The first written record of Ecublens appears around the year 960, when it was called Scubilingis, in a document recording the property of the cathedral of Lausanne. This document mentions that Scubilingis is situated near Renens.
On May 9, 1476, Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, gathered his army in Ecublens after his defeat at the Battle of Grandson, in preparation for the Battle of Morat. The area was under the Bernese Occupation from 1536 until 1798, when French troops arrived. On May 12,1800, Napoleon inspected two divisions of his troops in Ecublens on his way to the Great St Bernard Pass during his Italian campaign of 1800.
Well-known citizens of Ecublens include Treytorrens de Loys, who commanded a division during the First World War and Francois de Loys. During his exile in Switzerland, Lenin stayed briefly in Ecublens several times.
Ecublens is located on a moraine. Three rivers run through the municipality: the Venoge, Sorge and Chamberonne.
Ecublens is served by the Lausanne metro line 1 and several bus lines. The nearest train station is Renens.