This men’s clothing and accessories boutique store carries brands from all over the world, though it shows a slight favoritism for those from France, Sweden, and Japan. The store is small, but packed with elegant clothing that adheres to its governing philosophy of “sober originality,” which refers to the style of a city gentleman. If you ask the owner, Mr. Alain himself, he will carefully describe each item in his store, and why he has chosen to sell it. An inspired collection of rucksacks and backpacks from local designers make a visit to Mr. Alain worthwhile.
This lovely small street runs through part of central Lausanne with Rue de La Paix on the east and Place Saint-François on the west. One of the city’s premier high-end shopping locations, the street is bustling with cafes, shops, alleyways, charming buildings, and cobblestones. It’s a pleasure to walk through and a nice place to rub arms with locals. Many stores on the street, which is one of the oldest in the city, sells goods from international luxury brands.
Walking into Chocolatier Blondel is a bit like walking into a chocolate heaven. The small shop on the cobblestoned Rue de Bourg is surrounded by larger, louder shops in the city center, but it might be one of the best hidden gems in the area. Trays upon trays of chocolate confections of all kinds and varieties line the shelves of the store. These include dark, milk, and white chocolate mixed with nuts, teas, herbs, and dried fruits. The chocolate can be sold in slabs, by weight, or in gift boxes.
Launched in 1987, Maniak is a cavernous clothing store that carries mostly trendy workwear and costumes and costume accessories. There’s an alternative rock hipster vibe to the place, and it’s just as likely to stock work wear as it is to carry band t–shirts and leather jackets. Think Carhartt and Schott jackets, Dickie’s jeans and shirts, and Freitag shoulder bags. Several rooms are dedicated to costumes, where visitors can find masks, feather boas, faux leather, angels wings, and pretty much anything one would want to create any kind of costume.
Métropole is a shopping center in downtown Lausanne, and the largest of its kind in the city and the surrounding region. Here, white-walled, air-condition hallways lead past 50 shops on five levels, including international clothing stores, a supermarket, health and nail salons, pet stores, and dozens of others. The center is modern and spacious, and sometimes organizes promotions with parallel community events, such as circuses, games, and concerts. Recyclub, series of free family workshops about limiting household waste, are run from the shopping center.
Le Flon is a district in central Lausanne that was transformed from a post-war warehouse district into a shopping and entertainment hotspot. The district, which is named after a river that once flowed through the valley that Lausanne sits on, was rehabilitated beginning in the late 1990s after decades of economic downturns. During the rehabilitation, many old buildings were renovated, and a few iconic structures were built. These include some administrative buildings, a seven-screen multiplex movie theater, and new pubs and restaurants. Le Flon has the unusual distinction of having an award-winning parking lot, which won a design prize given by the European Parking Association. The Voie du Chariot, along which many of the districts shop lie, is also home to a fountain that recalls the Flon.
This local outpost of the high-end, Danish electronics brand offers a full-range of Bang & Olufsen's televisions, loudspeakers and sound systems. Renown the world over for its innovative design, state-of-the art tech-specs and uncompromising quality, Bang & Olufsen has everything you need to take home entertainment to the next level. Sleek, minimalist and modern, the brand's products are both stylish and technologically advanced for crystal-clear sound and visuals. Visit the store for advice on how to enhance your home entertainment experience or to shop for the latest Bang & Olufsen gadgets. Private demonstrations can be arranged as well.
Soda is a hidden gem of a vintage clothing and jewelry boutique. To venture inside means to wander into a curiosity shop with impressive collections of retro clothing and accessories. Rails and shelves are loaded with mid-century dresses, patterned blouses, leather jackets, unique purses, striking hats, and patent leather shoes. The styles run the gamut from 1950s movie diva to 1970s jean queen, complete with sun-sized sunglasses and belts. Everything about the store is stylized, from the herringbone wooden floors, to the brocade patterns on the wall and plush furniture. Soda seems a little out of step with Lausanne, which prefers subdued styles, but it’s a good thing it exists.