Holidays in Lausanne – top summer attractions recommended by locals

If you want to know what to do in Lausanne in the summer, you are in the right place. The city ticks all the boxes in top summer hotspots category, although still remains slightly out of the limelight. Unlike obvious holiday choices like Porto or Barcelona, Lausanne has the mysterious charm of a travel agent’s special offer from under the counter. We asked the locals for the advice and prepared the list of top things to do if you’re spending the holidays in Lausanne. Let’s unveil some of the city’s best kept secrets.

Take a cruise

Start exploring Lausanne by making use of its natural resources. The city’s superb setting on the shore of Lake Geneva invites visitors to take a cruise. In spring and autumn sightseeing cruises are available every day. There are also regular passenger ferry boats crossing the lake to  Swiss and French cities. In addition, you can also enjoy a lunch or dinner cruise. Take a seat in the boat restaurant and admire the views as you enjoy your meal and chat with friends. Unparalleled panoramas of the turquoise lake, sunny mountains on the horizon, monuments, famous villas, parks and gardens bordering the lake, are sure to stay in your memory.

Vineyards of Lavaux

Mild and warm climate in the summer (around 25˚C) and relatively little precipitation make the area a perfect wine-growing region. Therefore, if you stay in Lausanne in the summer, you can’t miss the Lavaux terraced vineyards. The area stretches for about 30 km along the northern coast of Lake Geneva. Green cascades of vineyards layer downhill towards the shore and create a breathtaking view, deservedly listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visitors can take a guided tour every Sunday for 15 CHF per person. An official World Heritage Tour Guide of Lavaux will tell the story of the region, its culture and wine, needless to say, with wine tasting included.

Vineyards in Lausanne

The Olympic Museum

The Olympic Museum is definitely a major tourist attraction of Lausanne, and a must-see for every fan of sport. It’s the largest archive of Olympic Games in the world, displaying over 10 000 items. The visitors will learn about the history of the ancient Olympic Games and the rebirth of its modern version in the 19th century. The permanent exhibition includes the collection of Olympic torches, sporting equipment for a variety of sports and various Olympic medals. When you’re done with the tour, take a walk in the surrounding park where you will find numerous modern sculptures by renowned artists.

Hiking trail around Lake Geneva

The Swiss love hiking and it’s no wonder they do. Switzerland is blessed with truly breathtaking landscapes. The hiking trail network extends all over the country. You could literally walk across Switzerland, enjoying the mountainous views with every step. The trails are all well marked and include the time you need to reach your destination. It’s best to ask in the tourist office for a map of local hiking trails. They have one for sure and they will be able to recommend a route depending on your time and capabilities. Additionally, check the map of wandering trails in Switzerland online, where you can zoom in and view the route that interests you in detail.

Cruise on Lake Geneva from Lausanne

All about food

Located in the neighbouring Vevey, 20 minutes by train from Lausanne, Alimentarium is the first museum in the world devoted exclusively to nutrition. It’s a great summer attraction and it’s not just for foodies. You may also know Alimentarium as the Nestlé Museum as it is located in an antique building that was once the headquarters of Nestlé. The neo-classical building houses interactive exhibitions that tell the story of what we eat, how we eat and why we eat it. Moreover, the museum organizes cooking workshops for both children and adults.

Numerous mediation activities, gastronomic tastings and guided tours for groups are also available. After the museum, with your appetite for knowledge fully satisfied, take a stroll down to Lake Geneva. You will notice the emblem of the Alimentarium, an eight meter-high fork protruding from the lake. This giant piece of cutlery is registered in the Guinness Book of Records. It’s the unmistakable sign of the city and also the lake itself.

Giant fork in Lake Geneva, Vevey

The view from the top of a glacier

A visit to Lausanne without venturing up to the Alpine peaks is not complete. The tourist attraction Glacier 3000 offers stunning views without the need to climb your way up. Skibus, train or your own car will take you directly to the panorama deck. During the summer season, visitors to Glacier 3000 can admire a breathtaking panorama from the narrow suspension bridge Peak Walk.

Those hungry for active leisure can take a walk over the glacier, along the neighboring hiking trails or take a challenging fixed rope route.  When the heights, panoramas and fresh air make you hungry, enjoy a delicious meal in Restaurant Botta. You will definitely remember the spectacular scenery for a long time.

The day and night go-to bar

If you are looking for a centrally located bar, the trendy and diverse Les Arches is a go-to spot at any time of the day. It’s set under the arches of the Grand Pont, the nineteenth-century bridge that cuts through the city center. In the evening, when the vaults are lit up with colorful lights, the location looks very romantic, whereas during the day, it’s a great spot to observe the city life. From a morning coffee in the sunshine to a pre-clubbing apéro, Les Arches is the perfect place to sit and relax after you have visited and experienced all summer attractions from our list.

Your apartment in Lausanne

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