Geneva is a seriously underrated destination when it comes to European mini-breaks.
This may be because it is known for being expensive, but do not let that put you off. There are cheaper options if you are willing to look for them.
Also the proximity to the French border means you can either stay in France and take public transport to Geneva, or you can stay in Geneva and explore the wider area around the city where things are cheaper.
I currently live 30 minutes from Geneva and since I have been here, I have fallen deeply in love with this city. So, I wanted to spill all my insider secrets on the many amazing things you can do here and why you must visit.
Shopping in Geneva is definitely an eye opening experience. Affordable brands such as Kiko, Mac, H&M and Benefit can be easily spotted.
In sharp contrast, some jewellery shops have their own security teams posted outside, bars on the windows and showcase items which would not look out of place if spotted on the neck or wrist of a member of the Royal family. You will also find designers such as Tiffany, Cartier, Rolex, Jimmy Choo and many, many more.
If shopping is not your thing, then there are numerous other places to visit such as the UN Building with it’s famous giant chair, International Red Cross Museum, St Pierre Cathedral, Jet d’Eau and Botanical Gardens.
You can also take a boat ride up the River Rhone to one of the smaller towns and villages in France. Or take a boat across the lake from Geneva to one of the towns on the other side such as Yvoire or Evian, where their famous bottled water is from.
Food and drink is also not to be missed in Geneva, and there are a range of restaurants to fit any budget.
For example the Izumi restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel, with its stunning view of the Lake and Alps will set you back at least 100CHF per person. Whilst the numerous sandwich shops are normally priced and you can take your lunch with you as you explore.
Cafe culture is strong, particularly in the summertime. Sit outside basking in the 30 degree heat and be cooled by the spray from the Jet d’Eau whilst enjoying a glass of wine.
Alternatively, if you have a hire car you could take a short drive to one of the smaller ski resorts over the border in France. Mont Blanc is about an hour and a half drive from the centre of Geneva, but there are plenty of smaller French ski resorts north of Geneva in the Jura Mountains. These resorts are cheaper to use and can be less busy as they tend to be used by locals and not tourists. They only run from December to April but there are many to choose from.
Many people think that Switzerland is cold all the time, but Summer temperatures can get in to the high 30’s. It is a great destination for the Summer also.
You can hike trails up the Jura Mountains; hire bicycles and cycle along the Lake; swim in Lake Geneva and enjoy barbecues on the beach; take a hot air balloon and see a unique view of Mont Blanc; or you could rent a mountain lodge and relax with a book, or several.
Whatever your interests, Geneva and the areas of France and Switzerland surrounding it will be able to cater to you and give you a trip to remember.
Just remember to pack the appropriate eye wear – glasses, sunglasses and ski goggles so you can keep your options open!
Booking a last minute ski trip? Need some new ski goggles? Find out how to choose the correct goggles for you.
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