Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Perched on the sun-kissed shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is more than just a city—it’s a multi-layered tapestry of history, culture, and endless discovery. Having called this city home for six years, I’ve come to intimately know its nooks and crannies (and local Lausanne bars) amidst the city’s unique architecture and character.

What makes Lausanne truly special is its topography—a city built on a steep hillside, each layer revealing a new perspective and a new adventure. From the quaint cobblestone alleys of the Old town to its vibrant and eclectic Flon district to its lively waterfront, Lausanne captivates with its timeless allure. There is something for everybody in this city!

But it’s in the summertime that Lausanne truly comes alive. As the sun emerges from its wintry slumber, it casts a golden glow upon the city, illuminating hidden gems tucked away beneath bridges and secret corners. 

Here is my list of the best bars in Lausanne, each one a testament to the city’s summertime splendor.

View over Lausanne old town with the alps in the background
View over Lausanne old town with the alps in the background

8 Best Bars in Lausanne to Enjoy this Summer 

Les Arches

Vibe: This bar is located just outside the metro station at Flon. It is a modern bar situated under an old stone bridge, giving it an alluring atmosphere. Only open during the warmer months, it attracts people of all ages and all styles from students to more seasoned, chic individuals.

Les Arches | Bars and pubs in Lausanne, Switzerland

Good for: People watching, after-sunset, casual drinks with friends, pre-dinner/pre-night out cocktails

Terrasse des Grandes Roches

Vibe: This bar is tucked away under the Pont (“bridge” in English) Bessières and accessible from the “escaliers (“stairs”) des Grande-Roche”. The Terrasse des Grandes Roches offers a laid back vibe with an alternative feel, offering the perfect scene for a mini-escape from the city center. The people are friendly and everyone is there for a good time. 

Terrasse des Grandes Roches, Lausanne - Kids & Family Friendly

Good for: Cocktails, local beers, enjoying summer drinks outdoors, escaping the city crowds

Ecublens plage

Vibe: Ecublens plage is the perfect place to spend a summer day or evening with friends and family. Located in the heart of the city, this spot is transformed into a beach oasis, with free activities for all ages including pétanque, skimboarding, slacklining, ping-pong and more. For those that want to chill, there are also plenty of deckchairs to relax and soak up the sun.

The open-air bar is open for lunch and dinner, with a cool and shady terrace overlooking the Sorge River.

Galerie photo - Édition 2022 - Ecublens Plage

Good for: Activities, fun-in-the-sun, relaxing on deckchairs in a casual setting.

Les Jardins

Vibe: This is a small bar/restaurant located near the Cathedral of Lausanne. During the summer, it transforms into a “guinguette champêtre”, which is a type of open-air tavern. They offer finger food, local drinks, and cocktails. The restaurant also has a garden patio. It’s a friendly and calming place to come relay and enjoy a beautiful summers day with friends and family. 

Les Jardins

Good for: Day snack and drinks, being surrounded by historic beauty and nature

Captain Cook Pub

Vibe: If you are into super-casual classic pubs with a friendly, unpretentious vibe,  Captain Cook is for you. They are even too cool for a website. It has a cozy atmosphere and a wide selection of beers to share with friends. Located about a 10 minute walk from Flon and 15 minutes to the train station, this is a great place to stop and catch up with friends, or friendly strangers. 

Mapstr - Bar Captain Cook Pub Lausanne - Boire, S'amuser - Sortir, Pub,  Vaud, Lausanne

Good for: Wide selection of beers, casual drinks, catching up with friends

The Great Escape

Vibe: The Great Escape lives up to its name with a relaxed, student-friendly atmosphere. During the summer, its expansive outdoor terrace beckons, while ample indoor seating ensures comfort in case the weather takes a turn. Accessible from the Riponne Metro station, reaching this bar and terrace entails ascending a stone stairway adjacent to the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne, a notable landmark in its own right. This lively spot offers the perfect setting to mingle with both locals and expats alike, offering an array of beers, spirits, and delectable burgers. 

Good for: Beers, spirits, burgers, watching sports, student crowd

Pub les Gosses du Québec

Vibe: Feeling nostalgic for North America? As someone who grew up in Canada, I appreciated finding this little piece of home. It’s your typical hockey-loving sports pub in the heart of Europe. Pub les Gosses du Québec located near the Lausanne train station offers a fun and laid back atmosphere – which pretty much sums up Canada, eh?. Shoot some pool, catch the game, and enjoy Canadian-style comfort food and beers with a french twist.

Good for: Playing pool, watching sports, enjoying North American-style comfort food, feeling a taste of Canada

Le XIIIème Siècle

Vibe: Step back in time and party in what feels like a crammed medieval dungeon! Although this may not appeal to everyone, of the late night bars in Lausanne, we spent a lot of nights here dancing the late night hours away. More of a club than a bar, but worth a mention on this list. Located in the heart of the old town near the Lausanne Cathedral adds to Le XIIIème Siècle’s charm. 

Good for: Dancing, late-night drinks, a unique club experience (younger crowd)


By Lala