A day in...Lausanne
This week we get the inside scoop on….Lausanne!
Hello Valerie tell us a bit about yourself and why you know so much about Lausanne.
Hi! I’m the owner of a little shop called The Baby General Store. We specialise in quality, often hand made baby and children’s goods sourced from all over the world and in small quantity! I also create an online magazine on Joomag which helps to promote mamas who run a business! I did my GCSE’s and A-level’s in Switzerland and my family have been here since 1997, so although I am from Montreal, Canada and spend a lot of time there, Switzerland is like my second home!
What’s your favourite way to spend a day with the family in Lausanne
Lausanne is very family friendly. There are tonnes of museums like the Olympic Museum or the Museum of Contemporary Design and in summer there are festivals, events, fairs and markets literally every weekend. Just like London (which I’ve been so lucky to enjoy for 5 years) Lausanne is full of gardens and green parks often complete with paddling pools and fountains because it can get very hot here in summer!
Ok, we’ve got 24 hours with our kids in the city what are the THREE things we have to do?
First, head down to the quai and take a cruise of the stunning Lac Leman! Take a round trip and you can include lunch on board a steam ship with restored paddle wheel. My little one couldn’t get enough of watching the engine through the glass floors too! Then walk around the uber trendy area of Le Flon with its cobbled streets fully of boutique shops, pop up restaurants and wide plazas teaming with night time shows and spectacles. End the day eating ice-cream in Ouchy looking out over the marina or letting the kids splash about like Izzy did in the wide fountains or at the Place de Jeux which has a massive pirate ship like structure perfect for climbing and letting play creatively. It’s not your typical playground and it’s one of our favourites!
Tell us honestly, what’s it like to get around with a buggy and little legs?
To best honest, Lausanne is a lot like London with cobbled roads and stairs galore. However here you’ve got the added cardio joy of the city being built on on the side of a rather steep hill. So to help with mobility there are lots of buses, interconnecting lifts and even a little metro line (m2) that goes up and down the main, core area of Lausanne. Feeling adventurous? This metro then goes on to connect to lots of trains which is how you will find hidden gems like tiny on the lake beaches such as La Plage de Pully. Best of all, any tourist staying in a hotel in Lausanne will receive a free transport card valid across the metro, bus and local train services!
What’s the best FREE thing to do in?
Eating out is always tricky when you factor in BF friendly and changing facilities.
Lausanne, just like the rest of Switzerland is very pro breastfeeding and it’s the norm to find moms feeding their babies anywhere anytime. It is also the law in Switzerland that a restaurant must have changing facilities, and usually in both the mens and women’s restrooms. Our favourite 100% family friendly place, that is also good value for money and has lots and lots of different dishes for even the pickiest of eaters, is the “market place” style restaurant at the department store Manor. You can have local, Swiss delicacies such as Viande de Grisons or perch (from the lake!) fillet or made on-the-spot pizza for the kids for under 60 CHF for a family of four.
Is baby is getting restless for a feed and needs a quiet spot? Globus, a lovely upmarket uniquely Swiss department store has breast feeding lounges within their cafe area. Perfect for coffee and a feed! Other great places with free to use quiet feeding rooms are Benu Pharmacies and Bebebar at the Leman Centre!
Where would you recommend for:
A coffee: Le Barbare (as the name suggests, the Barbarian does the best coffee and surprise! hot chocolate for the little ones in town!)
Lunch: Eat Me! (delicious food made for sharing in a lounge atmosphere and yes, kid friendly too)
Dinner: Pinte Besson (an uber Swiss gem of a watering hole down one of the scruffiest streets in Lausanne but so worth it!)
If it’s raining where’s good to go?
To the cinema actually! The Swiss do a “pause” half way through for bathroom breaks, coffee, ice-cream or even beer! And of course the Olympic Museum should not be missed especially during this Olympic year!
Where should we head for Action and adventure?
For families with older children you have the Inscape Room which is a puzzle solving race against time game within a warehouse.
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The best views... are from the Lac Leman hands down!
Don’t go home before you’ve…tasted some chocolate at Blondel and bought some cheese (and eaten it before you’ve left because it was so good!) from Macheret Forage.
If you leave the kids at home make sure you check out this bar/pub…actually the surrounding area of Lausanne is known for its amazing vineyards, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! So if you’ve left the kids at home then its time to go wine tasting and take in a spectacular lake view sunset at the Vinorama in Lavaux. They do great wine tasting packages and the museum also talks about the region, the vines, and the viniculture heritage of surrounding villages like St. Saphorin.
My favourite shop is…Oliviers and Co. It’s a tiny olive oil shop wimth some fantastic products! We buy the Il Fornacino oil which just won top place in the prestigious Rameaux d’Or Award. It’s green and peppery and just lush! Then there is my absolute favourite Nature et Decouvertes which as the name suggests is a shop about discovering nature, the great outdoors, slow living, organic life etc. They have fantastic gifts for literally everyone in your life. Hours (and money) can easily be spent there!
The best park is…Jardin Botanique which is an oasis of green. Get off at station Delices (which means delicious!) on the m2 metro.
And finally…what is your insider top tip…if you come off season you have the chance to see the Ballet Bejart which calls Lausanne home in November and December. By the way Lausanne at Christmas time is magnificent and a lot like the famous Christmas market towns in Austria and Germany! Also everything is closed on Sundays!
You can find out more about Valerie here.
Hope you enjoyed our Travel Tips post. Let me know what you think and where else we should check out. Or if you have some travel tips you'd like to share please get in touch.
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Easy ways to get outdoors as a family