Bourg Plage, Lausanne bar, Time Out Switzerland
©Caroline Bishop

The best summer bars in Lausanne

Make the most of the sunshine in Lausanne at these great summer bars in the cathedral city.

Written by
Caroline Bishop
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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.

Bourg Plage
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Ville Marché

This outdoor pop-up bar tucked under Bessières bridge is a great spot to kick back with a drink in summer. Accessed via a metal staircase from the bridge above or Rue Centrale below, it’s basically a large beer garden, one half of which is sheltered from the elements by an arch of the bridge overhead.

The Great Escape
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Sports bars
  • Ville Marché
  • price 1 of 4

Perched half way up the steps from Riponne, The Great has a large garden area out front with its own bar which serves as an overspill, especially in summer when it proves a real sun-trap. Friendly and down-to-earth, you’ll likely come away from a night here with both a hangover and a few new pals.

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La Grenette
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Café bars
  • Ville Marché

This open-air cafe-bar first popped up in summer 2014. Tucked under concrete at the far end of Riponne, it’s an ultra laid-back, shabby-chic affair carefully designed to look like a hastily thrown together outdoor living room. With an eclectic array of furniture, you can sit on a boat, a tree stump, a sledge or a director’s chair while you imbibe your choice from a vast selection of drinks.

Flon Plage
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Flon

Open from mid-May to the end of September, this outdoor pop-up bar may be in the central shopping district of Flon rather than by a beach, but thanks to the real sand underfoot it’s possible to close your eyes, wriggle your toes in the sand and imagine you’re on the French Riviera instead.

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Blackbird Social Club
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Café bars
  • Ville Marché
  • price 1 of 4

Inside, this small roundhouse pub is decked out like a vintage railway station bar, with chandeliers, marble floors, well-used wooden cafe chairs, a piano and sepia-toned pictures. With its late-night opening hours and large outdoor terrace, it’s in the evenings when this pub will come into its own, as friends gather for beers in the sunshine after work.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Lausanne

Sometimes you need a good spot to people-watch, and what better place than under the arches of the Grand Pont, the 19th-century bridge that cuts through the centre of town? From a morning coffee in the sunshine to a pre-clubbing apéro, Les Arches is the perfect place to sit and watch Lausanne go by.

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Friends Café
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wineries
  • Flon

Friends Café is the bar of choice for many of Lausanne’s cool young things, attracted by its cocktail list, upbeat vibe and special events including DJ nights and after-work promotions. However the bar’s real coup is its funky rooftop terrace, which makes for a good inner-city spot for people-watching and lapping up the sunshine on a hot summer evening over an aperol spritz.

Brasserie de Montbenon
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Ville Marché
  • price 2 of 4

This stylish brasserie occupies a prime location on the classy (and grassy) Montbenon park. Outside, the bandstand-style structure sports a large sunny terrace with far-reaching views of Lake Geneva and the mountains beyond, ideal for a leisurely lunch al fresco.

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Café de l’Évêché
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Swiss
  • Cité / Old Town
  • price 2 of 4

You won't notice the glorious garden out the back of Café de l’Évêché unless you know it's there - and once you do, you'll earmark it for many a leisurely lunch, after-work beer or morning coffee.

Le Barbare
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Swiss
  • Ville Marché
  • price 1 of 4

Make time for a quiet beer or coffee on the tiny terrace of this charming old place, which catches the sun most of the day. It's located on the city’s most scenic street, a string of tall, narrow 16th century houses adorned with coloured shutters and fading painted shop signs.

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