Lausanne is built on the southern slope of the Swiss plateau, with a difference in elevation of about 500 meters between the lakeshore at Ouchy and its northern edge of Le Mont-sur-Lausanne and Épalinges. Dramatic panorama over the lake and the Alps is a unique hallmark of the city. The French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura Mountains lies just across in its north-west, which is about 45 minutes of cruise over the lake. It lies in a noted wine-growing region.
It is the fourth largest city in Switzerland with a population of 146372, as of November 2015. Being located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland French, German and Italian, are the most widely spoken languages, while German is the official language. It has an average of 119.7 days of rain or snow per year. The wettest month is May with an average of 117 mm of rain. The driest month is February with an average of 67 mm of precipitation over 8.8 days. Average minimum temperature has been -7.0 C over the past 20 years.
Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee (which recognizes the city as the "Olympic Capital" since 1994), the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations. Lausanne will host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics. The city has the distinction of being the smallest city in the world with a rapid transit system having a 28-station metro system.