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Lausanne, perched on three hills and surrounding a beautiful lake, the city of light and spirit! Capital of the Swiss canton of Vaud and once home and inspiration to Voltaire and Rousseau, Lausanne has always been the Mecca of enlightenment and intellect and is now one of Switzerland’s top travel destinations. Its establishment as the seat of the International Olympic Committee and the inauguration of the Olympic Museum gave a further boost to Lausanne’s popularity and urged more and more travellers to search for cheap air tickets to Lausanne. Apart from spirit though, Lausanne also nurtures the soul of its visitors. The shores of Lake Geneva are an indispensable attribute of Lausanne, offering countless opportunities in sports and activities, while the accommodation choices and hotels in Lausanne are considered ever more luxurious than those in Monte Carlo, the cosmopolitan hotspot of Europe. With a radiant medieval centre that bustles with life until the break of dawn, the experience in this fabulous Swiss metropolis is definitely one to remember!
Lausanne, with a population of 140,000, is the fifth largest city in Switzerland, situated on top of three hills that surround the scenic Lake Geneva. Lausanne was founded by the Romans, but research shows that it had already been inhabited since the Palaeolithic era; the canton of Vaud was annexed to Switzerland during the 19th century.
Having served for centuries as a place of immigrants and exiles, Lausanne knew a tremendous growth during the European Age of Enlightenment and became the home of Voltaire and Rousseau, two of the most notable philosophers and writers of the 18th century.
Modern Lausanne ranks among the top European travel destinations, accomplishing a successful balance of the medieval spirit and charm and the modern trends of our time. Plus, this is the seat of the International Olympic Committee!
The local population consists of highly open-mined and friendly people, with university students comprising a large percentage of it. At night, Lausanne comes alive and stays awake until the very first morning hours, offering legendary moments of pure entertainment to both locals and visitors.
It is said that Lausanne has the highest number of clubs per capita, second only to Ibiza!
Whether you’re captivated by the cultural heritage of Lausanne, or you seek a relaxing, fascinating, fun destination to spend your holidays, Lausanne will surely satisfy your needs.
The nearest airport to Lausanne is the airport of Geneva (Genève Aéroport). Trains to Lausanne city centre leave the airport every 30 minutes.
You can get around Lausanne by trolley, bus (25 lines) and metro (2 lines). Fares start from 1.90 CHF and minimum taxi fare costs 6.20 CHF.
Lausanne stretches across the shores of Lake Geneva. Three are the main parts of the city that attract the majority of travellers; Haute Ville, the Old Town of Lausanne and Basse Ville and nearby lakefront Ouchy. Haute Ville can be considered a sight as a whole, with a strong medieval lure that captivates visitors.
The Gothic Cathedral of Lausanne looms 150 metre-high over the Old Town, decorated with elaborate murals of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other Biblical scenes. Built in 1175 and inaugurated in 1275 by Pope Gregory X, the cathedral was later restored many times, but it has been holding on to its original structure.
Within short distance, you will come across yet another former Primate Seat dating back to the 15th century. This one now houses the History Museum of Lausanne (Musée Historique de Lausanne/Ancien-Evêché), dedicated to the great heritage of the city and boasting collections of paintings, designs, musical instruments, jewellery and other memorabilia.
The most significant museum housed in the palace is the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, focusing on all those artists who lived, were inspired from and created their life’s work in western Switzerland during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The second most important museum in Lausanne is the Musée de l’Art Brut, housed in the Château de Beaulieu. Dedicated to French artist Jean Dubuffet, the museum hosts exhibitions of the art that himself named “Art Brut”, which means “Raw Art”.
Collections are extraordinary and unique, featuring works created by self-taught artists that didn’t match the predominant culture; prisoners, inmates of psychiatric clinics and different kinds of outcasts. Dubuffet clearly wanted to make a point, suggesting that they are worth much more than the majority of the most popular artists of the ‘70’s.
The First Treaty of Lausanne was signed in the Château d'Ouchy in 1912, while the Beau-Rivage Palace was the place where the second Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923, putting an end to World War I and opening new horizons for the whole world.
Finally, you couldn’t leave Lausanne without paying a visit to the Olympic Museum (Musée Olympique), dedicated to the history of the Olympic Games from ancient Greece to today.
Lausanne’s official languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh.