Porta de embarque Time Out: Lausanne
É preciso algum tempo para nos rendermos a Lausanne, mas assim que conhecemos a cidade é difícil não adorar. Repleta de história e cultura, Lausanne tem um bonito centro que pode percorrer a pé com restaurantes e mercados e lojas. O melhor de tudo é mesmo a quantidade de coisas que pode fazer ao ar livre sempre com uma vista incrível.
The best summer bars in Lausanne
Craving a beer garden? Yearning for a sunny terrace for your morning coffee? Check out our guide to the best places to grab an al fresco drink in Lausanne.
Lausanne’s best restaurants
It’s only a small place, so when it comes to finding a restaraunt, Lausanne doesn’t have as diverse a range in Switzerland’s bigger cities, but there are plenty of good places to eat here if you know where to find them. While there’s an abundance of café-restaurants serving modern Swiss bistro fare such as beef tartar, burgers, salads and perch filets, it’s also possible to hunt out decent Chinese food, an Indian curry and an Argentinian t-bone steak. Traditionalists can opt for classic Swiss cheese dishes at several dedicated places including Pinte Besson and Café Romand. And of course with Italy so close by, Lausanne is peppered with good Italian restaurants. Eating out anywhere in Switzerland isn’t a cheap affair, and Lausanne is no different. So if you’re going to blow your budget you may as well do it in style at somewhere like Le Cinq. At the other end of the scale a smattering of restaurants such as the Chinese Chez Xu offer real value for money, and most places offer a competitively-priced lunch menu which won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.
Lausanne’s best bars
Looking for the ideal Swiss bar? Lausanne punches above its weight when it comes to watering holes, and the scene keeps getting better. From drunken debauchery to sophisticated sipping, there’s something for every taste and sensibility. Hang out with the city’s students and expats in any number of long-standing pubs and lively sports bars, try local tipples and nibbles in an increasing array of wine bars, or sample beer brewed on site in several micro-brewery pubs. Things are lively all week, but the pubs really get going from Thursday night onwards, particularly around Place Benjamin Constant where every inch of pavement is packed with happy revellers.
The best cafés in Lausanne
Coffee culture is long ingrained in the city and you don’t have to look far for a croissant pitstop or cool cafe – Lausanne has one on practically every corner, cobbled street and pedestrian square. Enjoy people-watching from any one of numerous city centre spots (service isn’t always the best, but it’s worth it for the location and atmosphere), or head to a neighbourhood café to really get the measure of the city and its people. From the best place to stop in for a quick morning croissant, to where to find superior hot chocolate, which café to choose for a decent lunch and where to linger all afternoon with a cuppa and a board game, we run you through Lausanne’s best cafés, coffee shops and tearooms.
Switzerland's best markets
Looking for a flea market? Zurich to Geneva, most towns and cities have a weekly produce market, great for picking up fruit and vegetables straight from the grower, freshly-baked bread and any number of local specialities from alpine cheese to meringues. But you'll also find beautiful flower stalls, trendy food markets where you can eat on site such as Zurich's Markthalle, and flea markets stuffed with antiques, bric-a-brac and vintage clothes. Whatever you're looking for, have a browse through our pick of Switzerland's best markets.
Ten quirky Swiss festivals
Whether it’s the coming of spring or the return of the cows from their summer holidays, Switzerland has found numerous excuses to burn a snowman, wrestle a herdsman or knock back some absinthe in the name of celebration. We explore ten of the country’s more unusual festivities.
Switzerland's best live music venues
Switzerland has a small but thriving live music scene. However given the linguistic divisions in the country, bands rarely have a national presence; a Swiss-German band is unlikely to make it big in Romandie and vice versa. But that just makes things interesting if you ask us. Helpfully, there are plenty of places to catch local bands playing live at intimate venues like Bleu Lezard, Chat Noir and Papiersaal. Meanwhile, get in quick to see international bands at the huge SEG Geneva Arena and the Hallenstadion, or check out the local and international jazz scene at Moods and Chorus.
Where to eat brunch in Lausanne
Whether you're looking for coffee and pastries in a café, a posh Sunday brunch, or a hangover curing fry-up, we've rounded up our favourite options to make sure the most important meal of the day is also the tastiest. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below to let us know your suggestions.
Recommended Lausanne hotels
Most of the Lausanne hotels worth talking about are grouped in roughly two areas. Generally, the city’s most upmarket hotels, like the Beau Rivage Palace – with a few exceptions – are to be found in Ouchy, once a little fishing village and now Lausanne’s lakefront district. A pretty place to hang out on a weekend, it’s the must-do area for tourists with its ferry trips, parks, watersports, museums and upmarket bars. The rest of Lausanne’s hotels, such as the Agora, are up the hill in the town centre, either near to the train station or dotted around the 17th century shopping streets and the warehouse district of Flon. While it’s easy to find old-school luxury, a cluster of newer hotels have brought a refreshing modernity to Lausanne in recent years, compounding its status as one of Switzerland’s most youthful cities. Whether you end up in town or in Ouchy, it’s easy to flit up and down the hill on the leg-saving M2 metro line.
Geneva’s best bars
There’s certainly no shortage of pubs and bars in Geneva, from trendy rooftop hangouts to student theme pubs and elegant post-work wine bars. But finding a good cocktail at a decent price can be a trickier proposition. At first glance it may seem your only choice is to head for one of Geneva’s many five star hotels or flashy lakeside bars and resign yourself to emptying the contents of your wallet quicker than you can say Mai Tai. But thankfully, there is an alternative. Cocktail culture has crept up on the city in the past few years and if you look a little deeper and explore a little further, you’ll come across a clutch of Geneva bars offering artfully mixed cocktails in surroundings that are far more original and quirky than you might expect and for prices that, while not exactly cheap (this is Switzerland after all) are, at least, fair.
Geneva's best restaurants
Eating out in Geneva restaurants is part of the fabric of the city and for local office workers and businesspeople a long lunch in a local restaurant is an essential part of their working day, forging fruitful partnerships over a filet de perch and a glass of local chasselas. Given the amount of money swirling around the shores of Lake Geneva, this isn’t a city with a dearth of high-end restaurants, and at the five-star hotels, such as the Four Seasons restaurant Izumi, you’ll find haute-cuisine of all flavours. Those with less fulsome budgets are better catered for in the Old Town where modern Swiss and European food is easy to come by and usually good quality. Likewise in Carouge, Geneva’s pretty Italianate suburb which is packed with classy restaurants like Café des Négociants and bars and sees fewer tourists than the Old Town. While little in Geneva is cheap, the city’s recent predilection for food trucks and burger joints means there are more budget options than ever.
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Since its launch in 2014 this microbrewery set up by four friends from the Lausanne area has expanded so rapidly that its beers are now some of the city’s best known local brews. Available in restaurants and bars around town and further afield in Switzerland, its beers comprise a variety of flavours and styles, from a California-inspired pale ale to an English Porter via a German-style wheat beer. The brewery also teams up with various bars and events to create limited edition beers. Guided tours and food pairing events are laid on at its headquarters in Renens.
Sandwiched between the medieval Cité and the Sauvabelin forest, this well-tended park blooms in spring and summer, making it a beautiful spot for lounging around with a book, picnicking or kicking a ball with the kids. At its centre is the Hermitage foundation, which sits on a plateau with a lovely view over the lake and mountains beyond. When snow hits town the slope below the Hermitage is a great place to take the kids for a spot of gentle tobogganing.
Launched thanks to a crowdfunding initiative, Lausanne’s newest fast food joint is worth the money its supporters paid. Yes it’s another burger place in a city that doesn’t really need any more, but Crazy Wolf is a step above many of the others in terms of quality. Beef burgers are juicy and cooked to order, the pulled pork burger is wonderfully flavoursome and skin-on fries are crispy and delicious. Wash it down with a beer from one of Lausanne’s burgeoning microbreweries. On our midweek visit the place was a little lacking in atmosphere, but as more people get to know about it (and find it – an easy-to-miss doorway leads to the restaurant above a shop), that’s bound to change.
Grand Central (Antigel 2016)
Just for 2016, Antigel’s coolest venue is this disused factory in Vernier. Soon to be demolished to make way for 2,500 apartments, it is being given a loud send-off by Antigel, which has transformed it into a temporary cultural hotspot for two weeks of music, dance, club nights, food and drink and general partying. Come for its Blue Oyster Laser Bar, share an apéro with local producers, put your skates on for Antigel’s opening roller disco, rummage for vinyl at the records and instrument fair or chow down at the Geneva Street Food Winter Market.
Berghotel Schynige Platte
Built in 1899, this hotel is one of the oldest in the alps and is accessed by the equally historic cogwheel railway up from Wilderswil, near Interlaken. The journey is worth it just in itself – the quaint train carriages and winding journey make for a special experience – but the top station at 1,983m is the kirsche on the kuchen. Its superlative view takes in the big three – the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – as well as lake Thun and the Lütschen valleys. You can admire it from the large sun terrace of the hotel’s panorama restaurant, which, thanks to its renovation in 2011, is rather swanky. Choose from a picnic-style self-service menu or be served typical Swiss dishes from the à la carte menu including goulash soup, wurst salad, grilled meats, rösti and älpermagronen (Swiss-style macaroni cheese). If you’re staying at the hotel or up on an early train, make time for the ample breakfast buffet including homemade jams, honeycomb, hardboiled eggs, local cheeses and fresh bread. When you’ve stuffed your face, walk it all off on the classic alpine trail up to the Faulhorn.
Restaurant Les Pléiades
Located at the top station of Les Pléiades, this restaurant has one of the most beautiful views in the Lac Léman region, with a sunny terrace overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond. As the nearest place to the train station and one of the few restaurants up here, it benefits from the hikers, skiers and star-gazers that flock to Les Pléiades throughout the year. The food is good, if not exceptional, with Swiss classics including fondue and meringues and decent homemade tarts and cakes. Prices aren’t bad either, for such a prime tourist location. Unfortunately, it’s often let down by slow service which, during peak season when the place is busy, can be a bit of a turn off. However if you’ve got the time, it’s well worth stopping in for a glass of wine so you can linger over that gorgeous view.
Located in the Torrent ski area near Leukerbad in the Valais alps, this family-run restaurant is a popular mid-ski lunch spot thanks to its glorious sunny terrace looking out over the peaks to the south. The food menu draws on Valais-typical dishes including plenty of dried meats and cheeses and hot dishes such as a half roast chicken with fries and salad. It’s right next to the Torrentalp gondola middle station between Flaschen and Rinderhütte, making it a good stop-off point for skiers and easily accessible from the valley for non-skiers. Or make it the end point of the stunning 1.5 hour walk (open in summer and winter) down from Rinderhütte, which winds along a high mountain trail sporting dramatic views of the southern Valais alps and tiny villages basking in the sunshine. Just watch out for toboggans using the same trail.
After spending a morning in the snow working up an appetite, there are few better places to end up for lunch than this mountain restaurant. Perched at 1,792m on the south-facing side of the Grindelwald valley, its sun-trap of a terrace overlooks the vast Eiger mountain on the opposite side. It’s a jaw-dropping backdrop for a lunch of traditional mountain fare including goulash soup, rösti, pork schnitzel and älplermaccaroni. You’ll need it after all the frolicking in the snow you’ll be doing up here – Bussalp is at the midpoint of Europe’s (and some say the world’s, but who’s measuring) toboggan run, which allows you to slide 15km from the Faulhorn mountain down to Grindelwald. Access to the restaurant by more traditional means is done by bus from Grindelwald.
Switzerland’s ten quirkiest festivals
Whether it’s the coming of spring or the return of the cows from their summer holidays, Switzerland has found numerous excuses to burn a snowman, wrestle a herdsman or knock back some absinthe in the name of celebration. We explore ten of the country’s more unusual festivities. 1. International alphorn festival You can’t fail to encounter an alphorn on a meander through rural Switzerland. Resembling a cross between an over-sized pipe and a didgeridoo, it’s usually played by men in traditional dress during village festivals. Each year in the Valais town of Nendaz, 200 of them battle it out in an international alphorn festival (now rather unromantically called the Valais Drink Pure Festival) with 12,000 spectators turning up to enjoy the music, dancing and flag waving. You can even have a go at playing an alphorn yourself. This year’s takes place on 24-26 July. 2. Yodelling festivals Yodelling is such a deep-rooted tradition in Switzerland that the country recently submitted it to UNESCO for inclusion on the global heritage list. While many non-Swiss find this octave-jumping form of singing somewhat comical, here it’s a much respected talent that is celebrated in numerous festivals around the country. Taking place every three years, the next national yodelling festival isn’t until 2017, but you can join 30,000 spectators and 2,500 yodellers in Saas-Fee from 3-5 July this year for the 28th West-Switzerland Yodelling Festival. 3. Bern onion marketIf you’re not a fan of onion
Ten facts about Switzerland’s foreign residents
If you’ve been living in Switzerland over the past year, your ears must have been plugged with melted Gruyère not to know that the issue of immigration has been hotter than a freshly fried rösti. With the Swiss narrowly voting in favour of the reintroduction of immigration quotas for EU citizens, and the subsequent frosty relations between Switzerland and Brussels, foreigners in the country have been left wondering what the future holds. With its camera-ready scenery, high quality of life, bumper salaries and instant access to chocolate, it’s no wonder so many foreigners want to live here – a huge 23.8 percent* of Switzerland’s eight million resident population is foreign-born. But, we wondered, where exactly are some of them from? 1. There are a whopping 298,875 Italians in Switzerland, the biggest foreign population in the country. That’s about the size of Venice, Italy’s 11th biggest city. 2. Switzerland is home to 292,291 Germans, on a par with the south-west German city of Mannheim, whose citizens certainly know how to get about – Karl Drais created the world’s first bicycle there in 1817, while some 50 years later Mannheim engineer Karl Benz invented the motorcar. 3. The 253,227 Portuguese who have made Switzerland home outnumber the population of Portugal’s second city Porto, meaning only the capital Lisbon houses more Portuguese than Switzerland. 4. The 110,103 French-born Swiss residents would fit into France's 32nd biggest city Rouen, where French heroine Joan of Ar