Proudly overlooking the Rhône and the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland’s second most populous city Geneva greets you with jaw-dropping natural beauty and sparking lakeside sophistication. This city combines refined aesthetics, humanitarianism, culture, breath-taking alpine beauty and a dynamic post-industrial counterculture.
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 has a reputation as a specialist in the finer things in life. Geneva is home of Patek Phillipe, Rolex and Baume & Mercier luxury timepieces and boutique chocolatiers is also known as the Capital of Peace, and gave the world the Geneva Conventions, the worldwide web and a long history of humanitarian action.
Sparkling lakes and rivers, mountains, international headquarters and a heritage steeped in luxury - beneath its flawless exterior is a slick, cosmopolitan metropolis buzzing with an ethnically diverse population conversing in multiple languages. There’s always something to do in both summer and winter, with countless opportunities for unforgettable experiences in idyllic surroundings.
Capture portraits of Lake Geneva on a boat cruise, or stroll lakeside, past swans gliding gracefully across the water as you make your way to the 40 meter (130 foot) high Jet d’Eau. Explore the ancient passageways and picturesque squares in Vieille Ville (Old Town), until you reach the opulent, Gothic-style St. Pierre’s (St. Peter’s) Cathedral. Climb the Cathedral towers for spectacular vistas before a coffee and pastry in Place du Bourg-de-Four.
Discover this sophisticated lakeside metropolis for yourself – and book your flight from Washington to Geneva now.
- 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 to get from the airport to Geneva?
Geneva Airport is approximately 4 km (2.5 miles) from the central city. It has excellent public transportation links and the train journey from the airport to the central train station is only 6 minutes. Bus to downtown Geneva from the airport is a 20 minute journey. Your hotel may also offer a free shuttle service from the airport – check with them. Geneva Airport is also connected to the city via a bicycle lane network and there are always taxis available outside the terminals.
What about public transportation around the city?
Geneva has free public transportation when you stay in a hotel, youth hostel or campsite in the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The “Geneva Transport Card” is free for the length of your stay and enables unlimited travel on public transportation services in the city. The legendary Swiss public transportation system is efficiency and timely and Geneva is no exception. Mouettes Genevoises are water buses that go from one side of the lake to the other and are free to ride with the Geneva Transport Card. Bicycles are free of charge to rent for four hours at certain times of the year. Geneva has relatively flat terrain and excellent cycle routes, so take it at your own pace.
What else is good to know about Geneva?
Think about a “Geneva Pass”, available for periods of 24, 48 or 72 hours. Discover the best of the Geneva with free public transportation, access to more than 50 attractions including museums, lake cruises, and more.
Places you have to visit in Geneva
A global center for finance, diplomacy and culture, Geneva has a long history of diversity and tolerance dating back to the Protestant Reformation. Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin-fueled adventure, or an entertaining, relaxing or cultural experience, you can find it all in Geneva.
We have collected the most popular attractions of Geneva for you:
- Lake Geneva
- Jardin Anglais and The Flower Clock
- Bain-Bleu Hammam & Spa Genève-Plage
If you’re game for fishing, charter a private trip on Europe’s biggest freshwater lake and see what you can land. Embark on a cruise for an hour, a day, or for dinner for the best views of Lake Geneva’s sights including Les Pierres du Niton (Neptune’s Stones), Bellerive Castle and the Mermaid Statue.
Spend time at Jardin Anglais admiring ‘L’horloge fleurie’ (the Flower Clock) that features around 12,000 flowers and plants. Synchronize your watch with its impressive precision Swiss timekeeping.
After an action-packed day of sightseeing, unwind at the 3,000 m2 Bain-Bleu Hammam & Spa Genève-Plage and share yourself around the indoor and outdoor pool, steam bath and relaxation area.
Experience ’La dolce vita’ Swiss style in Carouge. Geneva’s hippest neighborhood is a bohemian, Italian-inspired area on the outskirts of Geneva. Oozing Mediterranean charm, Carouge is home to artisan boutiques, craft and antique dealers by day and cool bars and cafes by night. A short distance away is the university area of Plainpalais, where you can cross the L’Arve River over the 85 meter (279 foot) Pont Hans-Wilsdorf bridge.
Explore Geneva’s mountains
Geneva should be a bucket list destination for those who love the outdoors. Geneva is surrounded by water in many different forms, enabling an exciting and extensive range of both action-packed and more sedate activities. Hit the slopes at a world renowned ski resort nearby, such as Chamonix or Gstaad before soaking away any aches at a legendary Swiss spa. Take a dip in the pristine waters of Lake Geneva or get out on the water in boat, kayak or on a wakeboard, or give wakefoiling a go. Reliver your childhood on a pair of snowshoes, ice skates or a sledge. If you prefer something a little less strenuous, take a gondola ride for unparalleled and unforgettable mountain views.
Geneva’s museums and its science
Geneva’s cultural heritage is captured in more than 30 museums and art galleries, including the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art located in an old factory not far from the Patek Phillipe Museum. 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 largest museum is located in the Beaux-Arts style building at Rue Charles-Galland 2. The Art and History Museum curates an impressive catalog of more than 1 million pieces in an exhibition space extending over 7,000 m² (75,000 square feet). Or learn about the work of the UN on a guided tour of its European headquarters.
You can find even more of Geneva's fascinating attractions in our travel guide.
Enjoy Geneva’s food
Food is a serious business to the residents of this elegant lakeside haven. Feast your eyes and your taste buds on an enticing mix of traditional Swiss fare and a dazzling array of international cuisine reflecting the ethnical diversity of the city. The melting pot of the Geneva food scene has something to satisfy every taste. Take your pick.
For the elite traveler who enjoys dining with stars, Geneva is home to more than 15 Michelin-starred and Gault Millau-recognized restaurants offering a range of dining experiences with influences from all over the world.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in the right place. Discover the local specialty, Paves de Geneve (chocolate truffles) and explore, taste, learn and taste some more on a tour of the Favarger Chocolate Factory.
Learn about the Swiss tradition of cheese fondue in a fondue cooking and tasting class. Or have it done for you at the Edelweiss Restaurant, for an unforgettable evening of fondue and yodeling.
Find out more tips about eating and drinking in Geneva.
Shopping in Geneva
Geneva is compact and easy to navigate, making Euro-style shopping a cinch. Unbeknown to many, Geneva plays in the same league as elite shopping destinations like Paris or New York. High-end boutiques run down both sides of Rue du Rhône, home of the famous Globus department store, and Rue du Marche, where the upmarket Bongénie Grieder Genève department store resides since it’s establishment in 1891. In this shopper’s paradise, extending over 5,000 m2 across seven levels, you will find all varieties of high-end fashion. The nail bar, niche perfume store, tailor-made department and two restaurants, where you can recharge before taking on the next level, complete the premium shopping experience.
Washington - LondonFlight duration: 07:15 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Departure WashingtonTerminal: BCounter opening time: 3 h prior to departure