10 Best Things to Do in Geneva

Geneva must be our favorite city in Switzerland! OK, we can be biased as we live here 🙂 And yet, trust us that Geneva consistently appears on the 10 top best cities to live in the world not for nothing! Geneva is renowned for its location on the lake, international scene, natural beauty. And here are the 10 best things to do in Geneva if you are planning to spend a day or 2 🙂


Jet d'eau - 10 best things to do in Geneva

Geneva’s famous hydraulic water jet welcomes you even as your plane is flying over the lake, ready to land. The Jet d’Eau was actually created by accident in 1886, when the safety valve designed to prevent overpressure by allowing water to escape, shot a 30 metre jet of water into the air. In 1891, its possibilities as a tourist attraction were recognized and it was moved to its present location. Thus, it takes place #1 on our list of 10 Best things to do in Geneva. Since 2003, it has been shooting the equivalent of four bathtubs of water (132 gallons) into the air every second! It is only turned off in case of frost or strong wind; for special occasions, it is also lit with changing floodlights. Keep your camera on ready mode as you might catch a small rainbow on it


Geneva old town - 10 Best things to do in Geneva

The cobbled streets and well maintained mediaeval buildings of Geneva’s old town bear witness to a history spanning over two milleniums, though the origins of the town date from at least 58 BC. Must-see places include the Place du Bourg-du-Four (central square and former trading place of the Romans!), the Maison Tavel and the imposing Cathedral of St. Pierre (built 1160 – 1252) where you can climb the internal tower for a rewarding overview of the city. On the other side you can have a seat on the longest bench in the world (120 meters!) overlooking Parc de Bastion! Don’t forget to pass by “parc de l’observatoire” where you can enjoy a beautiful cite of Geneva downtown and Jet d’Eau, steps away from the shinning golden domes of the Russian church.



UN - 10 best things to do in Geneva
Geneva stands to its reputation as an international city and hosts the second United Nations headquarters outside New York city. Once a year, the offices open their doors freely to external visitors. Being in the country where the Red Cross was founded (and whose flag is the inverse of the swiss flag) you might consider visiting its museum. The exhibition named “The Humanitarian Adventure” presents contemporary problems through three distinct spaces and its museography introduces a new dimension into its device.


Carouge - 10 best things to do in Geneva
Definitely one of the most charming areas of Geneva, with its 2 stories houses built according to the old Italian style. To best enjoy you can simply walk around the streets, visit some of the unique boutiques or have lunch in one of many delicious restaurants. On Saturday the “place du Marché” hosts its weekly flea market, and also every first Sunday of the month.



Patek - 10 best things to do in Geneva
As you are in the capital of watchmaking of the world, then you should definitely visit one of its most renown brands.
The Museum tells the story of Swiss watchmaking & Patek Phillippe from the 16th century to now. It houses over five centuries of watchmaking history into two important collections: the extraordinary antique collection starting from the 16th century, which includes the earliest watch ever made and the Patek Philippe collection from 1839 onwards. Worth making time for a visit.


Paquis - 10 best things to do in Geneva

Geneva`s “Pâquis Baths” are located on the artificial peninsula in the “Les Pâquis”  area on the “Rive Droite” of the lake. They are highly popular with tourists and locals alike, comprising lakeside mini beaches for sunbathing and a quick dip in the summer as well as hammams, saunas and turkish baths for the winter. The area is full of bars, restaurants and hotels as well as a lively nightlife.


For a unique twist to your Geneva experience you should check out CERN (European Commission for Nuclear Research). Founded in 1954 as a joint venture of 12 countries,  CERN is less commonly known for creating the www “World Wide Web”! It’s also home to the 27 km long Hadron Collider – the largest particle accelerator in the world. Only two of its exhibitions are open to the public (the “Microcosm” and the “Globe of Science and Innovation”). Tours are available Monday through Saturday, but reservation is highly recommended as it gets filled out quickly!


CArouge - 10 best things to do in Geneva
Being one of the largest flea markets in Switzerland, it is a sprawling, colourful mass of stalls selling vintage clothing, questionable antiques and ethnic specialities from all over the world. Geneva’s lively Plainpalais Flea Market has been taking place twice a week (Saturdays and Wednesdays) since 1970. Stalls of street food from across the world adds to experience of the place. Additionally, Plainpalais hosts a farmer’s market; and it is also a favoured spot for skaters, and roller coasters and roundabouts are often stationed here together with a yearly circus that families enjoy visiting.


Botanical gardens - 10 best things to do in Geneva

Geneva’s lovely Botanical Gardens is a must visit place for families with kids, same as for couples on romantic walks or anyone who needs to rest his busy mind and enjoy the tranqulity of beautiful nature. Geneva’s first botanical gardens were created in 1817 as an expression of the then prevailing naturalist trend. The garden is home to over 16,000 different species of plants, trees and shrubs blooming at different seasons to ensure the all-year round feast for the eyes. This large museum of greenery is organized through different sectors such as the Greenhouses, Rockery, Arboretum and Winter Garden. 



Saleve - 10 best things to do in Geneva
While technically it’s in France, the Salève mountain overlooks the city and lake of Geneva and can be reached by bus from the city center. The view from the top is worth a couple hours hike or alternatively you can take the cable car for a 10 min ride. For adventure seekers you can take a paragliding flight and fly over the area for a fantastic experience!

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