Switzerland’s fourth-largest city has a historic medieval center, a picturesque waterfront, diverse art collections and a museum that illustrates why this is the Olympic Capital.
Lausanne is An attractive, youthful and spirited lakeside city, has lots to offer visitors. Stroll the lanes lined with boutiques and cafés in the historic quarter, marvel at magnificent lake and mountain views and learn about how the city earned its “Olympic Capital” title.
Once a Roman settlement by the name of Lousonna, Lausanne is now a thriving, thoroughly modern city, but evidence of its lengthy past is not hard to discover. Explore the city’s well-maintained Old Town to find constructions from centuries past. See the Cathédrale de Notre Dame, a splendid Gothic structure dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, and the photogenic Place de la Palud market square, which is bordered by the 17th-century Hôtel de Ville.
This is a city with an impressive collection of museums. Learn about local heritage at the Musée Historique de Lausanne, housed in what was once the city bishops’ home, and survey the striking collection of works from untrained and often troubled artists at the Collection de l’Art Brut. The Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains hosts temporary exhibits devoted to design, the Musée de l’Elysée focuses on photography, while the Musée Romain Lausanne-Vidy displays artifacts excavated from the site of the old Roman settlement of Lousonna.
The city also contains some much more modern and cutting-edge sights too. Visit the state-of-the-art AQUATIS Aquarium-Vivarium and go to the Rolex Learning Centre, an unusual futuristic undulating building that is part of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
Relax in Lausanne’s lakeside Ouchy district, where many locals go to stroll, swim and stand-up paddleboard. This neighborhood features the sleek Olympic Museum. The museum references the fact that the International Olympic Committee are headquartered in Lausanne and features interactive exhibits as well as sporting memorabilia.
Find Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva in the French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud. Getting around Lausanne is easy. Not only is the city small, but it is served by a well-functioning metro system as well as buses and trolley buses. Use these public transportation options as parking can be difficult in central Lausanne.