What to see in Lausanne in 3 days

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Lausanne is a city in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the canton of Vaud. Its landscape is presented as in a painting: the mountains behind it, the green woods and the delightful city where it is possible to walk pleasantly through the traffic-free historic center. In its surroundings there are exceptional vineyards and crops for this part of Switzerland, thanks to the beneficial influences of the lake.
The city also responds to the most demanding tourists by offering fun, culture, relaxation, nature. Let's find out together, then, what to see in Lausanne in a weekend days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Lausanne cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Notre Dame de Lausanne, Musée Historique

The tour begins with a hearty American breakfast or brunch at the Blackbird Coffee & Breakfast Club, a stone's throw from the Cathedral (CHF 16,00 - € 15,00).
Then we can visit the splendid one Notre Dame de Lausanne Cathedral, whose large colored rose window is recognizable from afar. It is a religious building of Gothic architecture, with a tower of 200 meters from which we can enjoy the view of the entire city and the lake (visits from 09:00 to 19:00 by reservation, ticket CHF 5,00 - € 4,50).
Next to the Cathedral, in the same square, we can visit the Musée Historique de Lausanne, inside a splendid castle completely renovated recently, which now houses an exhibition illustrating the history of Lausanne (open daily from 11:00 at 18:00, ticket CHF 8,00 - € 7,15).

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Palais de Rumine, Château de Saint-Maire, historic center

We have lunch at the nearby Restaurant la Vieux-Lausanne, a typical place where to eat traditional dishes (tartarre recommended), for about CHF 45,00 (€ 40,00) per person.
The tour then continues to the Palais de Rumine, an ancient historic building which houses 5 exhibitions and a library (Tue-Thu 11:00 - 18:00, Fri-Sun 11:00 - 17:00, free admission). The exhibits vary from the geology of the region, zoology, archeology and history, numismatics, the cosmos, divided on each floor. Entry is free, you just have to stop and buy a ticket to register your entry.
Finally we complete the afternoon at the nearby Château de Saint-Maire, at 350 meters: it is not possible to visit it inside, because current seat of government offices, but the outside is still very beautiful and in its surroundings there are small characteristic streets where we can take a nice walk before dinner.

3 - Evening: Dinner, place de la Palud

We have dinner in one of the oldest restaurants in Lausanne: Café du Grutli, where we can enjoy a real Swiss cheese fondue, How tasty! Or you can also order fish from the lake, for around CHF 45,00 (€ 40,00) per person.
Leaving the restaurant we can proceed on Rue Mercerie and arrive at the beating heart of Lausanne, the place de la Palud. Here the inhabitants of the city meet to spend a few hours in the numerous cafes and restaurants, and tourists flock to the Fountain of Justice and the mechanical clock which tells the story of Lausanne. We are in Switzerland, a visit to the clock cannot be missed!

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,6 km / 25 min
  • Places visited: Cathedral (€ 4,50), Musée Historique (€ 7,15), Palais de Rumine (free), Château de Saint-Maire (free), place de la Palud (free)
  • tour of the Gruyères with cheese and chocolate tastings
  • Breakfast at Blackbird Coffee & Breakfast Club (Get directions), Lunch at Restaurant la Vieux-Lausanne (Get directions), Dinner at Café du Grutli (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Collection de l'Art Brut, Parc du Chateau de Beaulieu

Breakfast at the Café du Simplon, next to the Lausanne station, where coffee, tea, intercontinental breakfasts are available for CHF 16,00 (€ 15,00). Then we take bus line 21, direction Lausanne Blécherette and get off at the Beaulieu stop to visit the Collection de l'Art Brut museum, 100 meters from the stop, it will take you about 10 minutes to arrive.
This museum does not exhibit the usual works of art: it is in fact a completely extraordinary collection, composed of works made by people with psychic problems or traumas, whose artistic expression has become a means of communicating one's interiority. An experience to live. The museum is open from 11:00 to 18:00 and the ticket costs CHF 10,00 (€ 8,90). However, if you plan your visit for the first Saturday of the month, entry will be free. Don't worry if you arrive too early to visit the museum: there is a splendid park next door, called Parc and Promenade du Chateau de Beaulieu.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Botanical Garden, Olympic Museum

Upon returning near the station we can have lunch at the Cafè de Grancy, where we will enjoy a soup or a salad for around CHF 30,00 (€ 25,00). Then we can do one relaxing walk in the greenery of the nearby Botanical Garden, about 500 meters. The garden is very large and equipped with ponds and paths, it is open every day until 18 pm from May to October, and during the opening hours you can also visit the internal museum, free of charge.

After the visit we move to the Olympic Museum, on the shore of the lake. We can take bus 25 at the Beauregard stop, direction Pully, and get off after a few minutes at the Musée Olympique stop. It is a really interesting exhibit, first of all for its position on the lake and then why tells the story of the Olympics through images, films, and of course the uniforms and the Olympic torch. The Museum is open until 18:00 and the ticket costs CHF 15,00 (€ 14,00).

3 - Evening: Dinner, Ouchy

Since we are in the area, once we leave the Olympic Museum we can spend the evening in Ouchy, on the shores of the lake, picturesque harbor where once there was a fishing village. From here the ferries leave for the other towns overlooking the lake and there is really a lot of movement. The area is very beautiful, characterized by the presence of Ouchy Castle, now restored and turned into a hotel, and paths where you can walk and admire the sunset.
We can have dinner at the Restaurant Le Pirate, where you can taste good clams for around CHF 40,00 (€ 35,00) and, after dinner, have a drink at the port at the MGM Café, a drink costs around CHF 12,00 (€ 10,00 ).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 6,6 km / 1 h 30 min
  • Places visited: Collection de l'Art Brut (€ 8,90), Parc and Promenade du Chateau de Beaulieu (free), Botanical Garden (free), Olympic museum (€ 14,00), Ouchy (free)
  • From Lausanne: Swiss Riviera Tour
  • Breakfast at Café du Simplon (Get directions), Lunch at Cafè de Grancy (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurant Le Pirate (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Montreux

Breakfast at the Boulangerie Muller, not far from the station, where we can drink coffee and eat sweets for around CHF 10,00 (€ 8,90). Then we can take the S3 train to Montreux, the ticket will cost around CHF 6,50 (€ 5,80). Montreux is located about 45 km from Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva, and the train will take half an hour to get us here, but a morning in this town is really worth living: do you know that the greatest celebrities took refuge here to seek peace, from Charlie Chaplin to Freddie Mercury? And in fact, on the shores of the lake we will even find a statue dedicated to the unforgettable frontman of Queen: for fans, a must. Do we take a selfie?

2 - Afternoon: Glacier 3000 alternative or return to the city

In the afternoon, according to preferences or season, we can decide to continue the hike from Montreux to Glacier 3000 about 40 km away. It's about a ultra modern ski resort, about 3.000 meters high, with cable cars, suspension bridges, ski slopes, but also unique activities such as balloon rides, cheese tasting tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides and much more. Tickets start at CHF 15,00 (€ 13,50) for the cable car and skiwalk, up to CHF 80,00 (€ 71,00) and up depending on the activity.

Alternatively, return to Lausanne with lunch at the Le Ticino restaurant, just outside the station, where the daily menu costs CHF 23,00 (€ 20,00). Then we resume the means and go to visit the Cimitière du Bois-de-Vaux, with bus 1 towards Lausanne Maladiere and get off at the Maladiere stop, taking about 10 minutes. We talked about celebrities, this cemetery cannot be missing in our visit to Lausanne: Coco Chanel and Pierre Ducan are buried here, just to name a few. The cemetery is not at all gloomy, on the contrary: it will surprise us for the pleasant tree-lined avenues, the benches on which to rest, the flowers, and of course the monumental tombs. Bois-de-Vaux is always accessible and can be visited for free.

When we go out we can also visit, right there in front, some archaeological excavations that have found Roman ruins, the place is called Vidy Romaines Ruines. If you have time we could take bus 1 and get off at the Georgette stop after 10 minutes, to make one walk to the Parc de Mon Repos, very beautiful. Inside there is also a large aviary with many species of birds. Lausanne is truly a very green and relaxing city!

3 - Evening: Dinner, old town, Escaliers du Marché

For dinner we return to the historic center. We can stop to eat at l'Eveche, a typical Swiss restaurant where you can try an excellent fondue for a worthy end to our trip, for around CHF 23,00-27,00 (€ 20,00- € 25,00).
Then we cannot say goodbye to Lausanne without having walked the characteristic Escaliers du Marché covered tiers linking the Place de la Palud to the Cathedral, and, following their course, we will be able to admire still beautiful ancient buildings.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,4 km / 1 h 41 min
  • Places visited: Montreux, Glacier 3000 (from € 8,00). Alternatively, return to the city with Cimitière Bois-de-Vaux (free), Vidy Romaines Ruines (free), Parc de Mon Repos (free)
  • Riviera Line to Montreux, Lavaux Sightseeing From Lausanne: Glacier 3000 Experience and Montreux Round Trip Ticket for the Glacier 3000 Cable Car
  • Breakfast at Boulangerie Muller (Get directions), Lunch at Le Ticino (Get directions), Dinner at l'Eveche (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Lausanne cost

Switzerland is not an economic destination, so we leave already prepared. However, Lausanne is a city that offers a lot of choice: for example, within the proposed itinerary, there are numerous free attractions that can be experienced. Average restaurant prices are higher than in Italy, but some offer daily menus, and others have more reasonable prices, in short: it's just a matter of looking around, never forgetting to fully enjoy your trip to Lausanne.

  • Costs to eat: about € 85,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 40,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 70,00 per person (indicates costs for public transport, any taxis and transfers to and from the airport)
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 100,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 25,00 per person per day (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Lausanne: from € 650,00 per person (flights or travel expenses excluded)

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Lausanne: the best time is from May to September - find out more
  • the nearest airport is Geneva, 60 km away, which can be traveled by train with a ticket of CHF 27,00 (€ 23,00) each way, it will take about 45 minutes - Flights from € 61,00
  • in the historic center areas - Hotels and b & b in the center from € 90,00 per room
  • Getting around: mainly on foot, the city is small, but public transport is still excellent, widespread and functional even at night. For this, you can choose the day pass for 2 zones for CHF 9,30 (€ 7,90) - find out more

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