27 Issues to do in Geneva Switzerland


Discovered on the shores of Lake Geneva, and surrounded by mountains, the Swiss metropolis of Geneva is certainly in a picturesque location. With nice transport connections, it’s additionally a simple place to go to on a visit to Switzerland.

In fact, there are many causes to go to Geneva past it being picturesque and straightforward to go to! Because the headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and Pink Cross, this can be a world hub for diplomacy. It’s additionally residence to world-class watchmakers, incredible purchasing alternatives, a historic and delightful outdated down, and a formidable array of museums.

If a visit to Geneva is in your to-do checklist, and it ought to be, then we now have put collectively this information of issues to do in Geneva which ought to provide you with numerous concepts in your go to. This could possibly be as a part of an extended go to to Switzerland, or simply on a metropolis break to Geneva.

Whichever, you definitely received’t have a scarcity of issues to do in Geneva. From museums protecting a variety of matters, to the world well-known fountain, to scenic lookouts, to scrumptious meals and luxurious purchasing alternatives, there’s one thing within the metropolis for everybody!

In addition to our information to what to do in Geneva, we’ve additionally included some tips about the place to remain, the way to get round, how to save cash, and a few well-liked excursions in your go to.

Issues to do in Geneva

This information to issues to do in Geneva covers a few of our favorite sights and actions within the metropolis. There’s loads to see and do right here, no matter your pursuits!

The Geneva Water Fountain

In all probability probably the most iconic landmark in Geneva is the Jet d’Eau. It is a enormous water fountain on the southern finish of Lake Geneva which fires 5 hundred litres of water into the air each second, attaining a top of 140 metres (460ft).

Given the peak that the water reaches, as you may think the fountain is seen from an incredible many areas across the metropolis. Nonetheless, one of the best views are arguably from the waterfront, the place you’re closest to the fountain. A phrase of warning although – a shift in wind route could cause the water from the fountain to float over the waterfront, and it’s fairly chilly and drenching!

The fountain, which has been working in its current location since 1891, runs all through the day all 12 months besides when it’s significantly chilly, or if it is rather windy. It additionally closes often for upkeep. From spring to autumn, it additionally runs within the evenings and is illuminated. You may see the complete schedule here.

Geneva Water fountain


Patek Philippe Museum

If there’s one factor that springs to thoughts whenever you consider Switzerland, it’s most likely watches. Together with cheese and chocolate, watches are one of many prime three issues many individuals affiliate with Switzerland.

As such, a go to to a museum of watches is certainly an acceptable factor so as to add to your Geneva sightseeing itinerary!

The Patek Philippe Museum is simply such a museum. Based in 1839, Patek Philippe is among the oldest and most prestigious watchmakers on this planet. The corporate’s luxurious watches are worn by celebrities, royalty and world leaders. Patek Philippe additionally maintain information for the costliest watches ever bought.

As such, I’d say {that a} go to to the Patek Philippe Museum is an effective approach to get an understanding of the historical past of watches, watchmaking, and this legendary watchmaker.

The main focus of the museum is the unbelievable assortment of timepieces inside. There are over 2,000 reveals to take a look at! These embody watches courting way back to the 16th century, and the gathering even consists of the oldest watch ever made. Naturally it additionally features a nice many Patek Philippe watches, courting from when the corporate was based in 1839.

The museum is open for public visits. There’s an audioguide which covers part of the museum, nevertheless we’d advocate the general public guided tour is likely to be a greater choice. It is because there’s a actually boggling array of timepieces on show, and until you’re a true watch skilled, a tour shall be one of the best ways to establish a few of the actual highlights of the gathering.

The museum is open Tuesday by means of Saturday, with excursions working in English as soon as a day. You may see full particulars and opening hours here. There’s a charge for entry, and it’s included on the Geneva Pass.

Word that pictures contained in the museum isn’t permitted and it’s essential to place all of your belongings in a locker earlier than you begin your tour.

For these of you with an actual curiosity in watchmaking, you may contemplate a watchmaking tour like this, which is able to take you on a visit by means of 500 years of watchmaking historical past within the metropolis.

We are able to additionally recommend making certain you go to the Passage Malbuisson Clock, discovered simply off Rue de la Croix d’Or, a incredible timepiece which incorporates a troupe of 42 bronze characters and 13 chariots, who sound the hour by performing a little bit show.

Patek Phillipe watch


Discover Geneva’s Outdated City

Most of the sights and sights in our information to issues to do in Geneva are discovered within the outdated city, which is the historic coronary heart of the town. While you will notice elements of it naturally by visiting the sights on this checklist, don’t neglect to only spend a while wandering the maze of cobbled streets that you can find right here.

The outdated city is ready throughout one of many highest factors within the metropolis, with St. Pierre’s Cathedral being the focus. Surrounding the cathedral is certainly one of Europe’s oldest metropolis centres, with a historical past that dates again over two thousand years.

choice for exploring the outdated city is to take a walking tour like this, which is able to allow you to uncover all of the hidden nooks and crannies, in addition to study concerning the historical past of what you’re seeing.

Old Town Geneva


Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork (MAMCO)

Discovered proper subsequent door to the Patek Philippe Museum, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is the most important modern artwork museum in Switzerland.

The museum has a everlasting assortment, which options trendy and modern artwork courting from the 1960s to the current day. Each Swiss and worldwide artists are represented. In addition they characteristic momentary exhibitions showcasing totally different artists work. Positively one to think about in case you are a lover of latest or trendy artwork.

The museum is open day by day besides Mondays, and you may see full opening hours on the web site here.

There’s a charge to go to, and it’s included on the Geneva Pass.

Mamco Geneva


Ethnography Museum Geneva (MEG)

Beside the Philippe Patek Museum and MAMCO is the Geneva Museum of Ethnography, or MEG. Based in 1901, the museum focuses on ethnography, or the research of human cultures.

Principally, if you wish to study concerning the historical past of cultures across the globe, then it would be best to go to MEG. With an enormous assortment spanning nearly 70,000 objects, which cowl cultures from world wide, you must discover one thing to curiosity you!

There’s additionally an unbelievable assortment of images, with nearly 18,000 images within the MEG assortment. Within the library, you can too hearken to music from everywhere in the world.

In fact, there isn’t room to place the whole lot on show directly. The everlasting exhibition shows over a thousand objects, which span all the most important continents. There are additionally momentary reveals.

MEG is open day by day besides Mondays, and you may see full particulars on opening hours here. Visiting the everlasting exhibition is free. Non permanent reveals carry a charge, and you can too pay for a guided tour of the everlasting exhibition if you want. Entry to the momentary exhibit can be included on the Geneva Go.


Museum of the Fireplace Brigade of the Metropolis of Geneva

Geneva has no scarcity of museums, which is probably going already changing into obvious. That is nice, as a result of it implies that even should you go to within the chilly winter months, you’ll have loads of issues to do within the heat!

It additionally implies that there’s an interesting number of museums on provide. Take for instance the Fire Brigade Museum. It is a fascinating little museum which charts the historical past of the fireplace brigade service within the metropolis.

I’ve an actual gentle spot for quirky museums like this, and I must say that this was positively certainly one of my favorite museums in Geneva. It was put collectively as a ardour undertaking, with skilled firefighters and volunteers placing all of it collectively. Whenever you go to, you’ll be greeted by retired firefighters, who will be capable to reply any questions you may need concerning the spectacular assortment, which dates from 1840.

The Fireplace Brigade is all the time free to go to. If you wish to go to, you’ll should plan fastidiously because it has pretty restricted opening hours, that are Wednesdays and Sundays, from 10am – 12pm, and 1.30pm – 3.30pm. You may see extra about opening instances and planning your go to on the official web site here.


Jardin Anglais & the Flower Clock

The Jardin Anglais, or “English Backyard”, is a historic city park on the shores of Lake Geneva, discovered slightly below the outdated city space. Relationship from 1855, the park sits on what was previously an historic harbour.

Right now, the Jardin Anglais covers an space of round 6 acres on the southern shore of Lake Geneva, which means it’s proper within the coronary heart of Geneva. It’s residence to fairly bushes and floral preparations, in addition to statues, pavilions, a fountain, and beautiful views of the lake and Jet D’Eau.

Most famously, the Jardin Anglais is residence to the L’horloge fleurie, or Flower Clock. Created in 1955 as a tribute to the town’s watchmakers, the flower clock is certainly value a go to. This totally working clock options hundreds of flowering crops and shrubs to indicate the time. These are modified because the seasons change within the metropolis.

The flower clock is discovered within the western aspect of the park, close to the bridge that crosses the Rhine. It’s straightforward to seek out on foot, and the entire park is may also be explored on foot. You may also reap the benefits of the mini electrical prepare that runs right here, and provides journeys alongside the lakeside.

The mini prepare is included as a part of the Geneva Go, though it’s seasonal. You may also guide a walking tour like this which incorporates the mini prepare.


Cruise on Lake Geneva

Geneva sits on the southern finish of Lake Geneva, one of many largest lakes in western Europe, and the most important physique of water in Switzerland.

One of the best ways to expertise the lake is to take a river cruise. Numerous these function from Geneva (in addition to different factors across the lake), of various lengths from an hour to a full day. There are additionally fondue cruises and dinner cruises!

In the event you get the Geneva Go, this comes with a alternative of sightseeing cruises of round an hour in size  These will provide you with good views of the town in opposition to an alpine backdrop. Alternatively, you possibly can book a cruise on Lake Geneva here.

There are different choices for getting out on the lake should you desire to propel your self. For instance, you possibly can lease , arise paddle boards or pedal boats to tackle the lake (each additionally included with the Geneva Go).

Bear in mind that water actions and cruises are seasonal and could be climate dependent. Once we visited the town in February for instance, cruises had been working, however they didn’t meet the minimal passenger necessities to make the crusing occur.

If cruises aren’t working, you possibly can nonetheless get a style of a cruise by taking one of many common shuttle boats, often called mouettes. These run from 4 totally different areas within the metropolis and are included on the town transport card. See extra on this within the part on getting round Geneva in a while on this submit.

Geneva lake mouette


Brunswick Monument

On a latest journey to Geneva, this enormous monument was proper exterior our hotel, and naturally I used to be intrigued about what it was. I found that it’s a mausoleum, in-built 1879, which commemorates the lifetime of Charles II, the Duke of Brunswick.

You is likely to be questioning why there’s a monument to an 18th century German duke in Geneva. Effectively, when he died, Charles left his total fortune to the town of Geneva. This amounted to greater than 20 million Swiss Francs, an quantity which helped fund the development of many new buildings within the metropolis.

There have been two stipulations in his will that the town needed to fulfil so as to be eligible for the funding. One was that he bought a pleasant funeral, and the opposite was {that a} good monument be constructed to commemorate him. The town relatively generously spent round 10% of the funds acquired on the Brunswick Monument, which is a really spectacular three-storey marble affair.

So whenever you see this monument by the lake shore, now you’ll know what it’s and why it’s there!

Brunswick Monument Geneva


Pure Historical past Museum

In case your thought of the proper museum entails dinosaurs and different animals, then a go to to the Natural History Museum ought to positively be close to the highest of your checklist of issues to do in Geneva.

With over 8,000 sq. meters of exhibit area that is the most important pure historical past museum in Switzerland. With a group of over 15 million specimens, we’re pretty positive you’ll discover one thing you get pleasure from!

The everlasting exhibitions cowl a variety of themes, together with animals, man’s growth over time, minerals and the photo voltaic system. There’s additionally details about the geology of Switzerland, and the realm round Geneva specifically.

Entry to the everlasting exhibitions is free. There’s a charge for the momentary exhibitions, entry to which is free to holders of the Geneva Go. The museum is open day by day besides Mondays, you possibly can see full opening hours and pricing on the official web site here.


Museum of Artwork and Historical past

Geneva’s large Museum of Art and History is among the largest museums in Switzerland, and the most important artwork museum in Geneva. It incorporates a assortment which was began in 1826, and which covers each artwork and archaeology.

The artwork consists of tremendous artwork items from the Center Ages by means of to the 20th century, and primarily options works by European artists. These embody work by Konrad Witz, Rembrandt, and Cezanne. There are additionally a variety of utilized artworks, together with weapons, musical devices, and textiles.

The archaeology show consists of findings from European prehistory and historic Egypt (together with the compulsory mummy), in addition to items from Roman, historic Greek, and different historic civilizations.

Suffice to say, if you are interested in European artwork or archaeology, this is a superb museum for you.

The everlasting collections of the Geneva Museum of Artwork and Historical past are free to go to. There are additionally momentary reveals which require a ticket, that is free to holders of the Geneva Go. The museum is open day by day besides Mondays, you possibly can see opening hours and different info in your go to on the official web site here.


World-Class Purchasing

Geneva is legendary for its world class purchasing, so should you get pleasure from a little bit of retail remedy, you’re positively going to be in for a deal with. Specifically, the Rue du Rhône, discovered between the outdated city and the Jardin Anglais, is famend for its choice of luxurious manufacturers.

These embody life-style manufacturers like Louis Vuitton and Prada, watch manufacturers like Omega and Philippe Patek, and jewelry manufacturers like Tiffany. You’ll additionally discover world class chocolatiers and shops like Timothy Oulton promoting uncommon antiques.

Suffice to say, if you wish to spend some huge cash fairly rapidly, you shouldn’t have any drawback in any respect doing so in Geneva!

Watches in Geneva


Barbier-Mueller Museum

As I’ve already talked about, Geneva actually does has a museum for each curiosity. The Barbier-Mueller museum is for these of you with an curiosity in artwork from Tribal and Classical antiquity, in addition to particular creative objects from so referred to as “primitive” civilizations.

The museum assortment, which immediately options over 7,000 items of artwork, relies on the gathering of Josef Muller and his household, who spent a long time amassing the various gadgets within the assortment. The small museum is just in a position to showcase elements of this assortment at anybody time, however is definitely well worth the go to for these of you with an curiosity within the topic. While this isn’t an space of specific ardour for me, I did very a lot get pleasure from visiting the museum nonetheless.

The museum is open day by day of the 12 months from 11am – 5pm, and there’s a charge to go to. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Go. You may see extra info on opening instances and costs here.

Barbier Mueller Museum Geneva


Tavel Home

If you wish to study concerning the historical past of life in Geneva, then you must plan a go to to Tavel House. That is the oldest residence in Geneva, courting from the early 14th century. Throughout the six sprawling and labyrinthine flooring are an enormous number of reveals depicting life by means of the ages within the metropolis.

The top of the gathering, for my part anyway, is the size 3D mannequin of the town because it appeared in 1850. Right now, Geneva was nonetheless a closely fortified metropolis, and it’s fascinating to take a look at this map and examine it with the Geneva you expertise immediately.

In fact, there’s loads extra to see, together with work, maps, furnishings and a complete miscellany of objects from the town. It’s a beautiful museum to discover and get misplaced in, and there’s loads of info accessible in an array of languages.

As this can be a museum of the town of Geneva, entry to the everlasting exhibitions is free. There are additionally often paid momentary reveals which carry a charge, however that are free to holders of the Geneva Go. Once we visited, there was a superb momentary set up on the historical past of pictures.

The museum is open from 11am – 6pm day by day besides Monday. Verify the most recent info, costs and opening hours here.

Maison Tavel Geneva


Worldwide Museum of the Reformation

Relying in your curiosity in spiritual historical past and the place you’re from, you might or is probably not conscious that the Reformation was a motion in 16th century Europe which basically centered on fixing what had been seen as issues plaguing the Catholic church.

The Reformation began in Germany and unfold all through Europe, and gave rise to Protestantism, which is immediately the second largest type of Christianity on this planet after Catholicism. Geneva switched to Protestantism in 1536, simply earlier than the arrival of John Calvin, and the town would grow to be one of many foremost facilities of Calvinism. You may study extra concerning the historical past of the Reformation in Switzerland here.

If spiritual historical past pursuits you, then you’ll positively wish to go to the International Museum of the Reformation whenever you go to Geneva. The museum covers the historical past of the Reformation, from 1517 by means of to the current day. It’s present in an 18th century constructing which stands on the spot the place Genevans voted in favorite of the Reformation in 1536.

Inside, you’ll discover round 500 objects that inform the story of the Reformation, together with an unique manuscript by Martin Luther.

The museum is open 10am – 5pm day by day besides Mondays, and there’s a charge for visiting. You may see extra on the official web site here. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Go and an audioguide is included within the ticket value. Word that once we visited pictures was not permitted within the museum.


The Reformation Wall

The Worldwide Monument to the Reformation, or Reformation Wall, is a big monument discovered within the Parc des Bastions. This Parc is a beautiful inexperienced area, and also you’ll additionally discover segments of the outdated metropolis partitions right here as nicely.

Because the identify suggests, the Reformation Wall pays tribute to the Reformation motion, with statues depicting the important thing people, paperwork and occasions that contributed to the Protestant Reformation, each in Switzerland and throughout Europe.

The primary point of interest of the monument are 5 metre excessive statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox, 4 of the principle proponents of Calvinism. The monument is free to go to and open 12 months spherical.


St Pierre Cathedral

Inbuilt 1150 as a Roman Catholic cathedral, and transformed to a Reformed Protestant Church in the course of the Reformation, St. Pierre Cathedral is the focus of the outdated city of Geneva. The church nonetheless performs an essential half within the lifetime of the town, and the federal government of Geneva makes use of the constructing for its swearing in ceremonies.

The church is most nicely often called being the house church of John Calvin, one of many leaders of the Protestant Reformation. A small wood chair utilized by Calvin is on show within the church. Different highlights embody the Chapel of the Maccabees and the attractive 14th century stained glass.

The cathedral is discovered atop a hill, and there are two towers which could be climbed for a small charge (free for holders of the Geneva Go). The views from the highest of the towers are positively well worth the climb up for my part!

The cathedral is open day by day, as are the towers. There are some exceptions in fact, relying on capabilities, so do examine the official web site. It’s free to go to, excluding the towers and archaeological web site.

St Pierre Cathedral Geneva
View from towers of St Pierre Cathedral


Archaeological Web site of St. Pierre Cathedral

The location of the current day St. Pierre Cathedral has been residence to a cathedral constructing for the reason that 4th century. The realm has additionally been inhabited since no less than the third century BC. As such, there may be plenty of historical past to be discovered right here, a lot of it underground.

A wonderful approach to study this historical past is to go to the Archaeological Site of St. Pierre Cathedral. That is truly discovered beneath the current day cathedral, in an enormous 3,000 sq. meter web site. A go to will take you on a journey by means of the historical past of this area and Geneva on the whole, and consists of a superb video that reveals how the positioning has modified over the centuries.

There’s heaps to see right here, and we expect it will enchantment to all ages. In the event you’re visiting the cathedral, a go to to the subterranean archaeological web site subsequent door can actually add to that have. Simply make sure you give your self loads of time – no less than an hour – as there’s so much to see right here. It was a lot greater than we anticipated.

There’s an entrance charge, though it’s free for holders of the Geneva Go. You may also buy a ticket on web site which incorporates this web site, the St. Pierre towers and the Worldwide Museum of the Reformation. The location is open day by day from 10am – 5pm. See extra on the official web site here.

Archaeological Site of St. Pierre Cathedral Geneva


Geneva Parks

In the event you’re in search of some inexperienced areas while your in Geneva, you might have numerous wonderful choices. In addition to the beforehand talked about English Backyard and Bastion Park, there are a variety of different pretty parks to discover.

These embody:

  • Geneva’s Botanical Garden, discovered subsequent to the United Nations. 69 acres of park the place you’ll discover over 14,000 plant species
  • Parc La Grange, the most important park within the metropolis. Discovered close to the lake shore to the north east of the outdated city. Well-known for its roses, additionally residence to 2 theatres.
  • Rousseau Island – a really small, however fully cute, island park in the midst of the river accessed by the Pont des Bergues
  • Eaux Vives Park – discovered subsequent to to Parc La Grange, this can be a sloping hillside park topped by an 18th century mansion, providing good views and picturesque water options

There are in fact many extra to select from, however this could provide you with a very good place to begin. A few of the the parks have totally different actions accessible all year long, from tremendous sized chess boards by means of to dwell performances and even ice skating!


Museum of the Historical past of Science

Lovers of science will certainly wish to embody a visit to the Museum of the History of Science of their Geneva itinerary. Discovered a little bit to the north of the town centre shut close to the western shore of the lake, this museum focuses on the historical past of science.

Particularly, the museum focuses on the evolution of scientific devices. So should you’ve ever puzzled concerning the historical past and developments in units like microscopes, telescopes or thermometers, then that is the museum for you!

The Museum of the Historical past of Science is open day by day besides Tuesdays and sure public holidays, from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.


Worldwide Museum of the Pink Cross and Pink Crescent

The Worldwide Pink Cross and Pink Crescent motion began in Geneva in 1863 with the founding of the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross. Right now, this humanitarian motion has nearly 100 million volunteers, members and workers worldwide, and are well-known for his or her efforts to offer humanitarian support to these in want world wide.

In the event you’d prefer to study extra about this motion, its historical past, the work it has carried out and the individuals it has helped, then there’s no higher place than the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva. This museum has quite a lot of reveals which element the historical past of the group, and which take you on a thought frightening and emotional journey by means of a few of its work over time.

The museum is open day by day besides Mondays and a few public holidays. There’s a charge to go to, however it’s included on the Geneva Go. See extra on pricing and opening hours on the official web site here.

Red Cross Museum Geneva


United Nations

There are 4 main United Nations places of work world wide, together with the headquarters of the UN in New York Metropolis. The office in Geneva is the second largest of those places of work, and it’s attainable to go to on a tour and study concerning the work that goes on right here in addition to see a few of the extra spectacular and essential rooms.

Excursions are run on weekdays all year long, and are supplied in English and French, with different languages accessible if requested prematurely. Excursions final an hour, nevertheless, remember that that is fairly a well-liked exercise in Geneva and so the strains for safety could be lengthy – it’s advisable to reach no less than 40 minutes prematurely of the tour begin time.

You may learn extra about tour instances and pricing, in addition to the place to purchase your tickets, on the official web site here.

UN Flags Geneva


The Damaged Chair

Whenever you go to the United Nations, you received’t be capable to miss the massive statue of a chair on the plaza exterior the doorway. The chair, designed by artist Daniel Berset, is notable for having a damaged leg, and known as the Damaged Chair.

This sculpture, which is 12 metres excessive and constructed from 5 tonnes of wooden, symbolises opposition to landmines and cluster bombs, that are recognized for inflicting each loss of life and life altering accidents in civilian populations, even lengthy after conflicts have ended.

The chair was initially put in previous to the signing of the Ottawa Treaty on landmines in 1997. Nonetheless, regardless of 40 nations ratifying the treaty, a major variety of events didn’t signal it, together with nations like China, Russia and the USA.

On account of this failure by many important nations to ratify the treaty, the chair was left in place to behave as a reminder to each politicians and different guests to Geneva that the world nonetheless has an extended approach to go in relation to resolving the problems of landmines and cluster bombs.


Ariana Museum

While you’re within the space of the United Nations and the Museum of the Pink Cross, you may wish to make a go to to the Ariana Museum. This museum is also referred to as the Swiss Museum of Ceramics and Glass, which ought to provide you with a touch as to what it’s about.

The museum is the one museum within the nation devoted to things created in kilns, and it has a spectacular assortment of over 27,000 gadgets, spanning seven centuries of ceramics.

Suffice to say, lovers of ceramics will certainly wish to cease in. Nonetheless, even should you’re not an enormous fan of ceramics and glass we’d advocate a go to. The constructing itself, which was function constructed as a museum within the late 19th century, is really marvellous to behold, with a beautiful central atrium.

The primary a part of the Museum is free to go to, with the momentary reveals carrying a charge. Holders of the Geneva Go get free entry to the momentary reveals, or an audioguide to the principle reveals. The museum is open day by day besides Monday and a few public holidays. There’s additionally a restaurant on-site the place we had a beautiful lunch. See extra on pricing and opening hours on the official web site here.

Musee Ariana



CERN, also referred to as the European Group for Nuclear Analysis, is among the most well-known analysis organizations on this planet. They’re the parents behind the large Giant Hadron Collider, the 27km lengthy particle accelerator which helps us to grasp elementary questions of physics.

CERN is also referred to as being the place Tim Berners-Lee was working when he got here up with the thought of the world extensive net, and CERN was the place the primary net server on this planet was put dwell.

Naturally, these of you with an curiosity in modern-day science will wish to go to CERN, which is simply exterior the city centre and fairly near Geneva airport.

You’ve just a few choices for visiting CERN. First, there are two public exhibition areas which showcase a few of the work that CERN does. These are free to go to and don’t require reserving prematurely. You may learn extra about these here.

It’s additionally attainable to take a tour of the CERN facility. These are free, and excursions are run in English and French. Nonetheless, you can’t simply flip up for certainly one of these excursions, it is advisable guide them prematurely. For people, you possibly can guide excursions as much as 15 days prematurely. These excursions are highly regarded and have a tendency to replenish rapidly, so if that is one thing you wish to do, we extremely advocate you guide your slot on the day the excursions open for reserving (15 days earlier than your go to) to make certain you’ll be able to go.

The on-site excursions are fairly complete, lasting between two and three hours. You could find out the whole lot it is advisable find out about the way to guide these excursions, after they function and what it is advisable deliver on the official web site for visiting CERN here.

You may simply attain CERN by public transport from Geneva. Simply take tram 18 from Geneva Coravin prepare station, and get off on the CERN cease. This may take round 20 minutes.

CERN Globe Geneva


Mont-Salève Cable Automotive

I’ve already talked about Geneva’s picturesque setting, on the shore of Lake Geneva, surrounded by mountains.

Effectively, should you’d prefer to expertise a few of these pretty environment, a great way to try this is to make a journey on the Mont-Salève Cable Car.

Discovered lower than 10km to the south-east of Geneva, or round a 15 minute bus experience on the quantity Eight bus, this cable automobile will transport you up Mount Saleve. At 1,100 metres (3600ft), the views from the highest will allow you to see proper throughout Geneva and the lake. On a transparent day, you’ll be capable to see Mont-Blanc! There are additionally numerous hikes within the space, should you really feel like getting some contemporary air and train.

There’s a charge to experience the cable automobile in fact, with return journeys costing barely lower than single journeys. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Go. You’ll wish to examine the timetable earlier than heading out right here to make certain it’s working whenever you plan to go to, which you are able to do on the official web site here.


Strive Native Swiss Dishes and Meals

Switzerland is residence to a variety of scrumptious meals, and a go to to Geneva is a superb alternative to strive them. Clearly, probably the most well-known meals that you’ll possible already concentrate on is fondue and also you simply can’t come to Switzerland with out making an attempt it. Nonetheless, there are heaps extra cuisines to strive – on our visits to Switzerland we’ve eaten at in every single place from burger joints to Michelin-starred eating places, and sampled cheeses, meats and candies!

There are many good choices for meals in Geneva, together with many nice areas for fondue. If you end up within the outdated city (which you’ll should you’re following our information to issues to do in Geneva!), then we are able to positively advocate the Restaurant Les Armures.

We occurred upon this by chance following our go to to Tavel Home (it’s instantly reverse), and had a very incredible meal (in fact together with fondue). The service workers was additionally wonderful, and even gave me tips about the way to finest get pleasure from my fondue.

There are different choices for sampling Swiss meals in fact. This is a well rated tour of the a few of the finest chocolatiers in Geneva, for these of you with a candy tooth. You may also do a self-guided food tour like this, and take a look at a variety of dishes.

Fondue Geneva


Map of Issues to Do in Geneva

That can assist you visualise all our suggestions for issues to do in Geneva, we’ve put collectively this map. You may also see this on Google Maps here, which incorporates the sights additional exterior the town like CERN.

Map of Things to do in Geneva



Methods to Get Round Geneva

With regards to getting round, Geneva is a superb metropolis for visiting.

First, a lot of the town is simple sufficient to entry on foot. Distances aren’t so nice, and lots of the sights in Geneva are shut to 1 one other.

In fact, there are some exceptions, akin to CERN, the Pink Cross Museum, the UN and the Historical past of Science Museum that are simpler to achieve by public transport.

The excellent news is that as a customer to Geneva, it is rather straightforward to get free public transport within the metropolis.

First, holders of the Geneva Go robotically qualify without spending a dime public transport in Geneva, out to Zone 10.

Second, guests to Geneva who’re staying in a resort, hostel or guesthouse are additionally eligible without spending a dime transport within the metropolis. Simply ask on the reception of the lodging supplier, and so they’ll have the ability that can assist you out.

In fact, we recognize some of us may desire to remain in an apartment rental or related, and may not reap the benefits of the Geneva Go. On this case, you should purchase tickets both on a pay as you go foundation or as a day card. These could be bought from ticket machines, that are discovered at bus and tram stops.

Truthfully although, we expect most guests ought to qualify without spending a dime public transport within the metropolis, both by means of their lodging supplier or by means of the Geneva Go.

If you’re arriving into Geneva by airplane, all arrivals qualify without spending a dime public transport into the town. You may decide up your free ticket from the machines within the arrivals corridor the place you decide up your baggage, earlier than you exit the arrivals space.

Lastly, we’d usually advise in opposition to hiring a automobile to get round Geneva. There’s restricted free parking, and most journeys received’t require a automobile. If you’re visiting Geneva as a part of an extended journey to Switzerland, then contemplate hiring the automobile just for the time you’re exterior the town. On a latest journey, this was what we did – we collected our automobile at Geneva airport, toured Switzerland, returned the automobile to the airport, after which spent just a few days sightseeing in Geneva with out the effort of the automobile.

If you’re gathering a rental automobile at Geneva Airport, it is advisable remember that there are two assortment factors for automobile leases, one for arrivals who’re travelling to France, and one for arrivals travelling to Switzerland.

For Switzerland, automobile rental is situated on the Arrivals stage. Head in the direction of the submit workplace (indicators for La Poste). The return level is the automobile park space P51 (decrease stage). The French automobile rental is on the opposite aspect, comply with the indicators for “vacation spot France”.

Lastly, as with many cities world wide, you can too take a Hop on Hop off sightseeing tour in Geneva. This may take you to all of the highlights within the metropolis, with audio commentary that tells you the whole lot it is advisable find out about what you’re seeing. We all the time get pleasure from these bus rides, as they’re a soothing approach to see so much, and likewise useful approach to get round.

You should purchase tickets for the Geneva HoHo bus here. It’s additionally included on the Geneva Pass.

Geneva Transport Card


When to Go to Geneva

In our opinion, Geneva is a metropolis that may be visited at any time of 12 months. As you possibly can see from our checklist of issues to do, there are many indoor sights, so even should you go to in winter there’s going to be loads to see and do to maintain you occupied.

In the event you would like to go to within the hotter months, when actions like cruises on Lake Geneva are extra pleasurable, then Might by means of September could be our advisable time.

In case your journey to Geneva is a part of an extended go to to Switzerland, then the time of 12 months you go to will rely upon the actions you wish to do in the remainder of the nation. If you’re into snow sports activities, then it would be best to go to within the winter months for one of the best snow. For these of you in search of climbing, or usually hotter climate, then the summer time months will possible be higher!

As you possibly can see, there’s no “finest” time to go to Geneva. Simply one of the best time for you, relying in your pursuits and what you wish to see and do!


How Many Days Ought to I Spend in Geneva?

We’d advocate that you simply spend no less than two days in Geneva. As you possibly can see, there’s an enormous quantity to see and do within the metropolis. With two days in Geneva, you can spend the primary day exploring the outdated city and south jap shore of Lake Geneva, and your second day visiting the UN, Pink Cross Museum and different highlights within the west of the town.

You probably have time, three days will provide you with extra alternatives to see all of the highlights in addition to take a lake cruise, buy groceries, strive extra eating places and so forth.

In fact, you can simply spend for much longer within the metropolis. There are such a lot of fascinating museums and different sights to discover, in addition to numerous close by locations of curiosity. Geneva makes for an incredible base for exploring, and you can keep for per week or extra and discover loads to maintain your self busy!


The place to Keep in Geneva

As a serious metropolis, Geneva has loads of choices in relation to lodging. These differ throughout a variety of budgets and kinds. In our expertise, motels that are nearer to Lake Geneva, and have lake views, are typically dearer than these that are additional again from the lake. Rooms with views of the fountain specifically have a value premium connected.

Right here’s an outline of some nice choices in your journey to the town, together with our favorite resort in Geneva. These are roughly ordered by value, from decrease to greater, though you’ll must examine costs in your journey in fact.

  • City Hostel Geneva – Simply 800 yards from the Lake and conveniently situated for the prepare station, this is among the extra central and well-reviewed hostels within the metropolis. Each dormitory and personal rooms can be found, and kitchen services can be found. A nicely situated price range decide for Geneva.
  • Hotel Central – Very centrally situated, this can be a nicely reviewed 2* resort inside strolling distance of nearly all of Geneva’s sights. Rooms vary from pretty primary choices with shared bogs, by means of to bigger choices with en-suite services. A wonderful location for these on a price range.
  • Chez Maman – Discovered round a 20 minute stroll to the west of the outdated metropolis centre, this can be a good worth 3* boutique resort providing non-public soundproofed en-suite rooms and a restaurant. There’s additionally free parking, in case you are travelling with a automobile.
  • Hôtel Bel’Espérance – centrally situated within the outdated city, this can be a nicely reviewed good worth 3* resort with an on-site restaurant in addition to a shared kitchen. Rooms are all en-suite and personal, and a continental breakfast is included.
  • Hôtel Longemalle – simply moments from Lake Geneva and the flower clock, this can be a pretty 4* resort with non-public en-suite rooms that includes interval furnishings. It’s nice worth for the placement and high quality, and it will get wonderful critiques.
  • Hotel d’Allèves – 100 yards from Lake Geneva and simply 5 minutes stroll from the prepare station, this can be a nicely reviewed 18th century 4* resort. Rooms are all en-suite and breakfast is on the market.
  • Les Armures – proper subsequent to St. Pierre Cathedral, certainly one of our favorite eating places in Geneva can be a well-reviewed 5* resort. Rooms are luxuriously embellished and the areas is great for exploring the outdated city.
  • Hotel Beau Rivage Geneva – This 5* resort discovered proper on the Lake is our favorite resort in Geneva. Rooms are spectacular, and plenty of of them provide views of the fountain. There’s an on-site Michelin starred restaurant, the Chat-Botté, which is great, and in case you are visiting Geneva seeking to spoil your self, this resort is certainly the one to go for!

In fact, there are heaps extra choices in Geneva in your keep. You may see extra listings on booking.com here. In the event you’re in search of an house rental, see a full checklist of choices on AirBnB here.

Hotel Beau Rivages Geneva


Really helpful Excursions in Geneva

We all the time get pleasure from taking a tour once we go to a metropolis, be it a strolling tour, a biking tour, or one thing extra adventurous like a Segway tour. Excursions could be a good way to rapidly get to know a metropolis, and we regularly discover they’re an incredible introduction when visiting someplace we’ve not been earlier than.

Geneva has plenty of wonderful excursions to supply, listed below are some to think about in your go to.

As you possibly can see, there are many excursions to select from in Geneva! You may see extra choices on GetYourGuide here and Viator here.

Holders of the Geneva Pass even have entry to quite a lot of free excursions that are included with the move, together with some guided strolling excursions.


Getting To and From Geneva

Geneva is a nicely related metropolis, no matter your most popular methodology of transport is likely to be.

In the event you’re flying, Geneva airport has worldwide flight connections to areas all world wide. Attending to and from Geneva airport may be very straightforward – there’s free public transport for arrivals (simply decide up your free ticket earlier than you permit the arrivals space), and each buses and trains present companies. The prepare is probably going the simplest choice, however relying on the placement of your resort a bus may get you nearer to the place it is advisable be.

Geneva additionally has a serious prepare station, with wonderful connections to each the remainder of Switzerland and far of Europe. So arriving by prepare is certainly a attainable, and the prepare station may be very central.

You may examine prepare schedules and buy tickets for each Swiss and European trains on the Trainline web site.

You probably have a prepare move, you can too journey throughout Switzerland and Europe with a Eurail Pass (non-European resident vacationers) or Interrail Pass (European resident vacationers). You get a prepare move for simply Switzerland or a world move for over 30 nations.

You may also journey to and from Geneva by bus, each inside Switzerland and additional afield. We advocate checking Flixbus for worldwide bus connections. They’re the most important bus community in Europe, and their buses have massive snug seats, bogs, wi-fi and energy retailers. You may also examine bus instances on the Trainline web site.


Day Excursions from Geneva

As this information as hopefully proven, there’s loads to see and do in Geneva. Nonetheless, there’s additionally an incredible deal to expertise across the metropolis, which means there are some nice day excursions you possibly can take from Geneva.

These embody journeys to picturesque cities and villages like Montreux, Nyons and Lausanne, journeys to the Alps, in addition to cheese, wine and chocolate tasting excursions.

Listed here are a number of choices to think about.

  • This full day tour of the Swiss Riviera has you making an attempt wine in Lavaux, visiting Montreux, and having the chance to take a lake cruise or go to an 11th century citadel.
  • A full day tour to the well-known mountain resort of Chamonix Mont Blanc in France, with time to discover Chamonix, and likewise to take the cable automobile as much as the highest of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain
  • A full day wine tour of the well-known UNESCO Lavaux wine area, with wine tastings and scenic views included!
  • A half day tour that features a go to of the 14th century medieval metropolis Yvoire, in addition to a cruise on Lake Geneva aboard a steam powered  paddle boat.
  • This full day tour of the Swiss Riviera, which features a tour of Lavaux, time at Chaplin’s World, free time in Montreux, and an non-obligatory boat cruise on Lake Geneva
  • This full day tour to the Gruyères area, well-known for its cheese and delightful fortified hilltop city. Consists of time within the city in addition to a tour of a chocolate manufacturing unit, though word that this tour doesn’t embody the cheese manufacturing unit
  • This half day tour to Annecy, thought of the Venice of the Alps.
  • This full day tour to Interlaken, together with a experience on the the Schilthorn cable automobile, for spectacular views of the alps
  • This private full day trip to Gruyères visits each the cheese and the chocolate manufacturing unit, in addition to providing you with time to discover the attractive city itself
  • A full day trip to Gruyères which features a panoramic prepare experience,  time in Gruyere village and a go to to the cheese manufacturing unit and chocolate manufacturing unit
  • Lausanne – it’s straightforward to go to Lausanne as a day journey from Geneva. Trains run usually and take 40-50 minutes. Then you possibly can self-guide your self round this gorgeous lake-side metropolis, or guide a city walking tour like this to see the highlights with a information. E book your prepare prematurely here.



Is the Geneva Go Price It?

Like many cities world wide, Geneva provides a metropolis move. That is referred to as the Geneva Pass (or Geneva Metropolis Go), and it provides free and discounted admission to an enormous vary of sights and sights in Geneva, together with lots of the gadgets on this information. It additionally consists of free public transport within the metropolis. Right here’s what it consists of:

  • Free admission to over 30 sights within the metropolis
  • Free public transport within the metropolis
  • Free excursions and tools rental, together with a lake cruise, kayak rental, open bus tour and strolling excursions
  • Discounted metropolis excursions and day journeys exterior the town

As you possibly can see, the move features a lot, and we expect it’s among the best worth metropolis passes accessible, particularly when you think about that a lot of the paid sights in Geneva value 10 – 15 CHF per particular person.

A 2 day Geneva Go presently prices 37 CHF, so you’ll solely want to go to three or 4 sights over two days to make it value it.

On our latest go to we purchased two 2-day Geneva Passes through GetYourGuide. Then all we needed to do was change the GetYourGuide voucher on the Geneva tourism workplace, the place we got the move voucher itself, in addition to a metropolis map and information to all of the included sights.

We used the move so much throughout our go to, and it positively saved us some huge cash on sight-seeing.

In fact, it received’t be for everybody, relying on what you wish to see. Many museums in Geneva are free, significantly these operated by the Metropolis of Geneva, such because the Pure Historical past Museum, all the time have free entry to their everlasting exhibitions.

So there are positively loads of free museums you possibly can go to in case you are on a good price range. Nonetheless, these museum practically all the time have an fascinating momentary exhibition which has a charge, and these are usually free for Geneva move holders.

One different factor – earlier than you determine to spend money on a move, all the time examine opening hours and days for the sights you wish to go to. For instance, many museums and sights are closed in Geneva on Mondays, so in case you are visiting on a Monday, be sure that what you wish to go to is open.

As well as, some museums have instances when it’s free to go to. This may be for a complete day, akin to a Sunday, or for just a few hours on a selected day of the week or month. In case your go to coincides with free entry, then clearly the move received’t prevent on these sights.

Lastly, in case you are eligible for any reductions, be sure that to issue these in when calculating the financial savings of the Geneva Go in your go to.

In any other case, we expect the Geneva Go is large worth for cash. You should purchase yours prematurely of your go to here.

Mamco Geneva


Practicalities for Visiting Geneva


There are Four nationwide languages in Switzerland. Geneva is within the French talking half. In our expertise most individuals working with vacationers communicate good English, and most museums have indicators in English as nicely.

Nonetheless, we expect it’s a good suggestion to study some primary French phrases in your journey, in order least you possibly can deal with greetings and instructions. We additionally suppose it’s well mannered to all the time strive studying just a few phrases when travelling to a rustic with a distinct language to our personal, and locals often appear to understand the trouble!

Electrical energy

Switzerland operates on 230 volts / 50 Hz and makes use of Sort C or Sort J plugs that match into recessed wall sockets. In case your units do not need Sort C or Sort J plugs, you will have to take some plug adapters akin to these.

If you’re touring from a rustic with 120v voltage (akin to america or Canada), it would be best to be sure that to solely deliver electronics that may help 220v voltage. You may study extra in our travel adapter guide.


Switzerland is among the most secure nations on this planet, though in fact we all the time advocate you are taking the same old precautions together with your belongings and private security. We’ve by no means encountered any issues travelling in Switzerland or Geneva, however it’s all the time finest to be on the secure aspect.

Web Entry

Web entry is comparatively straightforward to return by in Switzerland, with free WiFi accessible at most cafes, eating places, and motels. Many sights additionally present free WiFI entry, and there are additionally over 600 free WiFI factors across the metropolis offered by the Metropolis of Geneva (you possibly can see a full list here).

As such, we don’t suppose you’ll have any problem getting on-line in Geneva. We advocate studying our information to VPNs for travel, to maintain your information secure. For extra info on getting on-line, see our information to getting online when travelling.


Switzerland makes use of the Swiss Franc, which is denoted as CHF. These can be found in each cash and notes. For many transactions in Switzerland, we discovered that we might use our bank card with no points – simply ensure that your bank card issuer doesn’t cost you charges for international forex use.

There are some exceptions in fact, so it’s value having some notes and cash handy. For instance, should you purchase particular person tickets for public transport, the ticket machines will solely settle for cash. We additionally discovered when attending the balloon pageant in Chateau d’Oex that some meals distributors would solely settle for money, though that is pretty uncommon as a rule.


Additional Studying

We hope you might have discovered our information to issues to do in Geneva useful! Earlier than you go, we needed to share some extra content material that can assist you plan your journey.

And that’s it for our information to issues to do in Geneva, Switzerland! As all the time, we’re open to answering your questions and listening to your suggestions. Simply pop them within the feedback part under and we’ll get again to you as quickly as we are able to.

A comprehensive guide to things to do in Geneva. Guide to all the top sights and attractions in the city, + tips for where to stay, getting around & a map!


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