A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Lausanne vs. Bern for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Lausanne or Bern?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Lausanne or Bern, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Lausanne

Lausanne is a cultural, international, and diverse city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bern

Bern is a beautiful, cultural, and historic city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Lausanne and Bern: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Lausanne or Bern?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Bern. Although Lausanne and Bern are about the same size, Bern has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Bern is better known for its historical sights and impressive beauty, while Lausanne is more popular for its food. Bern is more touristy than Lausanne and is known for its well-preserved old town and its reputation as the home of the Lindt chocolate factory. Also, Bern is famous for The Zytglogge Clock Tower. Lausanne is well known for being the home of the International Olympic Committee headquarters.

How is Lausanne different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bern and Lausanne. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Lausanne or Bern?

Lausanne
Bern

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Lausanne or Bern.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Lausanne can be an interesting and educational experience. You'll find many great museums around town that cover a range of topics. The Olympic Museum is very interesting. You should also check out the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and the Hermitage Foundation.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Bern. The city is filled with architecture and charming character. While you're in town make sure you visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Bern Cathedral.


Is the Food Better in Lausanne or Bern? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Lausanne
Bern

Lausanne is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Lausanne makes for a great culinary experience. The city is filled with delicious chocolate, cheese, and wine. Fondue is a favorite, but you'll also find cured meats on most menus. While food can be expensive, it's also high quality and usually locally produced.

Bern has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Lausanne
Bern

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Lausanne and Bern.

Lausanne has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There are a surprising number of clubs around town and it's not hard to find somewhere to party. The large student population and the international vibe make this a fascinating place for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Bern has a few options to choose from. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for its historic old town charm. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historic old town.

Many visitors go to Bern to see the historical old town. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Lausanne is a good destination for visiting its old town. There's a relatively large historic section that has a Gothic cathedral and many quaint shops.


Is the Shopping Better in Lausanne or Bern?

Lausanne
Bern

Shopping is a popular activity in both Bern and Lausanne.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Lausanne. You'll find luxury Swiss watch brands, jewelry, chocolate, and many other interesting things to buy. Prices can be high, but so is the quality. It's fun to look, even if you're not planning to purchase.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Bern. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Families?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Bern is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Lausanne offers lots of family activities. There are kid-friendly museums, petting zoos, and other fun activities in town. You can also take a boat ride or let the kids run around one of the parks in town.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Couples?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for couples. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Bern frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Lausanne is a nice destination for couples. The medieval old city is fun to explore. The lakefront setting also offers fun activities like boating. There are also a number of museums in town to explore.


Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for backpackers. However, Lausanne is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Bern is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Lausanne is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not the most popular town for backpackers but there are some affordable hotels. It's also more reasonably priced than many Swiss cities.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Students?

Lausanne
Bern

Lausanne is a well-known place for students. However, Bern is not popular with students.

Lausanne is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. There are 11 institutes for higher learning in town, so students make up a significant percentage of the population. The city is also full of culture, making it a very livable city.

Bern is not popular with students.

Is Lausanne or Bern Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for its public transit. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Bern can get you to most places easily. There are trams and buses that run around town.

While Lausanne offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a comprehensive network of transportation options available in town including buses and boats.


Is Lausanne or Bern a more walkable city?

Lausanne
Bern

Bern is well known for its ease of walking around. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Bern is a very walkable destination. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Lausanne is somewhat walkable. Many parts of the city, including the historic sections, and relatively easy to explore on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Lausanne Worth Visiting? and Is Bern Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bern or Lausanne?

How long in Lausanne or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Lausanne and Bern. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Bern than in Lausanne. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Lausanne, and 1-3 days is enough time in Bern.

Families should spend more time in Bern than Lausanne. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Bern, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Bern than Lausanne. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Bern that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Bern than Lausanne if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Bern.


  • How many days in Lausanne or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lausanne 1-2 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Lausanne or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Lausanne. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

The beautiful city of Bern offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Lausanne or Bern?

Lausanne is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Bern is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bern, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Lausanne or Bern?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the diverse destination of Lausanne. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Bern is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Lausanne or Bern?

The international city of Lausanne offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Bern is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Switzerland, The Best Tours for Seniors to Switzerland, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Zurich, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Geneva.


Which place is cheaper, Bern or Lausanne?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Lausanne is $226, while the average daily cost in Bern is $247. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lausanne and Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lausanne $135
    Bern $160
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lausanne $270
    Bern $320
Compare Hotels in Lausanne and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Lausanne or Bern? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Lausanne


Hotels in Bern


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Lausanne Hotel Prices and Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lausanne $40
    Bern $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lausanne

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lausanne:

  • Lausanne accommodation to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer from Geneva Airport to Évian-les-Bains: $163
  • Taxi, Airport Transfer and Limousine Service in Switzerland: $236
  • Private transfer from Vevey to Geneva Airport: $260

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Car Departure Transfer from Bern to Bern Airport BRN: $74
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $193
  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $230

Is it cheaper to fly into Lausanne or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern and Lausanne change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lausanne $61
    Bern $59

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lausanne $37
    Bern $33

Tours and Activities in Lausanne

Here are a few actual costs in Lausanne for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Medieval A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.20
  • Lausanne Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.63
  • Lausanne (City Center) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Lausanne Ouchy District City Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • The Olympic Museum Entrance Ticket in Lausanne: $22
  • Guided Walking Tour in Lausanne: $32
  • Chaplin's World Entrance Ticket: $34
  • Round trip cruise from Vevey to Chillon: $34
  • Boat cruise from Lausanne to Evian: $42
  • Guided tour of the city of Evian-les-Bains: $55
  • Round trip cruise from Lausanne to Chillon: $61
  • Walking Tour in Lausanne Switzerland: $67

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Self-Guided Reading City Tour in Bern: $3.35
  • Self-Guided Tour of Bern's Fountains, Clocktowers, and Legends: $9.99
  • Fribourg Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Thun Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Guided Walking Tour in Bern: $35
  • Bern : Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide (Private tour): $60
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $61
  • Highlights & Hidden Gems of Small Group Guided Walking Tour: $87
  • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Day Pass Ticket for Lake Boat Cruises: $121
  • Bern Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour with a Local: $155
  • Private Tour of Bern - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local: $167

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lausanne $26
    Bern $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Lausanne

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lausanne:

  • Swiss cheese and charcuterie wine tasting: $50


When comparing the travel costs between Lausanne and Bern, we can see that Bern is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Lausanne Expensive? and Is Bern Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Lausanne or Bern?

Bern has a larger population, and is about 4% larger than the population of Lausanne. When comparing the sizes of Lausanne and Bern, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.