Lausanne, wilh its centuries – old history as a crossroads and meeting place, is a modern city where young people, keep-fit enthusiasts and families find open - air leisure and fun.
Its hilltop site and delightful surrounding region make Lausanne ideal for all outdoor pursuits, both in the city itself, and in the nearby countryside or on the lake. From cycling, roller - skating or horse riding, to swimming, sailboarding or walking, and from cross - country skiing to ice sports or tobogganing, Lausanne offers something for everyone in every season. And all in wonderful surroundings, sometimes only a few minutes from the city centre.
Lausanne is a green city. Set with many beautiful parks, and surrounded by a wonderfully varied countryside, it offers generous opportunities for activities from mild relaxation to intense sports activity, in either natural or pleasantly landscaped environments. Children's playgrounds occupy a special place in Lausanne's urban concept, and the amenities such as those in the Place de Milan, at the yacht marina of Ouchy, or in nearby Bussigny, Pully or St-Sulpice, rival each other for novelty.
Open-air pools abound, and some such as nearby Pully, Renens or Prilly have truly outstanding facilities. And if it rains, families can spend fascinating hours in the museums. For children as well as for adults, in Lausanne there is always something to do.
1 – Chalet-à-Gobet
The grassy plain of Mauvernay with its surroundings woods, just a short trip from the city center, is the delight of walkers, joggers ans mountain bikers.
Bus: tl 45, 62 et 64 Chalet-à-Gobet
Parking: A proximité
2 – Chalet des Enfants
High above the city, nestled in a large clearing as lovely as any alpine pasture, the Auberge du Chalet-des-Enfants is a showcase for local produce and has a warm welcome awaiting you at the summit.
3 – Sauvabelin lake
This magical spot, with its waterside animal park (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, peacocks and birds) and rustic restaurant surrounded by centuries-old oak forests, is only a bus ride from Lausanne's shopping streets.
Boat rentals on Sauvabelin Lake stop mid-October and during Winter. They usually start again on the Easter week-end weather permitting.
Bus tl 16 Lac de Sauvabelin
4 – Place de la Riponne
Busy on Wednesday and Saturdays with the flower and vegetable stalls and the fascinating flea market, the Rumine Palace and its surrounding streets have several charming little parks within easy reach.
Bus: tl 8 Riponne – Maurice Béjart
Métro m2: Station Riponne – Maurice Béjart
5 – Parc Mon-Repos
This 19th century park, near the indoor swimming baths (closed in summer), offers many quiet corners and an aviary with exotic tropical birds.
Parc Mon-Repos – 1005 Lausanne
Bus: tl 13 Mon-Repos
Métro m2: Station Ours
6 – Ouchy
Served by the Metro from the city centre, the Place de la Navigation is an expanse of light and water. The steamboats plying the Swiss and French ports are reminders of the 19th century.
Bus: tl 2 Ouchy
Métro m2: Station Ouchy
Parking: Port d'Ouchy
7 – Place de Milan
The children's playground, near the Botanical Garden at the foot of a surprising "montain" standing above the park, has a large sandpit with an array of novel an instructive toys.
Bus: tl 1 Dapples ou Cèdres
8 – Vidy
The land for this extensive park with its beachside walks and fountains, keep-fit trail and children's attractions, was reclaimed from the lake in 1964 for the Swiss National Exhibition.
Bus: 2, 25 Maladière-Lac, Bois-de-Vaux
Parking: A proximité
9 – Vallée de la Jeunesse
Rollerskaters can weave and speed for hundreds of yards without crossing a road, and strollers admire masses of roses set amid sloping lawns.
Bus: 1, 13 Montoie ou Maladière, Vallée de la Jeunesse
Métro m1: Station Provence
10 – Saint-Sulpice
The beautiful 12th century Romanesque church beside the lake at this small village to the west of Lausanne is a moving witness to medieval times. The broad lawn in front of the landing stage (boat service from Lausanne-Ouchy) and the children's playground with pond and observation tower give this waterside spot a delightful atmosphere. Nearby is the tiny fishermen's port of Les Pierrettes.
11 – Bussigny
One of the three hills of the nearby village of Bussigny-près-Lausanne, previously an industrial zone, is now laid out for family excursions in the open air. The landscaping concept, which includes numerous novel play structures, is a successful blend of "wild" and "tamed" nature, giving unusual views across the surrounding countryside to the far Jura mountains.
12 – Pully
A la Just on the outskirts of Lausanne, the Guillemin deer-park and playground offers a superb view over the lake and the Alps. The Roman Villa near the old Priory, open in summer, contains a 15-metre-long fresco, while the port, with its typical Swiss merchants' and fishermen's houses, is a delight for children and the young at heart.