In April 2016 Andrew and I embarked on an epic road trip through France and into Switzerland. We had an amazing time and you can check out my posts about Paris here and here and Gruyere. Our first stop in Switzerland was Lausanne. I honestly didn’t know much about Lausanne but Andrew had heard that it was beautiful so I did my research and we had a wonderful time. Here are some of our recommendations on what to see and do!
Don’t stay in a hotel
We rented through Booking.com and ended up in a cute apartment above a woman’s clothing store. I love not staying in a giant hotel because you feel more like a local. You get to know your neighborhood, frequent a favorite coffee shop or bar and just feel more at home in general. We have been fortunate in our AirBnB and Booking stays and have yet to have an unpleasant experience.
Visit the Olympic Museum
Did you know that the Olympic Museum is in Lausanne? Until I started researching I had no idea! I always assumed that it would be in Greece, but here it was in Lausanne Switzerland. It was a rainy day when we decided to venture into the museum and I am so glad that we did. There was so much history packed into one space! It was a very interactive museum, great for children and adults alike. My favorite parts were the torches and medals that were on display.
Wander and Get Lost
Lausanne is a very easy city to get around, public transportation is great and it’s also safe enough to walk around, get lost and not be worried! It’s also a great mix of old and new, and when you look at the architecture it’s very clear. We were staying in the older, more historic section but a short walk away was Flon. This is a great little shopping area with funky buildings and boutiques. We stopped in Pomp it Up to get some La Coq Sportiffs and stumbled across a really cool building. Side note: If you’re not buying a cool pair of kicks when traveling, you need to start!
It’s all in the details in this little city. The buildings were just so pretty.
Drink with the Locals
One thing that Andrew loves to do when we are traveling is to find the top beer bar in the area. The beer culture in Portland, Maine is huge but in Europe we have found that most bars are wine heavy (which I don’t mind at all!) or have less than impressive beer. We found many wonderful places in Lausanne to satisfy Andrew’s beer snobbery. Our favorite was Pi Bar, we went hunting for this bar in the pouring rain and arrived 30 minutes before they opened. The beer list was great and so were the people, we made friends with the locals, ordered a pizza to the bar and even got friendly with some Brits who were excited to meet Americans in Lausanne. It was the best night that we had in Lausanne and I’m sure it would be memorable for you as well.
A couple of other great beer bars that we went to were The Great Escape, which had a collegiate feel and La Grenette, very kid friendly and had a great vibe. Both bars were mainly outside spaces while Pi Bar was inside only.
Another place to drink with the locals is Blackbird Coffee and Breakfast Club. They have the best coffee in Switzerland in my opinion and the food was amazing. I love going to funky places that aren’t necessarily listed in a travel guide and Blackbird fit the bill. It’s a must stop for a delicious, filling breakfast before heading out for the day.
Appreciate Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as the locals call it is massive and beautiful. It was a dreary April when we visited but you still cannot deny the beauty of this largest body of water in Switzerland. So grab your camera and enjoy the swans.
I hope you enjoyed this little list and think of Lausanne when you travel next!