Lausanne Travel Guide, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

Lausanne is a Swiss city located on the north shore of Lake Geneva. It is the capital and main city of the canton of Vaud and the capital of the district of Lausanne. It is the fourth city of the country in number of inhabitants after Zurich, Geneva and Basel. At the end of 2019, the municipality of Lausanne had 146,032 inhabitants. In 2018, the Lausanne agglomeration had 420,757 inhabitants. In 2012, the Lausanne agglomeration concentrated 50% of the population and 60 %jobs in the canton of Vaud.

The campus which brings together the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL) has some 26,000 students. The city is also home to prestigious universities such as the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the Cantonal Art School of Lausanne (ECAL) and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Lausanne is distinguished by the large number of international institutions linked to the sport it hosts. In the city has been since 1915 the seat of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and about fifty international sports federations and organizations well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the European office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA). The city has had the official title of “Olympic Capital” since 1993.

Whether by bus or by bike, on foot or on skates, discover Lausanne, Olympic Capital: museum visits, a stroll in the parks and gardens or along the floral quays, excursions on the lake or in the vineyards, sporting and cultural activities, a relaxing spa break, shopping and nights out.

Old Town
For eight millennia, the habitat in Lausanne has been divided between the shores of the lake and the City. It is around the hill of the City, sculpted by the rivers of Flon and Louve, that the medieval city develops. An important city-crossroads, Lausanne is organized into five districts: the Cité, the Palud, the Pont, the Bourg and St-Laurent. The city limits were pushed back from the Cathedral (6th century), La Palud and Le Bourg (9th century), to St-Laurent (11th century), to reach their peak around 1300. The defense was ensured by the steep hill and the walls at the foundation of the Old Academy and visible from the Bessières bridge.

The City concentrates the official buildings, like the Cathedral, the Old Bishopric, the Château St-Maire, the Grand Hôpital. La Palud, below, asserts itself as a commercial and political center with its Town Hall. The Bridge develops at the junction of the Flon and the Louve, now covered. In the valley, the craftsmen settled down to benefit from the hydraulic energy which fed more than 50 wheels around 1830. On the other side of the Flon valley, the Bourg was home to luxury shops and inns. The fortified convent of St. Francis, of which the church remains, protruded from the surrounding wall on the lake side. On the other side of the Louve valley, many artisans live in St-Laurent. The opening of new streets in the 19th century profoundly modified this district. The Tour de l’Ale and that of the Château de l’Evêque in Ouchy, from the 12th century, are the last witnesses of the fifty or so towers of the medieval wall.

The town planning of Lausanne is marked by a tormented topography, characterized by the presence of several hills separated by two deep ravines carved by the rivers of Louve and Flon. The difficulties resulting from this provision have long been an obstacle to trafficking. Lausanne was indeed an important crossroads where international axes crossed towards Italy, France and Germany, and the heavy chariots, sometimes harnessed of four, six, or even eight horses, had to slip between narrow streets, winding and steep. For example, coming from Italy or Valaisto get to France, you entered Lausanne via rue Etraz, then you had to take the slippery cobblestones of rue de Bourg, the steep slope of rue Saint-François, cross the Flon on a narrow bridge to take the tortuous street du Grand-Saint-Jean to go up to Saint-Laurent and exit by rue de l’Ale.

A major advance has been established in XIX century with the realization in the 1836-1850 years, the “crossing of Lausanne” according to the general project of the engineer Adrien Pichard. This project includes the construction of an annular boulevard around the old medieval city, and crosses the main obstacles by a large bridge over the ravine of Flon, and a tunnel through the rocky outcrop of the Barre.

In the 1870s, the construction of the Flon station with the creation of the Lausanne-Ouchy funicular and the bringing to Lausanne of the waters of Lake Bret, allowed the partial filling of the Flon valley by burying the first row of arches of the large bridge, and the development of an industrial district on the platform thus conquered. Various peripheral districts then developed, in particular those of the station and Georgette.

The Modern City
Untill 1850, the built space practically did not exceed the limits of the medieval wall. The strong increase in population is absorbed by raising buildings and densifying their partitions. Likewise, traffic is ensured by the narrow old road, which crosses rivers as quickly as possible, by bridges at the bottom of the valley. From 1850 the city will explode. Major civil engineering works profoundly modifying its appearance, with the construction of the Grand-Pont in 1844, a prelude to the creation of a lower slope road belt. The arrival of the railway in 1856 will also require the development of more convenient connecting axes. A funicular will link the center to the station and to the lake, the main transport routes, and will create a new industrial and commercial district, conquered by filling the cours du Flon.

The number of inhabitants rose from 15,000 in 1850 to 65,000 in 1910, reaching 120,000 in 1999. The old town, saturated, was no longer sufficient to accommodate them; from 1870, we will build outside the walls, most often in an anarchic way in the absence of a legal framework until 1905. The new districts, like Georgette, however resulting from a planned operation, or sub-station, present a permanent hesitation between the contiguous urban front and the discontinuous fabric of rental villas. New architectural programs are appearing, such as schools, places of worship and entertainment, or hotels, which welcome tourists in increasing numbers. At the same time, the city center, considered unsanitary, will be subject to massive demolitions.

Olympic Walk
In this city, the Olympic Games never stop. In the center of a superb park overlooking the lake, The Olympic Museum shows the images, the highlights, the fetish objects of the games and recalls the IOC’s commitment to popular and competitive sport. The dynamism of the IOC profiles Lausanne in the international spheres of sport. Thus, many European and world championships have been held there, in disciplines as different as curling, gymnastics, badminton or figure skating. The IOC’s activities have encouraged the arrival of around fifteen international sports federations as well as other leading sports bodies.


Lausanne Cathedral
At the heart of the old town, the majestic Lausanne Cathedral overlooks the city. Seen as one of the most beautiful gothic art monuments in Europe, it attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year. As the spiritual capital of French-speaking Switzerland, the Cathedral of Lausanne is of interest to people from all parts of the world. Constructed during the XIIth and XIIIth centuries, consecrated 20th October 1275 in the presence of Pope Gregory X and Rudolf of Habsburg. It became a protestant cathedral in 1536. From that point Jean Cotereel, the third builder, continued the work on the site by constructing the western section, giving it a porch and two towers, one with a belfry, the other one remained uncompleted.

It was only in 1275 that the Cathedral was consecrated, by both Emperor Rudolph of Hapsburg and Pope Gregory X. In 1536, during the Reformation, the Cathedral underwent significant changes when a new liturgical area was built in the nave. Thereafter, it was restored a number of times in the 18th century and again in the 19th century under the leadership of the famous French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. The Cathedral has a highly significant multi-coloured interior. Dating back to the original construction, this design was covered over during the Reformation and then revealed at the beginning of the 20th century. The paintings are still visible in the Chapel of the Virgin as well as on the statues of the painted doorway, which is unique in all of Europe and has been completely restored since October 2007. The rose window is among the masterpieces of European artistic heritage. Its panes depict the medieval view of the world arranged around the figure of God the creator.

Plateforme 10
The new Platforme 10 “arts district” which brings together the Cantonal Fine Arts Museum, the Elysée Museum and the Museum of Design and Contemporary Arts is a unique venue dedicated to culture. It is also a living space that welcomes visitors of every kind with restaurants, relaxation areas, boutiques and bookshops. It is home to three museums and the Toms Pauli and Félix Vallotton Foundations on the site of the former locomotive works in Lausanne. Its public inauguration is scheduled for October 2019. The Plateform 10 project will ultimately host three museums: firstly MCBA who will open its doors in october 2019, followed by the Musée de l’Elysée (the canton’s photography museum) and mudac (the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts), both scheduled for completion by 2021.

Aquarium in Lausanne
It presents animals through a totally immersive and interactive scenography using innovative digital technologies. More than an aquarium or a vivarium, AQUATIS is an exceptional journey through our planet’s most fascinating freshwater environments. It is a recreational area, a pole of environmental education and a platform for exchanges. Freshwater is key to the message that AQUATIS wishes to communicate. It will of course determine the pace of the tour that has been designed like the life cycle of a drop of water as it travels around the world. AQUATIS invites visitors to dive head first into an immersive trip around the five continents to discover the main freshwater ecosystems and their flora and fauna. AQUATIS wishes to establish a long-lasting and emotional link with water, vital source of life. The wonderful journey becomes a journey of initiation and the tour encourages each and every visitor to think about their relationship with nature.

The Olympic Museum
The Olympic Capital, Lausanne has been home to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) for 100 years and in 1993, the IOC founded its unique official museum on the banks of Lake Geneva. In 2013, The Olympic Museum was completely renovated with the most up-to-date facilities. Now on three floors, the exhibition presents the origin of the games, the competitions and the athletic spirit through over 150 screens and 1500 objects: The Olympic torches and medals of all The Olympic games, as well as the equipment of the most famous athletes. Children adore slipping into the skin of an athlete thanks to the many interactive activities. With its temporary exhibitions, grounds decorated with works of art and a panoramic restaurant with a view over Lake Geneva and the Alps, this is a must-see attraction in Lausanne.

Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva, the largest freshwater lake in western Europe – and certainly the most romantic, having inspired countless artists – captivates the eye. Lending itself as much to barbecues on the beach as dinners on board the steamships that crisscross its waters, it offers every possible aquatic pleasure: sailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, pedalos… all the joys of summer, giving way to the magical light of the autumn and the soft mists of winter. For those who prefer to relax in the sunshine, the urban area of Lausanne boasts around fifty beaches with a range of amenities. Once the fine weather arrives, couples, families, singles and groups of teenagers share the expanses of grass and sand until late into the evening. In summer, several refreshment stands take up residence on the shores to serve fast food. Many restaurants open up their terraces to offer freshly caught fillets of perch, fera, pike and char, as Lake Geneva is the habitat of around thirty species of fish.

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
Take a walk through some of the most beautiful scenery in Switzerland: the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyard terraces are criss-crossed with marked trails with stunning views over Lake Geneva and the Alps. Little trains on wheels help you up the incline so you can enjoy a walk at your own pace. Carefully cultivating their vines for generation upon generation, whole families of vine-growers have shaped these beautiful vineyard terraces. The unique beauty of this landscape has seeped into the soul of visitors just as it has fascinated the many artists who lived in the little picturesque villages. Now considered a site of universal value, Lavaux has been elevated to the status of world heritage site by UNESCO, its mosaic of vines welcoming many walkers seeking renewed vitality and tranquillity. All along the educational trail from Lausanne to Montreux, Lavaux vine-growers invite visitors to explore the exceptional and authentic beauty of their vineyards, whatever the season. Wine tourism breaks offer wine tastings and the chance to sample typical products in the vineyard wine cellars, the ideal complement to walks through the vines.

The Rolex Learning Center
Built on the campus of EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Rolex Learning Center designed by the internationally acclaimed Japanese architectural practice, SANAA, will function as a laboratory for learning, a library with 500,000 volumes and an international cultural hub for EPFL, open to both students and the public. Spread over one single fluid space of 20,000 sq metres, it provides a seamless network of services, libraries, information gathering, social spaces, spaces to study, restaurants, cafes and beautiful outdoor spaces. It is a highly innovative building, with gentle slopes and terraces, undulating around a series of internal ʻpatiosʼ, with almost invisible supports for its complex curving roof, which required completely new methods of construction. Called Forum Rolex, the conference and event venue has a seating capacity of 600, arranged around a collapsible circular stage of 70 m2. Equipped with all the latest technologies, a cloakroom and a lodge, the Forum Rolex can be booked every day throughout the year.

Historical heritage

Castles and fortifications civil buildings
Located near the cathedral and built between 1400 and 1430, the Château Saint-Maire now belongs to the canton of Vaud and is the seat of the cantonal government. Seat of the Bishop until the Reformation, in 1536, it then became the seat of Bernese power by serving as a residence for the bailiffs, until 1798. The late Gothic building was restored around 1900; its current appearance is largely the result of these major works (facade on the square side, interior decoration). The House of the bishop always retains a decoration from the early XVI century, including a remarkable fireplace finely carved.
The former bishopric of Lausanne housed the bishops of Lausanne before the construction of the Château Saint-Maire. Built between the XI and the XV century and rebuilt several times from the XVIII century, it now houses the Historical Museum of Lausanne.
The tower of the Ale is a vestige still standing of the surrounding wall which formerly protected the city.
Located on the shore of Lake Geneva, the Château d’Ouchy was built in 1170 by the bishopric of Lausanne (completely rebuilt, except for the main tower, in the form of a hotel, in the 1890s).
The Town Hall of Lausanne was built between 1673 and 1675 between the Place de la Palud and the place of the Wolf. In addition to its administrative and political functions still in force, the Town Hall originally also fulfilled an economic function, housing a market hall on the ground floor, as well as a defensive function thanks to its bell tower which warned dangers.
The gibbet of Lausanne was located in Vidy under the Ancien Régime. Major Abraham Davel was beheaded there on April 24, 1723. A monument commemorates his memory on this site, which was excavated in 1898 by archaeologist Albert Naef. The numerous bones of convicts found on this occasion were placed temporarily in the chapel of La Maladière, then probably re-buried under the monument erected in 1899. The site is now included in the large ensemble of Louis-Bourget park. Vidy housed the gallows and the scaffold of Lausanne from 1544 until the abolition of the death penalty in the canton of Vaud in 1874. The last Vaudoise executed in Vidy was the arsonist Marie Marguerite Durussel in the fall of 1818 and the last Vaudois was Héli Freymond in 1868.

Religious buildings
The Notre Dame Cathedral, a Protestant, was built mostly between 1170 and 1230 approximately. It is the most important Gothic cathedral in Switzerland, drawing its models from northern France (Laon) and southern England (Canterbury). Its famous painted portal is one of the few in Europe to still retain significant traces of its original polychromy. The cathedral was restored in the 1870s by Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, who died in Lausanne in 1879, while the construction site was in full swing. Note that the cathedral also houses one of the last watchtowers Europe, which proclaims the time to the four cardinal points from the belfry, 365 days a year, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Reformed Church of St. Francis, located on the square namesake, was built between the XII and XIII century. It takes its name from the Franciscan monks who had been called there to provide religious service.
The reformed church of Saint-Laurent was built between 1716 and 1719 on the remains of an old medieval church. Today it is located at the heart of the network of pedestrian streets in downtown.
The Notre-Dame du Valentin, Catholic basilica, built in 1832 by the architect Henri Perregaux.
The Scottish Church, built in 1877 according to the plans of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
The English Church, located in the Sous-Gare district.
The German church of Villamont.
The Valentin Chapel, affiliated with the Evangelical Methodist Church in Switzerland, located on the Place de la Riponne.
The synagogue, located near the Georgette district.
The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gerassimos located next to the synagogue.
The mosque, located under the station.
The Protestant Church of Saint-Luc (rue de la Pontaise), 1938-1940, by the architect Paul Lavenex.
Various temples and churches spread throughout the city.
The Bois-Gentil Ecumenical and Neighborhood Center (Chemin du Bois-Gentil 9) was built in 2001-2002 by the architect Jean-Pierre Merz

Public buildings
The building of the Grand Council, erected in 1803 by the architect Alexandre Perregaux. Destroyed by an accidental fire in 2002, it was rebuilt by the architectural firm Atelier Cube (Marc-Henri Collomb) and, as regards the interior design in wood, by the architect Yves Weinand, professor and director of the iBois construction laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

The Rumine Palace is a building in the Florentine neo-renaissance style, built in 1896 by the Lyon architect Gaspard André near the city center and the city. It is now used as a museum.

Pleasure buildings
The neoclassical pavilion of the Abbaye de l’Arc, with a large terrace for shooting practice, was built in Montbenon in 1814 by the architect Henri Perregaux.
The Literary Circle (Place Saint-François 7) was founded in 1819 in order to provide literature lovers with a reading room where they can keep abreast of recent publications. Since 1821, the Circle has its headquarters in a house rebuilt in 1788 for Jean-Samuel Loys de Correvon. In 1855, the ground floor was modified when the square was leveled to house the Bazar Vaudois store. The upper floor, still occupied by the Literary Circle, has reception rooms (billiards and large living room) overlooking the Place Saint-François, which have retained their remarkable decor (woodwork, stucco) in the Louis XVI style.
The Beau-Rivage Palace hotel is a five-star palace built in 1861 (Beau-Rivage wing) and in 1908 (Palace) on the shore of Lake Geneva, and the Lausanne Palace is a palace built in 1915 in the city center.

Architecture of the 20th century
The Palais de Beaulieu is a 55,000 m congress and exhibition center built in 1915 north of Lausanne and in which more than 200 events take place per year. The palace also houses the Beaulieu Theater, the largest in Switzerland with 1,844 seats.
The Federal Tribunal, the supreme judicial authority of Switzerland, is now located in the Parc de Mon-Repos in a neoclassical style palace built in 1927.
The Bel-Air tower, considered the first skyscraper in Switzerland when it was built in 1931. A nineteen-storey building 68 meters high, it contains an auditorium, shops and offices.

Places and spaces
The Place de la Palud and buildings of XVIII and XIX centuries: each hour from 8 am to 19 pm, a clock animates and presents some of Lausanne story elements. It is on this square that the town hall and its arcades are located.
Ouchy, its quays and the Place de la Navigation: a place of relaxation for the people of Lausanne with its quays, its large pools, its carousel, its playground, its chess games and its slalom tracks for rollerblades and skate-boarders.
The Place Saint-François somehow the nerve center of the city of Lausanne. More than ten bus lines pass there and the square is an important place of passage for urban traffic. The pedestrian part of the square is very busy, in particular thanks to its numerous restaurants, markets and shops.
The place Riponne: bordered by the Rumine Palace and museums. Large outdoor market on Wednesday and Saturday.
Le Flon: a trendy place. There are many shops, nightclubs, bars, cinemas. A small ice rink is set up there in winter.
The Place Saint-Laurent (now Square-June 14) is a medieval square in the city center. There is the city center market, many shops and a Baroque Protestant church.
The Pépinet site is a pedestrian square which has the distinction of being the side of Central Street, instead of confluence of the rivers Wolf and Flon; they were vaulted and valleys filled the XIX century.
The place Chauderon is located at the north end of Chauderon bridge. On this square in the city center are the headquarters of the municipal library of Lausanne, the municipal administration as well as, to the north, the imposing building of the former Crédit foncier vaudois (1908-1910, by the architects Francis Isoz and Charles Brugger, extended to the west in 1932-1933 by Louis Dumas (The building now houses the archives of the Vaud Cantonal Bank) The square is also an important crossroads for urban traffic in Lausanne.
The Place du Tunnel is located below the north-west of the Cité hill. Place surrounded by buildings from the late eighteenth and beginning of the XIX century that are now occupied by restaurants, taverns and bars. The Barre tunnel is located to the east of the square and was drilled at the same time as the Grand-Pont, both part of the urban belt project of the cantonal engineer at the time, Adrien Pichard (1830-1840).
The place of the Sallaz, the nerve center of the district Sallaz / Vennes / Séchaud, northeast of the city; it hosts many shops and restaurants.

Culture Space

Art Walk
Works of art to discover throughout your walk. Explorers of all ages and from all backgrounds, Lausanne generously unfolds its charms to satisfy your curiosity. Sculptures, paintings, photographs are available to you in the public space. Spot them and discover the soul of the city through its artists. Their works are in parks, in squares, at the bend of a street, on facades and sometimes even in the courtyard of a building. Steep and cobbled streets in the historic heart; breathtaking view on the shores of Lake Geneva; vast green areas where you can relax or modern and vibrant districts in the city center…

Archizoom, located on the campus of the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne, presents exhibitions on architecture, construction or town planning.
The Swiss Cinematheque, whose main site is located in the Casino de Montbenon on the Esplanade de Montbenon, is a museum that preserves and archives audiovisual heritage.
The Collection de l’art brut, located in the Beaulieu district, is a museum that exhibits works of art from artists lacking artistic knowledge.
The Hermitage Foundation, located in the Sauvabelin district, preserves and exhibits paintings.
The Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, located near the station
The Lausanne Historical Museum, located on the Colline de la Cité
The Hand Museum, located in the buildings of the Vaudois University Hospital (CHUV) in the Vallon / Béthusy district, is a space devoted to scientific, medical and artistic culture.
Aquatis, located in the Sallaz / Vennes / Séchaud district, near the Vennes station of the M2 metro line, is a public aquarium as well as a vivarium.
The Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts (MUDAC), located on the Colline de la Cité, exhibits historical works of sculpture and ceramics, as well as contemporary works in glass, jewelry and prints.
The Olympic Museum, located on the shore of Lake Geneva, preserves and exhibits objects related to the history of the Olympic Games and sport.
The Musée de l’Elysée, located in the Montchoisi district, devoted to photography.
The Lausanne-Vidy Roman Museum, located on the archaeological site of Lousonna, in the district of Vidy, on the shore of Lake Geneva. It preserves and exhibits the remains of this city built in the I century.
The Bolo Museum, located in the buildings of the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne, exhibits old computers and computer equipment.
The Cantonal Museum of Archeology and History of Lausanne (Palais de Rumine)
The Espace Arlaud, exhibition space, located at the Place de la Riponne.
The Cantonal Geological Museum of Lausanne (Palais de Rumine)
The space of inventions, located in the Vallée de la Jeunesse.
The Lausanne Cantonal Museum and Botanical Gardens, located in the Milan Park.
The Typewriter Museum, located in the Maupas / Valency district.
The Shoe Museum, located in the Center district
The Cantonal Monetary Museum of Lausanne (Palais de Rumine)
The Cantonal Museum of Zoology of Lausanne (Palais de Rumine)

Theaters and concert halls
Vidy-Lausanne Theater

Lausanne Opera
Metropolis Room
Beaulieu Theater
Silo Context
CPO Croix d’Ouchy
Barn of Dorigny
Kléber-Méleau Theater
Lutins Theater
The Manufacture
The Octagon
The Little Theater
Le Pois Chiche Café-Theater
Pulloff Theaters
Cultural space of Terreaux
Vide-Poche Theater
Roads Café-Theater
Boulimie Theater
BCV Concert Hall, at the Haute École de Musique.
Satellite, on the EPFL Campus

The Swiss Cinematheque is headquartered in Lausanne, at the Casino de Montbenon, where most of the films are also screened. In 2010, the city bought the Capitole cinema to save it and make it available to the Cinémathèque. The Cinémathèque suisse now has two cinemas:
Paderewski Hall, Casino de Montbenon;
Capitol Cinema.

Until the early 1990s, the city of Lausanne was considered the French- speaking city of the seventh art. With the highest number of theaters / seats per inhabitant, Lausanne was experiencing its cinematic heyday. Since then, several independent cinemas (Romandie, CineQuaNon, Richemond) have been closed and the Pathé group has acquired or built many cinemas. Today the city has found its balance, offering an eclectic program to scholars (Bellevaux, Zinéma), as well as programming for the general public thanks to the multiplexes of Flon and the Galleries. The Lausanne cinemas are:
Pathé Flon, a multiplex of seven theaters mainly showing exploitation films;
Pathé Les Galeries, a multiplex of eight rooms, mainly showing films from the milieu, documentaries but also a few exploitation films;
Cinétoile Malley Lumières, a six-screen multiplex mainly showing exhibition films;
Bellevaux Cinema, independent cinema showing films from the milieu and auteur films;
Zinéma, an independent miniplex with two cinemas showing arthouse films;
Oblò, independent film programming of short films, of documentaries, of experimental films and animated films outside the commercial circuit, as well as Swiss film.

For the youngest, the magic lantern cinema club reserved for children and supported by the City of Lausanne, organizes weekly screenings at the Pathé Flon cinema.

Cultural events
The Prix de Lausanne, an international dance competition created in 1973, is held in January or February at the Beaulieu theater. This event aims to identify the most promising talents. The participants are between 15 and 18 years old and the winners of the competition receive a scholarship to facilitate their beginnings in the professional world of dance. The Prix de Lausanne is an competitions ballet the most famous in the world.

Each year, Lausanne takes part in several traditional festivals, such as the carnival festival, the Swiss national holiday and the music festival.

A major event in Lausanne’s cultural life, the Festival de la Cité takes place every year in early July in the historic district of the City. Street arts festival, it combines theater, music, dance and circus, creating a true festive event free and open to all.

Among the other festivals taking place in Lausanne, there is also the Electrosanne festival, an electronic music festival taking place every year at the end of the summer in different clubs and streets of the city, BD-FIL, international comic strip festival, the LUFF (Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival), a film and music festival, and the JazzOnze +, a jazz festival founded in 1986.

Lausanne also hosts the Lunapark, a fun fair taking place in Bellerive during the summer, the Cirque Knie as well as the Lausanne gardens summer event. Until 2018, it hosted the Comptoir suisse, a fair that took place every year at the Palais de Beaulieu.

Natural space

Parks and gardens
Lausanne is considered one of the greenest cities in Europe. It has many parks, including:

the botanical garden of Lausanne (or botanical garden of Crêt-de-Montriond);
the Esplanade de Montbenon which offers a panoramic view of Lake Geneva and the Alps;
the park of Mon-Repos, an English-style park with its copy of a medieval ruin and its aviary;
the park of Milan, regrouping the place of Milan and the Crêt de Montriond;
the Denantou park;
the park of Valency;
the Derrière-Bourg promenade;
the Vuachère promenade in the Chailly district;
the Cedars campaign;
the Desert campaign;
the Sauvabelin wood, with Sauvabelin Lake and Sauvabelin tower;
the district of Vidy;
the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery, where Coco Chanel, Pierre de Coubertin, Paul Robert, Alphonse Laverrière and Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc are buried;
the Vallée de la Jeunesse, a valley near La Maladière. This is a holdover from the 1964 National Exhibition. It has a park, a museum and a play area with a magnificent view of the lake and the Alps;
the countryside of the Hermitage and the hill of the signal located between the foundation of the Hermitage and the wood of Sauvabelin;
The Chalet-à-Gobet is notably a recreational area on the heights of the city in the Jorat;
the town has 1,882 hectares of forest, of which 1,500 are located on the municipal territory, largely in fairground areas, in the Bois du Jorat, which is also a popular place for walking in Lausanne. There are shelters, the Chalet-des-Enfants, the Abbey of Montheron and thematic and educational itineraries such as the path of the fountains of the Jorat woods or the path of the pond of Bressonne.

Lausanne and Wine
Lausanne is the Swiss city with the largest number of vineyards. Surrounded on one side by the wonderful terraced vineyards of Lavaux, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on the other by the vineyards of La Côte, the city of Lausanne joined in 2018 the network of world wine capitals, Great Wine Capitals Global Network. Open cellars, harvest festivals, wine bars, tastings, etc. Lausanne residents love wine and know how to put it in the spotlight. You can simply walk there to enjoy this extraordinary panorama, you will also have the opportunity to taste the wines produced in these exceptional vineyards.

Lausanne and the Water
It is water that carved out Lake Geneva and sculpted the hills of the upper town; these two poles, shore and hills, have welcomed human habitat. Water has been channeled since the Middle Ages to supply fountains, turn the wheels of mills. The lake have most of the aquatic leisure activities, with the construction of quays, squares, parks and swimming pools.

Mouth of the Vuachère
Revitalized by the partial diversion of the waters of the Flon in its course, the Vuachère is bordered by a nature reserve.

Cgn Landing Stage
Built on the site of the merchant port of the Middle Ages, very active until the Belle Epoque, it welcomes boats for tourism. The pleasure dock dates back to 1901.

Ouchy, its quays, the lake and the afternoon walks in the middle of the crowd. In summer as in winter, one hurries there at the slightest appearance of the sun. We can discover three sumptuous gardens of Lausanne which follow one another along the quays: the Denantou, the Elysée, a little behind, and the Olympic Park, but also, the rose garden of the place of General Guisan which presents more than 130 different kinds of roses. Finally, it is from the CGN piers located at the end of the Dapples gardens that you can embark for a unique cruise on Lake Geneva.

Navigation Square
Built in 1995, it is bordered on the street side by a basin at the site of the old shore. Its primary vocation, industrial and commercial, has completely given way to leisure.

Ouchy, Dry Dock
This is where the boats of the Lake Geneva fleet are maintained. On the land side, the boats unload the sand and gravel extracted at the mouth of the Rhône, intended for construction.

Public Baths
The lake is an important tourist asset. The Société des hôteliers established in 1927 these baths reserved for foreign tourists, in competition from 1937 by those, neighbors, of Bellerive.

Chauderon Bridge
The Chauderon bridge, 240 m long, completed the new belt in 1905. Below, firefighters’ vehicles benefit from the new road axis created to the detriment of the Flon.

At the end of the bridge, we find the Galfetti Tower, an architectural building erected by Aurelio Galfetti in 1987. Eight storeys high, it is from the inside that it is most impressive.

The city has 310 fountains. They were the subject of a census in 2013, and a book was dedicated to these water points, entitled “Le Guide des fontaines de Lausanne et environs”, published in 2016. The most emblematic of them, being the fountain of justice, located on the Place de la Palud.

Sauvabelin Lake
An almost magical place, in a centuries-old oak forest, with an animal park (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, peacocks and birds), an artificial lake built at the end of the last century and various catering possibilities.