The Liberty Shop is a women’s clothing boutique carrying international and Swiss designers. The store is a small temple to minimalism, and carries classic styles along with a few contemporary ones. In addition to clothing, visitors will find carefully collected accessories, and decorative items like posters, journals, and pillows. White walls and light wood dominate the space, while splashes of color come from the pastel color of a shirt or the flower pattern on a throw rug. The store collaborates with local artisans, including some who make leather goods with traditional tanning techniques.
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.
Although it may not not look like much, but Place Saint François is the hub of Lausanne. The hippest of cafés here is the Café Romand. You can also the grand Saint François Church. Many street entertainers perform here and students hang out. Every city has one place where everyone inevitably winds up passing through, and this is the one in Lausanne. You will walk through the square on your way to trendy rue de Bourg, Place de la Palud, Place Riponne and all its museums. Good place to be seen.