Geneva is a canton of Switzerland and its capital city of the same name. (Not to be confused with the capital of the state). It is modestly located in the westernmost corner of the country, right on the French border. The city is surrounded by the stunning Alps and the magnificent Lake Geneva, also called Lac Léman.
Travelers rush here not for architectural masterpieces. But this city is Swiss-like measured and respectable. It is often compared to a sea anchor that attracts, connects and unites two countries: France and Switzerland.
Travellizy Team sends you to Geneva to find there relaxation, chocolate and exact time.
The City of Geneva
The beautiful promenade along the lake, many parks, elegant shops and the lovely side streets of the Old Town tune to long walks. Most of the hotels and restaurants are located on the right bank. The Old Town, business district and shopping street are located on the left bank. They are connected by many water taxis called Mouettes.
What do you first notice in Geneva? There are no countless supermarkets here. But there are many watch shops, jewelry and chocolate shops.
It is here that the headquarters of the Red Cross is located. Tourists can visit the museum of the same name at the headquarters. Entrance costs € 14, admission is free for visitors, who are up to 12 years old.
The world's best and finest watches are produced in Switzerland. Famous houses such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Breguet can be found in and around Geneva. Some well-known brands have opened their own museums. For example, the collection of the Patek Philippe Museum contains items dating back to the Middle Ages. Entrance fee is € 9, for those who are up to 18 years old, admission is free.
Geneva is home to world famous chocolate manufacturers, including La Maison du Cacao, Teuscher, Chocolaterie des Bergues and Zogg. Tourists can go on organized chocolate making tours.
The City's Attractions
Travelers advise to explore the main places of Geneva: the 140-meter-long Jet d'Eau Fontaine, which began its history in 1886, the Reformation Wall, which rises in the Parc des Bastions. The tall figures of the reformers stand near the wall. And on the wall itself, there is an inscription “Post Tenebras Lux” (Latin for "Light after darkness"). Speaking about the attractions, you should also visit the Reformation Museum. Entrance fee is € 12.
It is interesting to see the Old Town of Geneva, where you can feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Make sure to climb the 157 steps of St. Pierre Cathedral and admire the panorama. Find the secret passages of medieval streets.
Tourists love the multicultural Quartier des Bains with international exhibitions, trendy bars and cafes.
And the idea of creating the World Wide Web was once born at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is located here. Thanks to this, today you can learn so much about piece of land millions of miles away. Interesting thematic exhibitions are held here. Admission is free. But you must have your passport with you.
The European headquarters of the United Nations is also based in Geneva. That is why it is often called the Capital of Peace. There are guided tours for groups with price of € 9.5. Climbing the Salève mountain peak, you will discover another observation deck with views of the enchanting city and its surroundings.
What Else Shouldn't Be Missed
Go on a picnic or spa surfing on Lake Geneva. On a clear day, you can see Mont Blanc, the highest point of the Alps, from the embankment. Don't forget that Geneva is known as the gastronomic capital of Switzerland. Among the most popular dishes are cheese fondue, smoked pork, pork sausages with caraway seeds and pear cake. Try river and lake fish recipes. While having dinner, taste local classic vines such as Gamay, Pinot noir and Chasselas.
The most popular destination among the residents of Geneva is the Bains des Pâquis. In August, the Sunrise Summer Festival takes place here every morning. All comers gather at 6 am to enjoy live music, sunrise and a delicious breakfast. Also in summer, a free open-air cinema opens on the lakeside.
Important Events in Geneva
The canton's annual events attract many tourists. Vernissage Communs, a modern vernissage, is held here three times a year. It attracts artists, photographers and art lovers. Exhibitions are held in various locations. Entrance costs from € 4.5.
Since 1905, each spring has started with the Geneva International Motor Show, a very important event. It will present novelties from world famous auto brands. The event takes place at the Palexpo convention and exhibition center, near the international airport. In 2020, the event was canceled due to the global pandemic. Changes to the event for the spring of 2022 resulted in losses of more than € 10 million.
The Escalade Festival is held annually on the weekend close to December 11th. It’s a victory day over Catholic troops. The population recalls a brave girl who poured a cauldron of hot soup on those who besieged the city. Since then, the producers of sweets have made large cauldrons of chocolate filled with marzipan vegetables. And the people are happy to break the chocolate cauldron.
The big summer annual music festivals are Geneva Festival, Gena Festival. They delight everyone with bright music concerts, carnivals, children's shows and sports competitions. Admission is free to most events.
Geneva as a Resort
Green tourism enthusiasts admire the unity with nature on the shores of Lake Geneva and Mont Salève. In summer, beach areas open: pebbly Genève Plage and Bains des Pâquis, as well as a sandy beach for children, Baby-Plage.
Residents and guests of the city go to water activities: diving, sailing, yachting. They fly in a helicopter and a hot air balloon over the lake. In the mountains, they go rafting, paragliding and canoeing.
How to get there
Cointrin, the nearest airport, is located on the border with France. Exit from this air hub can be both in France and Switzerland. It is located just 4 km from the center of Geneva.
At the airport, you can get a free ticket to the main railway station of the city. Only in the baggage claim hall, you will find the “Billet Gratuit/Free Ticket” machine. The ticket is valid 80 minutes from the moment of receipt and only with a plane ticket.
When is the best time to visit Geneva
The sunniest city in Switzerland awaits tourists all year round. Mountain ranges protect the area from strong winds. Set aside summer for excursions. It rarely rains here, the temperature is +25°C. In winter, it is usually not lower than +2°C. It snows from December to March, which pleases skiers.
For the record
Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs. The adapter is sold in supermarkets and costs € 4.5-8.5. In hotels, adapters are provided to guests.
In hotels, restaurants, cafes and public places, Wi-Fi is generally free.
Fountains with free drinking water are located throughout the city. They are marked by a glass of water.
By purchasing a Swiss SIM card, tourists get a cheaper mobile Internet + the ability to buy tickets for transport via SMS.
Geneva can boast free public transport, buses, trains and water taxis. When staying at a hostel, campsite or hotel, you receive a Geneva Transport Card. It is personal and valid for the entire stay.
Geneva is an expensive city. But it offers travelers a welcoming atmosphere, provides them with small pleasant bonuses and has caring drinking fountains. Travellizy Team assures that tourists with any budget will be very comfortable here.