DUBAI 26 December 2020: Lausanne, the picturesque Vaud capital was recently named the ‘best small city in the world’ in Monocle magazine’s Small Cities Index, which ranked the best 25 small towns with a population under 200,000.
Lausanne topped the chart for its public transport network, global outlook, diverse population, natural setting and other factors.
Lausanne is in the French region of Switzerland which is vibrant and combines urban life with easy access to the scenic routes and spots all around the region. Lausanne’s dynamism, cultural and sporting heritage, culinary wealth and quality hotel infrastructure attracts visitors from around the world and lends itself to the perfect city break escape. Here are 8 things that makes Lausanne a great small town:
1. Discovering the Old Town of Lausanne on Foot
Filled picture-perfect streets and colorful buildings is the old town of Lausanne. Exploring the streets of Lausanne can be quite a workout. Start at the top at the medieval site located in the pedestrian Old Town and make your way through the hill that spreads down to the main train station. There are many bridges, lifts and escalators to help work your way up and down the hills.
2. Shopping for Unique Finds in the Old town
From local goods to international splurges, Lausanne has a lot to offer. Dating back to the 9th century, Place de la Palud is the main square of Lausanne’s Old Town and the centerpiece is the Fountain of Justice, Lausanne’s oldest fountain. The traditional farmer’s market is held in the old town every Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The market stalls here sell everything from souvenirs, unique finds to boutique items and delicacies. There is also a great mix of high-end brands and vintage stores. Independent boutiques line Rue Martery which is great for unique finds and a different kind of shopping experience.
3. Discovering Unusual Art at the Collection de l’Art Brut
Art Brut refers to art forms outside the boundaries of normal art, and it can get very unusual. In Lausanne, some of the world’s quirkiest collections can be seen in Collection de L’Art Brut. This includes works of Jean Dubuffet himself, mixed in with art collections of all kinds. The collection boasts more than 70,000 pieces by 1,000 artists, making this museum in Lausanne the world’s finest collection of Art Brut. One can spend hours browsing all four floors of the museum’s permanent collection which include paintings done by psychiatric patients and inmates, artworks, naïve paintings, sculpture, masks, and works in a wide variety of media. The temporary exhibitions change, following various themes that interpret the art and explore the creative process.
4. Dining at a 200-year-old restaurant
The oldest restaurant in Lausanne is also one of its most popular. The Pinte Besson opened in 1780 and has since served traditional Swiss dishes. The restaurant is most known for serving up the best fondue in Lausanne – a rich mix of Gruyere and Vacherin served with potatoes and bread for dipping. Pinte Besson also serves great local wines and seasonal dishes at great value for money.
5. Climbing the stairs of the Tour de Sauvabelin
The Tour de Sauvabelin is a unique viewing tower in the highest point of the Sauvabelin Forest. The Tour de Sauvabelin is constructed entirely out of timber from the forests outside the city, composed of Douglas fir, spruce, and larch wood. It was raised in 2003 and characterized by its double helix staircase. 151 steps take you up to the observation tower where you can take in dreamy views of Lake Geneva, the Alps, the Vaud Alps, French Alps, and Lausanne’s cityscape.
6. Cruising on Lake Geneva and Discovering a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Take a boat to Vevey or Montreux for a great day trip or hire a private boat to take you around Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva Cruise Lines offers group and private tours of Lake Geneva. The General Navigation Company (GCN) operates boats that transport travelers from Lausanne to Château de Chillon, Montreux, Vevey, Nyon, and Morges. They also offer gourmet cruises. It is a great way to enjoy the stunning lake and you also get to see the terraced Lavaux vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Visiting the ‘World Renowned’ Olympic Museum
Visiting the Olympic Museum does not sound like a ground-breaking activity, but this place has more than just your average artifacts and exhibits. The rich collection has pieces that span the ancient period through to the present day, telling the story of how the modern Olympic Games were born and continue to progress. Not only will you learn about the change in sport technology and the inspiration behind the Olympic movement, you can challenge your friends to races on the 100m track and re-live some of the most inspiring opening ceremonies in history.
8. Exploring the Nightlife at Flon
The Flon district was once a natural valley run through by the river Flon and now one of the hot spots of Lausanne nightlife. The old warehouse district is now full of hip clubs, trendy bars, cool shops, and modern restaurants.