Visit Geneva, Switzerland with Geneva Tourism Board
Nestled at the foot of the Alps and Jura mountains rests Geneva, the second most visited city in Switzerland, outside Zürich. Like something out of a fairytale, Geneva’s effortless charm tosses glitter in the eyes of first time travelers, promising you’ll soon be swept up into a whirlwind of French-inspired culture, delectable chocolate and Instagram-worthy views. From where to try that enviable Swiss chocolate to can’t miss attractions, continue reading as I will share the best of what to see, do and eat in town.
Before You Go….
If you’re headed to Geneva for the first time, then a Geneva PASS is a must! This simple card, which can be used for one to three days, offers a 50 percent discount on over 30 attractions in the city. The Geneva PASS also gives travelers free use of public transportation, which is easy to navigate and can take you anywhere in the city within 20 to 30 minutes.
Geneva is the sort of destination that travelers assume requires a stuffed wallet and full bank account to enjoy, but the Geneva PASS is a budget traveler’s dream (and ultimate hack) to enjoying this Swiss city!
Make Your Own Chocolate at Stettler Chocolates
Think Switzerland and chances are your mind will jump to chocolate, and for good reason. Since 1819 – when the first chocolate factory opened — the Swiss have set the world standard of chocolate making. If in Geneva, head over to Stettler Chocolates where you can not only taste chocolate but can customize your own sweet treat. Stettler Chocolates was originally founded in 1947 by Paul Stettler. Since its opening, this boutique chocolatier has made fine chocolates for 60 years, even being awarded a prize for the quality of its products at the Culinary Art Exposition in Bern in 1954.
Enjoy a Glass of Wine at Château du Crest
Unbeknownst to many, Geneva is the 3rd largest wine producer in Switzerland, bumping this destination to the top of wine lover’s lists everywhere. For a wine tasting, look no further than Chateau du Crest, which sits amongst sprawling fields of flowers. Chateau du Crest is a Swiss national heritage site and the only chateau in the area to produce wine. If you visit during the summer, you might find yourself running through the beautiful flower fields just next to the wine castle.
Visit a Watch Manufacturer
When in Geneva, you can visit a watch factory to learn first hand, about watchmaking and the intricate craftsmanship that goes into high end watches. You can find more details about the Watch Tour on the Geneva Tourism Board website, this tour includes a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum!
On my trip to Geneva, as a media group, we visited Roger Dubuis — a talented watchmaker — found in 1995 and launched the Haute Horlogerie movement, rocketing timepieces to the strata of fashionable wear. Dubuis’ watches strike a balance between avant-garde design and classic watchmaking, setting this brand apart from some of the world’s best. At the end of our tour, I was challenged to take apart a watch and put it together, giving you a first hand look at the tricky mastery that goes into the assembly of one timepiece. That would be me struggling to try to take it apart (photo below).
Enjoy a Cable Car Ride to Mont Salève
With its border so close to France, the Mont Salève Cable Car is found across the border. The cable car whisks you 1,100 meters up in the air, offering extensive views of Geneva on the way up. Once at the top of Mount Saleve, riders can enjoy dinner at 180 Panoramique Restaurant and a beautiful sunset to watch as Geneva springs to life in the night. For active travelers, Mont Salève is a destination to go mountain biking, paragliding, trekking or to simply escape the city and enjoy fresh mountain air.
Take a Day Trip to Carouge City
A mere 15 to 20 minutes away from Geneva is Carouge City, again you can easily get there by taking the Tram. Every Wednesdays and Saturdays, a farmer’s market brings together local produce from near and far. Markets are always an excellent way to submerge oneself in a local culture, get a true feel for the country’s cuisine and (a must for every budget travel) save a few dollars on meals. Carouge City is best explored on foot, wandering and exploring the different unique and historic shops, cobblestone streets and your next great meal.
See Geneva by Helicopter
Whether it’s New York City or Geneva, a helicopter ride gives you a unique view of a city that not many people get to enjoy. No lines, no selfie sticks, no elbowing other tourists out of the way for that perfect, Instagram shot. Helicopters sweep you up in the air for an unperturbed view of a city at its finest angle. While in Switzerland, the Geneva Tourism Board hosted us on a helicopter ride with SwiftCopters that overlooked the city and surrounding alps, offering a breathtaking contrast of manmade beauty and the natural landscape.
Indulge in a Fondue Workshop at Edelweiss restaurant
At last, we ended our wonderful trip with learning how to make Fondue! Cheese lovers, rejoice! Fondue is a Swiss dish where cheese is melted into a communal pot and served with bread, potatoes and other foods to dip. Restaurant Edelweiss, located in Hotel Edelweiss, features charming Swiss decor and traditional live music.
*Disclaimer: Thank you to the Geneva Tourism Board for hosting me on this trip! As always, all views and opinions expressed here are my own.