Geneva

While Geneva is only Switzerland’s second-largest city it occupies a much larger footprint in world affairs with more than a hundred government and international bodies headquartered here. The city located in Romandy, the French speaking part of Switzerland, only became a Swiss Canton in 1813. Blessed with an amazing natural setting, Geneva is on the shores of Europe’s largest Alpine lake and visitors can see stunning views of the snowcapped Mont Blanc and the city’s landmark, the Jet d’Eau. Geneva is undoubtedly Switzerland’s gourmet capital as well as a major cultural hub of the country. Pricey as it maybe, Geneva packs enough to make it a must-visit stop on your Europe itinerary.


Population: 184,538 (In 2009)
Size: 15.93 Sq Km
Language(s): German, French, Italian, Romansh

Activities

Chamonix and Mont Blanc

Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes
$105.63 View more

Day Trip to Gruyères and Chocolate Factory

Duration: 8 hours
$168.57 View more

Private Arrival Transfer from Geneva Airport to Montreux

Duration: Flexible
$266.73 View more

Montreux, Chaplin's World, Château de Chillon

Duration: 10 hours
$232.59 View more

Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
$67.22 View more

Annecy Half-Day Tour from Geneva

Duration: 5 hours
$61.88 View more
View all activites

Accommodation

Search and book hotels in Geneva, Switzerland

Le Richemond - Dorchester Collection

Jardin Brunswick, Near Paquis Baths

424 Reviews

USD 731.1

Eastwest Hotel

6 Rue Des Paquis, Near Jet d'Eau Fountain

715 Reviews

USD 292.72

Hotel St Gervais Geneva

Rue Des Corps-saints 20, Near Saint-Pierre Cathedral

177 Reviews

USD 102.67

Hotel Des Alpes

14 Rue Des Alpes, Near Saint-Pierre Cathedral

112 Reviews

USD 118.88

Hotel Eden Genève

135 Rue De Lausanne, Near La Perle-du-Lac Park

385 Reviews

USD 210

Hotel Kipling

Rue de la Navigation 27, In Geneva (Geneva City Centre)

1017 Reviews

USD 279.88

La Cour des Augustins

15 Rue Jean Violette, Near Flea Market of Plainpalais

359 Reviews

USD 199.82

InterContinental Geneve

7-9 Chemin Du Petit Saconnex, Near Trembley Park

757 Reviews

USD 288.29

Hotel Bristol

10, rue du Mont-Blanc, Near Saint-Pierre Cathedral

924 Reviews

USD 277.59

Hotel Jade

Rue Rothschild 55, In Geneva (Geneva City Centre)

369 Reviews

USD 159.76

Events in Geneva

Guide for Geneva

Neighborhoods

Geneva is divided by the enormous Lac Léman (also known as Lake Geneva) and the snaking Rhône River. Some of Geneva’s major neighborhoods are:

 

Vieille Ville (Old Town):

 

City Centre:

 

Les Eaux-Vives:

  • Eaux-Vives, with its sprawling green parks, is known for the Jet d'Eau.
  • Built in 1891, the Jet d'Eau is Europe's tallest fountain with a magnificent water jet that is 140 meters high.
  • Eaux-Vives is also home to 'La Roseraie', the city's much-loved Rose Garden.

 

Plainpalais:

  • Plaine de Plainpalais or Plainpalais, in central-south Geneva, is one of Geneva’s most vibrant quartiers with bars and restaurants and cultural and entertaining events.
  • Each Wednesday and Saturday, and every first Sunday of the month, Plaine de Plainpalais hosts one of Switzerland’s largest flea markets, known as the marché aux puces.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, the largest and youngest museum of contemporary art in Switzerland, is located at Plainpalais.
  • Several circuses such as Cirque du Soleil, Circus Knie and Circus Nock have regular performances here.

 

Pâquis:

  • Geneva's unofficial red light district, Pâquis has an eclectic mix of restaurants and entertainment facilities.
  • Its main thoroughfare, the rue des Pâquis, runs parallel to the rue de Berne.
  • Built in the 1930s, Bains des Pâquis is a popular public swimming bath located right on Lake Geneva.
  • Brunswick Monument and Institut et Musée Voltaire are also located in Pâquis district.

 

Carouge:

  • Built by the King of Sardinia in the 18th century, Carouge is the Greenwich Village of Geneva.
  • Located south from Plainpalais, Carouge has a bohemian atmosphere with cafes, jazz bars and nightclubs.
  • Museum of Carouge, Piscine des Pervenches and the Library of Boulevard des Promenades are all located in Carouge.
  • Arve river, which borders Carouge from the northeast, has a nice walking and cycling path.
  • The fountain, Place du Temple, is adjacent to Place du Marche, where a farmers' market has been held for 200 years.

Getting Around

General info

  • Genève Aéroport
    • Geneva is served by the Genève Aéroport, located 4 Km from the city center.
    • Travel Pass / Tourist Discounts
      • Geneva's public transport network is called UNIRESO. Zone 10 is Geneva canton and is called “Tout Genève”.
      • A free Unireso ticket is available for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the Arrival level of Genève Aéroport. This ticket allows you to use public transport in Geneva free for a period of 80 minutes.
      • When you stay in a hotel, a youth hostel or a campsite in the canton, you will receive a "Geneva Transport Card" free of charge. This personal and non-transferable card permits unlimited travel on Geneva's public transport network (UNIRESO) including bus (TPG), train (CFF) and boat (Mouettes Genevoises) for the full duration of your stay.

 


Bus

  • The UNIRESO coordinates the operation of the bus service.
  • Gare Routiere is Geneva's central bus station for local and international destinations. The closest bus stop to Gare Routiere is Mont-Blanc.
  • The service operates from 6:15 am to 11:00 pm.
  • Refer here for bus schedules in Geneva.
  • Refer here for route planner.
  • Refer here for fare information. 


Train

  • The UNIRESO coordinates the operation of train service in Geneva.
  • Geneva's central train station is Gare Cornavin.
  • The service operates from 4:20 am to 2:30 am.
  • Refer here for the train schedules in Geneva.
  • Refer here for route planner.
  • Refer here for fare information. 


Boat

  • The UNIRESO coordinates the operation of the boat service.
  • Mouettes, or yellow taxi shuttle boats, are operated on Lac Léman.
  • The service operates from 7:15 am to 9:05 pm.
  • Refer here for boat schedules in Geneva.
  • Refer here for fare information.
  • Boat rental agencies in Geneva include:


Taxi

  • Taxis are available in Geneva at bus stations, airport and the city centre.
  • As of July 2016, the minimum taxi fare is CHF 6.30 and increases by CHF 3.20 every Km.
  • Taxi agencies in Geneva include:
  • You can refer to the www.taxiautofare.com website for taxi fares in Geneva.

Eat / Drink

Local

  • Swiss cuisine has German, French and North Italian influences.
  • Switzerland is famous for cheese and chocolate. More than 100 varieties of cheese are produced in Switzerland along with the famous cheese with the holes, known as Switzerland Swiss or Emmentaler.
  • Popular cheese varieties include Vacherin, Appenzeller, Sbrinz, Gruyère and Raclette. Regional Swiss specialties include röchti or rösti (hash-brown potatoes), Bernerplatte, fritto misto, zwiebelsalat and gugelhupf.

 

  • Popular Swiss dishes include:
    • Fondue: Melted cheese (gruyère and emmentaler) with garlic, white wine, cornflour/corn starch and often kirsch (cherry brandy). Fondue is served with bread cubes in a traditional ceramic fondue pot called ‘caquelon’. Fondue bourguignonne is a variant with chunks of meat spitted on wooden sticks and cooked in oil or butter, seasoned according to choice. Fondue chinoise is made with thin slices of beef and Oriental sauces.
    • Rosti: Cooked jacket, parboiled or raw grated potatoes fried into flat round patties. Rosti Valaisanne is a mash-up of rosti with salty bacon, fried egg, and melted raclette cheese.
    • Raclette: Cheese grilled slowly over a fire, with slices blanketing boiled potatoes, pickles and onions.
    • Bircherm?esli: A mix of rolled oat flakes, grated apples, hazelnuts or almonds, lemon juice and condensed milk.
    • Älplermagronen: A kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions, with stewed apple on the side.
    • Berner Platte: Variety of meat and sausages cooked with juniper-spiced sauerkraut, pickled turnips, green and/or dried beans (shukky beans) and boiled potatoes on a large platter.
    • Zurcher geschnetzeltes: Zurich-style diced veal, calves’ kidneys and sweetbreads sautéed in a gravy of onions, butter, white wine, cream, and mushrooms.
    • Tartiflette: Combination of thinly sliced potatoes, smoky bits of bacon, carmelised onions and Reblocohon cheese.
    • Malakoffs: Cheese beignet, a dome made of a stiff cheese mixture, often served with cornichons and pickled onions, perhaps a dab of mustard.
    • Filets de perches: Perch fillets served fried, à la meunière, or in a fine white-wine sauce.
    • Longeole: Pork sausages with garlic, dill, and nutmeg.
    • Zopf: A plaited loaf (the word zopf means ‘braid'), with a golden crust.
    • B?ndnernusstorte: A pastry with a filling of caramelised sugar, cream and chopped nuts, usually walnuts, also called engadinernusstorte.

 

 

 


Gourmet

  • Bayview
    • Cuisine:French
    • Awards: 1 Michelin star and grade of 19/20 at the Gault & Millau

 

  • Le Floris
    • Cuisine: French
    • Awards: 2 Michelin star and grade of 17/20 at the Gault & Millau

 


Vegetarian

 

 

 

  • Qibi
    • Cuisine: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Organic, Juice bar, European, Gluten-free
    • Review: HappyCow

 

 

  • Le Sunset
    • Cuisine: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Western, Salad bar, Juice bar
    • Review: HappyCow


Drink

  • Switzerland is famous for Absinthe or Green Fairy, a 136-proof anise flavored spirit. Named after wormwood, it was created by a French doctor named Pierre Ordinaire in 1792.
  • Swiss liqueurs are popular. These include kirsch (the national hard drink, the juice of sour cherry pits), and Pflümli (made from plums). Träschis a form of brandy, made from cider pears. Williams is a fruit brandy made from pears. Himbeergeist is schnapps made from Swiss ripe raspberries macerated, distilled, and aged in cellars.
  • Geneva is the third-biggest wine-growing area of Switzerland. Chasselas is a dry and delicate Swiss white wine made from Chasselas grapes. In addition to Chasselas, white wines, ranging from Chardonnay, RieslingxSylvaner (Müller-Thurgau), Pinot blanc, Aligoté, Sauvignon blanc. Pinot gris, Gewurztraminer and Viognier, are cultivated in the wine-growing areas of Geneva. Red varieties include Pinot noir, Gamay, Gamaret, Merlot and Cabernet franc among others.
  • Rivella is a popular non-alcoholic drink made from milk serum.
  • Major breweries, distilleries and wineries inand near Geneva include:

 

Staying Connected

  • You can purchase a pre-paid cellphone card that support the GSM standard bands of 900/1800 MHz.
  • These cards cost around CHF 10.00 to CHF 40.00
  • These pre-paid cards are easily available in the shops of mobile service providers such as Swisscom, Orange and Sunrise.
  • Other prepaid cards provided by some supermarket chains like Migros and Coop cost around CHF 20.00 and come with an airtime of CHF 15.00. Prepaid cards can also be bought online, or in most post offices.
  • The cheapest pre-paid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile and for international communication is Yallo.

Tipping

Most services include a service charge on the bill, which means tipping is not required. Because of the decently high wages of the workers in Switzerland, tipping is considerably low than in other countries and is only expected in certain situations such as tipping hotel staff, etc.

  • In Hotels: Usually expected for hotel staff, CHF 1.00 to 2.00 for the bellman per bag and the same to the driver or the maid. Or else, you can leave the tips with the manager and allow him to distribute it amongst his staff.
  • In Restaurants: A service charge is added to your bill and you need not leave any tips behind. If you find the service exceptionally good, leaving your change behind as tip is considered a polite gesture.
  • In Taxis: Tipping is not expected, but a service charge might be added to your fare. In case your driver has been helpful, round up the fare or leave 5 percent of the fare as tip.