Six Lausanne Cafés to Get Creative In

Café culture doesn’t get much classier than in Switzerland’s most fiercely intellectual city. Here are six places for a perfect pit stop in lake-hugging Lausanne

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elegant, hilly Swiss city of Lausanne occupies an idyllic location on Lake
Geneva (Lac Léman), and it’s abundantly clear why artists, writers
and free-thinkers have been finding inspiration here for centuries.
Voltaire, Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, T.S. Eliot, Coco Chanel and
David Bowie (who called Lausanne home) are among the cultivated
minds to have lingered in the grand hotels and bohemian coffee
houses around the lake. Today, the city’s intellectual spirit
attracts star students to science and technology research institute
EPFL, essentially Europe’s MIT. For travellers, Lausanne’s highbrow
café culture is a joy to discover, and we’ve found the loveliest
spots in the city in which to reignite your creative spirit over
the perfect single-origin filter coffee.

Coffee culture: Lausanne’s best cafés and coffee houses

Cafe de Grancy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charly Derouet

Café de Grancy

This classic hangout occupying the ground floor of a lavish
19th-century apartment building has antique chaise longues and
slouchy sofas up front, perfect for curling up with a good book and
working your way through the extensive hot chocolate menu. There’s
sit-down dining at the tables in the back and, come evening, a
buzzy bar vibe prevails, making this a note-perfect all-day
brasserie. Want to take some schoggi (a Swiss colloquialism for
chocolate) home with you? Head to Durig Chocolatier,
a three-minute walk from the café, to pick up some tongue-tingling
Mexican-spiced cocoa.


Avenue du Rond-Point 1, 1006

Madeline, Lausanne


A beautiful café and bookstore in the heart of the old town,
Madeleine offers delicious freshly baked madeleines, locally
roasted Torpedo coffee and a cleverly curated selection of
uplifting books courtesy of the resident bookkeeper, Aurore. Decor
is sleek and contemporary, with art nouveau flourishes creating a
sumptuous backdrop for people-watching. After 4pm, hot chocolate
gives way to natural wines and locally brewed beers, best enjoyed
alongside sharing platters.


Rue Madeleine 3, 1003

Deli Social, Lausanne
Photo credit: Charly Derouet

Deli Social

A truly radical new addition to Lausanne’s esteemed café scene,
Deli Social is a food lab, magazine store and workspace run by a
British couple, designers Emily Groves and Rhys Williams. Hanging
out here feels like a crash course in innovative design – you’ll
leave with plenty of design inspiration for your own flat, or
future dream home. A word of warning: order a sandwich with dip and
you’ll never be satisfied with an ordinary sandwich ever again.


Place du Tunnel 11, 1005

Café des Artisans, Lausanne
Photo credit: Charly Derouet

Café des Artisans

With a young, enthusiastic team and a reputation for championing
local designers (whose artworks and wares are displayed and sold
here), this is one of Lausanne’s best-loved café-bars. Cocktails
and draft craft beers are a highlight, but it also does a roaring
trade in non-alcoholic spirits and kombucha. Keep your night
rolling with a visit to Street Cellar, just down the road: the
rebellious wine bar serves bins by the glass or, if you’re feeling
fancy, in magnums.


Rue Centrale 16, 1003

Coffee Page, Lausanne
Photo credit: Charly Derouet

Coffee Page

“Lausanne is a city full of artists, designers, architects and
writers,” explains Jean Kehlhofer, owner of this contemporary yet
comfortable corner café just north of St-François. They’re all to
be found here, reading coffee-table books on Swiss tattoo artists,
or art brut, or fermentation, kept caffeinated on locally roasted
Goodlife coffee. Jacques Restaurant, two minutes’ down the road,
is well worth a visit when in this part of town, too.


Rue du Midi 20, 1003

Le Barbare, Lausanne
Photo credit: Charly Derouet

Le Barbare

We lost track of the number of people who instructed us to come
here and order Marta’s hot chocolate, so we did. More a chocolate
soup than a hot drink, it’s just the sort of fuel you’ll need if
you’re ploughing through a lengthy Victorian novel, or trying to
pen your own thoughts on life. This historic café dates back to
1952, but it’s only recently that Marta took it over and breathed
new life into it.


Escaliers du Marché 27, 1003

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The Lowdown

How to get there

Fly direct from London Heathrow to Geneva Airport with SWISS.
From the airport, Lausanne city centre is just under an hour by
train with Swiss Federal Railways.

The Swiss Travel System covers more than 29,000km with its
extensive public transport network of trains, buses, cable cars and
boats. Book your tailored Swiss city package and get unlimited
travel on public transport with a Swiss Travel Pass at

Ready to plan your Lausanne trip? Visit to get a taste of all the
Swiss city offers.

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