For me, Lausanne sometimes still feels a bit like an untameable beast. It is one of the larger cities in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, and in many ways feels entirely different from say Luzern or Zürich. More bohemian and definitely more relaxed than their German-speaking counterparts. The city of Lausanne is built on a hillside sloping towards the lake and height differences in the city make Lausanne feel much bigger than it actually is.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Lausanne a few times now, and while I am in no way an expert of the places to be in Lausanne, I have found some charming favorites I want to share!
Le Barbare café
Located on the quaint ‘Escaliers du marché’, the small café Le Barbare is a perfect destination for a coffee or a drink when discovering the city. We sat down on the small and cozy terrace and enjoyed our coffee and sunday breakfast treats in the warming sun.
Reasonable prices and lovely staff make this one to return to when in Lausanne!
Le Barbare café
Esc. du Marché 27, 1003 Lausanne
Brasserie de Montbenon
Okay, this place is popular, especially on the weekends. Brasserie de Montbenon is a bistro and restaurant in the Montbenon Casino, located in the park with the same name. You find the park in the middle of the city, but the height-differences in Lausanne makes that the terrace has unobstructed views of the lake and the mountains. Come here for a coffee, something sweat or a fancy lunch and enjoy the view and people-watching. A reservation is advised, again, especially in the weekend!
Brasserie de Montbenon
All. Ernest-Ansermet 3, 1003 Lausanne
The botanical gardens
In a bustling city like Lausanne, it is always nice to find a little oasis of tranquility, and the Lausanne Botanical Garden is such place. The botanical garden is smalled compared to others, like the one in Bern, but worth a visit nonetheless. They have some greenhouses and a wide varieties of vegetation planted on the hillside.
February, when we visited, is definitely not the prime-time to go there. However, I could instantly tell this is a must-visit for the summer months when everything is blooming!
Av. de Cour 14bis, 1007 Lausanne
Looking for a casual place to have easy food and great Belgian beers? Look no further, Belga at metro station Ours is the place-to-be. There a lot’s of other great bars in the vicnity, in case it turns into a pub crawl night!
Personal tip: try out the Bitterballen and the Belgian fries when paying Belga a visit. You won’t be disappointed!
Pl. de l’Ours 1, 1005 Lausanne
The Olympic Museum Café
While I haven’t visited the Olympic Museums exhibitions yet (another reason to return to Lausanne!), the Café in the museum made my brunch dreams come true. I wrote an very positive review about the brunch a while back, and can not wait to return to TOM’s Café. Yes, it is rather pricy, but you will be amazed by the choice of buffet items you will find. Make it a bucket list item when in Lausanne! Plan for a brisk walk after your brunch, because you will absolutely eat too much when visiting the Olympic Museum Café.
Quai d’Ouchy 1, 1006 Lausanne
Lausanne is located right on the shores of Lac Léman, or Lake Geneva. During the summer, this is a great lake to go for a swim, or a sunny lake cruise. But a walk by the lake is an absolute must year-round if the weather allows. Walk from the Olympic Museum to the park and Ouchy and enjoy the backdrop of majestic mountains and the clear sapphire water.
Share your favorite places in Lausanne with me!
I am well aware that the above overview is merely scratching the surface of this amazing city on lake Geneva. I can’t wait until we travel to the Olympic again, and would love to hear what your favorite places in town are! This way, I can keep on expanding my bucket list!