As Switzerland’s second largest city behind Zurich, Geneva lies at the foot of the Alps and on the banks of Lake Geneva. The city prides itself on being one of the most beautiful cities in the world and visitors will find a whole host of cultural attractions to enjoy. Make the most of your time away and check out our guide to holidaying in Geneva.
Geneva’s airport acts as a gateway to the Alps and is a major transport hub with direct links on forty different carriers. You can find flights from most major UK airports and flight times are approximately two hours.
Geneva’s mountainous surroundings mean it boasts a pleasant climate for most of the year. September to October are the rainiest months and, as you’d expect, January and February are the coldest, though temperatures rarely drop below freezing. The city enjoys long summers of low humidity with refreshing cool breezes from the lake.
Due to its central location, Switzerland is home to a combination of nationalities including French, German and Italian, and this mixed culture is reflected in Swiss society.
The country is very respectful of the elderly, so make sure you’re considerate and give up your seat on buses and other forms of public transport. It’s also worth noting that there is a no smoking policy in place throughout Geneva, and though some restaurants provide smoking areas, it isn’t permitted to smoke in any public place including on public transport.
Geneva boasts a popular restaurant cultures and you’ll find plenty of top restaurants and bistros dotted throughout the city. To accompany Swiss dishes such as fondue, many restaurants also offer some form of entertainment so you can really make a night of it. Keep in mind that the Swiss are quite particular about their dining attire, so make sure you aren’t dressed too casually.
See and Do
With the exception of Lake Geneva, most of the city’s attractions can be covered by foot and there’s plenty to see and do to keep everyone entertained. One of the most iconic attractions is the city’s Jet D’Eau. Propelling water 140m in the air at the incredible rate of 500 litres a second, it’s the largest water fountain in the world and can be seen from just about anywhere in the city.
Geneva is also an important political centre and you’ll find both the United Nations Building and the Red Cross Museum in the city as well as St. Peter’s Cathedral, which is said to be the birthplace of Calvinism. Climb to the top of the north tower for a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Of course, no visit to Geneva would be complete without a visit to its famous lake. Lake Geneva is arguably the most famous attraction in the city and it’s the largest freshwater lake in Western Europe. From here the Jardin Anglais is within easy reaching distance, and when the sun is shining you can relax in one of the lakeside parks, cool down in one of the many cafes nearby or take a boat cruise around the lake.