Geneva enjoys one of the greatest urban locations in the world. It occupies the westernmost corner of Switzerland, literally on the French border; and it’s flanked by the stunning Alps and gorgeous Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Leman. More than just a city, it is the anchor of a two-nation region waiting to be explored.
World’s best watches
Photography Dpa Picture Alliance Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Switzerland has nearly cornered the market on the production of fine watches, and all the great houses, including Patek Philippe, Breguet and Rolex, are in and around this city. Both Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin also have museums in the city.
Swiss chocolate, anyone?
Photography Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy Stock Photo
Geneva is home to some of the most famous boutique chocolate producers, including Teuscher, La Maison du Cacao, Zogg and Chocolaterie des Bergues. A few offer chocolate-making tours, including Stettler, Auer and Chocolaterie du Rhone.
Tour Geneva's top museum
Geneva’s Musées d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is Switzerland’s de facto national collection, an enormous place with an extensive assortment of works and artefacts. Upstairs you may find French sculptures, downstairs a 9th-century-BC Egyptian mummy.
Lake Geneva's famous Jet d'Eau
The Jet d’Eau, or jet of water, is the symbol for this sophisticated international city. The towering spray—which reaches more than 450-feet (137 metres) high—is visible from anywhere along the lakefront.
See the Red Cross headquarters
Geneva is home to the International Red Cross, which takes its original emblem from a colour reversal of the Swiss flag. The headquarters contains one of Europe’s can’t-miss museums.
Cruise Lake Geneva
See Geneva and the scenic surrounding region, including the towering Alps, during a boat cruise on the enormous lake. Boats depart regularly for Lausanne, Montreux and other towns on the Swiss side, as well as Evian-les-Bains and towns on the southern French coast.
Walk Old Town
Photography Roy Langstaff / Alamy Stock Photo
In Geneva’s historic medieval centre, you’ll find cobblestone streets, shops, restaurants and the city’s most important historic sights, the grand cathedral and Maison Tavel. This atmospheric zone is Geneva’s most charming and is best experienced on foot.
Take a day trip from Geneva
It is an easy trip by train or boat to Evian-les-Bains, the principal resort town on the French side of the lake. Evian-les-Bains offers thermal baths, a lakefront promenade along its historic old town, a marina, a casino, renowned spas and the fountain source of the famous bottled water.
Behind the scenes of watchmaking
Many of the watch factories that produce the expensive timepieces for which Switzerland is famous are in towns in the nearby Joux Valley, including Ebel, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain and Audemars Piguet. Two public museums that timepiece aficionados should visit in the area are the Espace Horloger and International Museum of Horology.
A history of the Olympic Games
Lausanne is Switzerland’s grandest lakefront town, located just a short train ride from Geneva, and also happens to be the home base of the International Olympic Committee. Pay a visit to the The Olympic Museum, which showcases the history of the Games.