Did you know that you can visit museums and parks in Lausanne for free? Well, here is a list of museums and parks in Lausanne, Switzerland that are free to visit. If you would like to discover more about animals, plants, and more without spending much money, then you’ve come to the right place. There are many free things to do in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In no particular order, here is a list of all the free museums and parks in Lausanne and the surrounding areas. Enjoy this list!
1. Lausanne Cathedral
The Lausanne Cathedral is one of the main attractions in the medieval town. It’s free to visit the cathedral. You’ll have to pay to visit the bell tower, though.
A stunning Gothic building, Lausanne Cathedral was consecrated in 1275. On Cité hill, it’s one of Lausanne’s main attractions. You can get a glimpse of the past as well as a stunning view of the city from this cobbled-stone pedestrian area.
Lausanne Cathedral was built between 1170 and 1275. It became a Protestant Cathedral during the Reformation in 1536.
A rose window with an 8.05 meter diameter dominates the south transept. It’s one of the most significant rose windows in Europe, along with Notre Dame in Paris and Chartres.
You should also check out the painted portal. This medieval ensemble, with its fine details and quality sculpture, makes it one of Europe’s most important heritage sites. Gothic aesthetics and theology are perfectly illustrated in this work.
If you would like to read more about the Lausanne Cathedral, you can check out our article Lausanne Cathedral: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell.
Address: Place de la Cathédrale, 1005 Lausanne. Nearby bus stops are Bessières, Pierre Viret, Rue Neuve, and Riponne – Maurice Béjart. The Metro stop Bessières is also nearby.
2. Vidy Beach
Located on Lausanne’s western side, Vidy has a lakeside and a university campus. For those who are interested in visiting the beach here, Vidy Beach (Plage de Vidy-Bourget) is free. Lie on the beach or walk along the pleasant path that runs alongside the lake. Vidy Beach is a clean and nice beach with real sand.
There’s a bird sanctuary, a fitness trail, and a large playground right near the Vidy beach in the Louis-Bourget Park (Parc Louis-Bourget).
Address: Plage de Vidy-Bourget. You can reach Vidy Beach by taking the bus to Lausanne, Parc Bourget or Siège du CIO.
3. Mon Repos Park
Mon Repos Park (Parc de Mon Repos) is a tranquil park with a 19th-century landscaped garden and a popular aviary. Located in the heart of town, it’s also free to visit.
Inside Mon Repos Park, you will see a stately villa in the center of the park. This villa used to be the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee from 1922 until 1967.
Besides the garden, the villa, and the aviary, there’s also a small cafe that opens several times a week for quick snacks.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to relax or run around with your kids, Mon Repos Park is free to visit.
Address: Av. Mon-Repos, 1005 Lausanne. You can reach Mon Repos Park by taking the bus to Lausanne, Mon Repos.
4. Palais de Rumine
In Lausanne’s Place de la Riponne, you’ll find the Palais de Rumine, a lovely Florentine-style building. It’s a beautiful building with museums, a library, a place of study, conferences, and meetings.
Owned by Lausanne’s municipal government and maintained by them, Palais de Rumine plays an important role in city life. Also, all the permanent exhibits at the cantonal museums in Palais de Rumine are free. It’s only the temporary exhibitions that cost money, everything else is free.
The Museums at the Palais de Rumine include the Cantonal Museum of Zoology, the Cantonal Museum of Geology, the Cantonal Museum of Money, and the Cantonal Museum of Archaeology and History.
Address: Pl. de la Riponne 6, 1005 Lausanne. You can reach Palais de Rumine by taking the bus to Lausanne, Riponne M. Béjart or Lausanne, Rue Neuve. You can also take the Metro to Riponne M. Béjart.
5. Sauvabelin Tower
Located in Lausanne, the Sauvabelin Tower offers fantastic views of the city and the lake. From this viewpoint, you can see the Alps, the Jura, and the plateau. You can climb the 35-meter wooden tower for free and enjoy a 360-degree view around Lausanne.
The Sauvelin Tower is surrounded by a forestry park, which you can also visit for free. The forest itself is perfect for a relaxing stroll with children and friends. Besides a small pond, there are some animals in this area.
Address: Tour de Sauvabelin, 1018 Lausanne. You can reach Sauvabelin by taking the bus to Lausanne, Lac Sauvabelin.
6. Roman Ruins of Vidy
Located near the shore of the lake in Vidy, the Roman ruins of Vidy are a historical landmark. In this area, you can see the foundations of a basilica, temples, and other buildings. You can visit it for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Roman Gallo Ruins of Vidy is a big archeological site that pays homage to Lausanne’s Roman past. As it’s near Vidy Beach, you can do both on one day.
Address: Chem. des Ruines-Romaines, 1007 Lausanne. You can reach the Roman Ruins of Vidy by taking the bus to Lausanne, Siège du CIO.
7. Lausanne Botanical Garden
Located on Montriond hill in Lausanne, Lausanne Botanical Garden (Jardin botanique de Lausanne) is open daily for free. The Lausanne botanical garden is a little piece of heaven for nature lovers. You’ll escape the hustle and bustle of the city with just a short walk from the station and Lake Geneva, even though you’re still in the center of Lausanne.
Here you’ll find about 6,000 plants from all over the world. The park has two greenhouses, tropical plants, succulents, carnivorous plants, ponds with animals, and a playground. The place is also great for kids.
Address: Avenue de Cour 14bis, 1007 Lausanne. You can reach the Botanical Garden by taking the bus to Lausanne, Beauregard, Dapples or Cèdres.
Ouchy is right by Lake Geneva. The area is a great place to walk, eat, and roller skate. Kids will also love the playground here. There’s also a perfect view of the other side of the lake (France) from Ouchy. No matter what day or time it is, you can visit Ouchy for free.
Ouchy is a port where cruises along the lake leave from. From Ouchy, you can also choose to walk to either side. I highly recommend walking towards Pully and Lutry. Lutry, with its medieval village, is a must-see.
With the Lausanne Metro Line, you can get from Lausanne’s main train station to Ouchy in no time.
Address: Quai d’Ouchy. You can reach Ouchy by taking the Metro to Lausanne, Ouchy-Olympique.
If you would like to learn more about Ouchy, check out our article Ouchy, Lausanne: A Haven for Everyone.
9. Vallée de la Jeunesse
It’s fun for children to explore Vallée de la Jeunesse. This space lets kids and their families develop, experiment, and discover. Everyone can go here for free.
Young children can take part in workshops that are linked to a theme throughout the year. During the holidays, they also have summer and autumn day camps.
While the kids play, parents can roam around the rose garden, which has around 8,000 varieties.
Address: Vall. de la Jeunesse 1, 1007 Lausanne. You can reach Vallée de la Jeunesse by taking the Metro to Lausanne, Malley. You can also reach it by taking the bus to Lausanne, Maladière, Maladière-Lac, or Maladière-Figuiers.
Summary: 9 Best Free Places to Visit in Lausanne, Switzerland
We hope you enjoyed our list of free places to visit in Lausanne. As a quick recap, here is the list:
- Lausanne Cathedral
- Vidy Beach (Plage de Vidy-Bourget)
- Mon Repos Park (Parc de Mon Repos)
- Palais de Rumine
- Sauvabelin Park and Tower
- Roman Gallo Ruins
- Lausanne Botanic Garden
- Vallée de la Jeunesse
Hope you found something you’d like to check out for free.
- How to Spend 1 Day in Lausanne, Switzerland
- Lausanne Cathedral: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell
- The Spectacular Palais de Rumine in Lausanne
- Ouchy, Lausanne: A Haven for Everyone
- Is Lausanne Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons Why
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Lausanne, Switzerland?
- 10 Best Day Trips from Lausanne
- 12 Most Beautiful Lakes Near Lausanne
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.