The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland celebrates the history of the Olympic games and is a must-see for sports fans. Positioned near Lake Geneva, it’s super close to Ouchy in Lausanne, and easy to reach by walking or taking the metro. Inside, you’ll find both permanent and changing exhibits showcasing Olympic history with tons of cool artifacts, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations. It’s one of the top spots to check out in Lausanne, Switzerland!
This article will cover what you should know and anticipate when visiting the Olympic Museum based on our experience.
Overview of the Olympic Museum Lausanne
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, also known as Musée Olympique in French, was founded in 1993. It stands as a global hub for celebrating the Olympic spirit and its values. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this museum lures visitors worldwide, catering to sports enthusiasts, history aficionados, and curious minds keen on exploring the Olympic saga.
Boasting a vast trove of Olympic-related artifacts – from torches and medals to athletes’ gear – it brings the Games’ evolution to life via interactive displays, multimedia showcases, and immersive experiences. The museum dazzles with temporary exhibitions, spotlighting the latest sports innovations and technologies.
Offering a treasure trove for both casual fans and ardent scholars, the Olympic Museum promises an enriching journey into the realm of sport and history.
Olympic Museum Lausanne: What to Expect
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne has a whopping collection of Olympic-related items telling the Olympic Games’ story. Inside, there are several main exhibitions.
Here are some of the permanent exhibitions that you can expect:
- The History of the Olympic Games
- Olympic Flame Display
- Film about the Opening Ceremony
- Athletic Apparel and Sporting Equipment
- Olympic Medals
Olympic Flame Display
One of the coolest things at the museum is the exhibit featuring the real Olympic flame. It explains how this tradition began and how host countries handle moving the Olympic torch to, from, and around their nation, including the special moment of lighting the flame at the opening ceremony.
Visitors can see actual Olympic torches from past games and learn about the symbolism behind the flame.
Another cool exhibit showcases different Olympic medals (gold, silver, and bronze) in glass cases. It displays the medals given by each host country. You get to see what the medals look like and might be amazed at how well-preserved they are, even though they’re pretty old. You can snap a photo on the podium nearby as a souvenir to take home and remember your visit to the Olympic Museum.
The museum doesn’t just display medals and torches; it also has Olympic uniforms worn by athletes throughout history. You can check out how these uniforms have changed from simple white ones in the old days to the colorful, high-tech gear athletes wear now.
The floor is split into two sides: one for summer sports like gymnastics and swimming, and the other for winter sports such as skiing and ice skating.
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne has a fantastic multimedia collection telling the story of the Olympic Games. Visitors can dive into lots of videos, like documentaries, athlete interviews, and old footage from past Olympics. You can watch specific events, see how athletes clinched victories, and catch a bunch of opening ceremonies too.
Interactive Play Area
A super fun part of the museum is the interactive play area. You can give sports like biathlon and skiing a shot using sensors and cameras that track your moves. You can play these sports virtually.
There’s more to try too, like balancing and testing your reaction time. It’s awesome, especially for younger kids or those who love a challenge.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Olympic Museum Lausanne also hosts temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year. These exhibitions cover a wide range of topics related to sports, culture, and society. Examples of temporary exhibitions in the past include Chasing Time, Photos by David Burnett and John Huet, 100 Years Together…The IOC and Lausanne, Celebrate Tokyo 2020, Sochi Live!, and more.
Visitors can check the museum’s website to see what exhibitions are currently on display. During our previous trip, the temporary display featured the Paris Marathon.
Olympic Museum Experience: A Review
- Museum Layout: The museum’s layout is easy to understand with each floor focusing on a specific theme. In addition to the main entrance, the ground floor includes all the important facilities and the shop. The first floor houses the permanent exhibition, while the second floor houses the restaurant. Temporary exhibitions are located on the underground floor.
- Exhibits: The museum’s exhibits are highly informative, highlighting the Olympics’ extensive history from ancient times. Engaging films capture iconic Olympic moments, while the displays feature memorabilia, trivia, and rich information. Visitors can easily spend a couple of hours to a full day exploring the exhibits, as it’s both captivating and extensive. Our personal experience of visiting in the morning and staying until early afternoon validated this. Tip: You will have ample time to engage with the displays if you come in first thing in the morning.
- Facilities: The museum’s layout is straightforward and offers modern facilities like lockers, clean restrooms, ramps, and lifts for accessibility. A gift shop near the entrance is a treasure trove of Olympic-themed souvenirs and memorabilia. From clothing and accessories to books and exclusive items, visitors can find a wide array of offerings, including special items unique to the museum. A café provides convenience for visitors to purchase refreshments and food.
- Information: Information is presented clearly and accurately. English speakers will have no issues understanding the exhibits on display.
- Engagement: Not only is the information educational, but it is also engaging for different age groups. The artifacts and interactive elements are presented well. The lighting and design is top-notch.
- Staff and Service: Since we did not join any group or guide, I am not in a position to comment on the knowledge of the museum guide or staff. The ladies at the entrance desk were quite friendly and helpful. The museum was generally very tidy.
- Price: I feel the admission price is fair and worth it. Students, groups, and seniors also have a discount. Furthermore, children up to 15 years old can come in for free as long as they are accompanied by a person over 16 years old. The exhibits are engaging and you can learn and see a lot. The museum has many interactive areas, like virtual reality and hands-on activities. I believe it’s worth the cost.
Is the Olympic Museum Worth Visiting?
I highly recommend visiting the Olympic Museum! Beyond catering solely to sports enthusiasts, the museum unites visitors from all over the world. It offers an interactive experience with modern elements, including virtual play areas. It’s far from boring, providing an abundance of learning opportunities.
With an impressive collection of anything Olympic-related and numerous interactive features, it stands as one of Switzerland’s most impressive museums, suitable for anyone eager to explore.
How to Get to the Olympic Museum Lausanne
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne is housed in a modern building overlooking the beautiful Olympic Park and sits close to the shores of Lake Geneva. It’s just a quick stroll from the Ouchy-Olympique metro station, and there’s a bus stop nearby too.
|Quai d’Ouchy 1, 1006 Lausanne
|Ouchy-Olympique (16-minute walk)
Jordils (13-minute walk)
|Parc Musée Olympique (9-minute walk)
Musée Olympique (2-minute walk)
Final Thoughts: Olympic Museum Lausanne Review
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, stands as a global celebration of the Olympic spirit, offering a treasure trove for sports fans, history buffs, and curious minds eager to explore Olympic history. Situated near Lake Geneva, this museum features both permanent and changing exhibits, boasting artifacts, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations that captivate visitors worldwide.
Based on personal experience, the Olympic Museum offers an engaging and extensive journey through Olympic history, with exhibits highlighting ancient traditions and modern innovations. The museum’s straightforward layout and modern facilities ensure a comfortable visit, with a gift shop providing an array of unique souvenirs. Although there’s always room for improvement, the museum’s interactive elements, diverse exhibits, and educational value make it a must-visit spot.
I highly recommend the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to anyone fascinated by the cultural significance and history of the Olympic Games.
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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.