Travelers to Lausanne on Lac Léman usually fly to Geneva (GVA) or Zurich (ZRH) airports and then continue by train or road to the capital of Vaud. Cheap flights go to Geneva, on especially Easyjet, while Zurich has a larger number of intercontinental flights.
Flying to Lausanne in Switzerland usually involved flights to either Geneva (GVA) or Zurich (ZRH) airports and then a continuation of the journey by ground transportation (train or car). Lausanne Blécherette Airport (QLS) is used by business jets, air rescue services, and for recreational activities – no scheduled or charter passenger airlines fly here. Genève Aéroport is the closest international airport to Lausanne and usually the most convenient to use when traveling to Lausanne from other European cities. However, intercontinental passengers arriving at Flughafen Zürich may often find it easier to use the train directly from Zürich-Kloten to Lausanne rather than to fly to Geneva first.
Flying to Lausanne Blécherette Airport (QLS), Switzerland
Many local residents of the Lac Léman region may be surprised to learn that Lausanne actually has an airport. Lausanne-Blécherette Airport (QLS) is to the north of the city and with an asphalt landing strip of 875 m can be used by all kinds of smaller aircraft.
No commercial scheduled flights are available to Lausanne Airport, which is a pity as the airport is a mere 10-minute drive from the city center. Lausanne-Blécherette can also be reached on bus 1 and bus 21.
Flying to Lausanne via Geneva Airport in Switzerland
Cheap flights to Geneva Airport (GVA) usually offer the easiest way to fly from many parts of Europe to Lausanne on Lac Léman in Switzerland. Geneva Airport is a mere 60-km / 40-minute drive on the Autoroute A1 from Lausanne. Taxi2Airport quotes around €250 one way – taxis not reserved in advance will charge according to the meter. Airport shuttle bus services are available between Geneva Airport and Lausanne costing around CHF50 per person – advance reservations required.
Taking the train from Geneva Airport to Lausanne is far cheaper and not much slower. Trains depart from the basement of Geneva Airport (GVA) and travel directly to Lausanne – transfers are not required at Geneva-Cornavin station.
Generally, four trains per hour are available between Geneva Airport and Lausanne with traveling times ranging from 42 minutes (IC) to an hour (RE). The ticket prices are the same irrespective of the type of train used: CHF25 (CHF42 first class) one way. On most trains tickets need to be bought before boarding.
The first (last) train from GVA leaves for Lausanne shortly after 5 am (midnight) and from Lausanne to arrive at GVA at 4:20 am (00:20 am).
Flying to Lausanne via Zurich Airport in Switzerland
Most intercontinental flights to Switzerland arrive at Zurich Airport (ZRH). Connecting flights are available on Swiss to Geneva Airport from Zurich but these 40-minute flights makes only sense if the connecting flights are added at very low cost. In many cases it will be faster and cheaper to continue straight from Zurich Airport to Lausanne by road or rail rather than to travel via Geneva Airport.
Zurich Airport (ZRH) is around 230 km (2h20) by car from Lausanne. Traveling from Zurich on the Autobahn A1 via Bern to the Lake Geneva region is easy and relatively fast. Shuttle Direct quotes around €460 for a one-way ride – car rental may also be a good option.
Direct trains from Zurich Airport to Lausanne are available usually twice per hour with traveling times around 2h30. The first (last) train departs from Zurich Airport to Lausanne at around 6 am (22:30) and arrives from Lausanne at the airport at 8:20 am (just after midnight). Trains requiring transfers en route may be available earlier in the morning. A one-way ticket from Zurich Airport to Lausanne is CHF72 (CHF119 first class). The Swiss Transfer Ticket or other rail passes and deals may be worth considering for this trip. If traveling with children, at the very least get a Junior Card.