Terraces of Lausanne

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April 17, 2021

Here’s where you should spend your days and evenings when the weather is just right. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite terraces in and around Lausanne:

An oasis in the heart of the city, Les Jardins is one of those special places that you kind of want to keep for yourself. Nestled at the base of La Cité, the seasonal bar is a beautiful brainchild of the Restaurant le Vieux-Lausanne and Bar Giraf. With sweeping views of the city, it’s no wonder the tables scattered across the pebbled and overgrown garden fill up quickly

We mostly find ourselves here for after work drinks, but it would be hard to go wrong any time of day. Wait for blue skies and sunny hours and prepare to be swept away on a vacation in your own city.

Ever since we first heard from friends at the Royal Savoy that they wanted to turn the rooftop of one of Lausanne’s most venerable old hotels into a modern, sleek bar in the sky, we’ve been anticipating this day.

Verdant, lively, and right in the heart of La Cité, Sardine has become one of our favorite terraces in Lausanne for a drink with friends or a special dinner out.

On the hidden terrace of Café de l’Evêché, you’ll find a sympathetic crowd of cheese lovers ordering one of the café’s TEN fondue options. Although we’ve not yet tried it, the house fondue especially piqued our interest – it’s prepared with beer and armagnac.

Your first steps into the Brasserie de Montbenon will be extraordinary. Your gaze will be drawn upward, and as if by instinct, you will gasp and briefly hold your breath. It’s just that beautiful. Then you’ll step out onto the terrace and have a hard time choosing whether to sit inside or outside.

There might not be a more amicable place in all the city. For many, stepping into The Great Escape is a nostalgic experience, conjuring memories of collegiate days and eternal summers. Read more

Situated right on the water near the Vidy harbour, the terrace stretches out underneath a canopy of trees and umbrellas. On this particular evening, the tables were filled with couples, friends, families–smiling sun-kissed cheeks drinking cocktails and sharing generous platters, the smell of curry and garlic wafting in the air.

Ripped jeans, body piercings, tube tops, and killer tattoos litter this bar under a bridge. Owned by the D! Club, this spot is prime time for people watching, catching a few sun rays, and drinking a killer frozen margarita.

Watch boats pass, feel the breeze off the lake, gaze as the sunlight changes on the mountains, and eat and drink incredibly well. We’ve spent many brunches, lunches, and even laaaaate evenings at The Lacustre and we still keep coming back for more. It remains one of our favorite terraces in Lausanne for it’s laid back vibe and quality food.

From a couple of the minds that brought us Zooburger, La Grenette is a small oasis in the midst of Riponne’s concrete plaza, which opened it’s proverbial doors in the summer of 2014. The furniture is thrifted, the idea fresh; mismatched tables and chairs add to the informally cute charm.

In a city as small as Lausanne, it’s easy to make the mistake of believing that everything has already been seen and that all the good ideas have already been had. But for all the tracks that we’ve made across this town, we never ventured beyond the Bellerive parking lot to visit the waterfront behind the CGN docks until this little buvette encouraged us to. 

You might assume that drinking under a bridge should be saved as a last resort in life. But at Les Grandes Roches an unusual urban space has been reclaimed and under-bridge-drinking given a new cool.

Just under the shadows of our Notre Dame cathedral sits a cafe whose name is certainly no misnomer, P’Tit Bar. With just a few tables scattered comfortably on the sidewalk, it’s safe to say that this terrace has one of the best views in the city.

This is one of Lausanne’s family hotspots, so don’t hesitate to bring the little guys. A playground is just next to the dining area, so you can enjoy your adult conversation, knowing that your children are a short ear-shot away.

Right in the heart of Lausanne, with a view of the Palace and the energy of the Flon, is Blackbird. Known for their incredible breakfast, superfood salads and burgers, it’s a great place to start the morning or grab an apero or dinner with friends.

Snag a seat on this urban terrace in the midst of Lausanne center. Drink local brews and eat tasty dishes all while watching the city go by.

Photo: Café des Artisans

The outside front terrace, or beer garden, is spacious and sunny. A perfect place to let the kids run around (or play in the rocks), while you enjoy a beer, a homemade agua fresca or one of the stunning cocktails on their menu. We imagine many summer evenings spent on this terrace in the future.

This 1930s-themed bar and restaurant is famous for its hamburgers, great selection of beers, and lively after-work drinks scene. The establishment borrows its name from the White Star Line, the British shipping company that gave the world the Titanic among other forward-thinking, turn-of-the-20th-century vessels and the décor remains faithful to this retro spirit.

Photo via

Self-described as a “wine bar that breaks all the codes”, Street Cellar is the result of a crowd-funding initiative by two friends. They will offer local wines drawn directly from the barrel, elevated but unpretentious street food, and their space will be decorated and painted by local street artists. From the tone of their social media, it’s definitely a spot where you arrive as a stranger and leave as a friend. 

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