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Overview

An enlightening city in Switzerland

An enlightening city in Switzerland

Inhabited since the Stone Age, Lausanne majestically sits on the shores of sparkling Lake Geneva. A mecca for romantic writers (Lord Byron) and enlightenment thinkers (Voltaire) the lake has also drawn its fair share of expats and entertainers (Sophia Loren, Charlie Chaplin) thanks to its air of elegance and grace. And while it retains a level of sophistication, today’s Lausanne is more a hotspot for sports enthusiasts and the Olympic spirit.

No wonder the International Olympic Committee has its headquarters here along with the official games’ museum. Housing permanent and temporary exhibits totaling more than 10,000 pieces, it’s the largest archive of its kind in the world. You’ll find true works of art here as well, including sculptures by Rodin and a kinetic art piece by Swiss sculpture Jean Tinguely. If you have the spirit of the games, then this museum is pure gold.

Nestled in the Lavaux and La Cote Wine region, the city of Lausanne is the fifth largest in Switzerland. With what might be the most efficient rail service in Europe, you can see the other big cities : Lucerne and Zurich in just over two hours. Geneva in only 40 minutes. But don’t rush off just yet. The train will do that part, and you can sit back and relax with your Swiss Travel Pass.

About Switzerland


Lausanne is considered the "San Francisco" of Switzerland, thanks to its curvy, hilly landscape. But these hills are nothing in comparison to the mammoth mountains in both size and beauty that surround the Lausanne. It’s not an easily walkable city. Lucky for you, there are 28 stops on its metro system, on a side-note, Lausanne is the smallest city in the world to have a subway.

Back on terra firma, Lausanne isn’t without its closer-to-sea-level monuments. The Town Hall and its belfry tower over the picturesque Place de la Palud. Built in the 17th century in classic Vaud architecture, the building has served several functions : politically, it was both the home and symbol of the city’s power ; economically, the halls of its ground floor housed the popular wheat market ; defensively, the belfry warned of danger.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame is considered the most beautiful Gothic church in Switzerland. Construction on the cathedral began in 1175 and was consecrated in 1275 by Pope Gregory X. To this day, the outside has never truly been completed. The interior is elegance personified – just like Lausanne.

This is a place to be enlightened – by the scenery, the people and the culture of Switzerland.

Taste the Fondue fromage which consists of Emmentaler and/or Gruyère cheeses melted with white wine and spices and served with bread for dipping. Anther tasty dishe is the Rösti which consists of grated potatoes served in a round pancake form.

In Lausanne, you will find everything from food, fashion, clocks and watches, galleries and bookshops. Just head to the city centre and you’ll find a wide choice of shops.

_ Lausanne Tourisme and Convention bureau
Avenue de Rhodanie 2. 491000 Lausanne
Tel: +41 21 613 73 73

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Lausanne station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Lausanne.

Lausanne city guide

Travel forum

From our travel community

Reservation booked/tickets received transfer times are 5 min! Hi, I reserved and booked train tickets on rail europe already and found a few reservations I made with 5-6 min transfer! Is this enough time? What happens if I miss a transfer, can I just jump on the next one without buying another ticket? (...)

mlo878 | 15 February 2011 complete | 54 Comments
Zurich connection time Me and my parents (both 70) are taking the train from Lausanne to Vienna. The recommended itineraries only leave 12 minutes for a connection in Zurich. I'm concerned this isn't enough time, especially since neither of them can lift their (...)

EmmaECA | 17 September 2028 complete | 5 Comments
Not having any luck using the rail europe app to research if i simply can get on a train and ride with a eurail global (...) I tried using the Rail Europe app on my iPad and found only frustration. Trying to enter Departing cities like Montreux, Lucerne (or Luzern), Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Ljubljana, Feldkirch, all I got was a blank box. The only ones that (...)

Rich Mansfield | 17 September 2002 complete | 5 Comments
Trying to purchase tickets from olten to coppet, but i don't see coppet as an option. is the coppet train station in (...) I am tiring to get from Olten to Coppert and I am not sure what station to go to since it will not let me select Coppet

Brittney | 17 August 2007 complete | 1 Comments
Can i take my bike from montreux to st. margrethen? I can not reserve a place with Swiss rail for my bike. Can I just buy a ticket at the rail station in Montreux?

jack bauer | 17 August 2001 complete | 1 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Just Average |
    "Seating ok, nothing really first class about that. Swiss IR trains 2nd class was lot better. Food was below average, no Vegetarian food. No choices at all. Quantity very less, luckily we did bring our own food. Tickets should be checked before boarding as did not have Euro Rail passes, this could have been informed earlier or made to bought along with tickets as online pricing was very confusing. Booking Taxi was just perfect. Staff Supportive..Thanks, sorry will not recommend to anyone or never try the 1st class again. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    My Paris to Lausanne Train Tri |
    "I had the opportunity to travel on the TGV Lyria fast train from Paris to Lausanne on the 7th of September, 2015. The train was scheduled to depart at 15:58 p.m. from Paris Gare de Lyon station and it left exactly at the scheduled time. The overall journey was very comfortable and allowed me a relaxed trip. I would definitely recommend the TGV Lyria trains for anyone looking to travel across Europe. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Good but room for improvement |
    "WiFi in the train would have been good "

  • it was good |
    "easy and very nice "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    TGV Trip |
    "The TGV is an excellent train that provided us with a very comfortable journey in a short period of time. "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Very good experience ! |
    "It was a very good experience traveling Swiss by train ! The train was convenient and easily available. Most important thing was that I could see fantastic sceneries during the trip by getting trains ! "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Perfect combination of comfort |
    "I travelled with my wife and 3 kids. Full marks for cleanliness and upkeep of the train and the cabin. We were on a 15 days holiday and hence had 3 medium sized luggage and some small hand held bags but storage was sufficient to accommodate all of them without any hassles. We are vegetarians (Vegan) and little skeptical about the food on the train but to our surprise the food was very good and we really enjoyed it. The ravioli and the salad were very good. The wine too was very good but in France it always is. Speed was thrilling and the train was punctual to the minute. All in all a perfect journey. Loved it "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Perfect |
    "We traveller first Class and loved it ! Food and everything was soo good ! Only thing missing was wifi on the train "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    all good. |
    "I was so tired that i did not feel the trip "

  • Value for money
    Convenience
    Very good |
    "Thank you "

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