6 Great Things to See and Do in Lausanne, Switzerland

Jun 11, 2017

Whether you’re a foreign diplomat or a chocolate-seeking tourist, Sylvie Gonin, head concierge of Lausanne’s Beau-Rivage Palace hotel, has the perfect recommendation for your time in Switzerland’s picturesque lakeside city.

Switzerland, Lausanne, traffic in the city at dusk
The Flon during traffic in Lausanne at dusk.Westend61—Getty Images

Emerging neighborhood: Flon

Years ago, the Flon area used to be not very clean and a little bit dangerous. Now it has been completely renovated. There’s great nightlife including bars and cinemas. If you’re young and you want to see the life of Lausanne, it’s the Flon.

Best new restaurant: Amici

Very recently, a charming Italian restaurant, Amici, opened in the city center. The cuisine is authentic; the chefs are from Calabria and Sicily. I love their homemade pastas, octopus salad, and whole fish cooked with lots of herbs and butter.

Ouchy Lausanne Switzerland
This Swiss steamboat "Rhone" can take passengers to France Thonon from Lausanne, Switzerland. JaysonPhotography—Getty Images

Lake activity: CGN

Lake ­Geneva is big and deep, and hosts a lot of activities. It is actually a famous spot for scuba diving. CGN, a local company, operates big, beautiful steamer boats that will teleport you back in time. They have a sunset cruise that is great for dinner, especially when the weather is nice.

A sculpture by French artist Niki de Saint-Phalle is pictured outside the Olympic Museum following its renovation in Lausanne, western Switzerland.FABRICE COFFRINI—AFP/Getty Images

Under-the-radar museum: Olympic Museum

A five-minute walk from our hotel is the Olympic Museum. [Lausanne is the home of the International Olympic Committee.] This museum traces the history of the Olympics from the Greeks and Romans through to the modern games. It’s very interactive.

Chocolate shop: Durig

Not too far from the hotel, there is Durig. Dan Durig, the owner and chocolatier, works with organic cocoa only, so the chocolate is excellent and very pure. He works in a modern way, sometimes adding chili or other spices, which can be difficult to do well but is always very good.

More: How to Have a Spectacular Day in Lausanne, Switzerland

Woman Counting Change at Lausanne Open Air Farmers' Market
Woman Counting Change at Lausanne Open Air Farmers' Market.genekrebs—Getty Images

Shopping spree: Saturday market

We don’t have the shopping of Zurich or Milan or Paris, but still we have lots of nice little boutiques and the Saturday market outside in the old town. It is full of local people and is great for lunch or a coffee, especially now in the spring. Just remember: It’s open only until one o’clock.

A version of this article appears in the June 15, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline "On the Lake." We’ve included affiliate links in this article. Click here to learn what those are.

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