Located just 40 minutes far from Geneva Airport by train, Lausanne has got an enviable position: built on three hills surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes, it benefits from a dramatic view of the Savoy Alps across the lake.
The city is well known as home to the Olympic Committee, but it offers plenty of cultural and natural attractions all the year around.
The Gothic style of the Old town and the grand palaces – which today are beautiful hotels – makes contrast with modern buildings like the Olympic Museum and the new Aquarium. The city centre is perfect for a walk among the different districts: La Cite’, the medieval historical quarter, Le Flon characterised by loads of shops and cafes, and Ouchy, the pretty and romantic lakefront housing the Lausanne’s marina.
The culture lovers will not be disappointed thanks to the unique museums which offer a variety of exhibitions all year around: the collection of “Art Brut” at the Beaulieu Castle, the Fondation de l’Hermitage and the photography collection at the «Musée de l’Elysée» are just some of the options.
There are also plenty of options for daily excursions, like a lake cruise to the spa town of Évian-les-Bains, a stroll through UNESCO-listed vineyards in Lavaux and a visit to the Chillon Castle.
Cathedral – the Gothic-style cathedral stands right in the middle of the Old Town and it represents an important landmark with its five towers rising above the city. The interior was restored in 2007 and it still preserves the beautiful 13th-century painted stones and stained glass. A night watchman calls out the hours from 10pm until 2am from the 72-meter-high central tower, a practice that has been happening each night for more than six centuries.
Olympic Museum – if you are visiting the Olympic capital you cannot miss the Olympic Museum. It focuses on the spirit and values of the Olympics, along with the artifacts and history of the competitions. The recently renovated displays illustrate the entire history of the games, from ancient Greece to the most recent editions, and include Olympic torches, historic posters, equipment, and clothing worn by Olympians. The Museum can be hired for private events – conferences, gala dinners and team building activities – and can welcome groups from 20 to 700 people in a unique setting.
AQUATIS Aquarium-Vivarium – Opened in October 2017, it is an exceptional journey through our planet’s most fascinating freshwater environments. With more than 3500sqm exhibition space, the tour helps visitors to discover the main freshwater ecosystems around the world from an unprecedented point of view. Guided tours are available in English for groups of maximum 20 people.
Lake Geneva cruise – it is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and also one of the most romantic. With vineyards on one side and the Alps on the other, this lake offers a unique set for unforgettable cruises. Do not miss the chance to organise a day trip to one of the little charming towns around the lake, like Montreux, Vevey or Chillon.
Train des Vignes – It is the “Vineyard train”, a regional train that runs on a preferential route through the terraced vineyards of Lavaux. The short ride from Vevey to Puidoux-Chexbres will give your clients the opportunity to admire the beauty of the UNESCO-listed vineyards combines with the magnificence of the Lake Geneva surroundings. Once in Chexbres, it would be possible to explore the numerous paths through the terraces, learn about the history and traditions of the wine-growers and taste some unique wine.
Chillon Castle – it is an unmissable attraction to see if you are visiting the region. The beautiful and romantic scenery surrounding this 12th-century castle has attracted numerous artists through history. Today it is the most visited historical monument in Switzerland. Since 2018 the guided visit can be also combined with the tasting of the Clos de Chillon wine, a gran cru aged and bottled in the Castle. The Castle also has 3 marvellous great halls that can be hired for private dinners, receptions and concerts.
Glacier 3000 – Definitely one of the best ways to discover and enjoy the mountain in Switzerland. From the Col du Pillon, the Glacier 3000 cable car takes visitors up to 3000 meters. Once on the top of Les Diablerets, several activities wait the visitors for a full day of snow adventures: a ride on the Snow Bus on the perpetual ice, a scenic walk over the glacier, an amazing view from one of the most suggestive suspension bridges in the world are just some of the incredible experiences at the Glacier 3000.
FOOD & DRINKS
Everybody is familiar with the treasures of the Swiss culinary tradition: Cheese and chocolate are popular in the whole country, but each region has got their typical products and delicious dishes.
Just a short ride outside Lausanne it is possible to visit the charming village of Gruyere, where the world famous cheese is produced. It has been made in this region for century and today is still produced in the traditional way, with the best Alpine milk. During your tour of the Maison of Gruyere, you can watch the cheese makers at work, visit the cellars where the wheels of cheese are left to age and buy some original Gruyere AOP in the little shop.
As anticipated, the wine tradition is very important in the Lake Geneva region. Lausanne is the Swiss town that possesses the largest number of vineyards, with two main wine-growing areas located just outside the city, Lavaux and La Côte. Combine a walk through the breath-taking vineyard facing the lake and learn about the wine tradition in the heart of Europe. Numerous cellars offer wine tasting to visitors.