In early December I had the honour of being invited by the Lausanne Tourism Board, representing We Are Travel Girls, to discover the charming Swiss city of Lausanne during the festive Christmas period. I had never been to Lausanne before so I was really excited to explore a new city in Switzerland by the stunning Lake Geneva. Our three-day weekend completely exceeded my expectations and we were really kindly welcomed by the tourism board. We did a variety of different activities, got plenty of fresh snow, ate delicious local dishes, drank lovely local wine and enjoyed all the Christmas installations.
GETTING THERE AND GETTING AROUND
To reach Lausanne you need to fly to Geneva and from the airport you can get a train that takes you directly to Lausanne (just over 45mins). Lausanne is quite small so you can reach all places in the centre by foot and for the places a bit further out you can go by bus or by train as public transport runs really well in Lausanne.
THINGS TO DO IN LAUSANNE:
1. Admire The Christmas Lights
Each year, from November to the end of December, Lausanne boasts several light installations by different contemporary artists for the Festival Lausanne Lumières. You can spend one of your evenings just strolling around in the old town admiring these wonderful unique lights.
2. Try A Cupcake Making Course
Switzerland is renowned for its chocolate and chocolate making courses so why not try something different too?! At Royaume Melazic you can learn how to decorate your own cupcakes and then take them back home to enjoy. They also have an adorable shop selling all kinds of products for cake making. As soon as you enter the shop you will be taken away by the lovely smell of freshly baked cupcakes…
3. Visit The Local Saturday Markets
Every Saturday, the locals head out to the market to buy their fresh seasonal products. It’s really nice to walk around this local market and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
4. Try An Unusual Beer At Nébuleuse Brewery
I’m not the biggest beer drinker but it was really fun to have a tour around this brewery set up by a couple of friends who craft the most unusual beers – I tried one that was a coconut flavour and another one which tasted of shrimp… They’re actually very well known and have won many European awards for their beers.
5. Explore The Christmas Markets
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by exploring the Christmas markets?! Lausanne has different Christmas markets to please everyone – from markets dedicated to children, to markets selling local products from Switzerland. You should go in the evening before dinner to enjoy a glass of Vin Chaud (mulled wine) at the covered Christmas stands on the Place St-François.
6. Discover The Olympic Museum
Lausanne is the Olympic Capital of the world so it’s a must to visit this museum. You’ll get to learn about the history of the Ancient Olympic Games in Greece, and their current form today through sports equipment and the spirit of the Olympic Games.
7. Go On A Belle Epoque Boat Cruise
On Sundays the ferry service between Lausanne and Evian offers breakfast in a lovely setting on the Belle Epoque boat with views over the lake and the surrounding mountains.
8. Be Intrigued By Collection De L’Art Brut Museum
The L’Art Brut museum showcases some of the most peculiar art I’ve ever seen. If you’re interested in art and would like to see something unusual, then I highly recommend going to this museum. These self-taught artists are rebellious people who are/were on the margins of society and who create(d) art that is outside the standard norms of art without caring about society’s opinions of their pieces.
9. See The View From The Cathedral
As the Cathedral of Lausanne sits on the top of the city, it offers some of the most stunning views of the city and is well worth the walk up there. If it’s snowing when you go too you’ll see how magical the view is with all the rooftops covered in snow.
10. Go Wine Tasting At Lavaux Vineyards
You might not know this, but Switzerland produces a lot of wine and the Lavaux vineyards of Lausanne are a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. We went to the Domaine Croix Duplex and enjoyed several different wines made with the local Chasselas grape.
11. Walk Along Lake Geneva
Also known as Lac Léman, Lake Geneva is so beautiful and it’s really nice to walk along and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, particularly if it has been snowing.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Hôtel des Voyageurs which is located in the heart of Lausanne and is in short walking distance of all the iconic places of the city. The staff are very friendly and the I find the prices reasonable as the hotel is clean, very modern and the breakfast is good.
PLACES TO EAT
Lausanne has a fantastic lively food scene and there are plenty of lovely restaurants to enjoy. For lunch we went to Lacustre, the Café des Artisans and to the Café de Grancy which were all really nice. On our first night we had an amazing fondue at the temporary igloo set up on the place de l’Europe and on the second night we enjoyed a really good meal at the Brasserie de Montbenon.
Lausanne is an extremely beautiful city, full of charming spots and with plenty of things to do making it the perfect city to go for a weekend getaway on the run up to Christmas.
Have you ever been to Lausanne? We’d love to hear your stories, tips or questions in the comment section below!
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