You have probably heard about Geneva and the stereotypes associated with the city. However, the only way that you can know the city well is through exploration and getting to know firsthand how life is and what makes it unique. Geneva is famous for chocolate, watchmaking, fondue, amazing nightlife among other aspects. Geneva has changed over time and in terms of creativity and diversity, the neighborhoods have undergone tremendous changes.
Lake Geneva is the most iconic location that draws people to the region because of its exquisite look and location. The lush waterside parks and promenades with a slice of the Alps Mountain in the background is everything that you would enjoy during your visit. Geneva is a world beacon for diplomacy and it houses major international organizations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations. Besides, experts from different locations across the world come to explore their scientific research in CERN.
How To Get To Geneva
There are different ways that you can travel to Geneva. If you are flying in it is simple, you can book any flight that will get you to Geneva international airport. It is the busiest airport that most visitors pass through when they are visiting Geneva. Besides, numerous international flights usually come to Switzerland.
Having been opened in the 1920s the airport has grown over time to become one of the principal hubs in Switzerland. On the other hand, if you want to use trains, there are trains that pass-through Geneva.
You can get to Geneva from different European cities, and mostly this is the fastest means if you are looking to explore different cities in Europe. Besides, there are buses the ply the Geneva route. There is a bus station close to the train station, therefore, bus providers can arrive in the city and enjoy their stay before exploring the city.
However, if you choose to drive to Geneva then you will have to use A1 and you will be required to purchase a toll ticket. The speed requirement is 120 kilometers per hour and you can get to the city within a few hours since the country can be crossed in 3 hours by a car.
Geneva as well has excellent train connections from multiple locations in Switzerland and France, have a look at all time schedules and ticket prices right here: Swiss trains.
What to do in Geneva
Geneva is one of the top European destinations and as a tourist, you are going to have fun in the city because it has so much to offer. Here are some of the fun activities that you can do in Geneva.
1. Explore Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in central Europe and it brings all the drama and oomph you need in a natural splendor of the Alps region. You can get the best of the lake by visiting it during the summer because all the activities are at a peak during this season. The lake’s beauty is exceptional and it has influenced how the city has been designed. There is a promenade that was constructed around the shore in the 19th century. There are palatial townhouses and serene parks around the lake and you can get to enjoy your holiday in one of these palatial homes.
On the lake you can get to other cities as well, I really recommend trying it as you will love the views from the boat.
2. Jet D’Eau
Located in the heart of the city where the Rhone continues with its natural course into France. The jetty is an exceptional monument that has gained a global phenomenon. The jet has five hundred liters of water ejected to a height of 140 meters and this creates an exceptional feature that many people like about the city. It is imperative that as much as you would like to enjoy the view you should stay at some distance because it is prone to wind and you might get wet.
3. St. Pierre Cathedral
This Geneva cathedral is one of the most sought-after religious buildings in the region. It has been in the region for so many years right now and you can visit it whenever you are in the city. You will never miss admiring the structures as well as the unique architecture. Beyond the neoclassical façade, there are other aspects that you can enjoy looking in the city. The architecture of the building dates back to the 12th century and you will never miss an awesome moment in this location. In addition, you can also climb the cathedral towers and enjoy an exquisite view of the Alps.
4. Vielle Ville
When visiting Switzerland, you should allow a few hours to satisfy your curiosity around the city. You will get to know some of the features of the city. Vielle Ville spirals around the hill and it is enveloped by the defensive walls. You can get around the cobblestone streets and stairways as you get to the highest point. You will surely enjoy the view that you will see from the top.
In the western part of Geneva, you will come across the headquarters of the European organization for nuclear research. This is where historic scientific experiments are carried out in one of the largest physics laboratories. At the visitor’s centre, you can get to explore scientific experiments that are being carried out and the effects of nuclear energy on different aspects of life.
6. Explore Patek Phillipe museum
I personally love the iconic Patek Phillipe advertising campaign with slogan: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe…“. Meaning that these kind of watches travels through generations: to childrend, grandchildren and so on. They are that good.
In the early 20th century there was a rapid growth in the watchmaking sector. During this period companies in Switzerland have grown and this museum gives you an insight into the same. The museum has watches from the 15th to 19th century and you will get to understand how the process has developed over time. On the ground floor of the museum you will see reconstruction benches and you will even see a watchmaker on the workshop working on watches.
All information about the museum you find here: Patek Philippe museum.
7. Palais Des Nations
New York hosts the United Nations office and Switzerland is home to its predecessor the League of Nations. The complex hosts thousands of intergovernmental meetings and you will find tour guides who understand more than 15 languages. Your level of access is dependent on your contingent. However, it typically involves a council chamber, assembly hall, alliance of civilization, and human rights room.
8. Bains Des Pâquis
This location pokes out into La rade and it is close to the jet springs, however, Bains des Paquis are public baths along the west shore of Lake Geneva. It is imperative to note that this is not just somewhere that people meet to socialize it is a location where cultural events take place in the summer. The outdoor pool is very popular during warm months and you can sunbathe as you grab some lunch at the restaurant on the terrace.
9. Mont Salève
When it is overcast in Geneva there are blue skies at the mountain peak at the edge of the city. The mountain is dubbed as the balcony of Geneva and you can use a cable car to go enjoy a breeze up the mountain. The cable car has been in operation since 1932 and if you feel that you would like to challenge yourself then you can hike to the top of the mountain. At the summit, you will find cafes where you can enjoy a drink as you look at the amazing views.
Opening times and prices you will find here: Mont Saleve.
10. Explore the botanical garden
Geneva’s botanical garden is located at the western lakeshore as you cross the railway from the UN offices. The park contains over fourteen thousand plant species and you will be amazed at how the species beautify the garden. The herbarium of the garden contains over six million specimens and they continue to increase the specimens daily. The themed garden features plants that will evoke your senses and you will feel something new as especially during summer or spring.
11. Visit the international museum of the reformation
This is the home of John Calvin and it depicts the story of reformation. It is one of the most defining chapters in the history of the city. The exhibitions have a major historical significance and you should be well informed if you visit the museum. They have a rich archive where you can learn a lot about the changes that have happened over time and how Switzerland has grown from one level to the next.
Information about opening times and tickets is right here: Reformation museum in Geneva.
12. Get to know the natural history museum
This is the largest museum in Switzerland and it was modernized in the 60s. In the collection are insect specimens that were collected in the 19th and 18th centuries by Louis Jurine a renowned entomologist. What is more amazing is the taxidermies on the ground floor. The museum also has living animals and you can get to meet a tortoise with two heads and other animals as well.
All the museum information you can find here: Natural history museum in Geneva.
13. Parc De La Grange
This is the largest city park in Geneva and the most beautiful of all is situated at the shores of the lake. It is well laid out over the terraces and you have a stairway where you can move from step to step. Space was settled by wealthy residents and there are ruins of a Roman villa. Two theaters stage productions from May through September.
14. Maison travel
This is a part of the art and history museum and it is a unique house in the middle of the old town. It is the oldest home in Geneva and dates back to the 14th century. There is a rich history and you can learn from the residents in the area.
15. Jardin Anglais
This is one of the most amazing waterfronts that was spruced up by the English style and it is located to the north of the old town. The centerpiece is a fountain and the carvings in this part radiate the exquisite monument you will have fun taking a picture with the monument.
Top things to do in Geneva conclusion
Geneva is an exceptional city and it is rich in diversity. There are numerous places that you can visit and you are not limited to the list above. What are you waiting for? Book your travel and get to know the Swiss culture and its unique topography.
If you have any questions about Geneva, please let me know, I will do my best to help you. I have visited Geneva multiple times and really loved it.
If you have visited all you want in Geneva, I have prepared a really entertaining list of best one day destinations from Geneva, you are going to love it: Top destinations from Geneva.
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