Arriving in Switzerland

1. How to come from Zurich or Geneva airport to Lausanne:

For the schedules :



Try to take an ICN or IC (around 2 hours and 30 minutes from Zurich / 45 minutes from Geneva)

About the price :

I think that you might be interested in buying a "half-fare travelcard" and maybe "Track 7" please check these possibilities on

The half fare travelcard costs CHF 175.00 and you travel half the price everywhere in Switzerland. If you are interested, you should buy it just upon arrival at Geneva Airport (or Zürich Airport). Full price tickets are very expensive in Switzerland: example: Lausanne-Zürich return: 140.00, Lausanne-Zermatt return: 150.00. Lausanne-Geneva Airport return: CHF 54.00.

One useful hint:

When you are at the train station (at GVA airport or Zurich airport), please ask for a SWISS PASS (it's free :-)) and directly buy there your Lausanne bus pass zone 11 and 12 for one month.It will make your arrival in Lausanne easier as you will be able to take any bus and metro without trying to understand how to pay for it!


From Zurich :

One way / second class / CHF 76.- (it will cost half with the half-fare travelcard)

From Geneva :

One way / second class / CHF 25.-(it will cost half with the half-fare travelcard)

 To buy at the station / desk or machine before going into the train


Both Zurich and Geneva station are at the same place as the airport. ( it’s a 5 minutes walk)

2. How to come to EPFL/LAP

info on this link:


3. Arriving in Lausanne

Depending where you have to go, you might have to take a bus or metro from Lausanne station. To go to Lausanne center, you have to cross the road in front of Lausanne station and take the Metro (M2) direction CROISETTES, leave at the first stop FLON, it takes one minute. At place du Flon there is a customer center to buy a monthly pass (CHF 41.-). (with the M2 you arrive at level -1, the customer center is at level 0)

The bus ticket has to be bought at the machine before entering the bus

Choose GRAND-LAUSANNE option (touchscreen machine)

 (please note that the machines change often…it might be slightly different…)

CHF 2.-  with the half-fare travelcard

CHF 2.40 without


4. Residence Permit

Only if you stay more than 3 months:

You are required to register at the Contrôle des habitants in the commune in which you live within 14 days after your arrival in Switzerland. This also applies to persons of Swiss nationality coming from another canton.

If you are living in temporary accommodation (until you find a permanent address), you must nonetheless report to the commune in which this temporary accommodation is situated in order to start the process for obtaining your residence permit. Without a residence permit, you will not be able to open a bank account or leave the country temporarily (for holidays, a seminar, etc.). Remember to inform the post office of your new permanent address as you will receive your residence permit by post.

You will find all the address of the Contrôle des habitants of each commune on this page.

For Lausanne : Rue du Port-Franc 18 (at Flon / pedestrian zone)

To take with you to register at the commune:

1) You must fill out the form on the following page: under point 7/Annonce et rapport d'arrivée. We suggest you complete this form before you go to the Contrôle des habitants in order to save time.

2) passport

3) proof of accomodation

4) 2 passport photos

5) invitation letter / work contrat

6) birth certificate  and wedding certificate


for european people: CHF 65.- (canton) + CHF 20.- (commune)

For other nationalities: CHF 117.- (canton) + CHF 20.- (commune)


5. Biometric data registration

If you stay more than 3 months in Switzerland, you will be asked  to register biometric datas a the centre de Biométrie at Flon, Lausanne.

To take with you : passport

Price : CHF 20.-

6. Bank/post account

Salaries and scholarships are usually paid on bank or post account, it's the reason why you have to take care of this as soon as possible when you arrive at EPFL.


If you come for a short time (internship, up to 3 months) : You don't need to register at the commune and unfortunately because of that, you are not allowed to open a bank of post account in Switzerland. We will transfer your scholarships on your account in your country or pay you cash if you come from Iran.


If you come for a longer time (more than 3 months) : please choose between post or bank account. (ask Chantal for more details) . ,You have to present your residence permit or attestation proving that you asked for it + passport + address in Switzerland.

7. Important / safety video to watch

Please watch the 3 videos on this page :

8. Monthly bus pass

If you want to buy a monthly bus pass :


buy it directly at the train station of the airport (as mentioned under "useful hint") or:

go to Place du Flon (terminus M1 / outside of the main building, there is another building "service clients")

What to ask :

- A monthly pass for zone 11/12 (in french : abonnement mensuel, zone 11/12)

- if you are less than 26 y.o, you get a discount (take your passport with you)

CHF 49.- (less than 26 y.o.)

CHF 70.- (for everybody else)


You can also buy it directly as GVA airport: (this way you don't have to pay for the first bus ride when you arrive in Lausanne!)

go to a desk at CFF station at Geneva Airport, ask for a "SWISSPASS" and for a monthly "Mobility buspass for Lausanne, zone 11 and 12"