A charming town located in the canton of Vaud, Yverdon-les-Bains is known for its thermal baths, architecture, and rich history. Located on the southwest edge of Lake Neuchâtel, this town’s rich history includes the Alemanni, the Romans, and the Savoys. Since Roman times, its thermal springs have been used as mineral baths. An escape from the daily grind can be found in the Jura mountains nearby.
The charming town of around 30,000 may not be as large as Geneva and Lausanne, but it doesn’t lack activities. In case you were wondering what you can do in Yverdon-les-Bains, don’t fret. Here is an article that will let you know about all the best things to do in Yverdon-les-Bains. Let’s get started.
A Roman stronghold once called Eburodunum, Yverdon-les-Bains has always played an important role in the history of the region. The town is French-speaking and is the second most important in canton Vaud after Lausanne. Surrounded by nature near the Jura Mountains, the hills of Broye, and Lake Neuchâtel, it remains an important commercial and tourist center in the region.
Visit Yverdon-les-Bains and you will be pleasantly surprised. The following are 9 of the best things to do in Yverdon-les-Bains:
9 Best Things to Do in Yverdon-les-Bains
1. Visit the Yverdon-les-Bains Castle
Castellans of the Savoy dynasty used to live in Yverdon-les-Bains Castle (Château d’Yverdon). In the heart of the old town, this castle looks like something out of a fairytale. This Swiss heritage site has four towers and is considered a national treasure. James of Saint George built it, and he is considered one of the greatest architects of the European Middle Ages.
This castle dates back to the 13th century and has been beautifully preserved over the years. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi eventually acquired it and turned it into an institute for educating children. Nowadays, the castle houses a museum showcasing the history and culture of the region. It is also a multi-purpose cultural center with conference rooms.
Address: Le Château, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
2. Relax at the Thermal Baths
Located at the southern tip of Lake Neuchâtel, Yverdon-Les-Bains is an important health spa and spa resort. Yverdon-les-Bains thermal baths are famous for their warm, mineral-rich water. This water is highly regarded for its benefits to joints, respiratory systems, stomachs, and muscles. There are waterfalls, jacuzzis, massage jets, and relaxation beds in these pools.
The Grand Hotel et Centre Thermal d’Yverdon-les-Bains is the most famous hotel in the area. An impressive tree-lined park surrounds the historic Grand Hôtel Des Bains, directly connected to Yverdon-les-Bains’ thermal center. Guests can relax in the hotel’s own thermal pool. Hot thermal water is available all year long in their indoor and outdoor pools.
Address: Av. des Bains 22, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
3. Explore the Old Town
Historic buildings line the narrow, cobbled streets of Yverdon-les-Bains’s old town. Walking through the narrow winding streets feels like stepping back in time.
These quaint little streets offer small shops, unique boutiques, and local restaurants with outside seating. A highlight is Place Pestalozzi, flanked by the Monument Pestalozzi and the Temple d’Yverdon-les-Bains on one side, as well as Château d’Yverdon on the other. You can also explore the Church of Saint-Pierre.
It is a stunning place to explore by foot thanks to its cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings in mostly warm tones. A compact, well-preserved center, Yverdon-les-Bains attracts both tourists and locals alike.
If you would rather explore the city by Tuk-Tuk, there are city tours offered by appointment from April to September. As of August 2023, it costs CHF 12 to see the old town and CHF 38 to have a 1-hour tour of the city. You can contact Yverdon-les-Bains Tourist Office more information.
Address: Tuk-Tuk City Tours c/o Agence ADNV / Office du Tourisme d’Yverdon-les-Bains, Avenue de la Gare 2, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
4. Walk or Swim in Lake Neuchâtel
Yverdon-les-Bains is situated on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, one of the largest lakes in Switzerland. Take a leisurely walk through the Parc des Rives du Lac and enjoy the stunning views. This scenic park runs alongside Lake Neuchâtel and offers stunning views of the water.
Nearby is the sandy beach of Plage d’Yverdon-les-Bains. With beautiful lawns, ample shade, a restaurant, and parking nearby, expect it to be packed in summer.
TIP: Yvonand is well-known for its many beautiful sand beaches and turquoise waters. Check out Plage des Pins d’Yvonand, Plage de Goncerut and Plage de Cheyres.
Another option is to take a boat tour of Lake Neuchâtel to enjoy stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Among the other places worth visiting around Lake Neuchâtel are Estavayer-le-Lac, Neuchâtel, Grandson, and Valangin.
5. Visit the Maison d’Ailleurs
Fans of science fiction and fantasy will enjoy this fun and quirky museum that is quite different from all of the historical and local museums around the country. With an impressive collection of science fiction books, comics, Jules Verne novels, and rare items, this museum will delight science fiction fans.
The museum also prepares various events such as games, puzzles, creative workshops, and more. Guided tours are also available upon request.
Address: Pl. Pestalozzi 14, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
6. Explore the Stone Cult Site Clendy
The Alignment by Clendy (called Les menhirs de Clendy) consists of 45 prehistoric stones and stone statues. Menhir is the term borrowed from Breton, a Celtic language, that denotes an elongated single stone erected by humans during prehistoric times. It is the most impressive megalithic complex in Switzerland.
Another interesting historical landmark is the Castrum of Yverdon located 450 meters south of the castle. The Castrum protected the port city of Eburodunum during the Roman era in the first century AD.
Address: Chem. des Grèves de Clendy, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
7. Discover Yverdon-les-Bains’ Natural Surroundings
Beautiful natural landscapes surround Yverdon-les-Bains. A number of small parks can be found in the town itself, such as Place d’Armes and Parc des Rives du Lac. Accessible near the train station of Yverdon-Champ Pittet is the Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet.
The Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet offers access to the Grande Cariçaie nature reserve, Switzerland’s largest lakeside wetland. This area contains a quarter of Switzerland’s fauna and flora. There is a new exhibition every two years on a variety of natural themes in the building, which is open from mid-March until the end of October. Mont d’Orzeires nearby is also a popular place for lovely walks.
Nearby, you can explore the Jura Mountains on foot or by bike. Located along the Swiss-French border, the Jura Mountains are a sub-alpine mountain range. Numerous wildlife species and breathtaking views make this mountain range a popular tourist destination. Also nearby is Creux du Van, a canyon with a huge rock arch worth visiting if you have time. South is Vallorbe with its imaginative rock formations and stalactite cave.
Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet Address: Chem. de la Cariçaie 1, 1400 Cheseaux-Noréaz
8. Shop at the Yverdon-les-Bains Market
You may also choose to visit the Yverdon-les-Bains Market, which is held every Tuesday and Saturday. The market offers a range of local produce and handicrafts.
9. Go on a Day Trip to Lake Geneva
Located in close proximity to Lake Neuchâtel is the beautiful Lake Geneva. Visiting Lake Geneva is a wonderful experience. There are several places I recommend you visit, including Lausanne, Montreux, Vevey, Geneva, and Lutry.
If you would like to read more about the beautiful places to visit in Lake Geneva, you can check out our article 8 Best Places on Lake Geneva.
More Things to Do in Yverdon-les-Bains Region
The Yverdon-les-Bains Region offers many exciting things to do. In case you are looking for more ideas, check the list below:
- Vallorbe Caves (Chemin de la Résurgence 1, 1337 Vallorbe) – The Vallorbe Dripstone Cave is a beautiful underground cave with stalactite and stalagmite formations that developed over millions of years. The three-kilometer-long guided tour concludes by the Orbe River. Additionally, you can enjoy an engaging light show and a collection of minerals during your visit.
- Juraparc Vallorbe (Route de la Vallée de Joux 3 Le Pont, 1337 Vallorbe) – Juraparc, situated between Le Pont and Vallorbe, is a compact animal park showcasing creatures such as bears, wolves, bison, and alpacas. The park includes a restaurant and a playground for visitors. Juraparc usually operates from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM on weekdays, extending to 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9:00 PM on Sundays.
- Vineyards of Bonvillars and Côtes de l’Orbe – The Bonvillars and Côtes de l’Orbe vineyards offer picturesque hiking trails where you can soak in the beauty of the vineyards and sample wines like Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Chasselas.
- Chasseron – Have a great time hiking on the trails at Chasseron, where you’ll see amazing views of the Alps and the Yverdon-les-Bains Region. You can begin your hike from Sainte-Croix and trek 12 kilometers until you reach the Chasseron peak, which stands at 1,607 meters high. Don’t forget to visit Hotel du Chasseron for some delicious fondue.
- Grandson – Grandson is a lovely village featuring a medieval castle that you can explore. At Maison des Terroirs, you have the chance to taste AOC-wine from Bonvillars, a small village famous for hosting Switzerland’s largest yearly truffle market.
- Winter fun – Once the snow starts falling, you can engage in snowy activities at L’Auberson, Mont-des-Cerfs, and Saint-Croix/Les Rasses.
- Romainmôtier – Romainmôtier is a charming little village that you should explore, especially for its priory. The abbey is one of Switzerland’s oldest Romanesque churches and was constructed following the designs of Cluny.
- Cima Museum (Rue de l’Industrie 2, 1450 Sainte-Croix) – The Centre International de Mécanique d’Art (CIMA) possesses an impressive assortment of rare and distinctive music boxes. At present, it is closed for renovations and is anticipated to resume operations in 2024.
Child-friendly Things to Do in Yverdon-les-Bains
In case you have children, here are some kid-friendly things to do in the Yverdon-les-Bains region:
- Urba Kids (Chem. du Passon 2, 1350 Orbe) – Have a great time in a hall filled with bouncy castles, slides, ball pits, trampolines, and other exciting attractions.
- Jumpark – Trampoline Indoor (Rue Edouard-Verdan 4, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains) – Different trampolines and foam pits will provide enjoyment for those who love bouncing around.
- Skatepark des Rives du Lac (Av. de l’Hippodrome 3, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains)- At Rives du Lac, you’ll discover a skate park spanning 1,700 square meters, catering to both novice and experienced skaters.
- AS Warriors Sàrl (Rte de la Thiole 2, 1373 Chavornay) – The Ninja Course in Chavornay offers an enjoyable experience for children aspiring to become ninja warriors.
How to Get to Yverdon-les-Bains
With direct trains from Zurich, Lausanne, and Geneva, Yverdon-les-Bains is very easy to reach.
|Route (Direct Trains)||Estimated Travel Time (Fastest)|
|Lausanne to Yverdon-les-Bains||21 minutes|
|Geneva to Yverdon-les-Bains||50 minutes|
|Zurich to Yverdon-les-Bains||1 hour 48 minutes|
Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Yverdon-les-Bains
It’s true that Yverdon-les-Bains has many attractions to enjoy and discover. Some of these attractions are well-known, such as the thermal center and historic castle. However, that’s not all. The historic old town is charming, the locals are very friendly, and the natural attractions in the region are outstanding. I highly recommend visiting Yverdon-les-Bains.
- Yverdon-les-Bains Region: Lassen Sie sich überraschen. Region Yverdon-les-Bains Jura-Lac.
- Lausanne to Yverdon-les-Bains Train: All You Need To Know
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- Zurich to Yverdon-les-Bains Train: All You Need To Know
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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.