27 Things to do in Geneva Switzerland

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

After all, 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 Purple Cross, it is a international hub for diplomacy. It’s additionally residence to world-class watchmakers, incredible purchasing alternatives, a historic and exquisite outdated down, and a powerful array of museums.

If a visit to Geneva is in your to-do checklist, and it needs to be, then we’ve put collectively this information of issues to do in Geneva which ought to provide you with a lot of concepts on your go to. This might 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 masking a spread 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, find out how to get round, how to economize, and a few in style excursions on 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. This can be a big water fountain on the southern finish of Lake Geneva which fires 5 hundred litres of water into the air each second, attaining a peak of 140 metres (460ft).

Given the peak that the water reaches, as you may think the fountain is seen from an incredible many places across the metropolis. Nevertheless, the most effective views are arguably from the waterfront, the place you’re closest to the fountain. A phrase of warning although – a shift in wind path may 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 yr besides when it’s notably 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’ll be able to see the complete schedule right 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 unquestionably an applicable 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 the planet. The corporate’s luxurious watches are worn by celebrities, royalty and world leaders. Patek Philippe additionally maintain information for the most costly watches ever bought.

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

The main focus of the museum is the unimaginable assortment of timepieces inside. There are over 2,000 reveals to take a look at! These embrace watches courting way back to the 16th century, and the gathering even contains 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 might suggest the general public guided tour is likely to be a greater possibility. It’s because there’s a actually boggling array of timepieces on show, and except you’re a true watch professional, a tour will likely be the easiest way to establish a number of the actual highlights of the gathering.

The museum is open Tuesday by means of Saturday, with excursions operating in English as soon as a day. You’ll be able to see full particulars and opening hours right here. There’s a price for entry, and it’s included on the Geneva Cross.

Word that images contained in the museum isn’t permitted and you should 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 think about a watchmaking tour like this, which can take you on a visit by means of 500 years of watchmaking historical past within the metropolis.

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

Patek Phillipe watch


Discover Geneva’s Outdated City

Lots 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 note components of it naturally by visiting the sights on this checklist, don’t overlook to only spend a while wandering the maze of cobbled streets that you can find right here.

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

A superb possibility for exploring the outdated city is to take a strolling tour like this, which can allow you to uncover all of the hidden nooks and crannies, in addition to be taught in regards to the historical past of what you’re seeing.

Old Town Geneva


Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork (MAMCO)

Discovered proper subsequent door to the Patek Philippe Museum, the Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork is the most important up to date artwork museum in Switzerland.

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

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

There’s a price to go to, and it’s included on the Geneva Cross.

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 be taught in regards to the historical past of cultures across the globe, then it would be best to go to MEG. With an enormous assortment spanning virtually 70,000 objects, which cowl cultures from all over the world, it is best to discover one thing to curiosity you!

There’s additionally an unimaginable assortment of images, with virtually 18,000 images within the MEG assortment. Within the library, it’s also possible to hearken to music from all around the world.

After all, there isn’t room to place every part on show without delay. The everlasting exhibition shows over a thousand objects, which span all the foremost continents. There are additionally non permanent reveals.

MEG is open every single day besides Mondays, and you may see full particulars on opening hours right here. Visiting the everlasting exhibition is free. Short-term reveals carry a price, and it’s also possible to pay for a guided tour of the everlasting exhibition if you want. Entry to the non permanent exhibit can also be included on the Geneva Cross.


Museum of the Hearth 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 in case 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 a captivating number of museums on supply. Take for instance the Hearth Brigade Museum. This can be a fascinating little museum which charts the historical past of the fireplace brigade service within the metropolis.

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

The Hearth 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’ll be able to see extra about opening instances and planning your go to on the official website right here.


Jardin Anglais & the Flower Clock

The Jardin Anglais, or “English Backyard”, is a historic city park on the shores of Lake Geneva, discovered just under the outdated city space. Courting from 1855, the park sits on what was previously an historical 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 timber 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 unquestionably price a go to. This totally working clock options 1000’s of flowering vegetation and shrubs to indicate the time. These are modified because the seasons change within the metropolis.

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

The mini practice is included as a part of the Geneva Cross, though it’s seasonal. It’s also possible to guide a strolling tour like this which incorporates the mini practice.


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. Plenty of 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!

For those who get the Geneva Cross, this comes with a selection of sightseeing cruises of round an hour in size  These gives you good views of the town in opposition to an alpine backdrop. Alternatively, you’ll be able to guide a cruise on Lake Geneva right here.

There are different choices for getting out on the lake in case you favor to propel your self. For instance, you’ll be able to lease , rise up paddle boards or pedal boats to tackle the lake (each additionally included with the Geneva Cross).

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

If cruises aren’t operating, you’ll be able to nonetheless get a style of a cruise by taking one of many common shuttle boats, often known as mouettes. These run from 4 totally different places within the metropolis and are included on the town transport card. See extra on this within the part on getting round Geneva afterward on this submit.

Geneva lake mouette


Brunswick Monument

On a latest journey to Geneva, this big monument was proper outdoors our resort, 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. Properly, when he died, Charles left his complete 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 in an effort to be eligible for the funding. One was that he obtained a pleasant funeral, and the opposite was {that a} good monument be constructed to commemorate him. Town quite 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 Pure Historical past 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 set of over 15 million specimens, we’re pretty certain you’ll discover one thing you get pleasure from!

The everlasting exhibitions cowl a spread of themes, together with animals, man’s improvement over time, minerals and the photo voltaic system. There’s additionally details about the geology of Switzerland, and the world round Geneva particularly.

Entry to the everlasting exhibitions is free. There’s a price for the non permanent exhibitions, entry to which is free to holders of the Geneva Cross. The museum is open every single day besides Mondays, you’ll be able to see full opening hours and pricing on the official web site right here.


Museum of Artwork and Historical past

Geneva’s huge Museum of Artwork and Historical past is among the largest museums in Switzerland, and the most important artwork museum in Geneva. It includes a assortment which was began in 1826, and which covers each artwork and archaeology.

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

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

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

The everlasting collections of the Geneva Museum of Artwork and Historical past are free to go to. There are additionally non permanent reveals which require a ticket, that is free to holders of the Geneva Cross. The museum is open every single day besides Mondays, you’ll be able to see opening hours and different info on your go to on the official web site right here.


World-Class Procuring

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

These embrace 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 shortly, you shouldn’t have any downside 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 inventive objects from so referred to as “primitive” civilizations.

The museum assortment, which at present options over 7,000 items of artwork, is predicated on the gathering of Josef Muller and his household, who spent a long time amassing the various objects within the assortment. The small museum is simply capable of showcase components 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 every single day of the yr from 11am – 5pm, and there’s a price to go to. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Cross. You’ll be able to see extra info on opening instances and costs right here.

Barbier Mueller Museum Geneva


Tavel Home

If you wish to be taught in regards to the historical past of life in Geneva, then it is best to plan a go to to Tavel Home. 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 dimensions 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 at present.

After all, there’s loads extra to see, together with work, maps, furnishings and an entire miscellany of objects from the town. It’s a stunning museum to discover and get misplaced in, and there’s loads of info out there in an array of languages.

As it is a museum of the town of Geneva, entry to the everlasting exhibitions is free. There are additionally often paid non permanent reveals which carry a price, however that are free to holders of the Geneva Cross. Once we visited, there was a wonderful non permanent set up on the historical past of images.

The museum is open from 11am – 6pm every single day besides Monday. Examine the newest info, costs and opening hours right here.

Maison Tavel Geneva


Worldwide Museum of the Reformation

Relying in your curiosity in non secular 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 primarily 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 at present the second largest type of Christianity on the 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 major facilities of Calvinism. You’ll be able to be taught extra in regards to the historical past of the Reformation in Switzerland right here.

If non secular historical past pursuits you, then you’ll positively wish to go to the Worldwide 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 authentic manuscript by Martin Luther.

The museum is open 10am – 5pm every single day besides Mondays, and there’s a price for visiting. You’ll be able to see extra on the official web site right here. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Cross and an audioguide is included within the ticket worth. Word that after we visited images 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 stunning 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 focus of the monument are 5 metre excessive statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox, 4 of the primary proponents of Calvinism. The monument is free to go to and open yr 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 vital 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 known as being the house church of John Calvin, one of many leaders of the Protestant Reformation. A small picket chair utilized by Calvin is on show within the church. Different highlights embrace 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 might be climbed for a small price (free for holders of the Geneva Cross). The views from the highest of the towers are positively well worth the climb up for my part!

The cathedral is open every single day, as are the towers. There are some exceptions after all, relying on features, so do examine the official web site. It’s free to go to, apart from the towers and archaeological website.

St Pierre Cathedral Geneva
View from towers of St Pierre Cathedral


Archaeological Web site of St. Pierre Cathedral

The positioning 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 not less than the third century BC. As such, there may be lots of historical past to be discovered right here, a lot of it underground.

A wonderful option to find out about this historical past is to go to the Archaeological Web site of St. Pierre Cathedral. That is really discovered beneath the current day cathedral, in an unlimited 3,000 sq. meter website. A go to will take you on a journey by means of the historical past of this area and Geneva usually, and contains a wonderful video that exhibits how the location has modified over the centuries.

There’s tons to see right here, and we expect this can attraction to all ages. For those who’re visiting the cathedral, a go to to the subterranean archaeological website subsequent door can actually add to that have. Simply you’ll want to give your self loads of time – not less than an hour – as there’s lots to see right here. It was a lot greater than we anticipated.

There may be an entrance price, though it’s free for holders of the Geneva Cross. It’s also possible to buy a ticket on website which incorporates this website, the St. Pierre towers and the Worldwide Museum of the Reformation. The positioning is open every single day from 10am – 5pm. See extra on the official web site right here.

Archaeological Site of St. Pierre Cathedral Geneva


Geneva Parks

For those who’re on the lookout for some inexperienced areas while your in Geneva, you have got a lot of wonderful choices. In addition to the beforehand talked about English Backyard and Bastion Park, there are a selection of different pretty parks to discover.

These embrace:

  • Geneva’s Botanical Backyard, 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 completely 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, it is a sloping hillside park topped by an 18th century mansion, providing good views and picturesque water options

There are after all many extra to select from, however this could provide you with an excellent place to begin. A number of the the parks have totally different actions out there all year long, from tremendous sized chess boards by means of to stay performances and even ice skating!


Museum of the Historical past of Science

Lovers of science will certainly wish to embrace a visit to the Museum of the Historical past of Science of their Geneva itinerary. Discovered somewhat 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 in case you’ve ever questioned in regards to the historical past and developments in gadgets like microscopes, telescopes or thermometers, then that is the museum for you!

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


Worldwide Museum of the Purple Cross and Purple Crescent

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

For those who’d wish to be taught extra about this motion, its historical past, the work it has accomplished and the folks it has helped, then there’s no higher place than the Worldwide Museum of the Purple Cross and Purple Crescent in Geneva. This museum has a variety of reveals which element the historical past of the group, and which take you on a thought scary and emotional journey by means of a few of its work over time.

The museum is open every single day besides Mondays and a few public holidays. There’s a price to go to, nevertheless it’s included on the Geneva Cross. See extra on pricing and opening hours on the official web site right here.

Red Cross Museum Geneva


United Nations

There are 4 main United Nations places of work all over the world, together with the headquarters of the UN in New York Metropolis. The workplace in Geneva is the second largest of those places of work, and it’s doable to go to on a tour and be taught in regards to the work that goes on right here in addition to see a number of the extra spectacular and vital rooms.

Excursions are run on weekdays all year long, and are supplied in English and French, with different languages out there if requested upfront. Excursions final an hour, nevertheless, bear in mind that that is fairly a preferred exercise in Geneva and so the traces for safety might be lengthy – it’s really helpful to reach not less than 40 minutes upfront of the tour begin time.

You’ll be able to learn extra about tour instances and pricing, in addition to the place to purchase your tickets, on the official web site right here.

UN Flags Geneva


The Damaged Chair

Once you go to the United Nations, you received’t be capable to miss the massive statue of a chair on the plaza outdoors the doorway. The chair, designed by artist Daniel Berset, is notable for having a damaged leg, and is named 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 identified 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. Nevertheless, 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.

Because of this failure by many vital 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 option to go in the case of 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 Purple Cross, you may wish to make a go to to the Ariana Museum. This museum is also called 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 objects, spanning seven centuries of ceramics.

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

The primary a part of the Museum is free to go to, with the non permanent reveals carrying a price. Holders of the Geneva Cross get free entry to the non permanent reveals, or an audioguide to the primary reveals. The museum is open every single day besides Monday and a few public holidays. There’s additionally a restaurant on-site the place we had a stunning lunch. See extra on pricing and opening hours on the official web site right here.

Musee Ariana



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

CERN is also called being the place Tim Berners-Lee was working when he got here up with the concept of the world large net, and CERN was the place the primary net server on the planet was put stay.

Naturally, these of you with an curiosity in modern-day science will wish to go to CERN, which is simply outdoors 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 number of the work that CERN does. These are free to go to and don’t require reserving upfront. You’ll be able to learn extra about these right here.

It’s additionally doable to take a tour of the CERN facility. These are free, and excursions are run in English and French. Nevertheless, you can’t simply flip up for considered one of these excursions, you must guide them upfront. For people, you’ll be able to guide excursions as much as 15 days upfront. These excursions are very fashionable and have a tendency to refill shortly, so if that is one thing you wish to do, we extremely suggest 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 every part you must find out about find out how to guide these excursions, once they function and what you must deliver on the official web site for visiting CERN right here.

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

CERN Globe Geneva


Mont-Salève Cable Automobile

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

Properly, in case you’d wish to expertise a few of these pretty environment, a great way to try this is to make a journey on the Mont-Salève Cable Automobile.

Discovered lower than 10km to the south-east of Geneva, or round a 15 minute bus journey on the quantity Eight bus, this cable automotive 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 a lot of hikes within the space, in case you really feel like getting some recent air and train.

There’s a price to journey the cable automotive after all, with return journeys costing barely lower than single journeys. It’s free for holders of the Geneva Cross. You’ll wish to examine the timetable earlier than heading out right here to make certain it’s operating whenever you plan to go to, which you are able to do on the official web site right here.


Strive Native Swiss Dishes and Meals

Switzerland is residence to a variety of scrumptious meals, and a go to to Geneva is an excellent alternative to attempt them. Clearly, probably the most well-known meals that you’ll possible already pay attention to is fondue and also you simply can’t come to Switzerland with out making an attempt it. Nevertheless, there are tons extra cuisines to attempt – 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 sweets!

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

We occurred upon this accidentally following our go to to Tavel Home (it’s straight reverse), and had a extremely incredible meal (after all together with fondue). The service workers was additionally wonderful, and even gave me tips about find out how to finest get pleasure from my fondue.

There are different choices for sampling Swiss meals after all. This can be a nicely rated tour of the a number of the finest chocolatiers in Geneva, for these of you with a candy tooth. It’s also possible to do a self-guided meals tour like this, and check out a spread 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. It’s also possible to see this on Google Maps right here, which incorporates the sights additional outdoors the town like CERN.

Map of Things to do in Geneva



How one can Get Round Geneva

Relating to getting round, Geneva is an excellent metropolis for visiting.

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

After all, there are some exceptions, equivalent to CERN, the Purple Cross Museum, the UN and the Historical past of Science Museum that are simpler to succeed in by public transport.

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

First, holders of the Geneva Cross routinely qualify totally free public transport in Geneva, out to Zone 10.

Second, guests to Geneva who’re staying in a resort, hostel or guesthouse are additionally eligible totally free transport within the metropolis. Simply ask on the reception of the lodging supplier, and so they’ll give you the chance that will help you out.

After all, we admire some people may favor to remain in an condominium rental or comparable, and won’t reap the benefits of the Geneva Cross. On this case, you should purchase tickets both on a pay as you go foundation or as a day card. These might be bought from ticket machines, that are discovered at bus and tram stops.

Actually although, we expect most guests ought to qualify totally free public transport within the metropolis, both by means of their lodging supplier or by means of the Geneva Cross.

If you’re arriving into Geneva by aircraft, all arrivals qualify totally free public transport into the town. You’ll be able to choose up your free ticket from the machines within the arrivals corridor the place you choose up your baggage, earlier than you exit the arrivals space.

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

If you’re accumulating a rental automotive at Geneva Airport, you must bear in mind that there are two assortment factors for automotive leases, one for arrivals who’re travelling to France, and one for arrivals travelling to Switzerland.

For Switzerland, automotive rental is positioned on the Arrivals degree. Head in the direction of the submit workplace (indicators for La Poste). The return level is the automotive park space P51 (decrease degree). The French automotive rental is on the opposite facet, observe the indicators for “vacation spot France”.

Lastly, as with many cities all over the world, it’s also possible to 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 every part you must find out about what you’re seeing. We all the time get pleasure from these bus rides, as they’re a soothing option to see lots, and likewise useful option to get round.

You should buy tickets for the Geneva HoHo bus right here. It’s additionally included on the Geneva Cross.

Geneva Transport Card


When to Go to Geneva

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

For those who would like to go to within the hotter months, when actions like cruises on Lake Geneva are extra pleasurable, then Could by means of September can be our really helpful time.

In case your journey to Geneva is a part of an extended go to to Switzerland, then the time of yr you go to will rely on 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 the most effective snow. For these of you on the lookout for mountain climbing, or usually hotter climate, then the summer season months will possible be higher!

As you’ll be able to see, there’s no “finest” time to go to Geneva. Simply the most effective 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 suggest that you simply spend not less than two days in Geneva. As you’ll be able to 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, Purple Cross Museum and different highlights within the west of the town.

In case you have time, three days gives you extra alternatives to see all of the highlights in addition to take a lake cruise, buy groceries, attempt extra eating places and so forth.

After all, 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 a lot of close by locations of curiosity. Geneva makes for an incredible base for exploring, and you can keep for every 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 the case of lodging. These fluctuate throughout a spread of budgets and types. In our expertise, lodges that are nearer to Lake Geneva, and have lake views, are typically costlier than these that are additional again from the lake. Rooms with views of the fountain particularly have a worth premium hooked up.

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

  • Metropolis Hostel Geneva – Simply 800 yards from the Lake and conveniently positioned for the practice station, this is among the extra central and well-reviewed hostels within the metropolis. Each dormitory and personal rooms can be found, and kitchen amenities can be found. A nicely positioned price range choose for Geneva.
  • Lodge Central – Very centrally positioned, it is a nicely reviewed 2* resort inside strolling distance of the vast majority of Geneva’s sights. Rooms vary from pretty primary choices with shared bogs, by means of to bigger choices with en-suite amenities. 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, it is 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 automotive.
  • Hôtel Bel’Espérance – centrally positioned within the outdated city, it is 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, it is 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 opinions.
  • Lodge d’Allèves – 100 yards from Lake Geneva and simply 5 minutes stroll from the practice station, it is a nicely reviewed 18th century 4* resort. Rooms are all en-suite and breakfast is accessible.
  • Les Armures – proper subsequent to St. Pierre Cathedral, considered one of our favorite eating places in Geneva can also be a well-reviewed 5* resort. Rooms are luxuriously embellished and the places is great for exploring the outdated city.
  • Lodge Beau Rivage Geneva – This 5* resort discovered proper on the Lake is our favorite resort in Geneva. Rooms are spectacular, and lots of of them supply views of the fountain. There’s an on-site Michelin starred restaurant, the Chat-Botté, which is excellent, and in case you are visiting Geneva trying to spoil your self, this resort is unquestionably the one to go for!

After all, there are tons extra choices in Geneva on your keep. You’ll be able to see extra listings on reserving.com right here. For those who’re on the lookout for an condominium rental, see a full checklist of choices on AirBnB right here.

Hotel Beau Rivages Geneva


Really useful Excursions in Geneva

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

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

As you’ll be able to see, there are many excursions to select from in Geneva! You’ll be able to see extra choices on GetYourGuide right here and Viator right here.

Holders of the Geneva Cross even have entry to a variety of free excursions that are included with the go, together with some guided strolling excursions.


Getting To and From Geneva

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

For those who’re flying, Geneva airport has worldwide flight connections to places all all over the world. Attending to and from Geneva airport could be very simple – there’s free public transport for arrivals (simply choose up your free ticket earlier than you permit the arrivals space), and each buses and trains present companies. The practice is probably going the simplest possibility, however relying on the placement of your resort a bus may get you nearer to the place you must be.

Geneva additionally has a serious practice station, with wonderful connections to each the remainder of Switzerland and far of Europe. So arriving by practice is unquestionably a doable, and the practice station could be very central.

You’ll be able to examine practice schedules and buy tickets for each Swiss and European trains on the Trainline web site.

In case you have a practice go, it’s also possible to journey throughout Switzerland and Europe with a Eurail Cross (non-European resident vacationers) or Interrail Cross (European resident vacationers). You get a practice go for simply Switzerland or a world go for over 30 nations.

It’s also possible to journey to and from Geneva by bus, each inside Switzerland and additional afield. We suggest checking Flixbus for worldwide bus connections. They’re the most important bus community in Europe, and their buses have massive comfy seats, bogs, wi-fi and energy shops. It’s also possible to 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. Nevertheless, there’s additionally an incredible deal to expertise across the metropolis, which means there are some nice day excursions you’ll be able to take from Geneva.

These embrace 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 fortress.
  • 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 automotive 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 elective boat cruise on Lake Geneva
  • This full day tour to the Gruyères area, well-known for its cheese and exquisite fortified hilltop city. Contains time within the city in addition to a tour of a chocolate manufacturing unit, though notice that this tour doesn’t embrace 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 journey on the the Schilthorn cable automotive, for spectacular views of the alps
  • This non-public full day journey 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 journey to Gruyères which features a panoramic practice journey,  time in Gruyere village and a go to to the cheese manufacturing unit and chocolate manufacturing unit
  • Lausanne – it’s simple to go to Lausanne as a day journey from Geneva. Trains run usually and take 40-50 minutes. Then you’ll be able to self-guide your self round this gorgeous lake-side metropolis, or guide a metropolis strolling tour like this to see the highlights with a information. Ebook your practice upfront right here.



Is the Geneva Cross Value It?

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

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

As you’ll be able to see, the go features a lot, and we expect it’s among the best worth metropolis passes out there, particularly when you think about that many of the paid sights in Geneva value 10 – 15 CHF per individual.

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

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

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

After all, it received’t be for everybody, relying on what you wish to see. Many museums in Geneva are free, notably 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’ll be able to go to in case you are on a decent price range. Nevertheless, these museum practically all the time have an attention-grabbing non permanent exhibition which has a price, and these are usually free for Geneva go holders.

One different factor – earlier than you resolve to put money into a go, 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 certain 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 an entire day, equivalent to a Sunday, or for just a few hours on a particular day of the week or month. In case your go to coincides with free entry, then clearly the go received’t prevent on these sights.

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

In any other case, we expect the Geneva Cross is large worth for cash. You should buy yours upfront of your go to right 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 converse good English, and most museums have indicators in English as nicely.

Nevertheless, we expect it’s a good suggestion to be taught some primary French phrases on your journey, in order least you’ll be able to deal with greetings and instructions. We additionally assume it’s well mannered to all the time attempt studying just a few phrases when travelling to a rustic with a special 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 gadgets wouldn’t have Sort C or Sort J plugs, you will have to take some plug adapters equivalent to these.

If you’re touring from a rustic with 120v voltage (equivalent to america or Canada), it would be best to be certain to solely deliver electronics that can assist 220v voltage. You’ll be able to be taught extra in our journey adapter information.


Switzerland is among the most secure nations on the planet, though after all we all the time suggest you are taking the same old precautions together with your belongings and private security. We have now by no means encountered any issues travelling in Switzerland or Geneva, nevertheless it’s all the time finest to be on the secure facet.

Web Entry

Web entry is comparatively simple to return by in Switzerland, with free WiFi out there at most cafes, eating places, and lodges. Many sights additionally present free WiFI entry, and there are additionally over 600 free WiFI factors across the metropolis supplied by the Metropolis of Geneva (you’ll be able to see a full checklist right here).

As such, we don’t assume you’ll have any problem getting on-line in Geneva. We suggest studying our information to VPNs for journey, to maintain your knowledge secure. For extra info on getting on-line, see our information to getting on-line 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 may use our bank card with no points – simply make it possible for your bank card issuer doesn’t cost you charges for international forex use.

There are some exceptions after all, so it’s price having some notes and cash at hand. For instance, in case 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 have got discovered our information to issues to do in Geneva useful! Earlier than you go, we wished to share some extra content material that will help 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 beneath 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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