Though it is one of Switzerland’s major cities, cosmopolitan Geneva is a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Manchester, at less than half the population and just one-seventh the size. Indeed, you can easily see the entire extent of the city from atop nearby Mont-Salève.
Though small, this city’s joie de vivre and its time spent at the crossroads of history makes Geneva a truly unforgettable destination.
Much of Geneva’s activity takes place along its picturesque lakefront. Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the Jet d’Eau, a fountain that shoots water a hundred metres into the air. Holidaymakers and locals alike enjoy the cool Alpine waters from one of the city’s bathhouses, including the chic Bains des Pâquis and the child-friendly Baby Plage. The city’s English garden features a floral clock that is a testament to the city’s thriving watchmaking industry, evidence of which dots Geneva’s shopping boulevards alongside luxury jewellery and fine chocolate.
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. Carouge is another local favourite, Geneva’s little Italy, whose eateries and plazas offer a touch of colour and an ideal place to enjoy tapas or go dancing on Rue Vautier.
Visit Switzerland's most international city an book a flight from Menchester to Geneva now.
How do I get to the city from the airport?
The airport is just 4 kilometres from the city centre, meaning that the 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 currency is used in Switzerland?
Switzerland uses the Swiss franc, abbreviated CHF. Since Geneva is located close to the border with France, euros may also be obtained easily for trips across the border.
What should my budget be?
Though the city contains delights for all budgets, Geneva is far from a budget destination. On average, holidaymakers here spend some GBP 150-200 per day, including accommodation. Budget-conscious travellers may wish to eat out more sparingly and look for accommodation with self-catering options, as well as obtaining a Geneva Pass, which provides unlimited public transit and discounted admission to local attractions.
What language is spoken in Geneva?
Geneva’s main language is French. However, in a city of diplomats and businesspeople from around the world, many genevois are quite proficient in English.
No visit to Geneva would be complete without visiting some of the world-renowned international agencies that have made Geneva their home. At the CERN laboratories, home to the particle-splitting Large Hadron Collider, a tour will take you through their journey to understand the smallest particles of matter. The Red Cross Museum is host to several emotional exhibits on the tragedies of conflict. Meanwhile, art lovers will enjoy the cutting-edge Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain or the larger-than-life installations at the UN Headquarters. Come and see all Geneva has to offer: book your flight from Menchester to Geneva today for a getaway to this global city!
Most famous attractions of Geneva
From its gorgeous lakeside, with views of towering Mont-Blanc on a clear day, to the nearby mountain peaks, Geneva offers travellers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Some open-air activities include:
- Jet d’eau fountain
- Bains des Pâquis
- Mont Salève
Jet d’eau fountain: A hundred-metre fountain springs from the Geneva harbour during most daylight hours. On a sunlit day, lucky passers-by can observe a rainbow created by its mist.
Bains des Pâquis: 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 crisscross the mountain slopes to lookout points and picturesque mountain villages.
Old Geneva, New Geneva
From its central role in the Protestant Reformation as the home of John Calvin to its current role as the host to such agencies as the UN, CERN and the Red Cross, Geneva is a city that has always played a leading role on the world stage. Your sojourn in the city is sure to bring you into contact with wonders old and new.
United Nations: The Palais des Nations holds rooms that have witnessed some of the most important negotiations of recent history. The UN office is also home to numerous art installations.
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.
For all the deatils on Geneva's famous attractions, visit our guide.
A delight for every palate
With a booming café culture and diverse population, Geneva’s numerous restaurants, bars and eateries are a delight to the palate, no matter what you’re looking for.
Dive into the diverse range of gastronomic experiences that Geneva has to offer. Food is taken very seriously in this elegant lakeside city. Everything, from traditional Swiss cuisine to international dishes and affordable street food, can be found around almost every corner.
For budget-friendly options, visit the Pâquis-Nations area. The social and ethnic diversity of this area is reflected in the wide variety of international cuisines and styles offered in the numerous restaurants and cafes lining the streets.
Genevas’ regional cuisine is known as “cuisine du terroir” and includes many local specialties: the “Omble chevalier à la genevoise” is prepared with freshly caught trout from Lake Geneva. Casseroles are popular and distinctively Genovese, they are typically made with lobster, artichoke or pork. The more famous dishes like raclette or Geneva cheese fondue are obligatory for cheese-lovers. Learn how it’s done properly by taking a cheese fondue cooking class.
Retail therapy, genevois-style
Geneva is an ideal place for a bit of shopping, especially if your tastes run towards high fashion or fancy Swiss watches of the highest quality. The old town’s Rue du Rhône and Rue du Marché are both bursting with designer brands and world-famous watchmakers and jewellers. On the other side of the river, the Manor shopping mall is a great destination for clothing and cosmetics.
On the other hand, Geneva also has a number of open-air markets with more varied offerings. Take a strollThese include a flea market in the Plaine des Plainpalais and a twice-weekly farmer’s market at the Place du Marché in Carouge.
Our extensive Geneva travel guide has even more suggestions for your trip.
Manchester - ZurichFlight duration: 02:00 hrs total, Frequency: 2 x daily
Departure ManchesterTerminal: 2Counter opening time: 1 h prior to departure
Transit Zurich (ZRH)Arrival: 11:40Transit time: 6h 15m
Zurich - GenevaFlight duration: 01:00 hrs total, Frequency: 8 x daily
Arrival GenevaDistance to city centre: 6 km