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The best things to do in
Geneva, Switzerland

Language:   French

Currency: CHF

Sales Tax: 7.7%

Exchange Rate

Some cities of Switzerland are often referred to as bland, boring, and dull by travelers around Europe. The truth is, Geneva is none of those things, and it provides visitors with plenty of exciting options whether they are visiting for business or pleasure. The city has the unofficial title of 'the capital of watchmaking' as it is the home of some of the most storied watchmakers in the world.

One of the main reasons people visit Geneva is the International Motor Show. The annual event attracts automakers, journalists, and car lovers from all over the globe. The legendary auto show displays some of the most exciting and innovative vehicles in production.

But Geneva has more than an auto show to offer visitors. As the second most populous city in Switzerland, Geneva is an assemblage of peoples from all over the world.

All around the city, travelers will find some of the most beautiful landscapes and natural settings in all of Europe. From lakes to breathtaking views of mountains, there is something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.

Some of the best things to do in Geneva

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Situated on the northern side of the Alps, Lake Geneva sits between France and Switzerland. The lake’s waters are usually frigid thanks to the mountain snowmelt that flows into it. However, summertime offers warm temperatures for watersports around the lake.

Boating, swimming, and water skiing are three of the favorite pastimes that can be found around Lake Geneva. Travelers can also sign up for scuba diving tours.

Jet d’Eau

Jet d’Eau

Jet d’Eau is one of Geneva’s most famous landmarks. The large fountain is located at the meeting point of Lake Geneva and the Rhone river.

The fountain propels 500 liters of water into the air per second. Jet d’Eau can trace its history back to 1886 when the first fountain was installed. The original Jet d’Eau was used to relieve hydraulic pressure, but the fountain proved to be popular with locals.

It became a landmark not long after. The incredible fountain can be seen from all over Geneva.

Jardin Anglais

Jardin Anglais

While Geneva is an important financial center and home to international organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations, it offers excellent greenspace escapes from the concrete and powerlines of the city. The Jardin Anglais is one of these great relaxation locations.

Created in 1854, Jardin Anglais was the first English-style park built in Geneva. Situated along the left bank of the Quai Gustave-Ador, Jardin Anglais is a must-see for travelers. While in the park, visitors can explore the Flower Clock, which pays homage to Geneva’s clock making history. The clock is made of a variety of flowers and looks different throughout the year.

Place du Bourg-de-Four

Place du Bourg-de-Four

Place du Bourg-de-Four is located in the Old Town square of Geneva and gives visitors a glimpse into the city’s historical heritage. Today, the area is filled with restaurants and cafes and is a perfect location to sit and take in a beautiful Swiss day. The abundance of high-end boutiques is one of the most popular reasons to visit the Place du Bourg-de-Four.

The square was the former home of two castles that were destroyed centuries ago. Despite their absence, the Place du Bourg-de-Four is still a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History)

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History)

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire is located in Geneva’s city center. The four-story building with a façade decorated with sculptures has a total exhibition space of about 7,000 square meters. The museum provides visitors with the most extensive collection of historical artifacts in town. It has a vast array of antiquities and archaeological findings from around Switzerland on permanent display. Popular paintings from the museum's collection include Konrad Witz's 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes' and numerous pieces from well-known artists Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn and Paul Cézanne.

Temporary rotating exhibitions at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire keep things interesting for repeat visitors and offer further excitement and education to any trip.

Palais de Nations

Palais de Nations

One of the most iconic locations of modern diplomacy, the Palais de Nations is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations. Originally constructed during the formation of the League of Nations after World War Two, the venue now hosts cultural exhibitions in its museum and art gallery. The long row of flags leading to the white stone building alone is worth the visit and gives a photo-worthy visualization of how many countries are on the planet.

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (St Pierre Cathedral)

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (St Pierre Cathedral)

Maison Tavel

Maison Tavel

Also located in the Old Town, this historic museum houses exhibits such as art, and interactive displays that will enlighten visitors on the culture and history of Geneva. See the streets of Geneva's Old Town in a brand-new light as the artifacts and their explanations transport you back in time.

Parc La Grange

Parc La Grange

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, this beautiful park is perfect for a stroll or picnic. The picturesque outdoor space also hosts plenty of outdoor events throughout the year. The stunning gardens and sweeping lake views offer a serene atmosphere most people crave while on vacation.

Geneva International Motor Show

Geneva International Motor Show

The most interesting supercars in the world are usually revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show. These announcements include products from well-established companies like Ferrari and Audi as well as little-known companies like Piech and Zenvo. While the 4-year 'COVID absence' has taken some of the shine away from the show, it's still an event worth attending if you're in Geneva at the relevant time.

Geneva is a city that offers much more than its reputation for international diplomacy. It is a European locale with plenty of character and charm. Geneva brings together beautiful tourist attractions and a natural landscape with awe-inspiring views.


Weather

Bircher Muesli

Local Favorite: Bircher Muesli

Is there any meal more Swiss than Bircher Muesli? Probably not. Bircher muesli is the most famous food from Switzerland and a must-eat on any visit to Geneva. You are likely to see plenty of people eating it for breakfast in restaurants, bakeries, and other food establishments around the city. Bircher muesli was invented by the Swiss doctor and nutritionist Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He developed it for patients at the Zurich sanatorium to get more raw fruit into each one's diet with every meal beginning with a bowl of Bircher muesli, much like a modern-day appetizer. Bircher muesli is made with quick oats (today), apple and lemon juice, grated apple, honey, plain yogurt, and cinnamon. Some people add blueberries, strawberries, and nuts to their Bircher muesli for extra flavors.

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