Top things to do in Lausanne: a complete guide

Lausanne is located at the famous Lake Geneva. This city is the second-largest one along the shores of Lake Geneva. The capital of the canton of Vaud offers you both the benefits of a large city and its compact enough to quickly move around and explore what this vivid city has to offer.

Lausanne is equipped with a centre full of shops, bars and restaurants and has an energetic nightlife. In this blog, we will inform you more about the top things to do in Lausanne. This blog will bring you a complete guide about everything Lausanne has to offer. Let’s start!


Is Lausanne worth a visit?

Instead of waiting, let’s answer this important question first. Is Lausanne worth visiting? Yes, without a doubt Lausanne is definitely worth visiting. For several reasons, we recommend you to visit Lausanne. The city has such a lovely vibe, young and energetic and offers you a rich history. On top of that Lausanne offers modern shops and of course, let’s not forget the idyllic location of Lausanne at the beautiful Lake Geneva. In our opinion enough reasons to visit this extraordinary city.

Unique things to do in Lausanne

1. Admire Lake Geneva

We start this list with Lake Geneva. As mentioned above Lausanne is located on the shores of beautiful lake Geneva. The lake separates two countries: France and Switzerland. This being said, if you are in Lausanne you can actually view the French alps. Of course, the lake in the foreground and the wonderful alps in the background are impressive!

We recommend booking a steam cruise/boat cruise. This is a highly popular activity performed by tourists. The traditional steamers give such a nice touch to this place. You can stop in several cities/towns. This makes it possible to explore nearby towns/cities. We loved the scenic cruise to Geneva, friends took the ride to Montreux. We only heard about lovely experiences. To view up to date information about the possible steam cruises check out the website of CGN.

Steamer cruise Lausanne
A steam cruiser on Lake Geneva

2. The Lausanne Cathedral

Located in the centre of Lausanne, the majestic Lausanne Cathedral can be viewed. The towers of the cathedral rise above the city. Over 400.000 people visit the Cathedral yearly. As we mentioned earlier Lausanne offers you a rich history. One of the examples of this rich history is the Cathedral of Lausanne. It was constructed in the 13th century. The cathedral became protestant in the year 1536. The western part of the cathedral was built by Jean Cotereel. Of course, since the cathedral became protestant there were some significant changes. The interior is mega colourful. This interior dates back to the 13th century. Interesting is that the interior was covered during the reformation so in the 16th century. In the 20th century, they took the covers away and nowadays the beautiful old interior is again shown to all the visitors.

Nowadays the paintings in the Chapel of the Virgin and the statues of the painted doorway are still there. This is really unique. In 2007 these paintings were fully restored. If you are there, try to spot the rose window, this is one of the masterpieces of the European artistic heritage, one word breathtaking.

Special evening event

Most people visit a cathedral during the daytime, but did you know something special happens from 10 p.m? After dinner check out the cathedral, each hour Renato Hausler stands at the top of the tower and shouts to the residents. A long time ago the men on the top of the tower had a function as watchmen, this tradition is over 600 years old. Check out a very interesting interview with the watchmen here.

The opening hours of the cathedral are:

  • From April 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022. Monday – Sunday 09:00 – 19:00
  • From October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. Monday – Sunday 09:00 – 17:30
The Cathedral of Lausanne

3. The Olympic museum

Lausanne is the city of the international Olympic committee. The city is known as the Olympic Capital. In the Olympic Park, you have a beautiful view of Lake Geneva. The exhibition is shown over three floors, really interesting. The museum is informative, and many people say the exhibition is lovely displayed about the past Olympic events, medals of the athletes and so on. There are some activities too, for example, a balance and coordination test, so much fun. The garden is beautiful, with architectural art and beautiful flowers and trees.

4. Must visit for art lovers

This is one of the best museums in Lausanne. The Collection de l’Art Brut, is displayed in a fabulous mansion, a unique experience. A collection is full of works by self-taught artists. You can find the museum In the centre of Lausanne, the wonderful Château de Beaulieu houses the Collection de l’Art Brut. Through the permanent and temporary collections, people visiting the museum arrive to reflect on and comprehend these artists who are not artists. Good to know, there is free admission to the museum every first Saturday of the month. otherwise, prices for adults are 12 CHF and for students 6 CHF. Find up to date information about opening times and so on here.

How to get to Lausanne from Geneva?

The most efficient way to reach Lausanne from Geneva is by train. The train takes you in around 35 minutes form Geneva to Lausanne. This train leaves every 30 minutes. Find the route here. Prices range from 20-35 CHF. A cheaper option is to take the bus which will take around 55-60 minutes. This will cost around 2-10 CHF. Of course you can also reach Lausanne from Geneva by car or taxi. Good to know, taxis are rather expensive. By car it will take around 56 minutes to get form geneva to Lausanne by car, this is a 63.3 km ride.

What is Lausanne famous for?

First of all, Lausanne is famous for being the Olympic capital. The world headquarters of the Olympics are situated in Lausanne. There is a fabulous museum about the history of the Olympics with a stunning garden. Lausanne offers a rich history with a beautiful old cathedral dating back to the 13th century. Located at Lake Geneva this is a gorgeous city to visit.

The best time to visit Lausanne

The best time to visit Lausanne is from May till the end of August. So the spring and summer seasons definitely are a good time to visit Lausanne. With more certainty about the weather, less rain and probably way more sun this is a lovely time to visit this vivid city. The big benefit of visiting Lausanne during the warmer months is that you can enjoy everything Lake Geneva has to offer as well. As Lausanne is directly located at Lake Geneva.

Good to know, during the summer months Lausanne can be quite busy, as European kids have summer holidays many families come to visit Lausanne and Lake Geneva. If you have the possibility maybe think of visiting Lausanne during the less crowded months such as May or September. October is a cheaper and less crowded month as well.

Lausanne vs Geneva

This is a good question, which is better or more worth visiting; Lausanne or Geneva. Lausanne is a smaller city than Geneva. However, Geneva on the other hand is wealthier and has a better international reputation. Lausanne and Geneva are the largest cities situated along Lake Geneva.

Geneva with the famous Jet d’Eau

Lausanne is known as the Olympic capital, Geneva is more known as a more dynamic international city. If we have to be honest, we think there are more things to do in Geneva than Lausanne. Both cities have almost the same travel and general costs. Lausanne is probably a little bit more expensive, but the difference is minimal.

If you would like to know more about Geneva, we wrote a blog about this beautiful city as well. Check it out here.


This blog post about Lausanne shows you how diverse this city is. With a rich centre with the famous cathedral of Lausanne, which definitely is a must-visit, this city has a rich history. In this blog, you can read about the several beautiful museums you can visit in Lausanne, such as the Olympic museum. Lausanne is known as the Olympic capital, read more about it in the blog. We hope this blog helped you and answered your questions!

Ciao for now! 🙂


Maurits love affair with Switzerland started on his first visit to Switzerland and still continues today. He visits Switzerland often and enjoys writing about his discoveries and sharing his tips with fellow travellers.

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