Lausanne is a fun-filled city above Lake Geneva. Along its waterfront and tucked away in its winding streets, there are lots of local bars to hang out in, while its old part has historical buildings, cobbled squares and trickling fountains. There's a real party atmosphere in the summer as the city's festivals start up, with performances on open-air stages and electronic music. When you're thirsty, as well as quaint cafés, this city has 300 spring water drinking fountains.
Lausanne hostels are great for free breakfasts, with most stays in the city putting on a tasty spread every morning. You can choose a peaceful hostel with its own outdoor terrace – claim one of the hammocks hanging between leafy trees for some afternoon sunshine. You'll also find a guest house with a sauna and views of Lake Geneva, or a stay with an on-site bar and restaurant serving traditional Swiss dishes. Expect modern decor and free Wi-Fi at nearly every Lausanne hostel.
One of Lausanne's most popular areas is the graceful and Gothic old city. Here you'll find medieval streets and clusters of shops alongside a 12th-century cathedral. For a more fashionable location, head to the lakeside neighbourhood of Ouchy. You can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and then pull up a seat at a chic café to people watch. Flon is equally on-trend, with lots of laid-back bars.
Explore the world of sport at the Olympic Museum – it has a good café, too. If you're feeling inspired, there are lots of sports in Lausanne all year round, from skiing and snowboarding to windsurfing and paragliding. You can expect delicious food that's warming and filling after a day on the slopes or the sea. For a taste of the country's most well-known treats, find a family-run or traditional restaurant and tuck into a fondue, then pick a chocolatier and try their concoctions. Esplanade de Montbenon is the perfect place to go for views of the city, lake and mountains.
The nearest airport to Lausanne is Geneva Airport. From here, there are frequent trains to Lausanne that take around 50 minutes. If you've travelled by train to Geneva (the main station is Genève-Cornavin), a train into the city is a 36 to 50-minute ride. Though it's a small city, Lausanne has its own metro system, so it's really easy to get around.