I recently had an amazing opportunity in July to visit Geneva, Switzerland with the Geneva Tourism Board. Switzerland has always been on my bucket list for many years, so I was really excited to explore it! Geneva is a city that lies at the southern tip of Lake Geneva, surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains. From Geneva, you can see Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Here’s a quick city guide to Geneva, Switzerland!
Things to know before your trip:
- Best time to visit is the summer June-August and December-April for winter activities
- Free Geneva transport card: when staying in a hotel you will receive a free transport card. Public transportation in Geneva is completely FREE (bus, train, and boats)
- Geneva Pass can be purchased for 1, 2 or 3 days: it provides special discounts, free entry to attractions and transportation
- Credit card is widely accepted
- Many people speak English and French
- Switzerland is known for fondue and chocolate so eat lots of it!
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel President Wilson is a luxury contemporary hotel with views of the lake and Mont Blanc.
WHAT TO DO
Explore Geneva’s Old Town – Geneva’s old town has a lot of charm and history. Wander around the cobblestone streets, get lost and visit Saint Peters Cathedral for panoramic views of the city. There are no elevators so be prepared to walk up 157 stairs but the views are worth it!
Food Tour & Explore Carouge – There are so many restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream shops and chocolate shops so the best way to try everything is doing a food tour or feel free to wander on your own into the local shops. We had a mini chocolate tour at Chocolaterie Philippe Pascoët.
River Rafting – A fun summer activity in Geneva is going river rafting!! It’s quite an experience if you haven’t done it. The water is quite cold so try not to fall in. I didn’t expect to have so much fun but we had a blast!
Fishing on Lake Geneva – Lake Geneva is known for their fresh fish caught in the lake so of course, we went fishing! Perch is a fish that is mostly caught from the lake. This was my first time fishing and we caught plenty of Perch but also this large fish!
Picnic in the park – Immerse yourself and feel like a local by having a picnic at the du Parc des Eaux-Vives. With views of the lake, have a relaxing evening at the park. During the summer they have Music in Summer which is a concert that takes place around Geneva.
Explore the International District – Explore the UN building, the broken chair, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
Countryside Bike Tour – Take a bike tour with an electric bike along the beautiful countryside
Day trip to Yvoire – Geneva borders France so a day trip to Yvoire is a must! It’s situated on the lake and takes less than 1.5 hours to arrive by boat. Yvoire is a small medieval town and one not to be missed. Stop by Les Jardins du Leman for lunch with views of the castle.
Day trip to Mont Blanc – Take a day trip to visit the highest mountain in the Alps. It’s a popular mountain resort of Chamonix where you can ride the cable car to Aiguille du Midi for panoramic views.
Day trip to Montreux – Montreaux is a little over an hour by train or car. Offshore is a stunning medieval island castle, Château de Chillon.
WHERE TO EAT
La Perle Du Lac – What to order: Fish of the day and save room for the dessert cart!
Alma Restaurant – What to order: Cocktails are amazing! Guacamole is addicting, empanadas, cheese sticks, everything was delicious!
I truly loved Geneva and would love to re-visit as soon as possible! If you have plans to visit Switzerland I highly suggest spending 4-5 days in Geneva to see everything it has to offer!