A central position in Switzerland and Europe

The canton of Vaud enjoys a privileged geographical location in Switzerland and is situated right in the heart of Europe, with France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria to the east and Italy to the south.

The fourth largest of the 26 cantons that make up the Swiss Confederation, Vaud is also the biggest and most heavily populated canton in French-speaking Switzerland (which comprises the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Valais, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Jura, encompassing 30% of the country and 25% of its population). The canton of Vaud is also a major crossroads for the main road and rail routes in Switzerland: the Geneva-Basel axis (North-South) and the Geneva-Berne-Zurich axis (East-West) both pass through Lausanne, the capital of Vaud.

Thus Lausanne acts as the hub for connections between French-speaking Switzerland and Berne, the country’s political capital (one hour away by train or car), and Zurich, the country’s business capital (two hours by train or car, one hour by air).

Geneva and its international airport are just forty minutes from Lausanne (65 km). This puts Vaud’s towns and cities within easy reach of the major European destinations: Paris, Milan, London, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Brussels are just an hour away by air; Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Helsinki and Vienna can be reached in under two hours. Long-haul flights from Geneva airport reach all four corners of the globe (New York: 8 hours, Tokyo and San Francisco: 15 hours).

Thus, its strategic, central location puts Vaud at the economic crossroads of Europe’s markets.


The canton of Vaud in 2015
Basic data about geography, history, economy and institutions