Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the pretty region of Vaud in Switzerland, Lausanne and its surrounding areas certainly aren’t lacking in charm. From snowy mountains to immense lakes, hilly landscapes and sleepy towns and villages, all the ingredients are there for an ideal stay.
Relatively close to the border, the city of Lausanne is easily accessible by train from France. A trip from Paris to Lausanne, for example, takes 6h 30m via TGV Lyria. From Lyon, it’s a little over 2h 30m by TER, with a change at Genève-Cornavin station. In any case, you’ll arrive at the station located in the centre of Lausanne. Use our Journey Planner to find the best prices, and once there, think about SBB Supersaver tickets to benefit from very advantageous prices.
Looking for fun activities to do during your visit to Switzerland? Check out the 10 must-see places to visit in Lausanne and nearby.
- Lausanne Cathedral
- The Olympic Museum
- Lake Geneva
- The foundation of L'Hermitage
- The Old Town
- Château de Chillon
1. Lausanne Cathedral
Recognised as one of the most beautiful monuments of Gothic art in Europe, the cathedral of the Vaud capital, a stone's throw from the station, is worth a detour for the breathtaking view it offers of the surroundings. Climb the steps to fill your lungs with fresh lake air.
2.The Olympic Museum
Did you know that Lausanne is an Olympic capital? As such, a visit to Lausanne isn’t complete without a visit to the Olympic Museum to discover everything about the famous world sporting event. Young and old will be delighted by the interactive elements of the museum.
3. Lake Geneva
Also in Lausanne, make sure to take a walk on the banks of Lake Geneva along the Quai d'Ouchy, located in the district of the same name at the bottom of the hill in the city. It’s the perfect place for a stroll, accompanied by the gentle sounds of the lake and stunning views of the Alps.
4. The foundation of L'Hermitage
One for the art lovers, this museum houses many eclectic works and collections, most of which come from donations from collectors. Founded in 1984, it is a must for all lovers of painting and art.
5. The Old Town
It’s impossible to visit Lausanne and its surroundings without taking a stroll through its Old Town. The city has developed on the banks of Lake Geneva for eight millennia. Don’t miss the Saint-Maire castle, where construction started in 1397 – or its old Academy, the first faculty of reformed theology in the French language of the 16th-century. Once you’re done with your leisurely walk through the Old Town, make sure to pick up some chocolate at one of the city's many famous chocolate shops!
About 20 minutes by train from Lausanne, Montreux, on the Swiss Riviera, is the starting point for many walks in the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which extends between Lausanne and Montreux. It’s probably one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland. Take a walk, admire the view and don't forget to taste the local wines from small producers. A must if you’re in Lausanne or even looking for an excursion near Geneva.
7. Château de Chillon
About 40 minutes from Lausanne by train, the Château de Chillon in the village of Veytaux offers a real journey back in time to the Middle Ages, with its ceremonial rooms, its 14th-century murals, its collection of chests and its very rich furniture. To spoil nothing, the view around Lake Geneva and the Alps is simply breathtaking.
In the afternoon, head towards Vevey. This small town, 15 minutes from Lausanne by train, is nicknamed the "pearl of the Swiss Riviera". It earns this nickname for a good reason of course – located on the edge of the clear waters of Lake Geneva, with the Alps as a backdrop, Vevey enjoys a mild climate and is the starting point for many boat trips on the lake. Don’t miss the Henri Nestlé museum, dedicated to the history of the brand in its futuristic building made of glass and metal. You’ll discover three floors dedicated to the history of the most famous manufacturer in the world food industry.
Also in Vevey, the Alimentarium will delight young and old alike. A museum that takes you on a journey through the history of food right up to the present day, and famous for its unique sensory experiences, the Alimentarium is well worth a visit.
This small village lies about 10 minutes by train from Lausanne and offers one of the best views since it’s located at the start of the Lavaux vineyards. Stroll through its peaceful alleys, between its medieval buildings, and walk to the town's marina, where you can sit for a while by the water to take it all in.
Lausanne and its surroundings are a real oasis of calm, and there are many cultural and outdoor activities to enjoy. So, if a weekend in Switzerland tempts you and you want to discover this little corner of tranquillity, book your train tickets now! For more information on the Swiss rail network, check out our trains in Switzerland page.