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Best attractions in Lausanne: Top 21

Our review tells you what every tourist should see in Lausanne. We have compiled for you those Lausanne attractions that are a big hit with visitors and residents alike.

What to see in Lausanne first

When planning your trip, be sure to include the following excursions in Lausanne in your itinerary:

1. Lake Geneva

The picturesque scenery of Lake Geneva

One of Europe’s largest lakes, with many resorts and towns on its shores. You can take a tourist steamer ride on the body of water, observing the surrounding forests and mountains. As well as many other attractions in Switzerland, this one offers both an introduction to the beauty of nature and an opportunity to improve your health: there are several medical clinics on the shores of Lake Geneva.

2. Uschi Embankment

Uschi Embankment on the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne

A classic waterfront with screaming seagulls, huge yachts, and a port. It is also known for being the site of many of Lausanne’s historic landmarks, such as the Uschi Palace, built back in the 12th century.

3. Place de Paloux

A 16th century fountain with a statue of the Goddess of Justice and 17th and 19th century houses on Piazza Palou in Lausanne Sailko

If you don’t know what to see in Lausanne in one day, come to Paloux Square. There are many picturesque cottages, cafes and restaurants of national cuisine. And also the city hall with its arched gallery and the original fountain decorated with a sculpture of a goddess.

4. Chateau Saint-Mer

Monument to Jacques Davel at the south facade of the 15th century Château Saint-Mer Nikolai Maximovich

Our ranking would not be complete without this bishop’s castle, built in the Middle Ages. Nowadays the palace is the property of the Council of Canton Vaud, so even guides in Lausanne will not help you to see its interiors. But you can admire the historic facades, which evoke admiring comments, for as long as you wish yourself.

5. Rumina Palace

Lions, angels and mythical creatures on the facade of the Rumina Palace in Lausanne Michel Krafft

The building was created with the money of the Riumin-Bestuzhev family, at the end of the 19th century in the architectural style of the Florentine Renaissance. Construction work lasted more than 15 years. At one time the palace housed the city university. Today, however, several museums are housed there as well as a university library and a cantonal library.

Official website:

See the beautiful places of Lausanne in this great video!

6. Uschi Castle

Chateau des Ears on the shores of Lake Geneva in the Swiss city of Lausanne Patrick Nouhailler's...

A great option of where to go in Lausanne for fans of architecture and history. Also for those interested in unique hotels in Lausanne. The castle has a hotel for fifty rooms with interiors typical of ancient palaces. However, they also have all modern conveniences.

7. Lausanne Cathedral

View of the 13th century Lausanne Cathedral on the Cite Hill in Lausanne Zairon
Inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Lausanne Steve Collis

An imposing medieval cathedral built in the 13th century. The architectural appearance of the building shows both Romanesque and Gothic features. Originally the cathedral was the main Christian pilgrimage site, with up to 70,000 visitors a year (quite a big number in those days). Later, as Switzerland began to convert to Protestantism, Notre Dame was renovated. The interiors became more concise and austere. Even today, however, the building is famous for its giant organ with seven thousand pipes, ancient sculptures of saints, and unique stained-glass windows.

8. Church of St. Francis

Church of Saint Francis on Piazza San Francois Roland Zumbühl
Interior of the Church of St. Francis in Lausanne Andreas Faessler
Tubes of the organ of the Church of Saint Francis in Lausanne Pymouss

The church was completed in 1272 by Franciscan monks. For a long time the church was part of a huge complex, enclosed from the outside world by a powerful wall. In the 14th century, after a fire, the nave of the sanctuary was completely changed. A frescoed chapel tower was added to the building at the same time. In 1536, all the decorations were taken out of the monks’ church. Most of the buildings of the monastery complex have not survived. The landmark is also famous for the fact that in the middle of the 17th century Stuart henchmen murdered in it an Englishman and magistrate of Charles the First - John Lill.

9. The opera of Lausanne

Art Deco facades of the Lausanne Opera House on overcast weather Opera de Lausanne

The opening date of the city’s opera house is the 18th century. If you are passionate about music, a trip here will give you a lot of pleasure. The theater is a success with both Europeans and Russians. You can buy a ticket for one of its productions, as well as order a tour, which will allow you to closely examine the interiors of the numerous halls of the theater (separate tours for children are available).

Official website:

10. MUDAC Museum of Contemporary Art

The Mudac Design Museum at the Maison Gaudard mansion in Lausanne Archipat

The center is close to Notre Dame Cathedral, and offers an introduction to temporary and permanent collections of exhibits not only of contemporary art, but also of ancient art. In particular, there are exhibits from Ancient China and Egypt and specimens of our time in glass.

Official website:

11. Art Brut Museum

The Art Brut Museum in Château Beaulieu in Lausanne Sailko

The museum complex is housed in a four-story building. All the statues and paintings, numbering more than four thousand pieces, were created by people who, according to the opinion of medicine and society, are “insane” - mediums, prisoners and patients of mental hospitals. The cost of some samples estimated in hundreds of thousands of euros. The first collection of Art Brut began to collect Jean Dubuffet, she is the basis of the entire exposition of “rough art”. Visiting such interesting places in Lausanne is worthwhile for everyone who wants to learn about possible manifestations of the parallel world.

Official website:

12. D’Elise Museum

Museum D'Elise, dedicated to the art of photography in a beautiful Baroque mansion Sandro Senn

Just like the other best attractions in Lausanne, this museum is attractive from the inside as well as the outside. It is housed in a colorful Baroque palace surrounded by a landscaped park complex. The theme of the exhibits is photography. Numerous pictures show the stages of perfection and development of photography in the country and Europe.

Official website:

13. Museum of Hermitage Foundation

The Hermitage Foundation Museum in a mid-19th century villa in a Lausanne city park Archipat

In the middle of the city park is a 19th-century mansion in which paintings by Lausanne, Swiss and European masters are carefully preserved. Among the works are paintings by Platzottou, Bossien and Udo. Every year the museum organizes several temporary exhibitions of international format.

Official website:

14. Olympic Museum

Park with sports-themed sculptures in front of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne Guilhem Vellut

Even if you are not into sports, you should definitely consider the following recommendations. We recommend you to visit the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Its exhibits not only relate to the modern times, but also to ancient eras, such as the time of ancient Rome. There are numerous cultural, artistic and historical objects on display, including ancient coins, athletes’ medals for the most outstanding achievements and stamps. The museum complex also includes a library with video materials on the theme of the Olympic Games, an information center and a “regular” book library.

Official website:

15. Aquatis vivarium

Inside Europe's largest freshwater aquarium Aquatis in Lausanne
Lizard at the Aquatis Vivarium Lausanne

If you don’t know what to visit in Lausanne with the whole family, come to this huge aquatic center. You can see literally all the inhabitants of the rivers, lakes, seas and oceans of the Earth. The aquarium is home to representatives of 5 continents of our planet. The first level of the building is completely devoted to the glaciers, rivers and other water bodies of Europe. The Aquatis Vivarium is home to lizards, frogs, crocodiles, the Australian Taipan and the Komodo varan.

Official website:

Lausanne sights: what else to visit in Lausanne?

We have told you about the main attractions of Lausanne in brief. In addition to them, you should definitely visit:

16. Botanical Garden

One of the tracks with exotic plants of the Botanical Gardens in Lausanne Daniel Mietchen

It is absolutely free to walk around the garden. There are also organized guided tours through the world of herbs, trees and flowers for a fee. The attraction is considered unique: this botanical garden has the largest collection of all kinds of tropical vegetation and carnivorous plants. The opening date is the 19th century. Originally, the park complex was conceived as a place for students of medical school (located nearby). Therefore, there is still a botanical museum and an ancient library.

17. Esplanade de Montbenon

Park in front of the Palais de Justice in the center of the Swiss city of Lausanne

If you want to see the surroundings of Lausanne, the picturesque panoramas of Lake Geneva and the Alpine peaks, come to the city park of Montbenon. On the esplanade there are a lot of restaurants, many well-appointed areas for recreation and walks. On warm days there are large-scale jazz concerts. In any weather and all year round there are live performances of musical groups of different genres - Lausanne in winter in Montbenon is no less interesting than in summer. It’s worth visiting the park to see the Palace of Justice of the 19th century, the ancient Chapel of V. Tell and the sculpture of the famous hero of the country.

Official website:

18. Parc de Mont-Repaud

"Land divers" in Lausanne's ancient Parc Mont-Repaud Sissssou

The park, in the traditional English style, was laid out back in the 18th century. It is a striking example of elegance and respectability. In the central part of the complex there is a mansion, where Voltaire lived and rested. The vast area of Mont-Repaud is represented by a temple, a Gothic tower, a cave, a beautiful waterfall and giant tropical trees. In addition, there are several aviaries for birds of different species. In good weather, tourists and locals alike like to relax in the park.

Official website:

19. Railway station

The Art Nouveau building of the Railroad Station in Lausanne in the evening

The architectural style of the landmark, created in the 20th century, is Art Nouveau. If you want to “dip into the past” or just go to Zurich, Milan or Paris, come here. Trains to these destinations depart from the famous station regularly.

20. Sauvabelin Tower

35-meter high wooden Sowabelen Tower against a clear sky in Lausanne

The structure is located outside the city limits, and towers in a park area. The tower, made of wood only fifteen years ago, can be reached by bus. The height of Sowabelen is 35 meters. Inside the building there is a staircase in the form of a steep spiral of more than 300 steps. The staircase takes you to an 8 meter (diameter) observation deck and offers a view of the Alps, the waters of Lake Geneva, the city and the fields. There is no need to buy tickets. You can admire the tower from the inside and outside for free. This is a great opportunity to take memorable photos from the trip.

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21. Lavo Vineyards

The steep slopes of Lake Geneva are covered with green vine terraces

A cultural and natural center that has been famous in Switzerland and Europe since ancient times. However, it was included in the UNESCO list only 11 years ago. The area of vineyards stretches for 30 kilometers. For tourists Lavaux is open year round. However, the best time to visit the attractions is considered the autumn months: the grapes are filling with juice, the picturesque area is painted with golden and purple colors. For obvious reasons, there are a large number of wineries here. Organized tours with tastings are offered. You can buy the wines you like at a bargain price.

We hope you will enjoy the sights of Lausanne you have just seen, including their names and descriptions, as part of your own itinerary. Read also about Points of interest in Lucerne and be inspired for your further travels in Switzerland.

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