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Geneva

Transportation and Accommodations

Getting to / from the airport

You can purchase a ticket to go to the Geneva Main Station (Gare Cornavin). It takes about 7 minutes to get there from the train station with trains running very frequently (about every 20 minutes or so there is one going in the direction of the main station where the first stop is Gare Cornavin). The ticket costs about 3.00 CHF

Getting around

Overall, the city is pretty walkable. However, some things are more out of the way (like the Palais of Nations where the UN meets and Carouge – the little Italy of Geneva. We walked everywhere, but there is a tram system and you can rent bikes in the city. Often if you are staying at a hotel, you will receive a transportation ticket that gives you access to Geneva public transportation for free (we stayed in an airbnb so we did not have this, but I heard some did)

Accommodation

Anywhere near the central area of Geneva is a good place to stay so that things are walkable. We stayed by the train station, which was convenient for us as we were traveling early by train. Staying near the fountain or in the Old Town is a good location as well.

Things to do and see

Lake Geneva
Jet D’eau Fountain
Old Town
Carouge

The Little Italy of Geneva (a bit further from the center so we never went there, but supposed to be very nice)

Rue du Rhone

Most expensive street

Reformation Wall

Located in Parc des Bastions

Parc des Bastions
Palais of Nations – UN office
Broken Chair Memorial
Jardin Anglais
Flower Clock

Located in Jardin Anglais

Parc de la Grange
Day trips
Chamonix (Mont Blanc) day trip

We booked a day trip through a company to Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe. It is located just over the border of Switzerland and France so it takes about 1.5 hours to drive there. We spent some time in the town, went up the Aiguille de Midi cable car (note: we had to wait almost an hour after arriving to take the car up because there are only two cars that go back and forth). Unfortunately, it was not very clear at the top, but it was still very cool. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the ground to the top (with waiting for the switch between cable cars; the actual ride in the 2 cable cars is only about 5 minutes each).

There is also a train you can take, which we did, from Chamonix to Mer de Glace. It runs every 20 minutes and takes about 25 minutes to get to the glacier. You can see the glacier on the mountain, and then you can descend down to an ice cave. There’s a cable car that takes you half the way down and then you walk down about 450 steps to reach the ice cave.

Lausanne

This is a short train ride away from Geneva. As we only had two days in Geneva (spent one day touring Geneva and one day visiting Mont Blanc), we did not make it to Lausanne. I wish we had though! We rode by it in the train when we were leaving Geneva and it was beautiful! If I were to do it again, I would’ve added one more day to go here or just stayed here in the first place. It is right on the lake and the mountains in the background are gorgeous.

Food and Drink Recommendations

We ate in both nights in Geneva. There are plenty of good restaurants, we were just quite tired. However, we walked by some restaurants that we would’ve liked to eat at near the river and just on small side streets. It also would’ve been nice to get food to go and a bottle of wine and drink it in one of the many parks in Geneva on a nice summer night (no open container law)

Manor is a department store that has a full supermarket in it. This is where we got plenty of food to eat in.

Other Notes

Switzerland is EXPENSIVE

There are 4 official languages in Switzerland: French, German, Italian, and Romansh (mix of Latin and Italian). Depending on where you are, people will likely speak 1-2 of these and English. In Geneva, French is primarily spoken.

Beautiful area, but I would highly recommend venturing further into the mountains and going to the Berner Oberland region – Bernese Alps