One of the larger cities in Switzerland, Lausanne is perched on the northern edge of Lake Geneva, close to the border with France. It is famous for a number of things, most notably its status as the home of the International Olympic Committee and position on the Swiss Riviera. It was also known for being the home of famous authors and poets such as Byron and the Shelleys. In Lausanne, you’re more than likely to come across some impressive examples of gothic architecture. Also, there are a number of high-class restaurants, cafes and shops where you can spoil yourself after a day of sightseeing. Lausanne’s location close to the Alps means that a trip to the piste is never too far away.
Fitted with the right tyres, a small car would be ideal for going around the sharp turns which characterise driving in Lausanne and the nearby Alps.
Driving in Lausanne
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
As it’s in the French-speaking part of the country, most road signs are written in French. Some are in German and Italian as well.
Cycling is very popular in Lausanne, so it’s advisable to keep a look out for any bikes on the roads, especially when crossing.
The city is in a part of the country where sharp turns are commonplace. Be sure to take care when reaching them, especially in winter.
Highlights & Hotspots
On the outside, the Palais de Rumine looks like any other stately home, but on the inside, it contains five different museums, dedicated to geology, archaeology, zoology, regional history and fine arts. The sheer choice on offer makes it worth visiting.
The Olympic Museum in the suburb of Ouchy has many souvenirs of various Games gone by such as Carl Lewis’ golden track shoes, not to mention exhibitions about how the Olympics came to be. It also has a sculpture garden which is open to the public most days.
Lausanne’s most prominent concert hall is the Métropole. Serving the whole of Western Switzerland, it hosts jazz, classical, opera, world music and pop concerts all year round. The more bohemian Le Romandie is one of the best venues to watch rock and metal bands in the city.
For a change of pace, the Old Town is worth a look. Larger than many other equivalents in other Swiss cities, it has many souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and on Saturdays, becomes a massive farmer’s market.
The nearest airport to Lausanne is Geneva International Airport, 17 miles southwest of the city centre. It serves over 13 million passengers at two passenger terminals ‚Äì T1 and T2. Part of the airport is actually in France.
It can be accessed from the 1 motorway, which then goes up towards the eastern limits of Lausanne. At the junction with the E23, take that road east into the centre of Lausanne.