The small city of Lausanne is located in the French area of Switzerland, rich in culture and history, with a love for nature and architecture. Although the city is quite small, it is widely international, with many opportunities for expatriates. There is much to learn about from Lausanne, as well as multiple activities and cultural events to write down in your agenda. There is always something to do, whether it is taking a walk and admiring the amazing views, or dancing and eating at one of their many local festivities, you will certainly love Lausanne.
What to expect
- Lausanne is one of the smallest cities in the world, however, it doesn’t stop it from being one of the top destinations for international professionals. Here are some of the highlights of what you can expect from living in Lausanne.
- The weather is fantastic to experience every season to the fullest. Summers are warm and nice, and winters are cold, however, the city is fully equipped with heating to offer the best experience possible.
Average daylight hours: 15 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 25º C in summer and 1º C in winter.
Average rainfall days: 119 days.
Cost of living
- The cost of living can be rather high in Lausanne, especially near the city center. The highest expense in your budget will be accommodation, and the price depends on the neighborhood and size. However, salaries in Switzerland are higher than those of other European countries, and the quality of life is incomparable. The city has consistently ranked on the top 10 in terms of quality of life, work balance and safety, and a world leader in the fields of pharmaceuticals, life sciences, and healthcare.
Finding an apartment
- To find an apartment you can reach out to one of the many real estate agencies available online and in the city, many of which speak in English, so there is no trouble in finding a flat. They are readily available to help you find the apartment that best suits your needs and adapts to your budget and lifestyle.
- Lausanne is one of the smallest cities in the world to have metro lines to connect the major points of the city. The metro has two lines and 30 stations, allowing a quick connection and easy access around the city. Also, as all major cities in Switzerland, Lausanne has excellent rail links across Switzerland and the rest of Europe. There are also commuter services for shorter distances, such as those from the city center to the outskirts of it, with a dense network of electric buses.
- Switzerland has maintained the leading position on the Global Innovation Index for many years in a row, making it a startup hub, and an innovation magnet. The startup environment is developing rapidly, and creating and attracting many innovative and interesting new products and companies.
- The startup scene is increasing in Lausanne, as the government of Switzerland is making an effort to fund innovative, creative, and interesting projects. The city is moving along with the country’s visions for innovation and excellence with new companies setting up in fields such as marketing and advertisement, mobility, and financial technologies.
- Lausanne is a multicultural city, where you can meet people from all over the world. Locals are open-minded and happy to help others fit in. There are many expat groups you can join that organize various networking events from which you can meet people with shared interests. Another great way to meet new people is by participating in an after-work “apéro. Many people gather in the evening to grab a drink or a bite and meet new people.
- Lausanne is small but highly diverse, with a scenic lake, a historic old town, and an amazing nightlife.
- The city center is a great place to spend time with friends and family. Everything is easily accessible by foot or public transportation, as it is quite small. The Flon is a vibrant cultural district, with shopping centers, a cinema, great night clubs, plenty of restaurants and coffee shops. The historic old town is also a great area to explore. Take a walk through its narrow and pebbled streets with its charming buildings and impressive cathedral.
- From the city center to can go to the lakeside in less than a 15-minute walk, which offers outstanding views and will take your breath away. At the top of the city lies the Sauvabelin Park, a great place to spend some quality time with the family and friends. There is a small zoo, and you can rent boats to explore the waters too. The wooden tower at the edge of the park is the main attraction, where you can climb the 302 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the city, lake, and the mountains.
- Aside from the exploration of the city and its wonderful scenes, Lausanne has a lively cultural environment with museums, theaters, galleries, and live music shows. La Grange de Dorigny is a theater on the university campus in Lausanne. It offers a wide range of theatrical performances, as well as art exhibitions, festivals, and debates. As for the live music venues, Les Docks offers a unique experience. With a varied program of local and international musicians playing jazz, rock, hip-hop, and reggae. And if you enjoy classical music, then you should definitely check out the Lausanne Opera, a beautiful venue with ballet and baroque music performances.
- Most museums offer free entrance on the first Saturday of the month. The Musée de l’Elysée is a unique museum completely devoted to photography, with a collection of over 100,000 masterpieces. Also, the outstanding and interactive Olympic Museum is open again, after more than a year of renovations.
- There is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. The city is home to many quality restaurants, with dishes from all over the world as well as the most traditional foods of Lausanne. There are 9 restaurants around the city that proudly hold 1 Michelin star. Lausanne has options for everyone, with vegan and vegetarian menus. And there are many local coffee shops to enjoy some lighter meals.
- If you are a sports enthusiast, Lausanne has plenty of activities to offer. Enjoy outdoor swimming pools in the summer that are turned into ice skating rinks in the winter. There are many outdoor activities that both locals and visitors enjoy, such as golf, tennis, soccer, and beach volleyball, among others.
- Vevey, home to the interactive Nestle Museum, Le Nest. Just a 22-minute train ride from Lausanne is the museum of one of the largest companies in the world, offering a unique experience from their history as a company to the evolution of their products, and tastings! Aside from the museum, Vevey is right beside the Lake Leman, and there is an interesting thing: a fork in the middle of the lake. The fork is a symbol of their creative cuisine.
- Evian, a historical city and widely popular, is just a boat ride away from Lausanne. Here you can learn about the history of the town as it was once a town of hydrotherapy. Uphill you will find the original water source of the town “Source Cachat”, where you can fill your bottle, with crisp and clear water! You can check out the gorgeous Art Nouveau Pavilion called the Buvette Cachat. Also, you can visit the home of the Lumiere Brothers, inventors of film-making,
Photo from padoriot on Pixabay.
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Lausanne in our Expat Guide.
The Fut-Ure Team will likewise be happy to help you to set up in the city if you are looking for a job in the region, or give you more information about the local Talent market (including details and advice in topics like Taxes and legal) if you are planning to open an office in Lausanne.
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