Geneva at a glance
Situated on the western shore of Lake Geneva and surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains, Geneva is a perfect city to explore on foot. A cosmopolitan city with a global consciousness, Geneva’s international appeal is hard to resist.
Often mistaken as the Swiss capital, Geneva is the second largest city in beautiful Switzerland. Acting as an international base for a number of world recognised organisations such as the International Red Cross, the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation, Geneva is known for both its welcoming tolerance and its state-of-the-art research.
Along the pedestrianised, cobbled streets of the Old Town there are many historical highlights to explore including the Cathédrale St-Pierre presented alongside the International Museum of the Reformation, as well as the popular city square, Place du Bourg-de-Four, with its lovely cafés, boutiques and restaurants.
The bohemian Quartier des Grottes is a unique gem behind the immaculate cityscape of Geneva we often associate with. It is a must-visit, abuzz with lively neighbourhood bars, theatres and Parisian-style cafés.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Picturesque setting
- A weekend short break
- Art and culture
The Swiss are known for their efficiency and Geneva’s public transportation system is testimony to that fact. While the Old Town can easily be navigated by foot, there is also an extensive network of buses and trams in the city.
Bicycles are also a popular option for seeing the sites and can be rented free of charge from the Genèveroule scheme.
Dining in Geneva
Cosmopolitan at heart, Geneva offers an international spectrum of dining options. With a nod to French influence, dining in Geneva is often refined, but can be expensive.
Swiss staples such as cheese selections, fondue and filet of perche are popular, while more international dishes can also easily be found.
Must-try local dishes:
- Raclette – a popular creamy cheese often served with cured ham or potatoes
- Longeole – a substantial Swiss sausage made with gelatinous pork and a mix of spices that include fennel seeds
- Chocolate – home to a number of famous chocolate boutiques, Geneva offers an indulgent choice of chocolate creations from some of the world’s leading chocolatiers
Shopping is great in Geneva, shops here specialise in finer products and although not cheap, visitors are bound to have a great time window shopping. Shops close fairly early, with many shops closing at around 7pm on weekdays and even earlier on the Saturday. Also, don’t plan any shopping on a Sunday as many shops would be closed. In terms of what to shop for, Geneva is a leader in the watch industry, with a history of watchmaking dating back to the 1600s, you will find the famous brands such as Patek Phillipe, Swatch, Omega and Piaget dotted around the city!
Osprey Holidays top tips
As well as sights such as the famous flower clock and St Peters Cathedral, we also recommend you shop on the elegant Rue du Rhone for chocolates and fashion.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Geneva designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Geneva hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 194,498 Languages French, German, Italian, English Currency Swiss Franc Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
Take a boat trip out on to Lake Geneva for a different perspective on the city.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Geneva International Airport 4 km
- Railway stations