Lausanne Pictures Guide, Switzerland

Lausanne Old Town view, Switzerland

Lausanne Old Town view, west Switzerland.

Lausanne Old Town

Notre Dame Cathedral, Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne’s Gothic Cathedral (1215), Notre Dame.

The cathedral’s sublime central stained glass window. The Notre Dame also contains a celebrated Rose Window and a  renowned seven thousand pipe organ on which concerts are given from time to time.

The Bugcrew felt an immense sense of relief on the highway about halfway from Interlaken to Lausanne when suddenly all signs, road markings, crops, hats, cuisine and speech became French, with vineyards, berets and a sensual language of communication that we at least partially understood, leaving behind German, a language of command of which we understood little more than nein, ja, ja, ja, danke and verboten.

Sadly, while Lausanne certainly sported a grand joie de vivre, the city proved to be less interesting in terms of sights than the Germanic cities of central Switzerland, though it has a lengthy lakeshore, good free cycling and some fine museums. Live there? Oui. Tourism? Hmm. . .

However, all is not lost because Lausanne is not far from some excellent activities and destinations, such as Vevey (20 mins by car or bike there), Montreux (1 hour), Geneva (30mins by train), Berne (70 mins by train) and Verbier ski resort (1 hour by train)

Chateau Saint-Marie, Lausanne, Switzerland

Chateau Saint-Marie, at the top of Lausanne’s old town. No sign of any attractions inside.

Lausanne Old Town sights

Lausanne Town Hall, Hôtel de Ville, Place de la Palud, Switzerland

The Town Hall (1673), Hôtel de Ville, in Place de la Palud.

Shopping in Lausanne old town, Switzerland

Shopping in Lausanne old town.

Lausanne, Palais de Rumine museums interior, Switzerland

La Palais de Rumine containing various museums including Fine Arts and Natural History, in Place de la Riponne. Closed Mondays.

Lausanne, Fountain of Justice, Place de la Palud, Switzerland

The Fountain of Justice in Place de la Palud.

Lausanne, Olympic Museum, Switzerland

Lausanne’s Olympic Museum on Quai d’Ouchy and great sculpture park overlooking Lac Leman/Lake Geneva. Lausanne is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and the city is known as the Capitale Olympique.

Getting Around

The tourist areas of of Lausanne are conveniently compact but unfortunately the city is built on a fairly steep gradient so trudging up and down to the lake shore (Ouchy) from the Old Town (Riponne) or party central (Flon), would be a tiresome hike but for the terrific M2 Metro system . This robo-driven, mini-train runs runs up and down the hillside – as well as along it – and is well-worth getting a day-pass on it unless you have thighs of steel. It basically runs under Avenue d’Ouchy.

Vineyards

Vineyards in Lavaux, between Lausanne and Vevey, Switzerland

Some of the 800-year old, 800 hectares of protected vineyards in Lavaux, between Lausanne and Vevey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wine lovers should get off the main roads and into the Lavaux area and take Le Petit Train de Lavaux from the villages of Cully, Lutry and more which visits many vineyards and wine cellars, enabling much merriment and inebriation, especially since the ‘train’ is a tractor in fancy dress, , but of course passengers are free to get vintage wrecked.

Getting there

Rail: There are frequent trains from other major Swiss cities such as Geneva, Berne and Zurich, as well as four high-speed trains daily from Paris’ Gare de Lyon, and eight per day from Italy’s Milan, plus night trains from Rome and Florence.

Air: The nearest airport is Geneva and a car/train from there to the city takes less than an hour.

Water: Ferries run across Lac Leman/Lake Geneva from Montreux, Geneva and France’s Evian.

Bus: Long-distance buses arrive from all over Europe but generally travel via Geneva or Basel.