After some good and quite warm days in Lausanne and Montreux, our next destination was Geneva.
The weather in Geneve, I have to say, wasn’t very good and very windy and cold., therefore check the weather forecast one or 2 days ahead and be prepared for any moody weather 🙂
The city is amazing and the water jet or jet d’eau ( spouting 140m into the air) is the world’s tallest and symbolizes Geneva’s heritage as a leader in the field of hydraulic power. You should go to the shore before the sun goes down, otherwise you’ll have to come back the next day.
Geneva ’s lakefront is the centerpiece of the city and offers endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation throughout the year. The Promenades along the left and right banks of the lake are filled with cafes, parks, street markets and other diversions from lake cruises to amusement rides to water skiing.
The Bains des Paquis on the western shore was opened in 1932 and since then it continues to draw visitors and locals alike who flock to its saunas and unique bathing areas. Dominating the eastern bank, the giant Flower Clock in the English Garden is a tribute to Geneva’s watch industry, harmonizing Swiss ingenuity with the floral bounties of nature. The dial is composed of some 6,500 flowers and is updated with new arrangements several times per year.
What else I loved about Genève?
We had very long walks, we went to the United Nations Square, walked towards the lake and saw on the way many international organization such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Meteorological Organization, World Trade Organization, Botanical Garden and many more.
If you plan to visit or at least see most of what Genève has to offer, than be prepared to spend there some time, because there are 82 buildings and sites listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance and it goes without saying that the old part of the city has many of them.
This time, we weren’t into visiting churches, but one I wanted to see, and it was the Russian Church. It’s a white building with gilded cupolas and golden spires, built in Byzantine style. It’s a small church and it seems to be very old. The entrance fee is 1SFr .
Other churches that can be visited are: Cathedral St-Pierre and Chapel des Macchabés, Notre-Dame Church, St-Germain Church, Temple de la Fusterie, Temple de l’Auditoire.
The city is rich in museums and cultural sites and this make it one of the most beautiful cities I ever been to. I won’t list all the buildings you have to see, because it’s not my purpose here.
I’d love to mention though some of them: Former Arsenal and Archives of the City of Genève, Former Crédit Lyonnais, Former Hôtel Buisson, Palais de Justice, Palais de l’Athénée, Palais Eynard et Archives de la ville de Genève, Palais Wilson, Parc des Bastions avec Mur des Réformateurs, Place Neuve et Monument du Général Dufour, Pont de la Machine, Pont sur l’Arve, Poste du Mont-Blanc, Quai du Mont-Blanc, Temple de la Madeleine and Temple Saint-Gervais.
The place that I found the most unusual and interesting wasn’t very far from the Train Station. Is the Schtrumpfs Building, located at 23-29 Rue Louis-Favre. The apartment complex was designed by three architects determined to create the most unconventional building possible. The result is a Gaudi-esque amalgamation of colors and styles that has to be seen to be believed.
I was close to forget to mention that from Geneva you can see Mont Blanc, how cool is that? 🙂 You can see it better from Saint Peter’s Cathedral. All you have to do is to pay the admission fee for the tower of 3SFr. and go up. The view from the towers over the city, the lake and the Mont Blanc at the horizon are moments not to be missed!
The cathedral is open – 09:30-18:30 Mon-Sat, 12:30-18:30 Sundays (June – Sept); 10:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 Mon-Fri, 10:00-17:30 Saturdays, 12:00-17:30 Sundays (Oct – May) and the admission for the cathedral is free.
Where to sleep?
We stopped in France, because we found an Ibis Hotel at just 15 – 20 minutes drive from Genève. The hotel was brand new and our experience there was one of the best as well.
One remark here: you’ll need a car, if you decide to stop at this hotel. If you don’t travel by car, then you may want to stop somewhere in Geneva, than somewhere around the city.
What to eat?
It depends on your preferences. We had breakfast at Starbucks 🙂 and lunch and dinner in different places in Genève and Archamps. We had mainly French food for dinner and lunch.
More information about Genève, food and places to visit, you will find on the following pages:
Travel safe and wise!