and 214 kilometers south-west of Zurich. It has a population of around 130 000 people which makes it the second largest city on Lake Geneva and the fifth in the country. The town is situated on 3 hills with a view of the lake which there is called Lac Léman. Lausanne can be divided into two parts – upper and lower and both of them are connected with a small subway.
The area houses people since the Stone Age and the Romans called the town Lousanna. The town is the capital of the canton Vaud which joined the Swiss Confederation in 1803. Many famous people adored the place. The name Lausanne was connected to Rousseau and Voltaire during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The town really flourished and was popular for attracting the cultural elite. Nowadays, however, it is a popular place among tourists. But nevertheless it cherishes its tradition and culture and is now the home of the International Olympic Committee.


Cathedral of Lausanne

Lausanne cathedral

The cathedral is located 150 meters above Lake Geneva and is surely among the most amazing gothic buildings in Europe. The building began in 1175 and was sanctified in 1275 by Pope Gregory X. The whole exterior of the cathedral is splendidly decorated with sculptures and bas-reliefs. During the 19th century a renovation of the building was undertaken by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, but it still isn’t finished. Unlike the exterior, the interior is quite plain except several choir stalls and a beautiful rose window from the 13th century. There are two towers around the main building and by climbing up 225 steps you can go to the observation deck on one of them.

Château de Beaulieu et Musée de l'Art Brut

This castle was built in 1756 and used to be home of Madame de Staël. In the museum you can see many artworks collected by the painter Jean Dubuffet. He gathered the strange mixture from prisoners, criminal and mentally disordered and pathologic people, including schizophrenics. Jean Dubuffet started collecting the “artworks” as a protest against the other pretentious artists around him.

Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts)
This museum in the capital of the canton is devoted to displaying painting by Swiss artists from the 18th and 19th century. In the same building you will also find the Geological Museum, the Museum of Paleontology, the Archaeological and Historical Museum, and the Zoological Museum.

Musée Historique de Lausanne/Ancien-Evêché
The Ancien-Evêché used to be a bishop's residence till the beginning of the 15th century. It has fortified tower dating back to the 13th century and there you can see the history of Old Lausanne. Also there you will find a 23 square meters model of the town as it looked in the 17th century.

Musée Romain de Lausanne-Vidy
At Vidy, near Lausanne and Ouchy, you will find one of the best Roman museums in Switzerland. There you can see many artifacts found in a settlement called Lousonna, where Romans and other people lived from the 15th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The building itself used to be a private home but now there you can see Roman objects – from coins and everyday tools to religious figures. Every last Sunday of the month you can participate in a guided tour of the nearby archeological excavations.

Lausanne Olympic Museum

Lausanne Olympic Museum

Lausanne is the home of the Comité International Olympique since 1915 and as such, since 1993 there is a museum which follows the history of the Olympic Games from their creation by the Greek. There you will see how sport, culture and art unite, as well as some coin and stamp collections. There are located also an Olympic Study Center, a library, an information center and a video library, showing some of the best moments in the games. There are some findings from the sports of the Aztec empire. With the help of computers, robots and audiovisual devices you will be able to learn as much as you like about the Olympic Games.

In the city centre you will find a square called place de la Palud. On it there is the Hôtel de Ville – the town hall, dating back to the 17th century. Its beautiful exterior is in Renaissance style and was completely renovated in the 1970s. Now it houses the Communal Council. On the same square you can see the Fountain of Justice built in 1726. There is clock which displays animated historical pictures and also the square becomes a marketplace every Wednesday and Saturday. From there you can go to the cathedral via the medieval steps Escaliers du Marché.
Near the central square there is another one – place de la Riponne. There you can find the Italian-like Palais de Rumine, dating back to 1906, which houses museums, a university from 1537 and a very rich library.

Mon Repos Park

You should also go to the Mon Repos Park with some beautiful gardens. There is the Empire Villa, where Voltaire used to share his works with friends. Also in the park is the Tribunal Fédéral which is home to the highest court in the country and its building is from the 1920s.
At 637 meters elevation above the town, with a view of Lake Geneva, you will find the Signal de Sauvabelin (or le signal). You can reach it with a 20 minutes walk; you can dine there and see the magnificent Fribourg Alps.
You can go to Ouchy – the resort and port of Lausanne with trees and gardens on the quays. There is a small harbor and you can even see the Savoy Alps in the distance. The place is part of the history as Greece and Turkey signed a peace treaty in Château d'Ouchy in 1923, which is now a hotel and a restaurant. There is a tower from the 13th century. Lord Byron used to stay and write in the Auberge de l'Ancre, which is now called Hôtel d'Angleterre. The above-mentioned treaty was ratified in Beau-Rivage.

Side Trips
If you want a little change from Lausanne you can take a steam boat from its quays and go to Evian-les-Bains in France. It is also on the shore of Lake Geneva and is the major spa resort in eastern France. The steamers are operated by Compagnie Générale de Navigation and leave for France every hour during the summer and not so often in the winter. The trip takes about half an hour and there are no guided tours around Evian. The steamers leaving around noon offer full lunch and the others – only a snack.

Les Diablerets

Les Diablerets

If you want to see Switzerland from above you can reserve a day of your holiday and go to the high village of Les Diablerets. It is the centre of the Les Diablerets region and you can reach it by taking a train to the town of Aigle for 30 minutes. From there you should change to a narrow-gauge train which will deliver you to the village of Les Diablerets for a little more than 40 minutes.
The village has a charming Alpine look and there are also some hotels, two of which are with 4 stars. The village itself lies in the centre of 3 regions – the D'Ifenau ski region, the Glacier region and the Le Meilleret ski region. The latter is connected to the Villarf region. There is also a 7,2 kilometers long bob-sleigh ride which is rather extreme.
From the village of Les Diablerets you can either go back, or visit the Glacier des Diablerets, located at 2 997 meters elevation. From the village you can take the relatively new cable cars at Col du Pillon which will take you straight to the glacier. From the train station of the village you can get to the cable car on foot (about 90 minutes), by free minibus in the winter or with a postal bus in the summer (15 minutes trip).

Lausanne Transportation

If you use a plane you should land in Cointrin Airport in Geneva as Lausanne doesn’t have an airport. There are frequent trains from Geneva to Lausanne and the trip lasts about 45 minutes.

Unlimited travel through Switzerland 

There are also steamers on the Lake Geneva from May till September which circle between Geneva, Saint-Gingolph, Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux, and Nyon. By a steamer from Geneva you can reach Lausanne in around 3 hours and a half.
By car from Geneva you should take the freeway N1. You should pass the Great Saint Bernard road tunnel and drive along E2 and E21.

Visitor Information
The Office du Tourisme et des Congrès, 2, av. de Rhodanie, is open from May till October every day during the week and Saturday and only till noon on Sundays. During the other months – every day except Sunday.

For flights, trains and car-rental reservations as well as for buses, coaches and taxi ski transfers refer to the general Switzerland Transportation page!

Lausanne Map