Fun things to do in Lausanne

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Lausanne

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    Take an even better boat trip to Yvoire

    by iammon Written Jul 18, 2013

    Medival town/bourg which still possesses some of the essential elements of the fortifications of the 14th century. Ranked as one of the most beautiful villages of France.
    Is a nice stroll though the town with its many flowers, shops and Restaurants (don't miss to eat some of the local little fish).

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    Musee Historique de Lausanne

    by mindcrime Written Jul 7, 2013

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    If you have some time don’t miss the History Museum of Lausanne which is located opposite the Cathedral at Bishop’s Palace that was built back in 11th century.

    It houses a collection of many documents, photographs, engravings, maps focusing on history of Lausanne and the general region covering the prehistoric era to modern days. The old music instruments is always a nice addition.

    As usual the most interesting thing in such a museum is the scale model (1/200 scale, a huge 1500kg structure!) of the city as it was back in 17th century.

    It’s open Tuesday to Thursday 11.00-18.00, Friday to Sunday 11.00-17.00
    The entrance fee is 8chf (expensive as expected)

    If you’re not interested or want to save some money you can just enjoy the view from the terrace (pic 2), it’s for free :)

    Musee Historique de Lausanne
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    statue of Louis Ruchonnet

    by mindcrime Written Jul 7, 2013

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    Walking down from the cathedral through the staircase we ended up on a terrace just over Place de la Riponne. There we noticed a statue of Antoine Louis John Ruchonnet (1834-1893).

    He was a popular swiss politician in late nineteenth century, affiliated to the Free Democratic Party of Switzerland and president of the Confederation twice (1883 & 1890). He was first elected in 1875 and among other served for many years at department of Trade and Agriculture (1881), department of Justice (1882, 1884-1893), and political department (1883).
    He was working many hours, considered very industrious and worked a lot for his city Lausanne, no surprise that died in office on September 14, 1893. Apart from this statue there is also an avenue named after him, located 1km south of this terrace.

    statue of Louis Ruchonnet statue of Louis Ruchonnet
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    A Gothic Masterpiece

    by jlanza29 Written Oct 9, 2012

    The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Lausanne was built between 1170 and 1240 in the gothic style, with the western portal completed later in the flamboyant style.

    The medieval architect Villard de Honnecourt drew the rose window of the south transept in his sketchbook of 1270.

    Restoration was carried out in 1874 by Viollet Le Duc.

    Be warned it's a pretty good walk uphill ....but once there you are rewarded with some great views

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    explore lausanne

    by ben-wallis Updated Jan 24, 2012

    historically interesting town, ideal to explore on foot. plenty to see and do. hotels and restaurants excellent. geneva is worth a visit , it is not far by road or train.

    it is useful to be able speak french or austrian or italian or german as well as english if you want to talk to other people, including the local people and other tourists. just because there is a macdonalds fast food restaurant, please dont expect them to understand english!!

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    Take a boat to Evian, France

    by iammon Written Jul 11, 2011

    Yes were the fancy water is from!

    There are about 28 boats a day going over there. It takes only 35 minutes and is quite scenic. Evian is pittoresque and worth a trip. Specially to go over there for lunch.

    Evian view from boat

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    Visit outdoor pool in Renens

    by iammon Written Jul 11, 2011

    With small kids a great outdoor pool! There is heaps of different pools for the little ones and a playground and lots of slides. Restaurant, Snack bar, 50 meter pool lots of shade and free parking.

    Entrance for adults 5 CHF
    For the big slides you will have to pay extra

    Water slides
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    Visit Lavaux

    by iammon Written Jul 27, 2010

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    The Lavaux landscape was formed during the last ice age (13,000 years BC). The moraines left by the Rhone glaciers carved out the steep hills, which were subsequently covered by vegetation.

    The sharp drop of the hillsides (from 15 to 100%) made the terrain unsuitable for agriculture. Nevertheless, from the XIIth century, following the gift given by the King of Burgundy to the Bishop of Lausanne, several convents began to clear the hills and cultivate vineyards. It was the start of the winegrowing era…They went on to build walls and create a system of terraces in order to support and flatten the terrain.

    Then, the orders (monks and nuns) delegated this cultivation to lay people, who maintained the plants and walls. Thus, some of today’s winegrowers are direct descendants of the first winegrowers, perpetuating their love of the vineyards for over 17 generations.

    On 28 June 2007, Lavaux was officially registered as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Fashioned over the ages by man’s cultivation, this landscape is composed of terraced vineyards and typical villages, which have enabled Lavaux to be considered as a site of universal interest.

    View from Espesses

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    The Museums in Palace Rumine (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Mar 13, 2010

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    […] Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts – Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts posses a collection of Swiss, French and Italian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. At the time of our visit, the museum presented the exhibition Eclairages. Regards sur les collections du Musee, featuring the works of several artists, among them Caroline Bachmann & Stefan Banz, Ilona Ruegg, Robert Ireland, USA born artist who lives and works in Lausanne…

    Musee cantonal de geologie – Cantonal Museum of Geology was established in 1818 as the Cantonal Museum, "following public donations to acquire the mineral collection of Henri Struve. In 1874 the Cantonal Museum was reorganized thematically and the Museum of Geology installed itself in the former bishop's palace (present day Musee historique de Lausanne – Lausanne Historical Museum). The creation of the Museum encouraged those who were passionate about science to donate their collections. This is how such illustrious figures from the canton as Jean de Charpentier, director of the Bex salt mines and the patriotic vaudois, Frederic-Cesar de la Harpe, former private tutor to Tsar Alexander I, came to donate their impressive collections of minerals to the Museum. From 1850 onwards, Philippe de la Harpe, Eugene Renevier and later, Maurice Lugeon began to assemble the first paleontological collection and above all the great collection of regional geology […]." One of the most interesting parts of the museum is the dark room with fluorescent minerals.

    Musee cantonal de zoologie – Cantonal Museum of Zoology displays a large collection of extinct animals from the region and other areas. Among the most astonishing is one of the largest white sharks to have ever been caught. In 1999 "the father of cryptozoology" Bernard Heuvelmans donated over 50,000 documents, photos, and specimens to the museum which made the Criptozoology Department of the Cantonal Museum of Zoology in Lausanne unique in the world.

    Musee cantonal d'archeologie et d'historie – Cantonal Museum of Archeology and History was established in 1852. Its permanent exhibition was redesigned and modernized in 1997. It retraces the most ancient history of the canton of Vaud from the end of the Paleolithic times to the Neolithic era (12,000 – 2200 BC), displaying several small-scale model, slide shows and life-size reconstructions, presented in an innovative way, then continues with the Bronze Age (2200 – 800 BC), Iron Age (800 – 20 BC), the time of the Celts and Helvetians during the Roman era (20 BC – 450 AD), Middle Ages (450 – 800) and develop the villages, cities and religious monuments… and ends with modern era and predictions for the future.

    Musee monetaire cantonal – Cantonal Money Museum is one of the richest museums of such type in Switzerland. Occupying tiny, beautifully designed space, it is heaven on earth for those interested in numismatics.

    Museums in Palace Rumine offer very entertaining day for those interested in the subjects they are devoted to. They are very suitable for children.

    Palace Rumine, detail of the facade Palace Rumine, detail of the facade
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    Esplanade du Flon & Miroiterie (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Feb 25, 2010

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    The most attractive part of Flon district certainly is the square called Esplanade du Flon with superb architectural achievement – Miroiterie building, designed by architects Brauen & Walchli. Miroiterie was opened in 2007. Its triangular cushions facade illuminated from the inside during night time is, as far as we heard, either highly admired or considered to be gross. We do think it is beautiful.

    The huge nightclub Mad, opened in 1980, is at the same square (we have not been in it, but we still ask ourselves why, we will next time, for sure!).

    Esplanade du Flon & Miroiterie Miroiterie Miroiterie by night
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    Flon (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Feb 25, 2010

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    It was very hard for us to imagine that Flon, modern and greatly designed district of Lausanne, was considered to be a bad area of the city until the early 1990s. Flon, located between two bridges – Pont Chauderon and Grand-Pont, Rue de Geneve and Montbenon, was named after the river Flon, now running underground, once flowed in this area.

    This ancient valley, during its history was wooded, latter covered with vineyards, and, to quote Wikipedia article: in "early industrial development in the 19th century saw new mills, tanneries and other fullers […], accompanied by a bad reputation due to the activity of leather work, which brought unpleasant smells, forcing Lausanne inhabitants to avoid the place". During the 19th century the valley was filled by the soil extracted when the first Swiss funicular was drilled, in 1877, connecting Ouchy with the Flon. Then warehouses were built to harbour the goods which came by boat from Ouchy.

    In the late 20th century Flon developed into modern area with cafes, cinemas, art galleries…

    During the our time in Lausanne, Flon was the venue of the open-air exhibition celebrating sport and announcing 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. Among the most appealing was "Over the hurdles", artwork of Zhang Zhiyu, honouring the achievement of Chinese 110 metre hurdler Liu Xiang – Olympic Gold medal won in 2004, in Athens.

    Flon Flon Flon,
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    Musee de l'Elysee – Museum for Photography (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    Described on excellent Wikitravel Lausanne article as "a world-class photography museum", Musee de l'Elysee was among our must-sees in Lausanne. Greatly designed museum interior and two exhibitions – one displaying the old photos from the museum collection, and the other, temporary exhibition of present-day photography called Teen City, fulfilled our expectations.

    The following is the copy-pasted and shortened text from the very good and informative web page of the museum, regarding the history of the museum building as well as the institution of the museum: "Musee de l'Elysee is housed in what was once an elegant mansion in the area known as the Little Ouchy. It was designed by the architect Abraham Fraisse and built between 1780 and 1783 for Henri de Mollins (1729 – 1811), a Swiss officer serving the Dutch Royal family and a Major of the regiment stationed in Lausanne. […] The building was named L'Elysee in 1834. With its splendid park, it stands on an exceptional site overlooking the lake. […] In 1971, the building was bought by the state. It was completely restored and in part equipped as a museum. Between 1980 and 1985, it housed the Canton of Vaud's Collection of Prints, later transferred to Vevey following the foundation of the Musee de l'Elysee, as a museum for photography, by Charles-Henri Favrod in October 1985. The wealth of its collection and the various loans deposited in the museum provide a comprehensive picture of the historical and aesthetic development of photography from the first images in the1840's to the digital photography of today. Over a period of 15 years, the museum has held some 350 exhibitions and has organized more than 100 elsewhere, developing progressively into an internationally renowned institution. […]"

    Musee de l'Elysee Musee de l'Elysee
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    MUDAC (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    Musee de design et d'arts appliques contemporains – Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts, abbreviated – MUDAC, opened in June 2000, is the successor to Lausanne's Musee des arts decoratifs. At the official museum web presentation is stated that it "wishes to be a place for exchanges and encounters between the various fields of design, the applied arts and contemporary art." MUDAC is, at least for us, the most interesting museum of Lausanne, along with Musee Olympique and Collection de l'Art Brut. It occupies the building known as Maison Gaudard which consists of four medieval dwelling houses joined together. This appealing edifice was named after sub-prefect Gaudard who "joined the northeastern and western sections of the building together and added the tower with a pointed roof that is so easily spotted from the surrounding areas…"

    In the amazing subterranean space of the museum is beautifully designed permanent exhibition of the Jacques-Edouard Berger Collection of Ancient Egyptian and Asian Art. An hour in the cellar of MUDAC was among the highlights of our two weeks in Lausanne.

    On the second floor of the museum is displayed another permanent exhibition – Contemporary glass art. "The MUDAC offers visitors the chance to come and explore the history and present condition of glass art." Among the best pieces of the collection are those made by some of the greatest 20th century artists – Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Jean Cocteau, Jean Arp… in collaboration with Egidio Costantini, "'master of the masters', […] the one person who could teach artists how to transform their work into glass sculptures, […] the primary protagonist of the art of glass making…". Among the other are works of Salvador Dali, Peter Aldridge, Josef Kochdra, Frantisek Vizner…

    Besides the permanent collection, the museum presents several temporary exhibitions per year. At the time of our visit to the museum, in July of 2008, there were From Hand to Hand, a selection of jewelery by European creators, and The Rings of Dieter Roth.

    MUDAC Irena at the door of MUDAC
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    Musee historique de Lausanne (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 30, 2010

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    Musee historique de Lausanne – the Lausanne Historical Museum is housed in the bishop's palace, the building which oldest sections date back to the 11th century. It was opened to the public in 1918. The permanent exhibition, consisted of many authentic artifacts, reconstructions, engravings, photographs… tells the story of Lausanne from its prehistoric origins to the present days. The star exhibit is the extraordinary model representing 17th century Lausanne on a 1/200 scale. It is based on a 1638 map drawn by David Buttet for the council room at the city hall, and the first cadastral map of 1723. Very useful Lausanne tourisme web page gives following technical informations: "The entire model, which weights 1500 kg and required two years of work by four model makers, shows 850 buildings, 1700 chimneys, 500 people and… 4000 vines. Yes, because there was once a time when Lausanne's vines reached as far as Place Saint-Francois." Along with sound – recorded story in several languages, and light pointers, it is an extraordinary lesson about the history of the city. We have enjoyed it. Another very interesting part of the exhibition is the presentation of old (and some of them – very strange) music instruments.

    The museum continually offers temporary theme-based exhibitions – at the time of our visit, in July of 2008, it was Une Suisse rebelle. 1968-2008 – A rebel Switzerland. 1968-2008, story of events and movements that marked the Switzerland of the late sixties and the next decades. It is interesting to mention (and this seems to be the proper place) that women in Switzerland were allowed to participate (by voting) in elections since 1971!

    Musee historique de Lausanne Musee historique de Lausanne
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    Eglise Saint-Laurent (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 28, 2010

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    Church Saint Laurent is located at the confluence of Rue Saint Laurent, Rue W.-Haldimand, Rue A.-Pichard and Rue Chaucrau, in the heart of the pedestrian alleyways in the shopping district. It one of the only three places of worship remaining in Lausanne from before the Reformation – the other two are the Cathedral and the Saint Francois church. The history of the church dates back to 10th century, but the present day building was constructed between 1716 and 1719 under the direction of architect Guillaume Delagrange. Major renovations were done between 1761 and 1763, the medieval bell tower was removed, and architect Rodolphe de Croussaz implemented an ornate baroque facade.

    Plateau in front of the church is the meeting point, and therefore there is plenty of people sitting at the stairs of Church Saint Laurent all the time.

    Eglise Saint-Laurent Stairs of Eglise Saint-Laurent
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