Geneva is the gateway to many Europeans who wish to visit the Swiss Alps, but apart from that, the city is known for its elegant historical centre and above all for its lake and its many parks full of flowers, fountains and lawns and barbecue areas to enjoy the spring and summer.
Geneva is a lively city with many activities to enjoy during the holidays or a weekend, whether you are travelling with children or as a couple looking for a few romantic days.
- Ausflüge & Aktivitäten
- Kunst und Kultur
- Bonus Track (die Überraschungen von Genf)
Places of interest
Geneva is a city to walk around, to enjoy, whose beauty lies above all in its gardens, its lake, its boats and barges at the various piers and in the quality of life that it exudes.
The Jet d’Eau
If there is one thing for which Geneva is internationally renowned, it is the famous jet of water that rises 140 meters from the centre of the lake and is visible from various points of the city. The truth is that it is spectacular and the ideal time ti see it is in the afternoons. If you are lucky and it is windy, you will see how the water jet also turns into a curtain of water.
The best places to admire this marvel are the Bains des Paquis and from the Eaux Vives landing stage, right on the opposite bank. There are even paths that lead to the bottom of the stream.
Another perfect place to see the Jet d’Eau is from the watchtower of the bell tower of St. Peter’s Basilica, but it is certainly best to do this from one of the boats that leave from the city’s jetties, giving you a different view.
Die Flower clock
In the city of clocks, a visit to the famous flower clock, which is located in the English Garden and is the object of desire of many tourists, is not to be missed. The clock is beautiful, but it is also of a typical Swiss reliability and accuracy, not for nothing it is synchronized via satellite.
The United Nations District
It is very interesting to take one of the buses that go from the center to the neighbourhood of the United Nations. Here you can admire the large buildings of the headquarters like the Intellectual Property, the World Health Organization or the World Meteorological Organization.
Above all, you will be seduced by the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations, flanked by the flags of the countries that make up the organisation.
A sculpture directly in front of the UN headquarters has earned the respect of the visitors. We talk about the broken chair, a huge seat with part of a leg missing, as a symbol of the drama and tragedy caused by anti-personnel mines.
Excursions & Activities
Geneva parks and walks on Lake Geneva
This is probably the great attraction of Geneva, especially if you visit the city during spring. If you start from the south shore, which is next to the historic centre, you will find the English Garden, where the famous Geneva Flower Clock is located. The route runs between piers, viewpoints on jetties and wooded walkways, flanked by elegant buildings and clock shops.
Past the Eaux Vives jetty, you will reach one of the best viewpoints of the Jet d’Eau. There is also the so-called baby beach, a charming access to the lake with swings and sand, where families can spend a great day.
On the north shore and at the Mont Blanc dock, the lake promenade is ideal for skating or cycling. Swimmers can swim in Bains des Paquis, a charming place where many families spend the day having picnics. In summer it is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Geneva.
Later you will find parks that are more beautiful than ever. The closest ones are Mon-Repos and Perle du Lac, places that fill up on weekends and are full of grass, hundred-year-old trees, small museums in beautiful buildings and, above all, tulips, hundreds of tulips.
People come here to barbecue, read or simply to enjoy the unforgettable panoramic view of Lake Geneva.
From the top of this mountain you will have a great view of the city, the lake and the Swiss Alps. A cable car takes you up in seven minutes, and the fare is included in the Geneva Pass. At the top there are countless opportunities for hiking and adventure sports such as paragliding.
Carouge is a small village near Geneva, which can be reached on foot from the city. The town is a collection of quiet streets with squares, each of which is more beautiful, like the market where many events are held. It is a place with French architecture and French style, but with a Mediterranean touch.
Arts and Culture
St Peter’s Basilica and the Old Town
The old town of Geneva is a very elegant area over which the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica (St. Pierre) is enthroned, especially its extraordinary front with Greek columns.
Inside is Calvin’s chair, on which the leader of the Reformation in Switzerland worked. We also recommend to going up the tower to admire the beautiful view of the old town and the lake.
The catacombs of the cathedral can also be visited and allow you to see the origins of the cathedral and the Romanesque church in the first centuries of our era.
Around the cathedral there are beautiful cobbled squares like the Bourg-de-Four, with a beautiful fountain and terraces, ideal for a break on the journey. Also noteworthy is the Rue de l’Hotel-de-Ville, a very lively street for a walk.
The arcade courtyard of the Town Hall, the old arsenal of the city with its cannons or Maison Tavel, the Museum of History and Art of Geneva, located in the oldest house of the city, are also interesting.
In this part of the city you can often find restaurants and crematoria where you can taste some of the best specialties of the city.
Do not miss the spectacular mausoleum built for Charles II of Brunswick, who lived here for many years and left an impressive legacy. It was built in neo-Gothic style and is located very close to the centre, in the Alpine Garden and next to the Mont Blanc Bridge.
The Wall of the Reformers
When you leave the old town, you will come to a small park where you will find the longest bank in the world. It is a very beautiful area known as the Promenade de la Treille, where you can see this seat with dozens of people.
If you go down you will reach the Parc des Bastions, a beautiful park where pensioners and children play giant chess. Here you will also find the famous and imposing Wall of the Reformers, a tribute to the leaders of the Reformation in Switzerland.
One of the most unknown and curious places in the city is the Pointe de la Jonction, the meeting point of the Rhône and the Arve rivers. The walk along a poplar path is beautiful, very quiet and with a decadent and bohemian aspect.
The museums of Geneva
Geneva is a city full of opportunities for culture lovers, as it is full of museums. Among the most important we would like to highlight the Patek Philippe Museum with an important collection of antique watches or the Cité du Temps with temporary and permanent exhibitions, like all Swatch watches that are manufactured and classified by year.
Bonus Track (Geneva’s surprises)
Next to the Molard tower, which is located between the rue de Marché and the lake, there are several terraces that become a chic place during the evenings. In addition to the lighting of the historical building, several paving stones with messages in different languages are laid on the ground, which are also illuminated, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.
Taking a boat on Lake Geneva is neither expensive nor difficult. From its terrace, you can admire the city and the Jet d’Eau. An hour’s drive to enjoy Geneva in a different way.
If you are walking with children, you can visit the spectacular and huge park with skates and scooters, which is located next to the Reformers’ Wall Park.
Near Geneva you can visit Chamonix Mont Blanc or Glacier 3000 with its spectacular bridge linking two summits, or its landslide on the highest point in the world. An amazing place in the mountains to complete your escape from the city to Geneva.
Accommodation in Geneva
One of the best hotels for sleeping in Geneva is the Hotel Bristol. It is perfect for couples and children and has the official Swiss tourism label of a family-friendly hotel. If you are going alone or with your partner there is no need to be afraid as the family rooms are located in a specific area of the hotel, so those who seek total peace and quiet will not have any kind of “disturbance”.
The hotel is elegant, with very spacious and quiet rooms and nice common areas to relax. There is also a wellness area to relax from your walks through the city.
The hotel is very well located, right next to the Mont Blanc Bridge and with easy access to the city’s main tourist attractions, such as the Jet d’Eau, the old town or the flower clock.
How to get to Geneva from other countries?
In the following article you can discover the best ways to get to the city, but we already tell you that it is very easy to do this by plane, as there are cheap flights with Easyjet from the main European capitals like London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid or Rome.