With 22 museums, 40 art galleries, and a packed calendar of music and dance, culture is a way of life in Lausanne. Even without this, the natural beauty of Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains is satisfying enough for any visitor to this Swiss city. Just 40 minutes from Geneva and two hours from Zürich by train, Lausanne is a terrific base for work or play.
Switzerland is just two-thirds the size of Tasmania, so it’s easy to see a lot in a few days. A first-class transport system that runs like a Swiss watch helps. However, rushing around seems to go against the grain here. In any season, the mountains and lakes – and in spring and summer the stunning wildflowers – are best experienced at your own pace.
Lausanne is on Lake Geneva, so make time to walk and ponder as you look across to snow-capped alps and the town of Evian in France. The International Olympic Committee has been based in Lausanne for more than a century. Its headquarters house the only Olympic Museum in the world, which has more than 1,500 exhibits and 150 interactive screens, plus some fun sport activities for children and adults. It’s also on the waterfront and has a good café in which to enjoy lunch while taking in the view.
The other must-see is the Charlie Chaplin Museum, which is 30 minutes from Lausanne by bus in a pretty village called Corsier-sur-Vevey. Chaplin lived in an old manor house here for 25 years with his wife and eight children until his death in 1977. The museum opened in 2016 and pays tribute to the London-born comedian.