Sunny Suisse: Exploring Lausanne’s old city


There is much more to Lausanne than just the waterfront. The Cité, or Old Town, district offers up a rather compact and accessible walking area worth spending an hour or two in. It has the requisite Cathedral (I poked my head in but it was Sunday morning and there was a service being held which I didn’t want to interrupt) which dominates the skyline. It also has a pretty cool old castle adjacent to the church.

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I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the sundial on the corner of the castle-ish building was still accurate, though it doesn’t take into account Daylight Saving Time.

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And how often is it that you get to wander up or down a covered stair path from the medieval era? These connect the merchant and residential areas below with the cathedral above and have carried pedestrians and goods since the 13th century or so. Definitely some new treads in there and at least one relatively modern mural painted on a wall so it isn’t completely an old world experience but it still has quite a bit of that charm.

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The shops along the stairs are useful for window shopping. And I couldn’t help but grab a photo of this resident hanging their arms out the window under the word Armes.

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There is a metro line which runs from the central train station down to the waterfront, making that transit quick and easy. As an added bonus, nearly every hotel in Lausanne (at least the ones I spoke with) participates in a program where guests get free day-passes to the train at check-in meaning that it is also free to get between the different parts of town. Of course, that only works after check-in and I was staying along the waterfront so I walked there first but after that it was free rides the rest of my stay. That made getting up to the Old City in the morning rather easy.

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And the views down to the Ouchy waterfront area, Lake Geneva and Alps in the background definitely made it worth the trek up the hill.

Read more from this trip under the Sunny Suisse tag here.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .
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