Most likely, you’ve heard all the clichés of Geneva. However, they can only be contested once you arrive. Indeed, there’s chocolate, fondue, money, and timepieces. However, Geneva also boasts diverse and creative neighborhoods, such with the Italian-flavored Carouge and Les Grottes.
Your gaze will be drawn to promenades and verdant gardens by Lake Geneva and its recognizable plume of water, with a glimpse of the Alps in the distance from Mont Salève. Geneva is a hub of diplomacy, hosting conferences for agencies such as the Red Cross and the United Nations. At CERN, experts from all fields collaborate to find answers to the big scientific issues of the day. Furthermore, during the Protestant Reformation in Geneva hundreds of years ago, the direction of European history was altered.
- Best Things to Do in Geneva (Switzerland)
- 1. Explore the Old Town
- 2. Visit the Jet d’Eau
- 3. Take a Boat Cruise on Lake Geneva
- 4. Visit the United Nations Office
- 5. Explore the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
- 6. Visit the Museum of Art and History
- 7. Discover the Patek Philippe Museum
- 8. Enjoy a Chocolate Tasting Tour
- 9. Explore the Botanical Gardens
- 10. Take a Stroll along the Lake Geneva Promenade
- 11. Visit the Natural History Museum
- 12. Discover the Ariana Museum
- 13. Go Wine Tasting in the Geneva Wine Region
- 14. Explore the Carouge District
- 15. Visit the Museum of Natural History
- 16. Explore the Reformation Wall
- 17. Go Skiing in the Nearby Alps
- 18. Visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
- 19. Take a Day Trip to Montreux
- 20. Explore the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
- 21. Visit the Museum of Ethnography
- 22. Take a Segway Tour of Geneva
- 23. Explore the Conservatory and Botanical Garden
- 24. Visit the Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross
- 25. Take a Day Trip to Annecy
- 26. Visit the Museum of the History of Science
- 27. Take a Walk in Parc des Bastions
- 28. Explore the Museum of the Reformation
- 29. Take a Day Trip to Lausanne
- 30. Enjoy Swiss Cuisine
Best Things to Do in Geneva (Switzerland)
1. Explore the Old Town
Start your visit to Geneva by exploring the charming Old Town, also known as Vieille Ville. Wander through its narrow streets and discover its rich history and beautiful architecture. Don’t miss St. Peter’s Cathedral, a stunning gothic-style church that offers panoramic views of the city from its tower.
2. Visit the Jet d’Eau
One of Geneva’s most iconic landmarks, the Jet d’Eau is a magnificent water fountain located on Lake Geneva. Witness the powerful jet of water shooting up to 140 meters in the air and enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
3. Take a Boat Cruise on Lake Geneva
Experience the beauty of Lake Geneva by taking a boat cruise. Enjoy the stunning scenery, relax on the deck, and learn about the history and landmarks of the region. Choose from various cruise options, including lunch or dinner cruises.
4. Visit the United Nations Office
As the European headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva is an important diplomatic hub. Take a guided tour of the United Nations Office and learn about its role in international diplomacy. Don’t miss the iconic Broken Chair sculpture, a symbol of opposition to landmines and cluster bombs.
5. Explore the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
Learn about the humanitarian work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at this interactive museum. Discover the history of humanitarian aid and the challenges faced by those affected by conflicts and disasters around the world.
6. Visit the Museum of Art and History
Explore the Museum of Art and History and admire its extensive collection of art, archaeology, and applied arts. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art exhibitions, this museum offers a diverse cultural experience.
7. Discover the Patek Philippe Museum
If you’re a watch enthusiast, don’t miss the Patek Philippe Museum. This museum showcases a remarkable collection of timepieces, including rare and intricate watches crafted by the renowned Swiss watchmaker.
8. Enjoy a Chocolate Tasting Tour
Indulge your sweet tooth with a chocolate tasting tour in Geneva. Visit artisanal chocolatiers and learn about the chocolate-making process while sampling delicious Swiss chocolates.
9. Explore the Botanical Gardens
Escape the city and immerse yourself in nature at the Botanical Gardens. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens, discover a wide variety of plant species, and relax in the peaceful surroundings.
10. Take a Stroll along the Lake Geneva Promenade
Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Lake Geneva Promenade, also known as the Quai du Mont-Blanc. Take in the stunning views of the lake and the Jet d’Eau, and stop at one of the lakeside cafes for a refreshing drink or a delicious meal.
11. Visit the Natural History Museum
Learn about the natural world at the Natural History Museum in Geneva. Explore its extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and animal specimens, and gain a deeper understanding of the Earth’s biodiversity.
12. Discover the Ariana Museum
The Ariana Museum is dedicated to ceramics and glassware. Marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of the displayed pieces and learn about the history of these art forms.
13. Go Wine Tasting in the Geneva Wine Region
Geneva is surrounded by picturesque vineyards, producing some of Switzerland’s finest wines. Take a wine tasting tour in the Geneva Wine Region and savor the flavors of local wines while enjoying the scenic countryside.
14. Explore the Carouge District
Visit the bohemian Carouge district, known for its vibrant atmosphere and Mediterranean charm. Explore its narrow streets lined with boutiques, art galleries, and cafes, and soak up the lively ambiance.
15. Visit the Museum of Natural History
Discover the wonders of the natural world at the Museum of Natural History. From dinosaur skeletons to interactive exhibits on ecology and biodiversity, this museum offers a fascinating educational experience for all ages.
16. Explore the Reformation Wall
Located in the Parc des Bastions, the Reformation Wall is a monument commemorating the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Admire the statues and reliefs depicting key figures such as John Calvin and Martin Luther.
17. Go Skiing in the Nearby Alps
If you’re visiting Geneva during the winter months, take advantage of its proximity to the Alps and go skiing or snowboarding. There are several ski resorts within a short drive from the city, offering a variety of slopes for all skill levels.
18. Visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Explore its collection of contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and installations by renowned artists from Switzerland and around the world.
19. Take a Day Trip to Montreux
Montreux, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a charming town known for its annual jazz festival and its beautiful promenade. Take a day trip from Geneva and explore its picturesque streets, visit the Chillon Castle, and enjoy the stunning views of the lake.
20. Explore the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Learn more about the humanitarian work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent at the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Discover the history of these organizations and the challenges they face in providing assistance to those in need.
21. Visit the Museum of Ethnography
Explore the Museum of Ethnography and learn about different cultures from around the world. Discover the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, including masks, textiles, and traditional crafts.
22. Take a Segway Tour of Geneva
Experience Geneva in a unique way by taking a Segway tour. Glide through the city’s streets and parks while learning about its history and landmarks from a knowledgeable guide.
23. Explore the Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Discover a wide variety of plant species at the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva. Explore its greenhouses, stroll through its gardens, and learn about the importance of biodiversity and conservation.
24. Visit the Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Learn about the history and work of the International Committee of the Red Cross at its dedicated museum. Discover the organization’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid in times of conflict and crisis.
25. Take a Day Trip to Annecy
Located just across the border in France, Annecy is a picturesque town known as the “Venice of the Alps.” Explore its charming canals, visit the medieval castle, and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Annecy.
26. Visit the Museum of the History of Science
Discover the fascinating world of science at the Museum of the History of Science. Explore its collection of scientific instruments and learn about the breakthroughs and discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the world.
27. Take a Walk in Parc des Bastions
Enjoy a leisurely walk in Parc des Bastions, a beautiful park located in the heart of Geneva. Admire the giant chessboard, relax on the benches, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
28. Explore the Museum of the Reformation
Learn about the Protestant Reformation and its impact on Geneva at the Museum of the Reformation. Explore its exhibits on the life and teachings of John Calvin and other key figures of the Reformation.
29. Take a Day Trip to Lausanne
Lausanne, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a vibrant city known for its cultural events and its Olympic Museum. Take a day trip from Geneva and explore its historic center, visit the cathedral, and enjoy the stunning views of the lake.
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30. Enjoy Swiss Cuisine
No visit to Geneva is complete without indulging in Swiss cuisine. Try traditional dishes such as fondue, raclette, and roesti at one of the city’s many restaurants. Don’t forget to sample Swiss chocolates and cheeses as well.
With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene, Geneva offers a wide range of activities and attractions for every visitor. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or gastronomy, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful Swiss city.