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The best things to do this autumn in Lausanne

Discover some of the best things to do this autumn in this charming city

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One of Switzerland’s most vibrant and youthful cities, Lausanne is awash with culture, nightlife, bars and restaurants to enjoy this autumn.

Try seasonal food in a locals’ favourite or a Michelin-starred treat, sample Swiss wine in a new crowd-sourced wine bar or go clubbing in party district Le Flon. Thanks to its lakeside location, Lausanne has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy too, even as the nights draw in.

Take a walk or cycle along Ouchy promenade, head up to Sauvabelin to kick leaves in the park and climb the tower for stunning views over Lake Geneva, or tuck into a fondue on an evening cruise. That’s not to mention the cathedral city’s huge array of exhibitions, music festivals, quirky shops and sporting events ready to be explored and experienced in Lausanne this autumn.

For wining and dining

Ta Cave
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Sous Gare

A welcome addition to Lausanne’s wine bar scene is this new place which opened in early 2015.

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

Opened at the end of 2014, this stylish brasserie occupies a prime location on the classy (and grassy) Montbenon park, a favourite Lausanne strolling and lounging spot since the 19th century.

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Pinte Besson
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Swiss
  • Ville Marché
  • price 2 of 4

This tall, narrow building sitting rather incongruously on the end of one of Lausanne’s scruffiest streets claims to be the oldest pub in Lausanne, and was set up by a wine merchant in 1780. 

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

No visit to Lausanne would be complete without a hot chocolate in Le Barbare. Firstly, it’s arguably the best hot chocolate in town – pure, thick, melted loveliness and little else, unless you fancy it topped with whipped cream.

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Hôtel Restaurant Le Raisin
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Ville Marché
  • price 2 of 4

Right in the centre of town opposite the Town Hall, this place has an enviable location most people will encounter during the course of a mooch about town.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Global
  • Ville Marché
  • price 3 of 4

This cocktail bar and tapas restaurant takes inspiration from all over the world to produce an intriguing menu with diverse flavours.

Pi Bar
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Ville Marché

You need your wits about you when visiting this small but popular neighbourhood bar whose raison d’être is bringing Europe’s finest craft beers to Lausanne.

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Vintage Wine Bar
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Ville Marché

Adding to the increasingly funky area around Rue Marterey near the Bessières bridge, this small wine bar opened in autumn 2014.

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

Massively popular with expats, this English-style pub comes into its own as a place to watch live football and rugby and quickly gets crammed on match days.

For shopping

Durig Chocolatier
  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Ville Marché

One of Lausanne’s best chocolatiers, Durig occupies two shops in the city, but this is the original one, where the chocolates are made on site.

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  • Shopping
  • Home decor
  • Ville Marché

A great place for picking up an original gift, Particules en Suspension (which also owns the nearby Particules Fines) comprises two levels of gadgets, trinkets, books, cards, kitchenware, t-shirts and baby gifts. 

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Blondel
  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Ville Marché

It’s practically impossible to walk past this artisan chocolate shop without going in, such are the enticing window displays and the rich cocoa smell wafting from the doorway. 

Royaume Melazic
  • Shopping
  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • Ville Marché

Drawing on the pleasing but rather tenuous link between fairycakes and fairytales, this idiosyncratic place is part cupcake bakery, part t-shirt shop with a princess theme.

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Maniak
  • Shopping
  • Flon

A mix between a hipster’s go-to store and a fancy dress shop, Maniak fills its copious floor space with an unusual combination of top street-cool brands such as Dickies, Carhartt and Superdry, and dress-up essentials including devil horns, mullet wigs and feather boas. 

Cocooning
  • Shopping
  • Ville Marché

This lovely shop tucked up a side street in Lausanne’s pedestrian area sells soaps, lotions and bath salts made using natural, biodegradable Swiss ingredients drawn from alpine flowers, vegetable oils and even cow’s milk.

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Soda
  • Shopping
  • Ville Marché

The rather downmarket shopfront doesn’t do this place justice, but venture inside and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Pomp it Up
  • Shopping
  • Flon

Appropriately housed in one of the former warehouses in trendy Le Flon, this is a temple to trainers.

For exploring

Cathédrale de Lausanne
  • Things to do
  • Cité / Old Town

Perched atop a hill in the Cité, Lausanne’s 13th century gothic cathedral is the largest in Switzerland.

Lavaux vineyards
  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Lavaux-Oron

You’d be forgiven for not realising that Switzerland is a wine-producing country, as only one percent of the one million hectolitres it produces each year actually makes it to foreign markets. 

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  • Museums
  • Sport
  • Ouchy

As anyone who has arrived into the main train station knows, Lausanne is rather chuffed with its self-proclaimed status as ‘Olympic city’, due to the presence of the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters down by the lake in Vidy.

Rolex Learning Centre
  • Things to do
  • Sous Gare

Built on the campus of the internationally renowned EPFL (Lausanne’s federal technology institute), this unusual looking building designed by Japanese architect firm SANAA is a study centre open to both EPFL students and the public.

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Sauvabelin
  • Things to do
  • Lausanne

At the top of Lausanne’s broad sweep from hilltop to lakeside, this forest is a pretty spot for a Sunday stroll or cycle along the leafy trails.

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Ville Marché

Off the tourist trail, this fascinating museum is a must-see for those seeking an alternative to the mainstream, exactly what ‘art brut’ – literally ‘raw art’ – is all about.

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Lausanne PubliBike station
  • Things to do
  • Ouchy

Ouchy sports one of the many PubliBike hire points in Switzerland which allow you to rent a low-cost bicycle and drop it off at any other ‘velostation’ in the country. 

Check out our Lausanne city guide

Plan your next visit to Lausanne

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