Lausanne’s red tiled rooftops always enchant first-time visitors. They reflect the harmony of the town’s architecture and tranquillity of its atmosphere. Situated on the northernmost point of Lake Geneva, this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. Throughout winter it provides easy access to some of Europe’s finest ski slopes, while the lakeside location provides dreamy summer days. Well connected and surrounded by traditional villages, Lausanne makes a great base to combine exploration with relaxation.
Most visitors spend their time in Lausanne’s central districts, where medieval buildings have been converted into cosy cafes and small boutiques. La Cite is the oldest part of town and is where the most popular attractions are located, such as the Castle, Cathedral, and several museums. Ville Marche has best preserved Lausanne’s ancient architecture and is home to many local markets. Stretching out along the water, the former fishing village of Ouchy is now the main lakeside hangout in the city. Other districts of interest are the vibrant Flon and the sleepy Sous Gare.
Geneva-Cointrin is the closest airport, and there is a direct train from the airport to the city. Lausanne is a major railway hub and is on various high-speed lines that crisscross through Europe. Direct trains head out towards Zurich, Berne, Paris, Lyon, Milan, and Venice, stopping at hundreds of destinations on route. These are much quicker than the buses. The central districts of the city can mostly be visited on foot, and there is also an excellent suburban metro and bus system. Escaping the city is easy as there are countless hiking trails in the mountain forests of Sauvabelin, just a few kilometres above Lausanne.
A perfect place to understand the city’s history is the Musee Historique de Lausanne, which contains maps and images that cover everything from the Stone Age to today.