This hilly city (pronounced loh-san), Switzerland’s fourth largest and the capital of the canton of Vaud, enjoys a blessed lakeside location. The medieval centre is dominated by a grand Gothic cathedral, while the rest of the city boasts unique museums devoted to interests as diverse as Art Brut and the Olympics. Throughout the year Lausanne’s citizens are treated to a busy arts calendar, alongside a plethora of activities beside (and on) the lake. Strolling the lakeshore in picturesque Ouchy (once a lakeside village in its own right, but long since enveloped by the city) is a pleasant diversion. Equally enjoyable is a meander, day or night, around Flon, an area of formerly derelict warehouses rejuvenated as a hip urban centre with a cinema complex, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Home to two highly regarded universities and a happening design school, the Federal Tribunal (Switzerland’s highest court), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and numerous sporting federations and multinational corporations, Lausanne is a dynamic little city punching well above its weight.