Geneva is beautiful, well every place I go to ends up being beautiful. It is also costly, the nature and Old world architecture however compensates for the uber costly Swiss stuff. If you are visiting or short-staying in Geneva note that all shops (about 90% of them) close at 7 pm. All shops close on Sundays and also on all holidays. All offices & fountains close on holidays too. I made my trip on a Sunday that was also a holiday. I however loved all the places I went to and here’s my Geneva City guide.
Places To See
Visit L’Horloge Fleurie
This magnificent botanical clock is a tourist attraction. It was created in 1855 to pay homage to the country’s watchmakers ( oh they have a gazillion watchmakers) and to nature. During my visit, the Horloge Fleurie was under maintenance but look how beautiful this shot of the clock from google images is. The clock design changes every year with different flowers every time.
Go To Old Geneva
Old Swiss towns are always a delight to visit. Take a tour to serene Old Geneva where the architecture still stands beautiful. Remember Stonetown Zanzibar, the other Old town in East Africa that I went to last year?
Walk Down Lake Geneva
This lake is awesome. The water is clear you can see to the bottom of it. There are lakes then there are lakes that sit right in the middle of a city . The lake is bordered by old buildings that house watch companies. Boats and yachts scatter beautifully at different points and it has an amazing water jet smack in the middle (which was also shut on this day- sigh! see my life). In summer there are several parties by the lake. I particularly loved watching ducks on the edge of the lake and yes when your country is Kenya the land of lions, you find ducks in a lake exotic!
Visit the broken chair
The broken chair is a huge broken chair (yes I just typed that). It’s in Places des Nations which can be easily accessed by tram or bus. On a day when Geneva is not shut down, the chair has beautiful jet fountains springing around it.
See The United Nations
The United Nations building stands directly opposite the broken chair. I loved that the attraction sites were so close together and a visit to one was a visit to all.
Hang at Jardin Anglais
This is French for English garden. The Jardin Anglais is a garden right next to Lake Geneva and it also hosts the Horloge Fleurie and La Potintere.
Picnic in the Mountains
Have a picnic in the mountains near Meyrin Village on a day with good weather. Pack a sandwich, a beignet, a baguette or a croissant some fruits, water, drinks and voila! What’s more fun, when you cross over to the mountains you are actually in France!
Go All Suisse
Experience The Art Of Swiss Chocolate
Swiss chocolates are decadent – moist sinful decadence! One fine chocolatier that I loved is Läderach. The Läderach shop at Gare Cornavin on Rue Mont Blanc is filled with awesomeness. Anything you can imagine in a chocolate is crafted here, by hand! They even do complimentary tasting. If you have more time in the city you can place a custom order and they will craft any chocolate mix for you.
No one else makes watches better than the Swiss. As soon as you land at the Geneva airport you are bombarded with 1 million watch adverts. Watch shops line an entire 2 streets as you head to the lake and several more streets beyond the bridge. You can shop for watches from Tissot, Pattek Phillip, Movado and many more watch makers. I am not into watches as my friends are so all I did was gawk on shop windows.
Buy Swiss Army Knives
Fancy Swiss Army knives? They make a great collectible.
Eat Butter Croissants
Because why would you visit the francophone and not eat croissants? I loved every single bite of croissants in Geneva. You can buy these from anywhere the taste is the same, and it’s good!
Where To Eat
Eat At Pasta Prima
We mostly cooked in Geneva. A good meal will cost you CHF 60-85 make that 2 meals a day breakfast excluded and let’s meet at Migros to buy groceries. Pasta Prima is a restaurant that I loved for their lasagne du viande which is French for beef lasagna. I loved it so much I went back twice. The food here is amazing. The restaurant is down from Gare Cornavin.
Eat At La Potintere
La Potintere is located in the middle of Jardin Anglais. You can grab a bite as you listen to the music that is played by the lakeside.
How To Get By
You can use the tram, the bus or the train depending on where you are going. I noticed Geneva taxi meters start ticking at CHF 6.50 and go up by CHF 0.2 every second( i know, crazy right?). For a 9 minute drive in no traffic and all green lights we paid CHF 28 which is the highest I have ever paid in ever. You can also rent a bike and cycle through the city.
My Next Swiss City To Do List ( because I love to visit a place or country or restaurant at least twice, once to feel weirdly touristy and twice to fall inlove for real ) is:
……..not visit on a Sunday or a public holiday
……………..boat or yatch ride in a Swiss lake ( it could be lake Geneva or any other)
What is your favorite thing about Geneva or what fun things are you planning to do when you visit?
Love & Light,