Gracing the banks of the Rhône and the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland’s second largest city is the epitome of lakeside sophistication. Geneva is set against the majestic backdrop of the Jura mountains and the French Alps with the snow-capped summit of Mont Blanc on the horizon.
Geneva is a specialist in the finer things in life: Home to Patek Phillipe and Rolex luxury timepieces and boutique chocolatiers galore. Known as the Capital of Peace, Geneva is also home to the Geneva Conventions and CERN, birthplace of the world wide web.
The city of refined aesthetics, humanitarianism, culture, jaw-dropping natural beauty and a dynamic post-industrial counterculture. Beneath its flawless exterior is a slick, cosmopolitan metropolis buzzing with an ethnically diverse population that converses in multiple languages. Summer or winter there are plentiful opportunities to get out and about on unforgettable outdoor adventures in idyllic alpine surroundings. Capture Instagram-perfect pictures from a boat cruise on the lake or a lakeside promenade to the 40-meter (3.5-foot) high Jet d’Eau. Explore the ancient maze of alleys, passageways and picturesque squares in the Vieille Ville (Old Town) and marvel at the opulent Gothic-style St. Pierre’s (St. Peter’s) Cathedral before climbing the Cathedral towers for spectacular vistas across Geneva. Stop for a coffee and pastry in the Place du Bourg-de-Four.
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How to get from the airport to Geneva?
Geneva Airport is only 4 km (2.5 miles) and a 6 minute train journey to the central station, Gare Cornavin. The airport is also connected to Geneva via bus on a journey of approximately 20 minutes. Ask at your hotel whether they offer a free airport shuttle service. Geneva Airport is also linked to the city by a cycle lane network. In addition, there are always taxis available outside the terminals.
What about public transportation around the city?
If you are staying at a hotel, hostel or campsite in the Republic and Canton of Geneva, you can ride public transportation for free using the “Geneva Transport Card” for the length of your visit. The reputation of Swiss public transport precedes it – the networks are efficient and timely. The Geneva Gulls are water ferries that cross the lake on a regular basis and are free to ride with the Geneva Transport Card. Free bike rentals are also available from April to October and the city offers an excellent cycleway network to explore on relatively flat terrain.
What else is good to know about Geneva?
Available in durations of 24, 48 or 72 hours, the “Geneva Pass” provides access to more than 50 attractions and activities in the city, as well as free access to public transportation.
Discover Geneva – the gateway to the Alps
Geneva is recognized as a global center for finance, diplomacy and culture with a long history of diversity and tolerance dating back to the Protestant Reformation. Whether you seek a non-stop outdoor adventure or an entertaining, relaxing or cultural experience, Geneva has something for everyone.
- Museums, art and sience
- Watersports in Geneva
Rue Charles-Galland 2 is home to the Art and History Museum with an impressive catalog of over a million pieces curated over the three wings of archaeological, applied art and fine arts. Furthermore Geneva offers 30+ museums and art galleries. Experience contemporary dynamism at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, learn about Switzerland’s ecological history at the Natural History Museum or marvel at scientific achievement on a guided tour of CERN.
Visit Geneva’s hippest neighborhood, Carouge. Bask in the bohemian vibe and Mediterranean charm while browsing artisan boutiques, craft and antique dealers.
Geneva is surrounded by water, so don’t miss the boat. Get out on the water on a kayak, raft or wakeboard. Or take a lake cruise for fabulous vistas of the surrounding alpine landscape. Rent a boat and captain your own adventure on the waters of Lake Geneva.
If you are interested in fishing, charter a boat for your private fishing trip on Europe’s biggest freshwater lake and see how many char, perch or lake trout you can catch. Embark on a cruise for an hour, a day or dinner for the best views of Lake Geneva’s sights including Les Pierres du Niton (Neptune’s Stones) and the Mermaid Statue.
Outdoor activities in Geneva
Explore the great outdoors in both winter and summer. Geneva turns it on all year round with non-stop outdoor activities. Hit the slopes at a world-renowned nearby ski resort such as Chamonix or Gstaad before soaking away any aches at the Vitaparken hot pools. In summer immerse yourself in the pristine waters of Lake Geneva or take advantage of a city beach such as the Bains des Paquis with superior views of the Jet d’Eau. Experience the exhilarating thrill of a hot air balloon ride or helicopter tour of the city and beyond. You’ll have no trouble finding either when you are ready for lift off.
Discover the hidden gems and and attractions in Geneva and see our travel guide.
Dip into the Geneva food scene
For the residents of this elegant lakeside heaven, food is a serious business. Treat your taste buds to an enticing and tasty blend of traditional Swiss fare and a dazzling array of international cuisine reflecting the socially and ethnically diverse character of the city.
Geneva is home to more than 15 Michelin-starred restaurants offering a range of dining experiences with influences from all over the world. Take your pick.
Try your hand at a cheese fondue cooking and tasting class. Or head to the authentic Swiss Chalet at the Place de la Navigation in the heart of Geneva, home of the Edelweiss Restaurant, for an unforgettable evening of fondue and yodeling.
Discover, learn and taste on a tour of the Favarger Chocolate Factory or go to the supermarket to track down the local specialty Paves de Genève (chocolate truffles).
Shopping in Geneva
Geneva’s compactness makes it easily navigable and it is one of the world’s best shopping destinations alongside Paris and London. Evidence of Geneva’s specialization in the finer things in life is found in the exclusive, luxury boutiques lining the Rue du Rhône and Rue du Marche – home to world famous luxury Swiss watchmakers, master chocolatiers, designer fashion labels and the Malbuisson Clock.
Nightlife in Geneva
Dance the night away to the sound of music at the Brasserie des Halles d’Ile nightclub on the island in the middle of the Rhône or chill with some jazz and blues at Le Chat Noir until midnight when the techno DJs take over.
Find out more tips to eat and drink in Geneva .
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New York - ZurichFlight duration: 07:50 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Airbus A330-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 236
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 11
Transit Zurich (ZRH)Arrival: 10:50Transit time: 1h 25m
Zurich - GenevaFlight duration: 00:55 hrs total, Frequency: 8 x daily
Bombardier CS300Height: 11.50 mLength: 38 mSeats: 145
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 2
Arrival GenevaDistance to city centre: 6 km