The city of Lausanne is a pure gem nestled in an crown of outstanding natural beauty just 40 minutes from Geneva by train in the South West of Switzerland. Lausanne’s population of 135,000 is made up of almost 30,000 students so there’s a fresh energy permeating it’s streets and beautiful vistas. It’s main touristic pull is the Olympic museum, but there is plenty more things to enjoy too.
The French Alps (Evian moutains) are visible across Lake Geneva from the north (or to the south), meanwhile to the South-East is Montreux, famous for its Jazz festival and Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’. Central Lausanne can be divided into 3 main zones: The higher Cité – Mon Repos, which houses the Cathedral and the history museum (closed until Summer 2016), the main town centre including the shopping area and the entertainment district Flon, and finally the pretty Ouchy district home to the Musée de l’Elysée and Olympic Museum on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Brilliant transport links mean getting around is very easy, use the Lausanne Transport Card free when you stay a night at any of the Hotels and you’ll also receive free or discounted admission to many of the museums and tourist attractions including boat trips across the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Geneva. The M2, electric railway with its unusual steep inclined platforms has 14 stations within less than 8km so you can be transported virtually to the door of your destination.
What was once a late night no-go industrial area has been developed in recent years into a modern and friendly entertainment space with bars, restaurant and nightclubs.
There are lots of funky places to enjoy a drink, if you’re hungry recommended is Le Nomade,(www.restaurantnomade.ch) a chilled restaurant/lounge bar with an interesting fusion menu. Try the avacado, chilli and ice cream starter (below), completely crazy but somehow it works.
Look out too for the metal tree called ‘L’arbre de Flonville’ by British Designer Samuel Wilkinson (below), its roots spread wide, popping up from the ground to create unusual seating spaces.
For those people with enough energy to dance after dinner the legendary ‘Mad’ club plays host to International DJ’s and carries on well into the night. If you’re like me you might prefer a more relaxed end to the day and have a drink at the pop up beach bar in the centre (top right).
Musée de l’Élysée
In 2018 there are plans to bring some of Lausanne’s museums under one modern roof, namely the Cantonal Museum of Fine Art, MUDAC (design and contemporary applied arts) and Musée de l’Élysée. Currently housed in an historic 18th century mansion, Musée de l’Élysée is home to several exhibitions each year. I saw the excellent reGeneration (see video below).
Currently on display until Jan 3rd, 2016 is “The memory of images: the iconographic collection of the Canton de Vaud”.
Open Tues to Sun, 11pm – 6pm. For more info visit www.elysee.ch