9 Best Things to Do in Lausanne on a Rainy Day

The outdoors are the best way to experience Switzerland. But it’s not always sunny and pleasant 365 days out of the year. We often find ourselves in foggy or rainy conditions for days or weeks on end when conditions aren’t friendly. You have a variety of options if you are staying in Lausanne or visiting the city. There are many things to do in Lausanne on a rainy day.

We’ve compiled a list of nine options for what to do in Lausanne on a rainy day. Below are some of the places in Lausanne where you can visit during the rainy days, as well as all the activities that you can take part in there.

Plateforme 10

Image of Plateforme 10 by TouringSwitzerland.com

One of the newer attractions in Lausanne you can check out when it’s raining is Plateforme 10. The new art district of Lausanne is located in the city’s former train sheds. A cultural platform made up of three museums, Plateforme10, includes the following museums:

  • Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (MCBA)
  • Musée de l’Élysée
  • Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC)

There are also restaurants, a bookshop, a library, and event spaces here. Tourists and residents will be able to access the museums due to their central location.

Note: Plateforme 10 opened in October 2019. Musée de l’Élysée and the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) will be inaugurated in 2022.

Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts

Currently, only the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (MCBA) is open in Plateforme 10. The museum has collections that cannot be found anywhere else. These are the objects they hope to exhibit at the museum. 

Since 1816, they have acquired and received constantly new collections of artwork from various French-speaking Swiss artists. Neoclassicism, Academicism, Realism, Symbolism, and Post-Impressionism are covered in the collection. Additionally, they have collections of New Figuration, Geometric Abstraction, and major monographic works.

Organized in chronological order, the first room contains religious paintings, portraits, and landscapes from the 12th to the 18th century. It covers visual arts and works such as those by  Félix Vallotton, Alice Bailly, and Charles Gleyre, and many more.

It is located within walking distance of Lausanne’s main train station. 

The address of Plateforme 10 is Place de la Gare 16, 1003 Lausanne.


Aquatis Vivarium

Image of Aquatis Lausanne by TouringSwitzerland.com

Aquatis Lausanne is the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe. Located around 10 minutes away from the city center, it takes visitors on a journey through various rivers and freshwater ecosystems in the world – Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and Oceania.

Aquatis Lausanne also features a komodo dragon, a poisonous snake, and other terrestrial animals. It’s the perfect, relaxing place to visit on a rainy day if you want something relaxing, entertaining, enjoyable, and easily accessible.

If you would like to read more about Aquatis, please check out our article here – Honest Review: Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium, Lausanne.

The aquarium is 10 minutes away from the city center. It is easily accessible with the metro.

The address of Aquatis Vivarium Lausanne is Route de Berne 144, 1010 Lausanne.


Lausanne Cathedral

Image of Lausanne Cathedral by TouringSwitzerland.com

It is a great opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the architectural wonders of the past when you visit Lausanne Cathedral. 

Construction of the Lausanne Cathedral took place between 1170 and 1275. It is the successor church to the church dedicated to Saint Thyrsus in the 6th century. It was renamed later Saint-Maire. In 1275, Pope Gregory X, King Rudolf von Habsburg, and Guillaume of Champvent, the bishop of Lausanne at the time, formally consecrated the church. 

If you would like to read more about Lausanne Cathedral, check out our article – Lausanne Cathedral: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell.

Inside the Lausanne Cathedral, the Rose Window and Painted Portal are among the most beautiful sights.
It is still possible to enjoy a panoramic view of the city even on a rainy day, as it is built on top of the Cité hill.

The address of Lausanne Cathedral is Place de la Cathédrale, 1005 Lausanne.


Palais de Rumine

In the late 18th century, the city of Lausanne received more than a million Swiss Francs in the form of a gift from Gabriel de Rumine, a Russian nobleman. As a result, they built what is now called Palais de Rumine. The building is huge and has many museums so it is well worth exploring especially on rainy days. 

The Palais de Rumine was built at the end of the 19th century. It is housed in a huge palace-like building with beautiful, elegant interiors at the Place de la Riponne. Originally designed by Gaspard André, it is a Florentine Renaissance-style building and belongs to the Swiss Heritage List.

If you would like to read more about Palais de Rumine, please check out our article here – The Spectacular Palais de Rumine in Lausanne.

Museums at the Palais de Rumine include the following:

  • Cantonal Museum of Zoology
  • Cantonal Museum of Geology
  • Cantonal Museum of Money
  • Cantonal Museum of Archaeology and History. 

Also, it is a place where conferences and meetings are held. It is an important part of the city. 

The Palais de Rumine is located at Pl. de la Riponne 6, 1005 Lausanne.


Olympic Museum

Image of Olympic Museum Lausanne from Wikipedia

The City of Lausanne has been dubbed the Olympic City since it is home to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Given that the IOC is a non-governmental organization responsible for preparing the Summer and Winter Olympics, it is only natural for the city to house an Olympic Museum. 

Olympic Museum Lausanne is an ideal rainy day excursion when visiting Lausanne since it has various displays related to the Olympics and sports.

The Olympic Museum guides visitors through the history of the Olympics. It also features sports equipment of different athletes, interactive multimedia, games, and much more. Approximately 10,000 artifacts are housed in the museum spread across three levels.

As soon as the rain stops, you can venture out to the Olympic Park. It has sculptures, a running track, terraced gardens, and a monumental fountain looking out onto Lake Geneva. 

The address of the Olympic Museum is Quai d’Ouchy 1, 1006 Lausanne.


Roman Museum & Gallo-Roman Ruins

Image of a Bronze Mouse from the Roman Museum from wikimedia


The Roman Museum Lausanne-Vidy (Musée romain de Lausanne-Vidy) presents Lausanne’s Roman past, back when it was called Lausonna. There are ruins and remains of the Lousonna vicus (village) dating back to 15 BC. It is one of the largest Roman villages in Switzerland.

The Roman Museum Lausanne-Vidy houses various artifacts found in the region of Lausanne. These include stonework, tiles, glass, coins, and many more. These items of interest are housed inside, making a visit to this museum interesting no matter what the weather is. 

There is also an archeological walk outside the museum that includes vestiges of the Roman forum. The redesign of the archeological park took place in 2019.

The address of the Musée romain de Lausanne-Vidy is Chemin du Bois-de-Vaux 24.


Espace des Inventions

Image by Pavlofox from Pixabay

Science enthusiasts can find inspiration at the Espace des Inventions. It’s located in a strange building with a concave roof. Through interactive and entertaining exhibitions, it helps children learn about science and technology.

Some past exhibits include the following themes: trees, medieval factories, energy, cranks and cogwheels, pebbles, scissors, and the globe.  

The address of Espace des Inventions is Vallée de la Jeunesse 1.


Bowland Lausanne-Flon

Image of Bowling Pins by GVShashidhar from Pixabay

Bowling is another fun indoor activity when it is raining. This activity is suitable for many different age ranges, families, friends, and colleagues. 

Bowland Lausanne-Flon is located in Lausanne-Flon, and can be reached by the m2 metro station “Flon”. 

The address of Bowland Lausanne-Flon is Rue des Côtes-de-Montbenon 22


Chocolaterie Durig

Image by Horst Winkler from Pixabay

A great indoor activity for rainy days, but it requires some planning and coordination. Chocolaterie Durig can be visited in groups of 10 to 20 people. It is suitable for children aged 10 and older. 

The chocolate experience provides information about chocolate production and its different sources. You will learn about various techniques used by chocolatiers as you create your own chocolates.

In this chocolate workshop, you can expect to spend half a day. And the best part is that you can also sample some chocolates. 

For more information on a private chocolate workshop with Chocolate Durig, contact the company directly. Additionally, they offer virtual workshops. 

The address of Durig Chocolatier is Avenue d’Ouchy 15, 1006 Lausanne.


Summary

When it rains in Lausanne, there are lots of options to choose from. There are many museums covering many different themes in the city – animals, art, history, and the Olympics among others. You can also visit their numerous shops and restaurants in addition to museums. Take a walk along the lake at Ouchy or one of their many parks when it stops raining. 

In any season, Lausanne is a great place to visit. They offer a lot of options.  We hope you enjoy your visit to Lausanne – one of Switzerland’s most beautiful and vibrant cities!