Lausanne on Lake Geneva has excellent public transportation connections to the rest of Switzerland and many parts of Europe. Trains (including TGV-Lyria trains from Paris), driving, flying (via Genève or Zürich) and ferry boats are available.
Getting to Lausanne, capital of Canton Vaud (Waadt), on Lake Geneva in Switzerland is easy from most parts of Switzerland. Lausanne is an important railway hub with fast train connections to Geneva, Montreux, Bern, Basel, and Zürich while TGV trains go directly to Paris. Major highways intersect outside Lausanne allowing for fast driving times. Flying is easiest via nearby Geneva Airport (GVA) but intercontinental passengers can also reach Lausanne easily from Zurich Airport (ZRH). Passenger ferry boats cross Lake Geneva frequently from Lausanne to Evian and Thonon-les-Bains in France. Local public transportation options in Lausanne are also extensive.
Cheap Flights to Lausanne on Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva Airport (GVA) is the closest airport to Lausanne in Western Switzerland. The airport is only 60 km from Lausanne with fast traveling on the Autoroute A1 allowing for driving times as short as 40 minutes. Direct trains from Geneva Airport to Lausanne are available around five times per hour with traveling times around 50 minutes.
Zurich Airport (ZRH) also offers relatively easy access to Lausanne. For most passengers arriving at Zürich, taking the train or driving will probably be a faster and cheaper option than catching a connecting flight to Geneva Airport. Zurich Airport is 230 km (2h30) from Lausanne with direct hourly trains taking around 2h30.
Klook give easy online quotation for traveling to Lausanne from Geneva or Zürich airports but most travelers will find the trains a better deal.
- See Flying to Lausanne for more details on traveling from Geneva and Zurich airports to Lausanne.
Traveling by Train to Lausanne in Switzerland
The railway network in the Lake Geneva region is very extensive. Lausanne is an important hub with excellent train connections to the rest of Switzerland, Paris (France), and Milan (Italy). Swiss Railways has online timetables and print-at-home tickets, although for longer distances and especially international connections Omio is often easier to use..
Usually, five trains per hour are available to Lausanne from Geneva Airport (traveling time 42 to 55 minutes) with stops en route usually at Genève-Cornavin (33 to 48 min), Nyon (25 to 33 min) and Morges (10 to 16 min). Some trains continue to Vevey (13 to 20 min) and Montreux (21 to 27 min). but transfers are usually required in Lausanne.
Longer distance trains in Switzerland go from Lausanne twice per hour to Bern (1h10), Zurich Hauptbahnhof (2h10), Zurich Airport ZRH (2h30), and Basel (2h10 – usually with transfer in Bern or Biel). Passengers to Germany have to transfer in one of these cities to ICE or EC trains.
High-speed TGV Lyria trains connect Paris-Gare de Lyon with Lausanne up to six times per day. The fastest routing takes only in 3h40 with trains stopping en route at amongst others in Dijon (FR) and Vallorbe (CH). Further direct TGV-Lyria trains to Lausanne take four hours and stop en route at Genève-Cornavin and in France at Bellegarde and Bourg-en-Bresse.
Traveling time from Lausanne to London-St Pancras on the Eurostar and TGV is around seven to eight hours.
Direct Euro City trains from Lausanne to Milano Centrale in Italy are available up to four times per day. The train ride to Milan is as fast as 3h20.
Driving to Lausanne on Lac Léman, Switzerland
Lausanne is located at the intersection of major highways allowing for fast traveling times to other parts of Switzerland and nearby France. Autoroute A1 runs from Genève past Geneva Airport, Nyon, Lausanne, Bern, Zurich, and beyond. To the north of Lausanne, Autobahn A9 gives fast access to Vevey, Montreux, and the Rhone Valley in Valais (Wallis) with its popular ski resorts and Alpine passes to Italy. (The lakeside road to Montreux is much slower but spectacularly beautiful, especially when passing by the Lavaux vineyards.)
Driving distances in km and driving times to Lausanne are from:
- Geneva – 60 km / 40 min
- Nyon – 40 km / 30 min
- Montreux – 30 km / 30 min
- Montreux (lake road) – 25 km / 40 min (much more with traffic)
- Sion – 96 km / 1h00
- Brig – 150 km / 1h50
- Évian (France) – 80 km / 1h20
- Neuchâtel – 75 km / 50 min
- Fribourg / Freiburg – 75 km / 55 min
- Bern – 105 km / 1h10
- Zürich – 230 km / 2h30
- Basel – 200 km / 2h00
- Besançon (France) – 125 km / 1h45
- Lyon (France) – 210 km / 2h10
- Paris (France) – 540 km / 5h30
- Calais (France) – 780 km / 7h30
By Passenger Ferry Boat to Lausanne on Lac Léman
CGN’s Navimobilité passenger ferries connect Lausanne in Switzerland with the French towns Évian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains on the southern shore of Lac Léman. These ferries often provide the most convenient public transportation options to Evian and Thonon.
Up to 14 ferries per day connect Lausanne-Ouchy with Evian in 35 minutes while up to 13 ferries are available from Lausanne-Ouchy to Thonon taking only 27 minutes.
CGN pleasure boats frequently cruise from Lausanne-Ouchy to Geneva and the Montreux areas of Lake Geneva. Although these boat cruises are mainly aimed at leisure travelers, they can also be used as alternatives to the train when traveling in the Lac Léman region.
Public Transportation in the Lausanne Region
Lausanne has an excellent public transportation system that combines buses, trams, and trains into a single ticket system. All public transportation in Canton Vaud is part of the Mobilis tariff system allowing passengers to travel on the whole network with a single ticket.
Lausanne is also the hub of the local S-Bahn / RER regional train network. These S-Bahn trains offer reliable transportation to many nearby towns but also to towns further away such as Yverdon, Montreux, and Villeneuve.