Lausanne Lake and Mountain Holidays

Switzerland's forth-largest city enjoys a stunning location. Lausanne is situated on south-facing slopes down to Lake Geneva which vary in height from one side of the city to the other by an astonishing 600m. This allows for some breathtaking views over the lake and the region. The medieval Old Town, with its many historical sights, is dominated by one of the country's grandest Gothic cathedrals. Small alleyways with cafés and boutiques shape the mostly car-free city centre. Also worth a visit are the many colourful parks and gardens bursting with sub-Mediterranean vegetation.

If you wish to stay elsewhere in the Lake Geneva area, we also have hotels in Montreux available.

Did you know?

With 28 metro stations, Lausanne is the smallest city in the world to have such an extensive rapid transport system.

Additional Information
Useful Information
  • Flight time from London: 1 hour 35 min
  • Geneva Airport: 61km from the city centre; transfer time about 45 min
  • Currency: Swiss franc

The Old Town and its Gothic Cathedral

Built in separate stages, starting in 1170, the Gothic cathedral stands tall over the historic Old Town. There are many other interesting buildings found on these cobbled streets and every Saturday a farmers' market takes place.


The Olympic Museum

As Lausanne is the official Olympic capital of the world, it seems apt to visit this interesting museum. The permanent exhibition looks at how the Olympic Games started, offers information of Olympians through the years and discusses what is meant by the Olympic spirit.


Lavaux Unesco Vineyards

These UNESCO protected vineyards line the slopes beside Lake Geneva. It is thought that wine has been grown here since Roman times and this is your chance to taste some of today's offerings.


Art Brut Museum

Housing a collection of rebellious artworks, the Art Brut museum highlights non-conformity and unique pieces that stem from a movement created in 1945 by Jean Dubuffet.


Fondation de l’Hermitage

This museum of fine art can be found in a beautiful hilltop location overlooking the city. The building is a perfect example of a luxurious 19th-century residence and features works by artists such as Marie Laurencin, René Magritte and François Bocion.


The Watchman

If you want to experience a true Lausanne tradition that has been in place since the Middle Ages, listen to the watchman mark the hours between 10pm and 2am from the cathedral belfry.


Glacier 3000

Located a couple of hours outside of Lausanne, this ski resort offers a wide range of winter sports throughout the year.


Any overnight hotel stay in Lausanne entitles you to a free public transport card which can be used on a network of trams, trains and buses. The city has the only underground metro system in Switzerland, featuring 14 different stations.


Lausanne is easily reached from Geneva Airport thanks to four direct trains every hour. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes.

Things to do

Belle Epoque Ships

These charming steamboats have been sailing across the blue waters of Lake Geneve for over 140 years and will transport you back to the Belle Epoque era. Choose from a wide range of trips, including a winemakers cruise to Chillon Castle or a short hop to one of the quaint villages on the lakeside.


Afternoon Aperitifs

The locals enjoy nothing more than indulging in the French tradition of L’apéro. Head to one of the lakeside restaurants, such as La Jetée de la Compagnie, and enjoy an aperitif and a light snack in the sun.


The Balade des Panoramas

This 3.5-mile walk will talk you from the Sauvabelin Tower, in the north of the city, to Montriond Hillcrest on the shores of Lake Geneva. Along the way, you will stop at ten of the most beautiful viewpoints, overlooking the glistening water and the fantastic countryside all around.


Lausanne Estivale

From mid-June to mid-September there will be over 450 free events happening around the city, from music concerts to cultural celebrations and festival. These include the Fête de la Musique (21st June) and the Festival de la Cité (4th - 9th July).


Bô Noël

The Lausanne Christmas Market will take over the city from 23rd November to 24th December 2017. There's a children's village, plenty of market stalls and an ice-skating rink.


Festival Lausanne Lumières

During the Lausanne Light Festival (23rd November - 31st December) many of the city's buildings and monument feature innovative and beautiful light displays. A map will guide you around all of them.

What to eat

Papet Vaudois

Sausages on a bed of stewed leek and potato

Bouchons Vaudois

Cork-shaped sweets with a praline filling

Filets de Perches

Freshly-caught perch fillet from Lake Geneva in a white wine sauce.

How To Christmas Market Like A Pro
If you’re thinking about spending some time at one (or some) of Europe’s magical Christmas markets this December, now is the time to start planning. Here are some great tips to enjoy your chosen European Christmas market like a pro.