A seriously stylish city that's bursting with culinary and cultural delights...
Despite Lausanne being the second largest city on Lake Geneva (after Geneva) with 130,000 residents, it retains its small town charm evident by its friendly locals. The city is built on three hills, which our host informed us is what gives the ladies of Lausanne the 'best legs in Switzerland'. Resting on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes and the majestic Alps, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to capturing envy-inducing holiday photos.
During our whirlwind weekend in Lausanne, our jam-packed schedule afforded us with the opportunity to see the best that the city had to offer.
Where to stay in Lausanne
Our base for the weekend was the gorgeous Hotel de la Paix, a modern hotel with unparalleled views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. I was fortunate enough to have a balcony overlooking the lake, which provided me with the perfect vantage point for seeing the city in all its glory.
The Lausanne public transport system
For those who don't drive, Lausanne has a highly efficient public transport system, which makes getting around a breeze. We found both the trains and buses very frequent and easy to use. It also beats walking around in the cold! All visitors staying at a hotel in Lausanne are provided with a Lausanne Transport Card, which provides visitors with free use of all transport as well as discounts on the boat crossing between Lausanne-Ouchy and Evian.
What to do in Lausanne
There is an abundance of activities to experience in Lausanne. Culture vultures will love the variety of museums on offer including: The Olympic Museum, the Collection de l'Art Brut and the Musee de l'Eysee (Museum of Photography) amongst others.
Shopping in Lausanne
Those who are into shopping (myself included), will love the unique shops on offer from designer shops to independent boutiques. During our visit, we perused the wealth of quirky, high end home interiors and accessories at Chic Cham, a must for any design afficiando.
Lausanne for foodies
Foodies will love the wealth of upmarket food shops and fabulous restaurants in Lausanne. During our visit, we popped into Globus (an upmarket department store), Manor (a smart looking grocery store with a bakery and a large selection of gourmet foods), and Particules Fines (a food shop selling edible delights and premium international foods). If you're in Lausanne during the weekend, ensure that you pop by the local market, where you'll be able to buy fresh produce, cheeses, flowers and much, much more. It is very popular with the locals, so you'll get a true taste of Lausanne life.
Restaurants in Lausanne
As one one expect from any fine city, Lausanne has a fabulous restaurant offering. From traditional Swiss cuisine (think fondue and cured meats) served at Pinte Besson and Cafe Du Grutli to laidback fare at Cafe de Grancy to modern fare at Brasserie de Montbenon, the only limit is your appetite! If that's not enough and you want to be seriously indulgent, finish it all off at Barbere, home of the most sinfully delicious hot chocolate in Lausanne.
Swiss chocolate - chocolate at its finest
Of course no trip to Switzerland would be complete without a visit to a chocolatier. During our visit, we tried our hand at chocolate making at Chocolaterie Durig, a boutique chocolatier run by Dan Durig and his team of chocolate artisans. Here you'll find a rich selection of chocolate bars, truffles and chocolate specialities.
Overall, it was a fabulous holiday that I'd definitely recommend to anyone looking for a varied holiday in a gorgeous city!