Getting around Lausanne Explore Lausanne

Public transport in Switzerland is extensive, reliable, safe and easy to use. It is simple to get around without a car. Enjoy significant savings with many discounted passes available for youth, pensioners, and families. Make sure to take advantage of day trip combination offers. Switzerland is also very bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Public transport in Lausanne 

Lausanne is easily navigable by public transport or car. It is also easy to travel by foot or by bicycle, although some roads are rather steep! The public transport office at the main train station provides comprehensive information and advice on suitable ticket options. 

Single, multi-journey, day tickets and Mobilis Travel Cards (FR) are available. These provide access to the entire public transport network including the metro, trolleybus and bus services, as well as and extensive regional train networks to surrounding areas. TL is the public transport provider of Lausanne. Vevey/Montreux (FR) and Nyon (FR) have their own regional transport networks. Tickets are available at bus stops and stations. 

Tip: Many communes have a limited number of free daily train passes available for locals. You are normally eligible to one per person and per year on a first come first served basis but these must be reserved far in advance. 

Night buses (FR), known as the service pyjama, run between 01:00 and 04:00 on Friday and Saturday evenings. There is no supplementary ticket necessary for night trains, but you need to purchase an extra CHF 4 ticket before boarding night buses. Switzerland has very strict drinking and driving laws so these are good options to take advantage of when going home after an evening out. 

CGN operates boats on Lake Geneva that offer cruises and excursions to various destinations from the port at Ouchy. It is common to live just across the lake in Evian, France, from which transport to Lausanne for work is less than 30 minutes. 

 

Travel passes and basic tips 

There are several common travel passes that are useful for families and individuals. A few include the Half-Fare pass, Junior pass, GA pass and day passes. Check out this article on the Swiss public transport system to learn about standard regulations and ticket options. Also, keep an eye out for frequent seasonal and holiday offers from SBB/CFF.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on Swiss public transport:

  • You must purchase your ticket before boarding (exceptions made for rural routes with no machine at the stop).
  • Children under six years of age travel for free.
  • Travelling with a dog: Dogs over 30 cm tall (about 12 inches) need to pay second-class half fare (there are also day cards and GA passes for dogs). Small dogs can travel for free in a carrier or basket.
  • Travelling with a bicycle: You are required to buy a supplementary bike ticket. You can bring your bicycle or unloaded bike trailers onto most SBB/CFF trains, private railways and PostBuses. Folded bikes can be stored as hand luggage for free. Note: Capacities for bicycle transport may be restricted during peak traffic periods. 
  • Utilise the excellent SBB/CFF apps for iPhone and Android.

 

Cycling in Lausanne

Parts of Lausanne are quite steep but the city is still great for cycling, especially along the lake. Ride either direction and reach either Vevey or Morges. Lausanne features the PubliBike bicycle hire scheme. Visit VelolandBikemap, and Routeyou to find national, regional, and local cycling routes in English, as well as maps and other useful information.

 

Lausanne on foot

Lausanne can also be explored on foot. Try one of the self-guided tours organised by the city. They have excellent ideas for discovering a new side of the city and each one is supplemented by pictures, maps and itineraries. 

Find more Lausanne activity suggestions in Enjoying Lausanne.

 

Parking in Lausanne

Street parking can be difficult to find in Switzerland and Lausanne is no exception. For street parking, purchase tickets from the meter to display in your window. In the occasional blue zone, free parking is allowed for up to 1.5 hours with a parking disc marking your arrival time in the window (buy this at the post office). You can also find parking at most main SBB/CFF stations. allPark (FR) is a new electronic meter system in the Romandie. Placing their calculator in your window allows your time to be automatically tracked and charged so that you don't need to worry about carrying cash. Find out more information here (FR). 

Lausanne has some Park and ride (FR) schemes aimed to reduce traffic and ease commuting pressure. These are parking lots on the outskirts of the city with monthly parking options available for those with no parking at their home. However, space is limited in Lausanne and you are not guaranteed a parking spot. 

Mobility car sharing is a popular, convenient and eco-friendly alternative to owning a car. Also, find ride share options on e-covoiture

You may also be interested in the article Driving and owning a car

 

Photo:swiss-image.ch/Regis Colombo

Author: Stéphane TROLLIET

Born and raised in Lausanne, Stéphane Trolliet is a real 'vaudois' who developed his glocal expertise through extensive travel while working many years in an international environment.

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