I present to you, the french speaking part of France – Lausanne, Geneva, Vevey and Montreux
The south western region of Switzerland is blessed with a large lake, alps of course and beautiful beautiful fields of terraced vineyards. So beautiful the region Lavaux is UNESCO recognized. I booked with Airbnb and my hosts Morgan and Dani were amazing hosts. I highly recommend you stay with them if you’re a single traveller. Airbnb also has good choices for single travelers, most of them have single beds and are a fraction of the price you stay at hotels, depending on the area you stay. If you’re an Airbnb virgin, do use my referral code to book your first stay and get $50 off. That’s almost 1 night off the apartment I stayed at Puidoux.
Puidoux-Chexbres was only a short ride from Lausanne Ost but the view that you get if you sit on the right side is amazing! You get the beautiful lake, the beautiful vines and you will also enjoy the same view if you travel down to Vevey and Montreux. So remember, sit on the right leaving Lausanne and on the left on the way to Lausanne from Montreux. A very enjoyable thing to do is also to take the lake boat as it will give you a different view of the vines from the bottom. All the rides are included with the Swiss travel pass and I’m so glad I bought it. More info on Sbb.ch
Lausanne boasts the largest cathedral in Switzerland. That is already reason enough to visit. Go in the early morning when it’s pleasant. It will give you a very good work out as you need to climb up the hill to get to it. Remember to climb up the bell tower because the view is really worth your climb. The bells make beautiful melodies so make sure you stay for the hour. To hear it. The entire town is rather hilly and the large old town is a beautiful walk.
Remember to head to Flon which is a very hip district that used to be a warehouse. There are shops and restaurants so it’s a good rest stop. Lausanne is a large town so it’s good to take the metro line 2 (included in the Swiss travel pass), there’s only one line that plies up and down so you won’t get lost.
Line 2 gets you to Lausanne Ost where you walk along the lake and arrive at the very impressive Olympic museum. If you love sports and the sports spirit, you should visit this museum. It won the museum of the year a few years ago. There also interactive games to test how agile you are once you’re there. It’s fun! Take in the fresh air and beautiful landscape as you walk back towards Lausanne Ost. You can take the metro back to the train station if you’re not taking the lake boat.
If you do take the lake boat to Geneva, it stops you at Lausanne in a longer time but the view is great.
Geneva is a huge town. I took the tram to the UN park to see the giant broken chair and the many flags in the UN office. I walked around the gardens and rested in the fields in front of the museum of ceramics. I then took the tram back near the old town. There are cathedrals in the old town and the large wall that protects it makes it really beautiful. You will also see the grand theatre, many old beautiful buildings and cute shops. It’s rather hilly so you also get a great work out walking around it.
Geneva boasts the Patek Philippe museum, if you love watches, you will love this museum. It’s very Grand inside and the intricate time pieces inside you would love. No photos inside so no spoilers here 😂. Museum entry is included in your Swiss travel pass so 1 more reason to get it. It’s not cheap but Switzerland as a whole is expensive, so this pass is value for money IMHO. When I was there, it started raining in the evening so I didn’t get a chance to see Jet D Eau, but it should be an impressive sight. The park by the promenade is beautiful. You will also see all the luxury brands imaginable in Geneva by the promenade and the expensive cars that accompany it. If you love shopping, you won’t be bored here.
Head east from Lausanne and you reach the very beautiful Vevey and Montreux. A worthwhile stop is Chateau de Chillon, just one stop after Montreaux. The castle is a beautiful museum and the walk to it was beautiful. The museum is a good 1 hour exploration as it is huge and has a lot of things to see. The exterior is also beautiful. I took the lake boat here so that I can get the view from the lake of the castle. The boat then stopped me at Montreux.
Montreux is a modern lakeside town. I took the alpine train up to Rochers de Paye and it was wonderful hiking the alpine gardens and the surroundings. The ride up was very scenic as you see cows and the amazing lake and alpine flowers! Walk along the promenade and you see the Freddy Mercury statue. If you love Queen, you will want this photo. There are a lot of other art installations so do take your time to stroll.
Vevey was another modern lakeside town. It has the giant fork so don’t forget to take a photo with it. It’s just outside the Alimentarium (food) museum by Nestle which was quite cute to visit. The promenade is busy in the evening with locals and tourists and it boasts a very beautiful sunset. I had a very affordable crepe by the lake as I watched the sunset that day.
You must remember to head to Chexbres if you love your wines. This is the UNESCO wine growing region of Switzerland. The beautiful vine terraces is what makes it special and here, you can learn about the history (yup, monks started it), taste wine and just walk around the vineyards to take photos. The views are breathtaking, it’s not called VINORAMA for nothing. From the station, get the walking map from the tourist office and follow the route for an unforgettable walk. If it’s closed, head left out of the station and walk towards the lake. My jaw dropped so many times while walking on the trails and then it was time to taste the gorgeous wine 😂 there’s also a lazy man way, which is to take the cute tourist tram, but I didn’t. This tram takes you around the wine growing region.
I did the chateau, Rochers de Naye, Montreux, Chexbres and Vevey in 1 day. Summer was long so I had from 8am – 9pm but I wished I had a longer time here because it is very beautiful. You could do Les Pelaides if you have more time. If you love hikes, take the cable car to Mont Pelerin and hike up for 3 hours. I took the cable car but didn’t have time to hike up.
I did Lausanne and Geneva in a day too! But you can easily spend a day in each.
Next stop, Interlaken! Its super touristy because people flock here to head up to the many alps that it has! You should too! Stay tuned for tips!