To avoid the crawling pace of the city's trams, take the metro. The trip between the heart of the Haute Ville and Ouchy takes 6 minutes. Departures are every 7 1/2 minutes Monday to Friday from 6:15am to 11:45pm. During off hours and on weekends and holidays, trains run every 15 minutes. A one-way ride from the town center to Ouchy costs 2.60F; a 24-hour ticket sells for 7.60F for rides within the inner city (zone 1), 8.60F for rides within the inner city plus zone 2, and 12F for a day ticket valid for travel within all three of Lausanne's far-flung zones.
Children (6-16 years) pay 6F for a day ticket within zones 1 or 2, or 7F for a day ticket valid for all three zones. Holders of Swiss Passes ride the metro for free.
By Bus & Tram
The TL (Lausanne Public Transport Company) has a well-designed network of trams and buses whose routes complement the city's subway line. The tram or bus fare is 2.60F, regardless of the distance, for a single trip completed within 60 minutes on lines 1 to 50 of the TL urban network on the Lausanne-Ouchy metro. You can purchase your tickets at the automatic machines installed at most stops.
Lausanne contains dozens of taxi stands, where you'll usually find a line. Alternatively, you can telephone Allô Taxis (tel. 078/713-40-77, Taxi-Service (tel. 0844/814-814), or Taxiphone (tel. 0844/810-810; www.taxiphone.ch) for a cab. The meter starts at 8F; each kilometer traveled adds 3.50F during daylight hours in town, or 4F in town on weekends or at night between 8pm and 6am. For trips outside the town limits, each kilometer traveled costs 5F, regardless of the time of day. The first 10 kilograms (22 lb.) of luggage are free, with 1F charged for every suitcase thereafter.
If you drive to Lausanne or rent a car here, wearing seat belts is required, and children 11 and under are not allowed to ride in the front seat. In Lausanne, there are four types of parking zones: a white zone, in which parking is free and unlimited; a red zone and a blue zone, in which parking is free but variously limited (15 hr. in the red zone and 90 min. in the blue zone); and a fourth zone with parking meters. To park, you must display a parking disk on the dashboard of your car; parking disks are free and can be obtained at police stations, automobile clubs, and most gas stations. Note: Anything identified as a "yellow zone" is strictly private and reserved only for cars with special plates -- if in doubt, don't park there under any circumstances, or else you will risk a fine.
The city of Lausanne maintains a program wherein visitors, upon presentation of a passport or ID card and a (refundable) deposit of 20F, can rent a bicycle for free for a period of 1 day. For these free 1-day rentals, go to Lausanne Roule, 1B, place de l'Europe (tel. 021/533-01-15), open daily April to November 8am to 6pm. Bikes can be transported by train from Lausanne to any of the region's outlying districts (or anywhere in Switzerland) for an extra fee. But be aware that to avoid additional penalties, bicycles must be returned the same day before 9:30pm. Like an overdue library book, fees and penalties build up quickly at a rate of between 10F and 20F a day for every day that a user doesn't return his or her bike. Reservations are accepted, but only for groups of five or more cyclists traveling together. For additional information about this program, click on www.lausanneroule.ch.
To rent boats or pédalos (pedal boats), try various rental kiosks at Ouchy and Parc Bourget at Vidy.
This is the only way to see the old Upper Town effectively. Afterward, you can take the subway to Ouchy and resume your walk along the lakefront quays. Between May and September, Lausanne's civic authorities conduct a guided walking tour of their city, lasting 2 hours, Monday through Saturday. Departure is from place de la Palud, adjacent to the city hall, at 10am and 2:30pm. The cost is 10F for adults, 7F for seniors and students, and free for children. For more information on this, or on any of the "specialty tours," which require a minimum, prearranged group of five participants, and which focus on in-depth explications of specific buildings or specific minidistricts within Lausanne, call the city's tourist office or click on www.lausanne-tourisme.ch.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.