Opulence, diplomacy, and financial haven. Those are some of the things you think about when you hear about Geneva Switzerland. Geneva lives true to its name. It is a colorful place that is rich in history. If you are planning a Euro tour, you might want to treat yourself to a diplomatic detour in this lakeside city.
It is known for important summits and as a tourist spot in the winter. The lake and the Alps form a great background for a traveler’s scrapbook. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do in Geneva Switzerland.
A Day tour
Every trip should start with a day tour. Most tourist gems will have guided city tours that give you a quick glance at some of the best spots if you are running a tight itinerary. Geneva has day tours in Old Town Geneva that show you some of the oldest places in the city. Geneva features a heavy French influence. The day tour opens you up to sites such as the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, and the Place du Bourg-de-Four. Explore the boutiques such as La Muse, Jill Wolf Jewels, and Septième Etage before disembarking and people-watching in some of the local cafes. Old Town Geneva has some of the best places to catch breathtaking views of the Alps and the green areas.
Flea market hauls
If you want to holiday in Geneva, you might as well get some Geneva clothes and souvenirs early. The Plaine de Plainpalais is like a thrift store for the budget-conscious traveler. It is open for 3 days a week, with Saturdays as the main day. The market has an array of goodies such as clothes, tapestry, toys, and merchandise you will only find in Geneva Switzerland. The flea market is a great alternative if you don’t have the budget to hit the big spenders fashion district. However, you can still window shop in the upscale areas in Rue du Rhône. This is an ‘Amex cardholder’ paradise, with exclusive brand stores.
Geneva is big on commemorating its history. There are plenty of museums in Geneva that give you a glimpse of interesting places and facts about the country. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum is a great starting point to learn about the humanitarian outfit. You can visit the Patek Phillipe Museum and step back in time. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) takes the mystery out of complex nuclear science in one of the museums dedicated to that field. There are other museums all over the city.
The Green Spaces
The Swiss don’t play around when it comes to their parks. Geneva is littered with well-manicured parks that offer open spaces for picnics, nature walks, and relaxation. One of the best places is Jadain Inglais. This is home to a beautiful fully functional clock on the ground. It is a picture-worthy sight that changes with each season. The Geneva botanical garden is situated on the western side of Lake Geneva. It hosts tens of thousands of plant species and an impressive catalog of herbs. The Parc de la Grange is another shore-side park that becomes a sea of roses in the summer. The 10,000 bushes that bloom in that time will captivate your senses.
Explore the mountains
Step away from the city’s tranquility and indulge your rugged side. Take a hiking trip on any of the city’s close by mountain ranges. Mont Salève offers some of the best views. The mountain car has been in operation since 1932. However, it is well-maintained and it has been taking scores of people up the mountain range. The way down is paved with meadows. If you want to hike in the winter, though, better pack your warmest hiking gear. It gets chilly around these parts.
Make a few friends
The Quartier des Grottes hosts about a tenth of the Geneva populace. This makes it the perfect melting pot to meet a Genevan, make a few friends, and experience the city through the eyes of a local. Still, what’s a trip if you don’t make a few friends? You can also visit the public squares where you’ll meet Genevians from all walks of life. The streets are lined with cafes and quaint hotels. Sporting events are great for meeting new people. And, nothing brings more Genevans out than a country favorite, Ice Hockey. Watch The Eagles (Genève-Servette Hockey Club) soar at Patinoire des Vernets.
Explore the food scene
A city as historical as Geneva has to have a rich culture. Treat yourself to a bar of Swiss chocolate. Apart from the rich foods, you simply cannot leave Geneva without the city’s world-famous Fondue. You can also indulge in one of the Swiss favorites, Marmite de l’Escalade. You might have to have a few locals to show you how it’s done. It’s a procedure. Do not leave Geneva without a taste of what some consider a staple of Switzerland, Rosti.
Bring out your inner Italian
Carouge is another excuse to ride the Geneva tram. This Italian side of the city is awash with Italian food, drinks, and fashion. The streets are lined with Italian architecture and designs that go as far back as the 18th century. You can grab yourself some Italian souvenirs in the gift shops around. Styles here range from modern chic to bohemian.
Selfie at the Jet
You will see this Genevan favorite while you’re about to land. The Jet d’Eau is a popular site. The 140-meter (459 feet) jet of water can be viewed best from Pont du Mont-Blanc and the Promenade du Lac on Lake Geneva’s left bank. You can maximize your time at this site by taking a trip to the Lake itself. The lake is the right spot for waterboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Paddleboarding might leave you with a nice set of washboard abs if you get the hang of it.
Europe has a lively nightlife and Geneva is no exception. On your last night out, how about winding your trip with a comedy night at Carouge, live music at L’Usine, or dining at Café Papon. However, if you are not a nightcrawler, ease up at the secret beach at Perle du Lac. Most tourists never get to experience this because of its location. Thanks to this guide, you have one memory of Geneva.