A Student Guide to Lausanne

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February 16, 2015

Welcome back students! In honor of the start of the new semester, we asked our friend Kristen Gehrman, a master’s student at UNIL, to put together a list of her favorite bars and restaurants that won’t break the bank.


We got it. Lausanne is full of swanky bars, cozy cafés, and charming restos, and oh how we would love to patron them all! But what about for students? Those 20 chf cocktails are pretty much out of the question. It seems that a good, affordable night on the town is just a matter of knowing where to go. Here are a few places with just enough space, just enough noise, and just the right crowd to appeal to our young, poor, and restless selves. Whether you are currently in school or wishing that you still were, check out these favorite student hotspots:

La Brasserie Artisanale du Château

La Brasserie’s menu is straightforward: really good pizza and really good beer. All of their artisanale beers are made in-house and they don’t skimp on the pizza toppings. Even if you think you don’t like flavored ales, just try their Ginger beer! Or go for the Brune, a homemade twist on an Irish stout. If you just want a little snack to go with your chope, their garlic bread stacked with fresh herbes (only 6 chf!) is just right. Downstairs is for the old people, the real party is upstairs.

Place du Tunnel 1
1005 Lausanne

KingSize Pub

As the name suggests, King Size is a much bigger bar than you usually find in Lausanne and a great place to go with a group. Despite its square meters, it still has that English pub coziness with dark wood tables, warm light and servers in kilts. They have international beers on tap like Erdinger, Grimbergen, Newcastle and Murphys and accept group reservations. Go on a night when there is live music—usually somekind of Celtic-rock fusion, though occasionnally jazz, folk or even American bluegrass!

Rue du Port-Franc 16
1003 Lausanne

The Great Escape

Even though we have already lauded the greatness of The Great, we can’t write a student guide without mentioning it. Their terrace overlooking the Place de la Riponne is hands-down the place to be on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night. If you arrive before the evening crowd, you can relax with a super-good burger and fries inside before the house fills up. Otherwise, you will have to take your beer in a plastic cup and join the happy ranks huddled outside. Cold weather or warm weather, it’s where it’s at.

Rue Madeleine 18
1003 Lausanne

 Zeligat UNIL

Run by a non-profit student organization at the University of Lausanne (aka a friendly crew of inexperienced beer-pourers), Zelig is the place where students meet after school over a cheap beer–we’re talking 3 to 6 chf max!. On most  days, the bar is a mismatch of couches and baby-foot tables with a good playlist and board games, the kind of place you deserve after a long day in “La Banane.” But be sure to check the special programme online for Zelig’s best parties. They are known for bringing in great bands and DJs and of course, M1-clogging crowds. Though Zelig is clearly a student hangout with an alternative vibe, it is also open to the public.

Rue de la Mouline
1022 Chavannes-près-Renens
M1 stop: UNIL Mouline

Satelliteat EPFL

Satellite is the Zelig of the EPFL, or some would say that Zelig is the Satellite of the UNIL. It’s a delicate subject. Whichever way you look at it, Sat is the other cool, laid-back campus bar with cheap beer, deep couches and good music. They host open jam sessions the first Monday evening of the month and occasionnally empty out all of the tables and chairs and transform the house into a theatre. Like Zelig, it closes quite early, but it is a great place to gather the group before heading into the city.

Avenue Picard
1015 Lausanne
M1 stop: EPFL

Jagger’s (No website)

Let’s face it—Lausanne is not exactly the club capital of the world. But if you really want to dance the night away and can’t take any more techno music, head over to Jagger’s. They play all of that Michael Jackson pop and retro rock n’roll that you (admit it or not) really want to dance to. There is usually a small cover charge on weekends, but we’ve never regretted going in.

Rue Etraz 1
1003 Lausanne

Ciné Club Pully

And then there are some nights when you just want to go see a movie. How about a really good movie that you can’t see anywhere else? Ciné Club Pully shows art films and documentaries from all over the world and often hosts live music events and film premieres. In addition to a homey little bar, the big red velvet arm chairs give the place a luxurious, old-world feel. Did we mention that student tickets are only 10 chf?

Avenue de Lavaux 36
1009 Pully

Thanks Kristen for the great addresses! What about you? Anything you would add to this list?


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