… Lausanne, city of recreation
It feels good to stay in this small city with the appearance of a metropolis, laid out on a human scale and with a welcoming ambiance. Urban tourism here adopts an expression of hospitality for everyone – children, the young and not-so-young, business people, culture vultures, athletes – and does it all against a backdrop combining the beauty of the location with architectural aesthetics, the tranquillity of old districts and the vitality of the modern city. All the services of a tertiary capital can be found here: banks, insurance companies, international organisations, major corporations, vocational schools and, most notably, a vast range of hotels in every category with a total capacity in excess of 7,000 beds spread over sixty or so establishments. Commercial activity is booming here, made up of small shops and large retail outlets, stores selling top brands, restaurants, bars and cafés, and nightclubs whose fame transcends borders…
… Lausanne, city of culture
As true witnesses to a rich past and symbols of modern culture in all its forms, more than 20 museums covering history, sciences, fine arts, contemporary arts and photography are on offer for visitors here, most notably the Hermitage Foundation and its prestigious exhibitions, The Olympic Museum, the acclaimed Collection de l’Art Brut, the Musée de l’Elysée dedicated to photography, the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts and the Swiss Film Archive (one of the first ten in the world). Aquatis, the largest aquarium-vivarium in Europe opened on the heights above Lausanne in 2017. Visitors can discover aquatic fauna and flora from five continents, with more than two million litres of water for around 50 aquariums/vivariums/terrariums. Lausanne can pride itself on the exceptional wealth of its cultural assets: opera, theatres (including the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne), music (Chamber Orchestra, Lausanne Vocal Ensemble) and, of course, dance in the form of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, which is based in the city, and other reputable companies. Avant-garde productions, DJs from all over the world, jazz cellars, art galleries – there’s something for everyone!
… Lausanne, city of events
All of the above and the sporty image of the city combine to produce a really packed calendar of events. The cultural calendar is bursting with dates not only in the evenings but also during the day, particularly during the “Lausanne Estivale” programme: more than 400 free shows from June to September. The high season is also that of the Festival de la Cité, an open-air multicultural festival which is the only one of its kind in Europe: more than 80 different shows and 200 free performances, hundreds of artists, 100,000 spectators…
When it comes to sport, as well as major events (world championships, cycling stage stopovers, Davis Cup events etc.), every year Lausanne organises the Athletissima meeting, integrated into the Diamond League, the Lausanne Marathon (42.195 km through the vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva!), the Lausanne 20-km race, the Lausanne Triathlon, Lausanne International Cross Country Championships and 3×3 Lausanne Masters Basket. In 2011, the city also set up and hosted the World Gymnaestrada, which welcomed 19,000 gymnasts of 55 different nationalities over the course of a week. The Youth Olympic Games will be held in the city from 10 to 22 January. The world’s top athletes will gather in Switzerland to take part in the biggest winter multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
Other events are connected to the multiple activities staged at the Beaulieu Lausanne conference and exhibition centre: conferences, lectures, exhibitions, professional or public-access trade fairs such as Swiss’expo, Habitat-Jardin, Mednat Expo and Agrobiorama Expo, Junior Days, Comptoir Suisse national trade fair, Salon Plus retirement fair, Babyplanet, Gastronomia, Employment and Training Fair and the International Arms Fair, Salon du marriage, Street Food festival.