Geneva, Switzerland’s second largest city, sits on the border of France and exude a cosmopolitan atmosphere and international flavor. There is never a shortage of things to do and see in Geneva. There are monuments, museums and impressive architecture to take in, including the many parks and botanical gardens. The city has a history that dates back more than four thousand years.
French is the predominant language spoken and most citizens speak at least one other language.
The Swiss Franc and the Euro are the currency accepted. Most restaurants, bars, cafes etc., accept the euro but you will most likely have to pay a premium rate. ATMs and credit cards are widely accepted as well.
Public transport in Geneva goes everywhere and is made up of trams, buses, and boats, and there’s no subway. Vehicles are clean and punctual and so the drivers will not wait if you are late. Buses and trams are the most popular modes of transport in Geneva.
The cheapest (other than cycling) and coolest way to go from one side to the other is a small taxi boats called mouettes which are also part of the public system. They offer a scenic and relaxing option for commuting and are a faster way to cross the lake than buses. Lastly, cycling is one of the most popular, and the most affordable and fastest ways to travel around Geneva. Taxis are expensive and can’t be hailed on the street, so plan on calling them in advance. Driving is popular, despite the high parking costs and peak-hour traffic, but alternatives like ride sharing are plenty.
Geneva Transport card is free and is given to visitors upon check-in to hotels, hostels and campsites and is valid only during your entire stay.
Where To Stay
Eaux-Vives is a neighborhood that lies on the quiet side of the lake and has a casual, cozy atmosphere. Here you can explore plenty of green spaces, restaurants, boutiques etc.
Budget travelers who want to be near the center of town might consider staying in Paquis. It is located between Old Town and the Palais des Nations, and is adjacent to the main train station. This area has the largest concentration of hostels, and it also happens to be the “red light” district of Geneva.
The Palais des Nations is the United Nations headquarters and park. It’s not far from Old Town, and is also quiet and a convenient neighborhood of Geneva.
Things to see and Do
Take photo at Jet d’Eau, literally meaning ‘water jet.’ This is the huge Fountain on the Geneva Lake, in the city. Jet d’Eau is one of the tallest fountain in the world. Originally, in 1886 they built the fountain to control and release the excess pressure of a hydraulic plant at La Coulouvrenière.
Take a stroll in Old Town
Here you will find plenty of galleries, museums, antique shops, fountains and other sights. It’s a picturesque and peaceful part of the city.
Must see in Old Town are ~
~12th-century St. Pierre Cathedral which dominates a beautiful square in old town Geneva and was built on the location of a 6th-century basilica.
~Old Arsenal- The pillared building with cobbled stone floor houses five cannons dating back to 17th century.
A hip neighborhood located just outside Geneva and is sometimes called Little Italy and Greenwich Village of Geneva. Stroll along here and notice its Mediterranean/Italian atmosphere, its plethora of lively cafes, restaurants and bars.
Window Shop or shop at Rue-Basses
You will find high-end brands, designer boutiques and jewellery stores. You won’t find many bargains here.
Eat authentic food at Pâquis
The Pâquis district is a lively area for foreign cuisine, colorful cafeterias and oriental fast foods.
Enjoy a day at Conservatory and Botanical Garden
It’s a living museum that features a variety of gardens, where you will find seasonal flowers, herbs, rose bushes, Swiss plants and more. There are multiple greenhouses, a restaurant, a library, a gift shop, a carousel, and an animal park with goats and deer are available as well. You will be happy to know it is complimentary admission.
Visit The Flower clock, situated at a corner of the Jardin Anglais. It was created for the first time in 1955 and contains about 12,000 flowers and plants. The flower clock is also tells the time with Swiss precision – the time you see is transmitted by the satellite. Another noteworthy detail is the seconds-hand, which is 2.5 metres long, the world’s longest!
Parc de la Grange
Large, lakeside park with scenic views, a rose garden & theater, plus a stage for summer concerts.
Visit Banc de la Treille
This is a popular, elevated promenade and boasts one of the longest benches in the world & scenic city views.
Banc de la Treille – the longest benches in the world
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