The fourth largest city in Switzerland, Lausanne has gained fame on the world stage for its long association with international sports, most notably as the base for the International Olympic Committee. But its picturesque setting, elegant architecture, and host of history-laden attractions have made it a popular tourist destination in its own right. |
If you're planning on visiting Lausanne, its proximity to Geneva's international airport makes logistics easy. The airport is rated as one of the best in Europe, serving as the busy transport hub for the region, including ski resorts in both the Swiss and French Alps. Once you land, the most efficient way to navigate the final part of your journey is to take a pre-booked Geneva Airport taxi service right to the door of your accommodation in Lausanne.
By road, the journey from Geneva Airport to Lausanne only takes around 45 minutes, which is almost not long enough to appreciate the spectacular scenery of the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva. Your Geneva airport taxi driver will take you the fastest route along the A1, which runs parallel to the lake all the way. You could request to travel off the main highway and right alongside the lake, passing directly through Versoix, Nyon and Morges, but bear in mind this will add to the journey time.
When you arrive in Lausanne, whether you're staying in the historic old town, La Cité, or Ouchy, the lakeside quarter, ask your Geneva airport taxi driver to give you a quick orientation of the city before he drops you off. While it's not overwhelming in terms of its size, it certainly does help to understand the basic layout and identify the main landmarks.
Attractions of Lausanne
First settled back in Roman times, Lausanne's history and culture are etched deep over the three hills on which it is built – in its charming cobbled streets, its deep appreciation and nurturing of the arts, and its elegant Gothic architecture. Yet it's never been shy to forge into the present day and it's also a thriving modern commercial centre.
Cathedral of Notre Dame
While perhaps not as famous as its Parisian namesake, the 13th century cathedral of Notre Dame presides over Lausanne in all its Gothic glory. Impressive enough from the outside, with its elevated vantage and five soaring towers, once inside you get the full effect of the astounding craftsmanship of the cathedral. Its magnificent stained glass rose window is comprised of 105 panels and casts a delicate light over the huge 6,000 pipe organ and a host of intricately carved stone sculptures. Between the hours of 10pm and 2am, the night watchman announces the hour from the bell tower in a tradition that's been followed for six centuries.
Its position alone is enough to make the Olympic Museum warrant a visit, with its views over the lake and immaculately manicured gardens, complete with bronze statues of Olympians in full flight. The museum's curation focuses on the values and spirit of the Olympic Games, covering the entire period of their existence since their inception in ancient Greece to contemporary times. Exhibitions include memorabilia from past games, including athletes' equipment and clothing, archival film presentations, and the latest in high-tech sporting technology.
Nestled at the foot of the cathedral is La Cité, the old town of Lausanne. Its winding cobbled streets radiate from Place de la Palud, the main square, with its historic 16th century Fountain of Justice as the centrepiece. The fountain is a meeting place, market place, and hive of local activity. It's a wonderful location to simply sit and soak in the history and authentic ambience of La Cité.
The graceful Belle Époque hotels and colourful, flower lined promenade of the city's lakeside district are in stark contrast to the busy commercial centre just a short distance away. Its centrepiece is the magnificent Chateau d'Ouchy, which played a vital role as the site where the historic treaty was signed in 1923 between Greece, Turkey and the Allied Forces. After wandering along the picturesque promenade to the Chateau, you can continue along to Parc Denantou and the famous Thai Pavilion, and take a cruise on the lake up to Montreux, across to the French shore, or down to Geneva.
When you ask your Geneva airport taxi driver to "take me to Lausanne", you'll not only be visiting one of Switzerland's most picturesque cities, but also one of its most historically important ones.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Geneva Airport taxi, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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