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Moving to Lausanne?

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Lausanne at a Glance

Moving to Lausanne

Lausanne is a beautiful city on the shore of Lake Geneva. Thanks to the multilingualism of Switzerland and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s a top destination for expats. Read on to learn more about the city, its climate, and local accommodation so you are well prepared for your move to Lausanne.

About the City

Located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a beautiful city with panoramic views the famous Evian in France and the majestic Alps. The city, dominated by its beautiful Cathedral with its Gothic architecture, is built on three hills, surrounded by vineyards.

Lausanne is located just 62 kilometers north-east Geneva. With a population of almost 140,000, it is the fourth largest city in Switzerland.

Lausanne is where the International Olympic Committee is headquartered, and is therefore considered the Olympic capital. Many international corporations have their headquarters in Lausanne and it’s a truly cosmopolitan city, with 42% of residents holding foreign citizenship. It’s a great destination for expats with excellent job prospects and beautiful surroundings to enjoy life.

Finding Accommodation in Lausanne

All in all, 70% of Swiss people rent rather than purchase their homes. This has led to recent government initiatives incentivizing home ownership, which has resulted in an increase of housing prices. In the wider region of Vaud, property transfer tax and fees only amount to 5% of the purchase price, but there are laws restricting foreigners from reselling property for five years.

Based on the above, most expats moving to Lausanne choose to rent while in Lausanne. The housing market is quite saturated, so it may take some time for you to find an apartment in the area that you’d like. It’s therefore recommended that you book a hotel or short-term rental for the first few weeks after moving to Lausanne. This will give you time to explore different areas, register and speak to estate agents to find the right property. In general, you should be able to rent a three-bedroom apartment in Sallaz-Vennes-Sechaud for about 1,500 CHF per month.

The Climate in Lausanne

The weather in Lausanne is mild and pleasant. The climate is very much influenced by its location on the shores of Lake Geneva and the fresh breeze that comes across the water. The city experiences four distinct seasons, although none of them are extreme.

Winters are usually mild, with frost overnight being quite common. In the colder months, the city gets some snow, with much more in the surrounding mountains, making it the perfect location for skiing and snowboarding. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing point. On average, Lausanne experiences 119 days of rain or snow per year.

In the summer, Lausanne is sunny and warm, with temperatures reaching a high of 25°C on average. This is when people really enjoy spending their time at the lake and along the public beaches, with water sports and swimming.

InterNations Expat Magazine