Personal Insider-Tips to Lausanne from our Local Office Manager
Thomas Brunner originally comes from Lausanne and knows the city inside out. Here are his special tips concerning dining, shopping, entertainment and more.
How is living in the capital of the Canton Vaud?
The city combines a dynamic commercial town with the location of a holiday resort and therefore is an ideal VISIONAPARTMENTS destination. Lausanne is also a lively university and convention town. Moreover, it’s so to say, an Olympic capital, all of which makes the city very diverse and entertaining to live in.
Could you provide us with some tips where to have a pleasant dinner or a quick lunch?
As to where to dine out in Lausanne, my personal favorite is the Le Cinq. Centrally located, not too crowded and cozy. The menu is minimalistic, but everything is well selected and prepared. Chef’s specialty, the “foie gras” as well as the “Simmental”-meat (premium beef of Swiss origin) are exquisite. To round up the main dish, you may select from a fine choice of cheese or tasty deserts. The restaurant has 14 Gault et Millau points and the prices are still fair: a three course meal costs around CHF 70.
If you are up for a culinary adventure you should not miss the Sushi-Zen. It is a quite luxurious and pricey restaurant, however it is absolutely worth it. The service is fantastic and dishes are fresh and incredibly diverse. The most surprising Japanese and Swiss fusion, which is worth to try is a warm sushi dish: grilled eel topped with cheese.
For those who would like to go for a drink later on, I would recommend the Bleu Lézard pub just two minutes away from our building on Rue Caroline. One of the most popular pubs in Lausanne and a great place to have a fun night out. Perhaps it is not the most extravagant place but definitely fun and boasts a pleasant atmosphere.
What are the best shopping areas in the city?
Those lucky enough to be shopping in Lausanne can expect to find an abundance of jewelry stores and boutiques. The best shopping area in Lausanne is without doubt along the Rue de Bourg and nearby, around the Place de la Palud and the Place de la Riponne. Many of these streets are particularly friendly to shoppers, being traffic-free and filled with Swiss shops and glamorous department stores.
The regular markets in Lausanne offer probably the best shopping experience. Every Wednesday and Saturday morning many of the central streets are filled with stalls, selling everything from fruit and vegetables, to traditional souvenirs. These include all of the usual favorites, such as Swiss Army knifes, cuckoo clocks and fondue sets, along with plenty of clothes.
If you prefer to have everything in one place when out on your shopping trip, Globus is the department store in Lausanne for you. Globus boasts of six floors of goods from fashion to sport equipment, electronics to perfume. Much of what is in store is what you would expect, but the food section is somewhat better than the rest. Food stalls at every entrance entice you off the streets and once through the dull facade, the interiors are well laid out and spacious. The store’s stationary department mixes fun and practicality, and their array of shoes is fantastic. One could spend hours in here.
Bon Genie is a more upmarket department store. Like Globus, the building itself might not be particularly appealing, but once you enter, you feel right at home. While not as extravagant as Harrods or Harvey Nichols, you still feel like you have walked into someone’s flat. The store’s elegance is subtle and understated yet there are enough enticing displays to remind you that you are there to shop. With designers such as Max Mara and Armani every age range is catered to. The BG Cafe located on the third floor is the perfect place to relax after an evening of shopping.
What are Lausanne’s cultural must-sees?
Cultural heritage is omnipresent in Lausanne. The very heart of the city is a majestic Gothic cathedral and the historical city district, while the remains of ancient Roman dwellings can be found on the outskirts. Finally, thanks to the multitude of festivals and the innumerable small drama companies and experimental theatres that bring life to the districts, culture is permanently within everyone’s grasp here.
Among the twenty museums there are some that are utterly unique, such as the Olympic Museum or the Collection of Art Brut, a point of reference for marginal art. There is also the Elyse Museum, dedicated entirely to photography, the only one of its kind in French-speaking Switzerland.
Top clubs, pubs, areas of the city for having fun?
Lausanne is one of the most popular night-life cities in Switzerland with a large gay community. Therefore many clubs are targeted at this customer group. The most significant clubs are MAD, D1, Cult Club, Amnesia Club etc. The place to be seen in is Le Mad, a five-story house-nightclub and concert venue on Rue de Geneve. For a quiet drink, try Le Java bar, which is decorated in 1930s and 1950s styles. If you are visiting in June, November or December, book ahead to see the famed Bejart Ballet, which performs in its home city in those months.
Can you give us a short event timetable of the city?
During carnival countless festivals take place in Lausanne, with many of the best events held during the sunny summer months, such as the Fete de la Musique and the Fete de Lausanne, both of which take place in June. Many popular musical events, operas and ballets are hosted by theatres along the Avenue du Théâtre. Located on the Rue des Terreaux, the L’Espace Culturel des Terreaux is also a hub of cultural activity and also boasts of endless things to do, see and enjoy, entertaining literally thousands of visitors year upon year. Each July and extremely close to Lausanne, the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival takes place and features endless jazz and blues concerts, many of which are staged outside in scenic parks and lakeside settings.
To sum up, Lausanne is a city worth visiting because besides being a clean and very accessible city, it is recognized for its joyful life and long history.