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Overview

This medium-size city is not a major stop on the tourist trail, but it has a beautiful setting, and makes a great base for exploring the surrounding region. The old city (Cité) perches on a hilltop above the lake. The soaring Cathedrale de Lausanne is Switzerland’s most famous Gothic church. Built in 1275, it became a Protestant church when the Bernese took the city during the religious wars of the 17th century. Serious history buffs may visit the Old Bishop’s Palace, a 15th-century castle that now houses a historical museum. Down by the lake is the neighborhood of Ouchy, where you’ll find a string of waterfront promenades and parks, ...

This medium-size city is not a major stop on the tourist trail, but it has a beautiful setting, and makes a great base for exploring the surrounding region. The old city (Cité) perches on a hilltop above the lake. The soaring Cathedrale de Lausanne is Switzerland’s most famous Gothic church. Built in 1275, it became a Protestant church when the Bernese took the city during the religious wars of the 17th century. Serious history buffs may visit the Old Bishop’s Palace, a 15th-century castle that now houses a historical museum. Down by the lake is the neighborhood of Ouchy, where you’ll find a string of waterfront promenades and parks, and the docks for the paddlewheel boats that ply the lake throughout the warmer months. Also on the lake is the Olympic Museum, which celebrates the spirit and history of the Games, from ancient times to the present. Lausanne is the center of the Vaud, Switzerland’s second-largest wine-growing area. Just outside of town, the vineyards form a continuous carpet over the steep hills, a superlative sight in summer. Opportunities for wine tasting and fine dining are plentiful.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, 50 km northeast of Geneva
  • Language: French, German, and Italian
  • Currency: Swiss Franc
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer, fall