Lausanne | Swiss Tour 2020
Updated: Jan 16
We had such an exciting weekend in Lausanne! Despite not being far away from where we live, I have only visited Lausanne a couple of times so I was really excited to explore the city.
We arrived at the hotel Hôtel de la Paix at 10am where we were able to leave our bags with the very helpful reception staff before we met with Mrs Franziska Werren, who is an English-speaking guide for Lausanne Tourisme, for a tour of the town. We were grateful that the rain held off as we headed out of the hotel and the skies started to clear so that we could really enjoy the experience. Franziska is really lovely and extremely knowledgable about the city and she explained the tour in a way that was interesting for all of us for example, she told us that Lausanne sits on a number of underground rivers which Jude found really interesting (and slightly mind-boggling).
The children were all given a bag containing a little book with puzzles and games relevant to Lausanne as well as some crayons and glue etc so that they could stick bits and pieces into it later. For the first part of our visit, we headed up to the incredible cathedral and went inside to look around. Jude has a lot of questions about religion at the moment (which we usually direct to his French grandmother ;-)) and was very interested to walk around and learn about the history of the cathedral and it’s significance in the city.
Back outside and we discovered the beautiful area behind the cathedral with its lovely little streets which reminded Jean of Montmartre in Paris. We strolled gently back down towards the market where Franziska steered us towards the best place to buy a snack for the children and we had chance to absorb the atmosphere as well as admire the architecture of the area.
The final part of our tour was Flon which is a hot spot for bars and restaurants and full of history, art and interesting things to look at. At the end of the visit Franziska walked with us to the restaurant Café des Artisans where we parted ways feeling slightly sad that the tour had come to an end. Inside the restaurant, there was a nice bustle about the place so we didn’t feel too stressed if the children made a bit of noise and we were soon tucking in to our lunch. Alba demolished a big bowl of spaghetti and Jude enjoyed some chicken bites. The chef prepared a delicious lentil purée for Elio who ate it all in no time. We really appreciated this as it can be difficult to manage nutritious food for Elio on the go.
After lunch we took the metro down to Ouchy where we had a boat trip planned. This is a lovely spot right on the lake and we enjoyed the stroll along to the boat departure point. For this trip, we were taking the boat over to Evian and coming back again. We had been given tickets for the top deck so we installed ourselves in the comfortable chairs and waited for departure. The weather was brightening up and the sun came out so when we saw some free seats outside we hurried to occupy them. We bought some drinks and ice-creams and enjoyed the wonderful view across the lake. The return crossing to Evian takes about 1 hour which is a good amount of time for the children who asked Jean to take them to explore the boat a bit while I stayed with Elio. We all really enjoyed the trip and Elio seemed to like the movement of the boat while Jude and Alba were impressed with the size of it and the excitement of a different mode of transport.
Back on dry land and we strolled around the lake side and let the children enjoy the play area which they really loved, before we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
The hotel has amazing bedrooms, very spacious and modern. We were really surprised as on their website the pictures looked slightly dated but when you walk in, it's perfect for a family and a really wonderful surprise.
Our plan for the evening was to visit one of Lausanne’s dinner hot spots, the Brasserie de Montbenon which was a short walk from our hotel. The restaurant has a wonderful location overlooking the park. We had a lovely table in the beautiful main room and settled down to examine the menu. There are so many delicious sounding dishes it was really hard to choose but we eventually picked and didn’t have to wait long before our meals to arrived. Elio was somewhat agitated during our meal and was really happy when his delicious specially prepared meal arrived and which he ate within minutes. The children opted to share a cordon bleu (we had heard very good things about it and it didn't disappoint) and amazed us by eating everything on their plates including the vegetables! Jean and I both tried some meat from the menu and it was really delicious. The restaurant is a busy spot with plenty of atmosphere so its a good option for family groups.
We had a lovely walk back through the park to the hotel and everyone (even Eliio) fell sleep quickly after a busy day.
We had a gentle start to the following morning as the children slept a little later than usual and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading to the Olympic museum. We parked the car and walked along the lake to enjoy the sunshine before heading up through the gardens to the museum.
I won’t go into huge detail about everything we saw but it was a nice mix of history, interesting facts and interactive displays. The museum hosts nearly 300,000 visitors each year. Some 3,000m2 of exhibition space, 1,500 objects, 150 audiovisual devices, 50 interactive screens, 7 hours of sound and video celebrate humanity in movement.
There are 3 floors to explore which are the Olympic world, the Olympic Games and finally the Olympic spirit. There is an amazing video to watch for few minutes where you really feel the power of sport. Jean watched it twice in a row :-).
It was also great to show the olympic costumes to Alba as well as all the goodies created for each of the Olympic games. All the olympic torches are displayed together and in one of the most indelible and stirring of Olympic images, Muhammad Ali, suffering then from Parkinson's Disease, lit the flame during the Opening Ceremonies for the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
Jean really loved the area where you can see the equipment of the most famous olympic stars such as Usain Bolt, Michael Johnson etc and there is also a display about the Para-olympic games and their amazing athletes.
The thing we liked best was the area where they had a number of games that visitors could try and Jude enjoyed getting involved in that too, although some of them were inaccessible due to Covid restrictions, there was still plenty to do.
We ended our visit with a lunch on the terrace of the TOM Café on the top floor of the museum. The restaurant is really light and modern and is a very popular place in Lausanne. The children chose burgers and Jean and I had some of their delicious wraps. Our table gave us a wonderful view across the lake and our lunch was a perfect end to our experience.
We loved Lausanne - such a rich city with an amazing vibe about it! You have everything you need to spend a wonderful weekend there, but you really need a week to discover all its gems.
Avenue de Rhodanie 2 – CP 975
1001 Lausanne – Suisse
+41 21 613 73 73
Hotel de la Paix
5, Av. Benjamin Constant
Tel. +41 (0)21 310 71 71
Quai Jean-Pascal Delamuraz 1
1006 Lausanne 6
Heures d'ouverture - 07.09.2020-25.10.2020
- 09 a.m. to 6 p.m. : from 1st July to 31 October 2020, closed on Mondays
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. : from 1st November to 31 December 2020, closed on Mondays
Closed on 25 December and 1st January.
Closed at 4 p.m. 24 and 31 December
Full price Adults (aged 17+) - CHF 18
Full price Children aged 6-16 (under 6 free) - CHF 10
Reduced price Senior citizens - CHF 16
Reduced price Students, disabled persons - CHF 10
Reduced price Families (max. 2 adults and their children aged 6-16) - CHF 40