The best summer bars in Lausanne

By Caroline Bishop for Time Out on Nov 10, 2014

Make the most of the sunshine in Lausanne at these great summer bars in the cathedral city.

Craving a beer garden? Yearning for a sunny terrace for your morning coffee? Check out our guide to the best places to grab an al fresco drink in Lausanne.

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Bourg Plage

This outdoor pop-up bar tucked under Bessières bridge is a great spot to kick back with a drink in summer. Accessed via a metal staircase from the bridge above or Rue Centrale below, it’s basically a large beer garden, one half of which is sheltered from the elements by an arch of the bridge overhead.

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The Great Escape

Perched half way up the steps from Riponne, The Great has a large garden area out front with its own bar which serves as an overspill, especially in summer when it proves a real sun-trap. Friendly and down-to-earth, you’ll likely come away from a night here with both a hangover and a few new pals.


La Grenette

This open-air cafe-bar first popped up in summer 2014. Tucked under concrete at the far end of Riponne, it’s an ultra laid-back, shabby-chic affair carefully designed to look like a hastily thrown together outdoor living room. With an eclectic array of furniture, you can sit on a boat, a tree stump, a sledge or a director’s chair while you imbibe your choice from a vast selection of drinks.

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Flon Plage

Open from mid-May to the end of September, this outdoor pop-up bar may be in the central shopping district of Flon rather than by a beach, but thanks to the real sand underfoot it’s possible to close your eyes, wriggle your toes in the sand and imagine you’re on the French Riviera instead.

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Blackbird Social Club

Inside, this small roundhouse pub is decked out like a vintage railway station bar, with chandeliers, marble floors, well-used wooden cafe chairs, a piano and sepia-toned pictures. With its late-night opening hours and large outdoor terrace, it’s in the evenings when this pub will come into its own, as friends gather for beers in the sunshine after work.

Les Arches

Sometimes you need a good spot to people-watch, and what better place than under the arches of the Grand Pont, the 19th-century bridge that cuts through the centre of town? From a morning coffee in the sunshine to a pre-clubbing apéro, Les Arches is the perfect place to sit and watch Lausanne go by.

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Friends Café

Friends Café is the bar of choice for many of Lausanne’s cool young things, attracted by its cocktail list, upbeat vibe and special events including DJ nights and after-work promotions. However the bar’s real coup is its funky rooftop terrace, which makes for a good inner-city spot for people-watching and lapping up the sunshine on a hot summer evening over an aperol spritz.

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Brasserie de Montbenon

This stylish brasserie occupies a prime location on the classy (and grassy) Montbenon park. Outside, the bandstand-style structure sports a large sunny terrace with far-reaching views of Lake Geneva and the mountains beyond, ideal for a leisurely lunch al fresco.

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Café de l’Évêché

You won't notice the glorious garden out the back of Café de l’Évêché unless you know it's there - and once you do, you'll earmark it for many a leisurely lunch, after-work beer or morning coffee.

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Le Barbare

Make time for a quiet beer or coffee on the tiny terrace of this charming old place, which catches the sun most of the day. It's located on the city’s most scenic street, a string of tall, narrow 16th century houses adorned with coloured shutters and fading painted shop signs.