It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of summertime in Lausanne. From indulging in regional food and wine tastings, to attending world-class sporting events and music festivals, there is always something to do during the warmest months of the year. If you are waiting to travel, on holiday, or just looking for some entertainment on your doorstep, we have compiled the top summer activities in and around Lausanne this year, just for you.
The atmosphere at Open Cellars weekend is like all the best parts of a summer wedding: the wine, the music, the beautiful backdrop of the vineyards, mountains and lake. If you are new in town and have never heard of Swiss wine, this is the event to attend to get a little bit of local wine education. You can start at any participating cellar, buy your ‘passport’ and wine glass, and kick off with the tastings. Most importantly, plan your strategy. You either want to base yourself on a sun-soaked terrace (having found the perfect view and not willing to rush) and sample a few of the surrounding wines, or pace yourself between different wine producing areas via the free shuttle buses. Just remember to start with the Chasselas – when in Lavaux, it would be rude not to!
Just a few steps away from Lausanne, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud is the most important inland lake regatta in the world. From June 10 to 12, Lac Leman comes alive with hundreds of white sailing boats dotted across the water and taking part in a 123 km route from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back. In order to see the boats during the race, many terraces and promenades along the coast from Bellevue to Montreux, via Nyon, Morges and Lavaux offer a good watchpoint. If you want to observe the Bol d’Or Mirabaud from the lake, embark on one of CGN cruises with catering available on board.
Lausanne’s long awaited new art district is set to open to the public on June 18 just a few steps away from the train station, and will be inaugurated with the exhibition Train Zug Treno Tren on the theme of railways. The Plateforme 10 neighborhood brings together fine arts, photography and design: the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts (MCBA), the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (mudac), and Photo Élysée, the Cantonal Museum for Photography. With the addition of the two ultramodern buildings, Lausanne’s cultural hub is definitely taking center stage in French-speaking Switzerland. If you had a sneak-peak of the building with us during the November open-weekend, you definitely will share our excitement for this new opening!
Bring books to life for readers of all ages, from pre-school to teenagers, at the very first edition of the Youth Literature Festival hosted in June in Vevey. Meet authors, illustrators and publishers over this two-day event, learn writing and drawing skills at a workshop or take part in a round-table. There are several literary activities on offer to help spread the enjoyment of reading among children and the whole family.
L’Eté en Rosé Party (June 25)
Are you ready for another TLG party? We’re pairing up with the masters of urban wine drinking by throwing the ultimate summer soirée at Street Cellar at the end of June. The French Riviera will come to Lausanne, with bottles of chilled rosé, Mediterranean inspired dishes, live music, and a few surprises along the way. Stay tuned, tickets will be launching very soon!
Music Festivals that suit every taste
No matter what kind of live music you’re looking for, the summer festivals around town cater to every ear. For starters, Fête de la Musique Lausanne on June 21, is an opportunity to see gigs all over the streets, squares, churches and parks of Lausanne. Running from July 1 to 16, the Montreux Jazz Festival and its line-up need no introduction: make sure you book your tickets in advance! Paleo Festival in Nyon (July 19-24) is the biggest open air festival in Switzerland with six days and nights of music and shows, spread over several stages. If you are more into string quartets in the vineyards than pogo dancing in a big crowd, then book a spot at Lavaux Classic (June 17-26). Crissier Blues Rules Festival (also known as Crississippi) (June 10-11) offers a more cozy ambience while still attended by big names of international Blues. Finally, celebrate Swiss National Day with a 12-hour music party at People in the City (July 31 – August 1) in Lausanne.
The Yadlo Festival at Préverenges beach promises to refresh our body and mind with lake sports (windsurfing, surfing, diving, SUP yoga, waterball, beach petanque) during the day, and live music and beach bars by night. The summer event you have been waiting for to get into that holiday surf frame of mind. Entrance is free.
A mixture of arts and creativity in the historic streets of Lausanne. This annual urban and contemporary festival is completely free for the audience and includes theatre, visual arts, dance performances, acrobatics, live music and kids shows. Don’t miss it if you’re looking for good summer vibes while having a few drinks and food on the go.
As one of cycling’s most prestigious sporting events, the Tour de France is always a big summertime drawcard and this July you get the chance to experience it live. The 8th stage will start from Dole in the Jura region of France and end in front of the Pontaise Olympic Stadium in Lausanne.
You don’t need to be an expert cyclist to enjoy yourself at the Tour; the high-energy atmosphere is enough to turn anyone into a die-hard bike fan (at least temporarily). Yes, the TV coverage with its drone/aerial shots of mountains villages and castles is great, but being on the ground is something else. If you want to get involved in the event as a volunteer, we have also rounded up a few options in our dedicated article.