Visiting Lausanne on a small budget: tips and pointers

By MyLausanne

Lausanne is a small Swiss town easily accessible, close to Geneva airport and well served by train. A beautiful destination on the shores of Lake Geneva you can enjoy even on a low budget.

Here’s how, with some reliable addresses and practical advice for an affordable weekend.

Low-cost accommodation: youth hostels and camping, the comfortable way

For affordable accommodation, nothing beats the town’s two hostels. The Guesthouse by Fassbind, in the town centre and close to Lausanne’s train station, welcomes backpackers who wish to visit Lausanne for a few days while enjoying an urban setting. If you prefer green surroundings and the lakeside, choose the Jeunotel which is located in the middle of a park by Lake Geneva.

In summer, camping enthusiasts can stay in the Vidy campsite. Under a tent or in a bungalow, camping is the best option for those who wish to sleep in a unique setting by the lake.

The Vidy lakeshore, Vidy Campsite Restaurant (c)

Good meals on a small budget: our go-to addresses

Amongst the recently opened Lausanne restaurants, the Lacustre in Ouchy is the meeting place to experience a nice atmosphere, a gorgeous view on the lake and delicious pizzas.

If you’re partial to a brasserie-type ambience, the Café de Grancy offers a dish that is popular with Lausanne people: shepherd’s pie (and for less than CHF 20).

Café de Grancy, the lunch crowd (c) Laurent Kaczor

As for desserts, the Café des Avenues’ waffles (only CHF 3!) can be a guilty pleasure that’s easy on the purse.

If you enjoy brunches, those at the Couronne d’Or are amongst the cheapest (starting at CHF 15) and, most importantly, the best. You really have to try them 😉 (and we advise you to book ahead)

Quick snacks: Lausanne has a very large number of sandwich shops and takeaways with food from all over the world. We have selected a few (article in French) for your enjoyment. Bon appétit!

Discovering the town: so many things to see

In Lausanne, there is no shortage of activities for those on a low budget. Amongst the highlights (article in French), Lausanne Cathedral and the Ouchy lakeside are spots you must absolutely explore. You will nevertheless need to spend CHF 5 to climb the Cathedral tower. But believe us, the view is well worth it!

To enjoy the sunny weather, nothing beats an afternoon on the shores of Lake Geneva. The beaches (article in French), the sun, the cool water and the mountains as a backdrop… In short, guaranteed chilling out.

Lots of energy? Put on a good pair of trainers and set off on a discovery of the city’s panoramas. Follow the trail (see p. 20-21 of the brochure) that takes you from Sauvabelin Tower to the Crêt de Montriond. A walk in town that will let you feast your eyes, that’s for sure.

In the area of culture, there is also plenty to do in Lausanne, especially during the summer. Lausanne Estivale, for instance, gathers dozens of free events, shows and concerts. Amongst these is the famous orchestra Sinfonietta that gives performances in the Mon-Repos park.


So, are you ready to go on that low-budget weekend?