At the end of October I escaped on an autumn adventure to Lausanne. It was my first time in Switzerland and Lausanne. I was very excited as part of it was also running the Lausanne half-marathon, and from checking the city online before my trip, I knew the scenery would be breathtaking and it was!
We were very lucky with the weather, and the blue skies above the stunning Geneva Lake made feel very happy and relaxed. The city is so much different from what I am used to here in London.
No people rushing anywhere, many of them smiling and just enjoying the lovely views. Everything here kind off slows down, and I really loved that. It reminded me a bit of the time when I lived in Sydney.
But back to Lausanne. After checking into our hotel, we had a lovely lunch at we had a guided tour through the city, including the Old Town, The Cathedral, The FLON District (a cultural mix between the 13th and the 21st century). I have to say that for me seeing the Cathedrral was definitely the highlight, just magical.
After wandering through the cobbled streets, which I am so used to from Prague, we popped into one of the traditional Chocolate Shops. The smell of chocolate was so tempting and reminded me I needed to get some gifts for my daughters back home in London.
Next was the Olympic Museum, which was the most inspiring place for me before tunning the half-marathon the next afternoon. The museum has 3000 m2 of exhibition space, over 1500 exhibits, 150 screens and much more. The Olympic spirit is everywhere around you. I had tears in my eyes when watching some moments of great sport achievements, and was wishing my daughters would see all this with me.
After our visit to the museum, we headed towards our hotel for some rest and dinner later on.
Accommodation in Lausanne
We stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel Lausanne, which is perfectly located right by the lake Geneva in the tourist district of Ouchy. In close proximity to sporting facilities and cultural venues, as well as public transport, this hotel is perfect for leisure stays, but actually specialises in hosting seminars and banquet-style conferences with no less than 18 meeting rooms and 337 bedrooms!
We had a lovely dinner at the hotel’s very popular restaurant and next time I have to make sure to taste some of the much-loved Swiss brand of ice-cream.
On the arrival at the hotel, we received the Lausanne Transport Card, which gives free use of all Lausanne public transport to every visitor staying in a hotel in Lausanne and benefit from substantial discounts on the boat crossing between Lausanne-Ouchy and Evian, souvenirs and the admission price to various municipal and private museums. It is valid for the duration of your stay, including the arrival and departure days.
Swiss Travel Pass
We were provided with an all-in-one 1st class Swiss Travel Pass for the journey from the Geneva airport. I also used this pass when travelling to the start line of the Lausanne Marathon.
There are 4 advantages of this pass:
- unlimited travel by train, but and boat
- public transportation in more than 90 cities and towns
- transport to mountain excursions: Rigi, Schilthorn, Stanserhorn and Stoos
- Free admission to more than 500 museums throughout Switzerland
Where to eat in Lausanne?
After a busy day getting ready and running the Lausanne Half-marathon, we were invited to enjoy a lovely dinner and stunning views at the Brasserie de Montbenon.
This place was full of Swiss character, and definitely something I will never forget. Everything from the interior, the staff and indeed the food was just amazing. We also had a few glasses of red to celebrate our sports achievements and were slowly soaking in the lovely relaxing atmosphere.
If you are after another very traditional Swiss restaurant, then you have to head to the Auberge du Raisin. I had the best venison medailons with some yummy cranberry sauce. Delicious. Just keep in mind, no English menu, so refresh your French!
One of the most beautiful landscapes of Switzerland, the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards offer activities for both groups and individuals. Highlights include a wine-tasting in a vineyard or a wine cellar in a picturesque village, as well as a stroll along the 32-kilometre stretch of footpath between Lausanne and Montreux. For added comfort, the Train des Vignes and two tourist trains bring passengers on a ride through the vineyard.
Domaine de la Croix Duplex
I am a huge wine lover and went wine-tasting in sunny Australia (Hunter Valley) and Moravia (Czech Republic) a few years ago. I was very excited to find out what Swiss wine will be like as had never had it before.
We were invited to check out the Domaine de la Croix Duplex in Grandvaux. Ideally located in the pretty village of Grandvaux, amidst the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards, the Domaine Croix Duplex offers visitors a rare glimpse into the world of wine production. Event managers can rent the carnotzet, the veranda and/or the terrace. In summer and on sunny days, the Duplex can cater for an upper limit of 150 guests for a drinks reception. In winter, there is room for 60 people standing or 30 people seated.
I loved listening to one of the owners about the history of how her parents started these vineyards many years ago, and how she and her brother take care of the business now.
We had an interesting talk about 5 different wines and had also the opportunity to taste these. My favourite was their red Garanoir (Ollon-Chablais AOC). It’s a shame only 1% of Swiss wine is being exported as I fell in love with it, but at least another reason to be back.
Shame the weather wasn’t great on the day of our visit, but the views were still breath-taking.
Lausanne has so much to offer, and I can imagine being back with my whole family. Not only it is a very child-friendly city, but there is also lots of history everywhere around to explore and many museums to visit, plus so many fitness opportunities too. Lausanne has it all! Hopefully, we will be back next October half-term. I would love to!
Disclosure: My flights to Geneva and back, accommodation in Lausanne, transport within Switzerland and meals at restaurants were provided for free by Lausanne Tourisme & Convention Bureau in return for my honest review.