The second largest city on Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a beautiful locale to explore on the way to the Alps, or for a short stay before going home. Only one hour from Geneva, the hillside town is surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes descending right into Lac Leman. The proximity to the wine country and the mountains also makes it ideal for day trips as well.
The old town is dominated by the cathedral, which is Switzerland’s most impressive example of early Gothic style. Avant-garde architecture amid historic 18th and 19th-century classic defines the old town, with its atmosphere of cafés and boutiques at once quaint and cosmopolitan. But pace yourself as you browse the shops on the pedestrian Rue du Flon and Rue du Rôtillion, as they are quite steep.
Lausanne is also a dynamic and lively university town with live music concerts all year long, great events like the Fête de Lausanne which offers diverse attractions staged on the different squares of the town, or just sit back in the garden of the 5* Beau Rivage Palace, enjoying a drink at sunset on the waterfront in Ouchy.
Gourmets can try many regional specialties such as cabbage-filled sausage with leek gratin called "Papet Vaudois", or at another level, dine at Philippe Rochat or at Anne-Sophie Pic - 3 stars Michelin. And wine lovers won’t feel short changed, as Lausanne sits adjacent to the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux UNESCO world heritage region. Enjoy a private wine tasting at a local “Caveau” and try the local Chasselas white.
Culturally, Lausanne has the world-renowned Fondation de l'Hermitage, the collection of marginal art (“Art Brut”) in Beaulieu Castle, the Musée de l'Elysée photo museum, and others. Lausanne is also home to the International Olympic Committee and also the Olympic Museum. Finally, Lausanne is home to the world-famous Béjart Ballet.