Sight Seeing in Geneva
The most distinctive and iconic landmark of Geneva is the Jet d'eau Water jet shooting up 140m high. It's a great photo opportunity and a must see when visiting Geneva. Book cheap flights to Geneva and make sure this fabulous attraction is on your list of places to visit.
For beautiful architecture visit the Cathédrale St Pierre located on a hilltop overlooking the city. The 12th century Cathedral is beautiful both inside and out in a Romanesque-Gothic style with a deep and interesting history.
The Flower Clock is a piece of technological and floral art put together in celebration of the Swiss watch industry and a must see on any trip to Geneva. Also well worth a visit is the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire which is the largest and most acclaimed museum in Switzerland containing Swiss and other European art and artifacts dating back to pre-historic times.
Highlighting Geneva's status as one of the most important business centers of Europe is the Palais des Nations headquarters of the UN. You can take a tour through the building for an intriguing insight into the workings of the UN and also learn about other organisations based in Geneva such as the World Trade Organisation and the Red Cross.
You simply must visit the Old Town which, with its picturesque, cobblestone streets and old buildings, provides a stark contrast with the business areas of the city. The Old Town is lined with cafes, restaurants and shops where you can pick up a traditional Swiss product including Cuckoo Clocks and delicious Swiss chocolate.
If you're after some relaxation there are plenty of gardens and parks such as the Botanical Gardens where you can spend an afternoon. You should also visit Lake Geneva: the largest lake in central Europe and the location of stunning scenery. With cheap flights to Geneva available with Jet2.com, you can be relaxing in this fabulous city in no time!
Romantic Breaks in Geneva
Whether you want a relaxing break by the tranquil waters of Lake Geneva or a livelier weekend in the cosmopolitan business center of Geneva you will find something to suit you on a romantic break to Geneva.
Take a horse drawn carriage ride around the gentle lapping waters of Lake Geneva and fall just as much in love with the beautiful scenery as you do with each other. Or perhaps a relaxing stroll through the Jardin Anglais, and even eat a picnic surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful flowers.
In the evening head to one of the many cosy cafes or else head into the city and visit one of the fine restaurants serving mainly French cuisine. Le Francis Bar makes for an excellent after dinner venue as it comes alive as a fashionable piano bar and the perfect place to end a romantic city break.
Fun Seekers in Geneva
In Geneva you will find facilities that cater for your every adventurous need. You can go biking, climbing and hiking up Mount Saleve for incredible views of Geneva, the lake and the French Alps, diving, fishing, snorkeling, rafting and sailing on the River Rhone or Arve and of course skiing and snowboarding. There are a huge range of golf courses to choose from made even more exhilarating by their setting in the stunning scenery of Switzerland and you can even swim in one of the designated swimming areas of Lake Geneva.
Geneva also provides access to some of the best ski resorts in the Alps including…
Morzine – Avoriaz – Unlike any resort in the world this award winning resort has bizarre buildings, a traffic tree road system and you ‘ski from your door' literally! Part of the Portes du Soleil (offering 650km of runs), this is a really popular resort for skiers and boarders alike. The resort is situated 98km from Geneva Airport with a journey time of approximately 1hr 25mins.
Chamonix - This resort will really test your skills and is ideal for the perfect weekend break as it lies only one hour from Geneva Airport. Made up of a number of villages linked by ski bus, the Chamonix ski area offers some great off piste and something for the extreme skiers out there. Chamonix is situated 101km from Geneva, approximately 1hr drive.
Courmayeur – At the base of the breathtaking Mont Blanc, this Italian resort has a charming centre with narrow cobbled streets and a traditional feel. With really good snow (on and off piste) Courmayeur is the ideal destination for the intermediate skiers. Courmayeur is 120km from Geneva and approximately a 120min drive away.
Verbier – A huge ski field, deep powder bowls and a glacier, Verbier has the lot! Although Verbier can be more on the expensive side, with low cost flights the more advanced skiers of you have no excuse; this is the ideal resort for you. Situated 90km from Geneva and a 2hr journey by car.
Châtel – A charming resort with great access to the Portes du Soleil, Châtel offers a more traditional option to that of Avoriaz. A good mix of accommodation and steady aprés ski makes Châtel a Jet2.com favourite. Great for all levels of ski expertise, Châtel is a great all rounder, situated 90km and a 1hr 15min drive away from Geneva.
Champéry – Widely acknowledged as ‘base camp' to Les Portes des Soleil, the ristic village of Champéry is situated high up in the Swiss Alps. With a variety of slopes on the doorstep all levels are catered for and it's just 1 hour and 30 mins (135km) from Geneva!
Visit our ski site for more information.
If snow doesn't excite you then head to Les Rues – Basses for a day in Geneva's fanciest shopping district where you will find jewellers, departments stores and designer boutiques. Or else visit Rue de la Confederation where the streets are lined with shops selling everything from clothes to Swiss chocolate, watches and music.
For all of you culture vultures out there visit the Grand Theatre in the Place Nueve the cultural epicenter of Geneva and where you will be treated to music and opera. If you visit in early August you can also take advantage of the Fêtes de Genève the annual arts festival for music, theatre and live street shows.
For a night out Geneva is home to some trendy and mainly business orientated bars. However head further a field to Lausanne where you will find a younger crowd gathered at the many bars and clubs often with top DJs providing the music.
Family Fun in Geneva
Children will love to visit the Musee d'Historie Naturelle where there are many temporary and permanent exhibits of natural and historic artifacts. The museum also holds daily events and several activities that will even keep the big kids entertained.
The Geneve Plage is very popular with families for its beach park, waterslide, playground, pool, basketball and volleyball courts so there is plenty to keep everyone entertained all day long no matter what your tastes.
The many parks and gardens in Geneva such as Jardin Anglais are also family favourites especially to take a picnic and a football and spend the day eating and playing on the grass.
Lake Geneva is also a great place to take children, you can take a steam train tour around the lake which is sure to thrill even the smallest of children and even hire a paddle boat and sail gently over the waters.
Events in Geneva
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Activities in Geneva
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Top Tips for Geneva
Visit La Perle Du Lac in Lausanne for a classic choice of excellent cuisine in an attractive setting overlooking the lake.
For great food and a jam packed menu head to Café Du Centre which is permanently busy but in a fantastic location surrounded by flower stalls.
Yes - Oui
No - Non
Hello - Bonjour
Goodbye - Au revoir
Please - S'il vous plaît
Thank you - Merci
My name is … - Je m'appelle …
How are you? - Comment ça va?
I'm very well - Ça va bien
I feel ill - Je ne me sens pas bien
How much does it cost? - Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
Do you speak English? - Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
I don't understand - Je ne comprends pas
Where is …? - Où est …?
Entrance - Entrée
Exit - Sortie
Danger - Danger
Open - Ouvert
Closed - Fermé
Toilets - Toilettes
Doctor - Médecin
Hotel - Hôtel
Restaurant - Restaurant
Beer - BièreWine - Vin
Cost of a pint of beer:
Hotels & Apartments in Geneva
Edelweiss - star rating 3
To stay at the Edelweiss is to experience a slice of Swiss chalet lifestyle in the heart of the city centre. Here you will find a totally unique experience where modern comforts meet with traditional Swiss hospitality.
Auteuil - star rating 4
Located in downtown Geneva, the Auteuil is just a few minutes from the lake and all that Geneva has to offer. The hotel boasts lavish surroundings and offers standards higher than its classification with a blend of modern flair and traditional style.
Royal - star rating 4+
The "New look" Royal Hotel offers a sophisticated elegance, amidst sumptuous surroundings. Lovely furnishings and decor capture a feeling of opulence and flair.
Customer Comments for Geneva
For a different week, sign up with one of a number of companies who run a Mont Blanc climbing week. No previous climbing experience necessary, just a reasonable level of fitness. Although Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe, at 4810m, it's not a technically challenging climb.
The company I went with ran a programme I suspect is common to most; albeit they did include an acclimatisation weekend on the front (Saturday and Sunday), ideal if your fitness training didn't quite pan out as planned. It also gave the six of us on the trip our first experience of a mountain refuge - think youth hostel with less sleep!
Thereafter, we were into the programme proper. Monday was spent learning how to use crampons and ice axes. The final part of the Mont Blanc ascent, at least the way we went (the Gouter route) requires a lengthy trek across the snow from the Gouter hut at 3817m to the final summit a 1000m and approximately 3 hours later. Not hugely complicated, you soon learn to keep your feet slightly further apart than normal and move at the same pace as the people you are roped to.
Tuesday was a climbing and altitude acclimatisation day – in our case spent at the cosmique arrete – a rock ridge which leads back to the top of the aiguille de midi cable car. I think the climbing (challenging only because of the drops back down into the valley, and the fact that we were in crampons) was a bottle tester prior to the main event. Fortunately 5 of the original 6 passed, and our ascent was brought forward to the wednesday/thursday as a result of weather concerns – at least a 1/3 of all ascent attempts end in weather induced failure.
Wednesday was the easiest day of our week, with a ski lift and train journey followed by a 2 hour walk, punctuated by a rain storm, to our "overnight" stop at the Tete Rousse hut. (now known as Patrick's in our group in honour of our own redhead). By this stage we had a guide between two, and ours had decided to take his keyboard with him (no it didn't fit in his rucksack being about 6 foot long) so we were entertained to his various Supertramp, Elton John and John Lennon renditions. The plan was also to get some sleep since we were to depart at the next morning at 1.30am – snow conditions are better early. The Tete Rousse hut is about 800m directly below the Gouter hut, so our morning started with a 2 hour (non technical) climb by head torch light before our crampons first touched the snow.
Unfortunately our summit attempt was called off by our guide about an hour later just after we had reached the Dome de Gouter (4300m) due to high winds, no visibility (even by 4.30am standards), oh and the fact that we were in a snowstorm. It was a glorious sunny afternoon in Chamonix by the time we returned to our base for the week.
After a night being reunited with beer (one of our merry band had had none for 3 months), I can recommend the Canadian micro brewery in Chamonix, we had planned an easy day for our Friday. Sadly the rest of the group decided we should find another pointy, rocky thing to climb (thanks guys), so my poor climbing skills were slightly enhanced by some more practice.
Would I do it again? After a few days of not being sure how I felt, all of us are determined to do the job properly next year – the beer fine would be too large to contemplate if I didn't go too. And looking back, after a challenging few months at work, it was a brilliant way to spend a week, and I am trying hard to cling on to my resulting increased fitness. (My preparation consisted of walking each Saturday morning, carrying a heavy bag, some people refer to this as golf, coupled with the three peaks walk and a few walks on Ilkley Moor). Next time I would (that'll be will) get some climbing practice in – that reminds me: www.theleedswall.co.uk; not essential but it would help.
Andrew from Leeds