2022 – Local Guide Lausanne, Switzerland: cafes and beaches on Lake Geneva | Switzerland holiday

a meal

Lausanne’s restaurant scene has changed dramatically in the decade I’ve lived here and there’s a lot of variety now, but CafĂ© de l’EvechĂ© near the cathedral is an old favorite for classic Swiss dishes like fondue, rosti and filet de birch. The center of attraction in summer is the Shady Garden, a cool outdoor spot on a hot day.

Down the road, love Le Barbare, a little cafĂ© atop the Old Market that opened in 1952. After closing a few years ago, it was recently renovated and reopened, and its little terrace is more popular than ever. The menu is small and focuses on seasonal ingredients, local craft beers, and Marta’s premium hot chocolate, named after the woman who has run the place for years.

For a quick lunch, head to Place de la Riponne, where food trucks serve international cuisine every day (except Wednesday and Saturday when the market takes over). My favorite is Kokos Bistro (Tuesday) which serves Latin Banana dishes.

inspiration – inspiration

Home of the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne is known as a sports city and hosts many events for both amateurs and professionals – the Tour de France runs until July 9 this year. The eye-catching Olympic Museum in the Och Lake District is a fun and interactive experience for sports fans and couch potato alike. However, it is the location of Lausanne that truly inspires its residents to be active. In summer, Lake LĂ©man (Lake Geneva) turns into a huge outdoor playground for swimming, sailing and kayaking. From Ouchy you can walk (or walk) along the lake in any direction – towards Pully, where there is an outdoor pool right on the lake shore, or towards Vidy, with its sandy beaches crowded on hot days.

The shores of Lake Leman are a great place to relax on a hot summer day. Photo: Laurent Gilliéron / EPA


I live near Rue Marterie, which is a street just north of the city center and it shows me how Lausanne has changed in recent years. It is now dotted with creative businesses such as concept stores Viva Frida and boutique café Les Filles du 19, ideal for unique jewelry, homeware and clothing. There are also some good places to eat, including Italian delicacies Mauro Traiteur and gluten-free El Gato desserts. The upper half of the street is pedestrianized and in summer the tables of bars and restaurants are filled with cobblestones. Order the Pisco Libre at Lucha Libre and enjoy the atmosphere.

Green area

I love eating ice cream from Loom Gelateria and walking around the Parc de Milan below the train station. They are quiet botanical gardens, and from the top of the hill there are beautiful views of the mountains. The former public restroom has been converted into a café that serves Le Montriond cocktails and local wines in a garden, perfect for a brunch. Aperitif.


Lausanne’s somewhat mixed layout creates many unusual locations that locals have turned into outdoor bars. I love Les Jardins du Vieux Lausanne, a garden bar tucked under the cathedral, and La Terrasse des Grandes Roches, tucked under the arches of the Bessières Bridge. But my favorite is probably La JetĂ©e de la Compagnie, a waterfront strip in Vidy that serves drinks from old shipping containers. It started as a pop-up bar a few years ago but is now a Lausanne summer staple, with a sundeck, lake access and morning yoga classes, and it’s open from 10am to midnight.


Right in the city center (doubles from ÂŁ123, extra breakfast) Hotel des Voyageurs is an affordable option in a city known for its luxury hotels. Its contemporary decor complements the Art Deco features of the original building.

Journalist and author Caroline Bischoff has lived in Lausanne for nearly 10 years. I wrote about Lausanne for Travel guide and author of The Other Daughter (available at Guardian Libraries for ÂŁ7.43), partly in town