It’s maybe the most beautiful month of the year in Switzerland, but with the mass exodus of locals for vacation and the arrival of tourists from the world over, the ambiance in Lausanne takes a decidedly different color in August.
Lausanne can feel like a ghost town if you don’t know where to go or what to do. That’s why we put our heads together to come up with a list of our favorite summer spots and activities that are open for all of August along with the events taking place in and around town.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are the places, events, and activities that will fill our calendars in the next few weeks.
- Jetée de la Compagnie – It’s hard to find a better lakeside spot than the repurposed concrete harbor just west of Ouchy. Jetée de la Compagnie also hosts an impressive line up of events, from morning yoga classes to late night dance parties. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, their Facebook page is one of the best places to start.
- Brasserie de Montbenon – Looking for dinner with a view? Whether it’s gazing out at the lake from their terrace or up at the stunning ceilings inside the restaurant, Brasserie de Montbenon has some of the best views in town. The food is on the pricey side, but the local, fresh ingredients and creative ambiance are always a win in our books.
- Le Lacustre – Quirky, casual, and good fun are the three modifiers that first come to mind when we think of Le Lacustre. New life was breathed into this concrete block last year when Alex of Great Escape fame took it over and brought his signature flair along with him. Great cocktails, fun parties, affordable food, and a killer view make this one of our favorite places to hang out.
- Sky Lounge – It’s hard to think of anything else to say about the Sky Lounge other than – WOW. This is hands down THE best view in town; and as if that’s not enough, it’s also some of the best food we’ve tried. It’s hard to imagine a better place to enjoy the beautiful weather!
- Les Grandes Roches (formerly, le Bourg Plage) – This open-air bar is one of the coolest places to hang out in town. Sometimes the best things in life are just under your nose, or under a bridge…
- Café de l’Evêché (the terrace) – When the heat gets unbearable, we retreat to the terrace of this classic Swiss-style bistrot. Hidden behind the restaurant and shrouded in trees and twinkle lights, it makes for a lovely respite from the sun.
- Le Contretemps – It may be a new restaurant, but Le Contretemps feels timeless. It’s like all of your best summer memories squeezed into a magical hidden nook alongside the lake in Territet. Bring your kids and your bathing suits. There’s a playground and a dock for swimming after your gorgeous lunch.
- Hike the Gorge de Chauderon – To really escape the heat, head to the Gorge de Chauderon and take a hike in nature’s air conditioning. The cool air flowing down with the water in the gorge is a perfect reprieve. Take the train to Montreux and then follow these instructions.
- Hike to and dine at Auberge du Pont de Nant – It feels like a world away but still boast 14/20 Gault et Millau. To arrive at this charming mountain restaurant, take the train to Les Plans-sur-Bex (just over an hour) and hike up (30 minutes). Or, if you prefer, drive to the restaurant and hike along the mountain stream that runs down the valley. Be sure to also visit the botanical garden, which features mountain plants from around the world.
- Marché du dimanche, Cully – Music, wine, general merriment every Sunday on the Cully waterfront.
- Marché folklorique, Vevey – Wine tasting, music, traditional costumes, and Vevey’s killer view every Saturday until August 26.
- Take a boat ride on Lac Léman – Head down to Ouchy to rent a paddle or electric boat; Or, catch a ride on one of the CGN ships – maybe even to explore Yvoire or Evian, France.
- Slide down a mountain – We’ve never actually done a mountain slide, but ever since we watched this video, it’s been on our summer bucket list!
- Concerts sur les quais, Lutry – Head over to Lutry on Thursday and Friday nights all month for music and dancing along the harbor.
Here are a few events that have caught our eye…
- AUG 3 – Lausanne Afro Fusions Festival, Hosted by LAFF Festival
- AUG 5 – Burgers & BEERS, Hosted by Lausanne à Table and La Nébuleuse
- AUG 6 – Grillade colombienne, Hosted by La Galicienne
- AUG 9 – Cinéma Sud à Lausanne, Hosted by Helvetas Suisse
- AUG 9 -12 – Rock Oz’Arènes
- AUG 9 – 20 – Lausanne sur Mer (free sports activities for kids from 12 years old)
- AUG 13 – Ascension nocturne du Grammont, Hosted by Mundovisio
- AUG 18 – Apéro – Spécial Terrasse, Hosted by Le Kiosque Saint-François
- AUG 19 – Street Kitchen’s end of summer BBQ brunch, Hosted by Chic cham
- AUG 25 – Congrès de bières artisanales, Hosted by Brasserie de Montbenon
- AUG 26 – Garden party at Patrick Fonjallaz’s house in Epesses – Winemaker Patrick Fonjallaz opens up his garden in the middle of beautiful Epesses for a tasting and meal for his customers. The food and drink are free, but it’s only polite to take home a case or two of his fabulous wine. It’s a small price to pay ;). We love this event – and have been every year since moving to Lausanne!
- AUG 27 – 20ème Journée 100% Hip-hop, culturelle et gratuite, Théâtre De Verdure, Parc De Montbenon
- AUG 27 – Championnat intergalactique de feuille-caillou-ciseau, (that’s a “rock, paper, scissors” competition for those that don’t read French). What a hilarious and fun idea!
- AUG 27 – The Color Run
- From the 5th to the 19th of August – Electroclette
Happy summer, Lausanne!