Though easily dwarfed by London, Geneva is a global city in its own right, with world-renowned organizations like the UN and CERN calling this idyllic Swiss city home. With a natural beauty that complements its cosmopolitan flair, it is a delightful destination for anyone looking for an escape.
From the moment you get off the plane, Geneva is a sight to behold: its picturesque waterfront is highlighted by the Jet d’Eau, a hundred-metre water fountain in the city’s harbour. A promenade along the banks will take you to the floral clock in the city’s English Garden, or to the many lakeside swimming spots. The cobbled streets of the Vielle Ville (old town) are bursting with designer boutiques and watch stores for those looking for quality Swiss goods, or historic cafés for a quiet break.
For a change of scenery, head to Les Pâquis, Geneva’s colourful cousin on the Rive Droite. Geneva’s diversity is on full display here, with its eateries serving up a multicultural mix of culinary offerings. At the Bains des Pâquis, the liveliest lakeside spot in the city, you can enjoy a glass of wine or a massage after taking a dip in the lake. In the suburb of Carouge, the laid-back atmosphere makes it a perfect place to enjoy delicious chocolate, have a drink on an outdoor patio or dance the night away.
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- All timetable details may be subject to change. Insofar as is permitted by law, SWISS accepts no liability for the correctness and completeness of the details provided.
How do I get to the city from the airport?
Getting to Geneva from its airport is not at all difficult: it is located just 4 kilometres from the city centre, meaning that a train ride to the main Gare Cornevin takes just 6 minutes! In the baggage claim area of the airport, you may claim a free public transit pass, which means that the trip inbound will be free to boot!
What should my budget be?
Though the city contains delights for all budgets, Geneva is not a cheap city to visit. On average, holidaymakers here spend some GBP 150-200 per day, including accommodation. For budget-conscious travellers, consider looking for self-catering options and eat out sparingly. Consider getting a transit pass as well, as these are the most affordable way to see the city, and the Geneva Pass also gets you in to local attractions at generously discounted rates.
What language is spoken in Geneva?
Situated on the border between Switzerland and France, Geneva’s main language is French. However, in a city so full of diplomats and businesspeople from around the world, many genevois are quite proficient in English.
Guests of this cosmopolitan city will be spoiled for choice: from the headquarters of world-famous organizations to museums and lakeside baths, there is never a dull moment in Geneva.
- United Nations
- Jet d’eau fountain
- Old town
- Bains des Pâquis
- Mont Salève
United Nations: The Palais des Nations contains rooms that have witnessed some of the most important negotiations of recent history. The UN office is also home to numerous art installations, including one dedicated to humanity’s exploration of outer space.
Jet d’eau fountain: This hundred-metre fountain springs from Geneva harbour during most of the daylight hours. On a sunlit day, lucky passers-by can observe a rainbow created by its mist.
Old town: Head up the towers of St. Peter’s Cathedral or sip a coffee on the historic Place de Bourg-du-Four. There is plenty to discover on the narrow, cobbled streets or on the wide shopping boulevards of Rue du Marché or Rue du Rhône.
Bains des Pâquis: This artificial beach offers the full Lake Geneva experience – swim in the alpine waters of Lake Geneva, unwind with a massage or relax in the sauna or Turkish bath.
Mont Salève: Cross just over the border into France to take a cable car up this peak, which offers a full view of the entire city and lake. Hiking trails lead up and down the mountain slopes to lookout points and quaint mountain villages.
With views of Mont-Blanc on a cloudless day, Geneva’s lakeside makes for a nice stroll past the public baths and the Jardin Anglais. At under two hours from London, you’ve never been closer to this Alpine paradise: book your cheap tickets now and fly to Geneva!
Art in Geneva
Of course, visitors to Geneva have plenty of opportunities to visit the headquarters of world-famous organisations. The award-winning Red Cross Museum showcases three emotional exhibits that touch on some of humanity’s worst moments. A tour through the facilities of CERN, meanwhile, will take you on their journey to discover the secrets of the smallest particles in the universe. Art lovers will enjoy the cutting-edge Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain or the larger-than-life installations at the UN Headquarters. With so much to discover, let an airline take you to Geneva on your next holiday!
Get more information about this city in our Geneva guide.
Geneva’s food and drinks
Introducing your taste buds to a varied range of gastronomic experiences is not hard at all in Geneva. Food is taken extremely serious in this lakeside city. Here, you’ll find anything from traditional Swiss cuisine to the most innovative international dishes and everything in between. Contrary to the common stereotype, there are countless budget-friendly options everywhere.
For meals in a more laid-back atmosphere, visit the Pâquis-Nations area. The social and ethnic diversity reflects in the enormous variety of international dishes offered in the restaurants and cafes lining the streets.
Geneva itself also has a rich culinary tradition. The “cuisine du terroir”, or regional cuisine, includes local specialties such as “Omble chevalier à la genevoise” (trout from nearby Lake Geneva) and a variety of casseroles prepared with artichoke, lobster or pork. Do not miss out on Raclette, a Swiss signature dish, and of course Geneva’s very own cheese fondue, featuring Gruyere and Emmental cheeses, as well as Walliser. A cheese fondue cooking and tasting class is the perfect opportunity to learn how it’s done properly.
Shopping in Geneva
Despite the cities rather compact size, Geneva is renowned as one of the world’s great shopping destinations. It is on par with more famous locations such as Paris and London. Geneva has a reputation as a specialist for the finer things in life. The area between the banking district, Eaux-Vives, Rue du Rhône and Rue du Marche is known for it’s extensive shopping opportunities. World famous luxury Swiss watchmakers are located here, right next to Geneva’s master chocolatiers and designer fashion labels.
For a shopping excursion in a Swiss department store, head to the upmarket Bongénie Grieder Genève department store, residing at Rue du Marché 34 since its establishment in 1891. Everything shopper’s could ask for extends over 5,000 m2 across seven levels.
London - GenevaFlight duration: 01:40 hrs total, Frequency: 2 x daily
Departure LondonTerminal: 2Counter opening time: 2 h prior to departure
Arrival GenevaDistance to city centre: 6 km