If you have already visited Geneva and all its beautiful places, let us discover other possible day trips from Geneva for you.
There are two best ways to travel from Geneva to the recommended places: by train or by rented car. If you are a bigger group of people, I highly recommend renting a car as it will save you some money: rent prices and gas price will be lower than ticket prices, especially if your group is bigger than 2 people.
On the other hand, although trains are more expensive, you will go through some pretty amazing places and the train rides in Switzerland are immensely beautiful, especially through the mountains. If you are planning to travel for more than one or two days, I highly recommend buying the Swiss Pass.
8 of my recommended destinations are in Switzerland and two of them are in France. I just can’t ignore two beautiful locations very close to Geneva, and as you know, Geneva is right on the border with France. But IF you go to France from Geneva, better to go with train, because some of the rental car companies do not allow to cross the border OR charge much more.
In this post I will focus on these helpful things: How to get to the destination, distance from Geneva and best thing or things to do there.
Let us dive in into the list.
Day trips from Geneva in Switzerland
I have prepared a list of 8 destination in Switzerland. Some of them are on the same lake as Geneva, so just 1 hour drive, others are a bit further and you will get into the Swiss Alps. I hope you enjoy each of them.
Even though you will have to travel 94 kilometers, Montreux is still on the same lake as Geneva, right on the other side of it.
Montreux is in a stunning location with great views to huge mountains, surrounded by vineyards and right on this crystal clear lake. One other important details about Montreux: the famous Freddie Mercury was living there. Just imagine that he could quite literally live where ever he wanted and he chose Montreux.
Best thing to do in Montreux: Right on the shores of the lake they have a beautiful Chillon castle. I highly recommend reaching Chillon castle by foot, so you can enjoy a beautiful walk by the lake. Chillon is a medieval castle and the first written record of this castle was found back in 1005. So this castle, at least the base of it is more than 1000 years old. It was once a very important and strategic castle securing the Roman roads (Switzerland was once in the Roman empire).
During centuries the castle had several owners and once even was a prison for some people in religion wars back in the 16th century. Chillon castle is one of the most visited castles in Switzerland and its rich history definitely plays a huge role in that.
Please visit their official website for tickets and opening times: Chillon castle.
Distance from Geneva: 94 km, 1h 10 minutes.
Other things to check out in Montreux: Freddy Mercury statue, Montreux promenada, Plexus Art Gallery.
Vevey is yet another fascinating location in Switzerland on the same lake as Geneva.
Vevey had even more famous people living there: Charlie Chaplin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau – the most famous Swiss writer, Victor Hugo and many others. Vevey was like a magnet for famous writers and artists. The spirits of Vevey are really high.
Definitely the beauty and the tranquility plays a huge role there. Just imagine how pristine, beautiful, calm was Vevey back in the 18th century when Jean-Jacques Rousseau was writing his famous novels there.
Best thing to do in Vevey: one of the most interesting places in Vevey is called Alimentarium. You would never guess what it is. It is a museum dedicated to food. Simply as that. But in these days and our nutrition habits, I think it is very important once again to come back to basics and maybe learn something new. What can be more important than our health?
It is a very cool museum in an old building (all new inside). It is in a very beautiful location and from local cafe you can observe the lake if you wish. In this museum they do courses, group visits and much more.
And what about this fork in the lake near Vevey. Well it is all part of Alimentarium 🙂 Discover more in Vevey!
Please check all the latest information, ticket prices and opening times right here: Alimentarium.
Distance from Geneva: 90km, 1 hour.
Other things to check out in Vevey: Charlie Chaplin statue, Swiss camera museum, Musee Jenisch Vevey.
Gruyere is a very very famous cheese production place. It would be probably hard to count how many awards their cheese has won in the world. If you are there, you must try their cheese.
Gruyeres is a medieval little town on situated on the hill, it is like a little fortress up there and there is a beautiful castle on the top. You are going to love the wandering in the town’s streets and alleys.
There are many nice hiking trails around Gruyeres as well, and quite easy and pleasant ones as Gruyeres is in more flat part of Switzerland.
Best thing to do in Gruyeres: it is pretty hard to choose one best thing to do there because on one hand it is a historical town with castles, but on the other hand it has pretty much the most bizzare museum I have ever seen: HR Giger Museum. Have you ever seen a movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver? So that place looks like it was infested by those Aliens 🙂 It is a pretty cool museum which is filled with the works of artist Giger. It is even strange that they put such a weird museum in historical medieval town, not in some fancy district of Zürich, but it really really stands out.
Have a look at their official website for all the information you may need: HR Giger Museum. You are going to love it or hate it.
Distance from Geneva: 121 km, 1h 27 min.
Other things to check out in Gruyeres: Former Chartreuse De La Part-Dieu, Gruyeres Castle, Saint-German castle.
Zermatt is probably one of the most famous destinations in all the Switzerland. It definitely makes the list of the most charming villages in Switzerland: top 15 most beautiful villages in Switzerland.
Zermatt is a car free village full of Swiss Alps history. It has the most famous Swiss mountain in its backyard. Do you know the Toblerone chocolate? That is the mountain on the package of it.
Zermatt is a perfect mountain lovers location which offers a great escape from the modern life. You can do hours and hours of hiking, days and days, and you still won’t do all the hiking trails which are around Zermatt.
It really deserves to be one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland, if not all Europe.
Best thing to do in Zermatt: you must get up to Matterhorn glacier paradise. It is the highest mountain station in all Europe, it sits at astonishing 3883 meters. Pretty close to 4 kilometers altitude. Just be aware, you may feel the lack of oxygen up there. I felt it, I was very slow all the times I have visited it. The thing is that with cable cars you get pretty fast up there, and you may feel a bit dizzy in the beginning.
But don’t be afraid, go out and get to the viewing point: the views to all the 4000 meter peaks and the valley are breathtaking.
On the top, if you are lucky and sky is clear, you will see the highest mountain in Europe: Mont Blanc.
In Matterhorn glacier paradise you will find an ice museum/maze/rooms, a coffee place where you can rest and much more. It is one of a kind place in Europe.
Check all the information right here: Matterhorn glacier paradise.
Distance from Geneva: 232km, 2h 50 min.
Other things to check out in Zermatt: Matterhorn Museum, Gornergrat.
Leukerbad is yet another great Swiss Alps destination which is surrounded by huge mountain walls.
It is the last village on the road, so literally, after Leukerbad – only big mountains.
Leukerbad is a great destination for skiers and hikers all year round. There is a great skiing resort for winter activities, and a lot of hiking trails for summer nature lovers.
Best thing to do in Leukarbad: you must get to Gemmi Pass. There is a cable car station in Leukerbad which can get you up the mountains and you will get to a very beautiful mountain pass called Gemmi. It has a huge lake on the top and you can hike along it. Do not go swimming, as I was there in mid July and it was crazy cold. Unless you are used to cold swims.
Even though Gemmi Pass is at 2270 meters altitude, it is all surrounded by even higher mountains. You can hike to those peaks, you can hike all around the lake or you can hike to Hotel Schwarenbach where you can have your lunch or a cup of coffee.
If you don’t want to hike, there’s a very nice renovated restaurant right next to the cable car station on the mountain with fantastic views.
Please check all the information right here: Gemmi Pass cable car.
Distance from Geneva: 200km, 2h 30 min.
Other things to check out in Leukerbad: Thermalquellen-Weg & -Steg, Leukerbad Therme.
Lausanne is probably the second most popular destination in Swiss french side right after Geneva. As Vevey and Montreux – it is still on the same lake as Geneva. The views from the shore are spectacular and Lausanne as well has a very charming old town.
You are going to love the walks both by the lake and in the city center. Lausanne as well has a very nice beach, so in the summer time, if weather is sunny, you can have a very nice swim in this crystal clear lake.
In Lausanne you can see that the architecture is affected by French: it is shiny, bright and much more luxurious than the one in German part of Switzerland.
Best thing to do in Lausanne: Lausanne is full of amazing buildings, museums, churches and many other artefacts, but I think the boat tour on the lake is pretty amazing. The lake, the mountains surrounding it makes the boat lake pretty breathtaking.
There boat routes to quite a lot of places and some of them can even take you to France, so there’s a wide variety of boat destinations. You can check all the destinations here: Lake Geneva boat routes from Lausanne. So, while visiting Lausanne, you can visit even other places, rest there, have lunch and then come back by boat back to Lausanne.
And the pictures you are going to make on lake Geneva are going to explode your Instagram account. It is even hard to find words to explain how beautiful is there.
Tickets, routes and timetables are right here: Lausanne boat rides.
Distance from Geneva: 63km, 57 minutes.
Other things to check out in Lausanne: Olympic Museum, Château d’Ouchy and Promenade, Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Collection de l’Art Brut, Hermitage Foundation.
Sion is a very lucky city as its location is fascinating: next to big mountains surrounded by countless vineyards.
If you are going to Sion via highway, it will be hard to miss it: it has a huge castle in the middle of the city on a big hill. Hard to miss it.
Sion is a perfect location to relax and have some good Swiss wine.
City itself is not very big, so you can reach everything on foot and you will love the views from the castles.
Best thing to do in Sion: In Sion I would highly recommend connecting to activities: one is historic one, one is more fun one.
Sion has a very beautiful castle called Tourbillon which has a rich history and first was build back in the 13th century. Entrance to it is free and you will get very good views of Sion itself and the surrounding places.
Right after the castle tour, I recommend to do some wine tasting as this region is famous for it. You can head to Les Fils de Charles Favre (address: Avenue de Tourbillon 29, 1950 Sion) and taste white or red wine of your own choice.
Distance from Geneva: 160km, 1h 50 min.
Other things to check out in Sion: Real fly, Maison de la Nature, Chateau Valere and the Basilica.
Gryon is a small village in the Swiss Alps with a very nice historic buildings. There is even a tour in Gryon where you can walk by the old buildings and the billboards of information are set up there. Just one note: information just in french.
Gryon is a very charming little village sitting in the mountains and all the big peaks are almost reachable by hand. You just need to walk a bit and you will get to amazing hiking trails all around. Even in Gryon itself you walk down or up, there’s almost no flat road there.
Once you wander around Gryon, you almost wish to have your summer villa right there, it is that beautiful up there.
Best thing to do in Gryon: Hike in Les Chaux. Very close to Gryon, there is another small village called Barbaleuse and it has a cable car station which can take you up to 1700 m altitude in 5 minutes. Ticket price back and forth: 20 CHF.
From Les Chaux I highly recommend hiking a bit up, around 300 meters (gain in altitude) is Chaux Ronde – a beautiful peak with a cross on it. You are going to fall in love with the views from there. Huge mountains all around. If you wish, you can even hike further, the windy paths are calling every hiker. If you are lucky, you may even see an eagle or two. This place is nature’s place. The tranquility is taking place there.
Distance from Geneva: 127km, 1h 38 min.
Other things to check out in Gryon: Place de jeux Barboleuse, Buffet de la Gare Gryon.
Day trips from Geneva in France
As Geneva is right on the border with France, there are quite many destination in France you can visit, but I have chose two of many which I really liked myself and I think you can have a really great time there.
It is probably one of the most beautiful french cities next to French Alps. It has a very charming medieval old town, beautiful walks by the lake and clear views to the mountains.
Annecy is quite a big city with population over 120 000 people, but you will not feel like being in an overcrowded place, you will love the wandering in the old town, especially the narrow alleys and the river running through it. It is like a very small copy of Venice.
Annecy is full of museums, churches and other old buildings; is rich in history and great architecture, many restaurants, hotels and beautiful boutiques. You will love the walks in Annecy.
Best thing to do in Annecy: I know that Annecy has an outstanding old town and beautiful lake, but what about hiking this time and taking pictures of all this beautiful place from the top? Sounds good?
Once you get to the lake, you will see that on the other side of the lake there is a mountain. It is called Col des Sauts and you will love the views from the top.
You can start hiking right in the city or get a bit closer to the base of the mountain, but if you start in Annecy, the hike is 6 kilometers and you will have to gain 700 meters in altitude (if you feel tired, no need to push to the top, the views will be amazing even midway). Do not forget to take plenty of water and some snacks, so you won’t get tired.
Distance from Geneva: 41 km, 43 minutes.
Other things to check out in Annecy: Château d’Annecy, Église Notre Dame de Liesse, Le Palais de I’lle
The last, but definitely not least – Chamonix. If you are at least a bit interested in mountains, you must know this place. It is the place where people try to conquer the biggest mountain in Europe: Mont Blanc. Oh, and for sure, it has an amazing skiing resort.
Chamonix is an old charming mountain village and resort which is pretty much always full of people who are looking for adventure: it can be some high hiking trails, it can be Mont Blanc, it can be some amazing skiing routes or it can simply be a perfect escape from big city life.
Chamonix is as charming as it can get.
Best thing to do in Chamonix: Of course, the easiest answer would be: Climb the Mont Blanc. But it is not for everyone, it is a hard climb only for the ones who are ready, are trained, have time and have hired a mountain guide. I would not recommend doing it only on your own, unless you are really experienced.
BUT with a cable car you can get to a pretty fascinating point in the mountains up there: Aiguille du Midi. Just in 20 minutes you will get to astonishing 3842 meters altitude. Just imagine the beauty up there. In the terraces of Aiguille du Midi you will get a 360 degrees view of Italian, French and Swiss Alps, and if all is good: clear view to Mont Blanc. What can be better for a mountain lover? It is a place for you to go.
Ticket price back and forth: 65 euros. Check all the information right here: Aiguille du Midi.
Distance from Geneva: 81km, 1 hour.
Other things to check out in Chamonix: Musée Alpin Chamonix, Le Brévent.
Geneva is in a pretty lucky location as it is surrounded by such a beautiful places: from big fascinating cities to charming villages and huge mountains.
If you are looking more for nature and mountain destination: pick Chamonix or Zermatt.
If you want to visit a charming Swiss village: pick Gryon, Leukerbad or Gruyeres.
If you want to have more cultural trip: pick Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux, Annecy or Sion.
I hope you love all of these destination from Geneva and will have a great time.
If you have any questions regarding day trips from Geneva, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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