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Geneva

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Perhaps the most French of Swiss cities, French-speaking Geneva is located on the western shore of Lake Geneva, a few kilometres from the French border. Many French people from the region go there to work instead of visiting. But it would be too simplistic to reduce Geneva to that. Geneva is a city where life is good, a city where one feels good, a city open to all. Proof of this openness is the fact that it is the headquarters of many international organizations(United Nations, WHO, International Committee of the Red Cross, WTO, etc.). As a "world city", Geneva offers visitors an extraordinary range of cultural activities and places to visit that you will find in your travel guide: the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO), the Baur Foundation for Oriental Arts, the Martin Bodmer Foundation, the Patek Philippe Museum (dedicated to watchmaking)... And it doesn't stop at museums. Those who come to Geneva will also have to discover its gastronomic scene: indeed, the Lake Geneva shore has the highest density of gastronomic restaurants in the world. A very lively city, it is also easy to escape to the neighbouring Alps and the shores of Lake Geneva. A lake that offers the treasure of Geneva: the "jet d'eau", which is adorned with colours during specific events. It's magical! Follow the Geneva guide to discover this surprising destination

What to see, what to do Geneva?

When to go Geneva ?

The high tourist season to visit Geneva is from May1st to September 30th. It peaks in July and August. The low season runs from October 1st to April 30th

The best time to visit Geneva is certainly the summer season. Pleasant temperatures favour a wide variety of outdoor activities. You can combine relaxation and swimming in Lake Geneva with cultural visits. It is also a period with less traffic (the Genevans go on holiday themselves) and therefore less traffic jams. Moreover, Geneva hosts every summer the "Fêtes de Genève" which enliven the harbour with multiple animations, and tasting stands. Many festivities take place in the open air during the summer in the parks, including free concerts.

If you visit Geneva in spring or autumn, you will of course avoid the crowds of tourists and will be able to benefit from cheaper rates.

Note that the Geneva Motor Show, which takes place every year between1 and 15 March, attracts a significant number of visitors, around 700,000. During the exhibition periods, prices increase in hotels near Palexpo and in the centre. Make sure you book well in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. Outside the exhibition period, it is attractive to come and stay in Geneva.

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Covid-19 : current situation Geneva

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, entry and travel restrictions may apply Geneva. Remember to visit the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you leave for the latest information
Practical information for travel Geneva

A sudden craving for chocolate, a trip on a steamboat on the Geneva lagoon, a vintage shopping spree, a desire to attend a world-renowned themed event such as the Motor Show (Gims)? The pretexts for staying in Geneva are numerous. To discover the architecture, history and richness of Geneva, there's nothing better than to treat yourself to a walk or a bike ride, lasting a few hours or half a day. We also offer you the opportunity to discover Geneva through its "Cultural Trails" or during the thematic guided tours offered by the Tourist Office and its partners. Make the most of your stay in the heart of the city to optimise your travel and enjoy exploring Geneva in a thousand ways. There are many offers and accommodation of all categories. The strategic location of the city is a perfect starting point to broaden your discovery of the Lake Geneva region.

 

How to go Geneva

How to go alone

It is very easy to travel alone in Geneva. Public transport and hotel facilities are abundant, you can make your choice. To avoid wasting too much time queuing in front of each monument, remember to buy your tickets in advance on the Internet or on site the day before, and especially to check the dates of the exhibition and congress before your stay.

How to go on a tour

Many tour operators offer holiday packages. The most frequent ones are escapades (3 days and 2 nights or 4 days and 3 nights) and long weekends. Prices vary according to the means of transport chosen and the time of booking; last minute offers remain the most attractive. In Geneva, since the place is suitable, there are quite a few cultural trips, but the prices are higher.

How to get around

It is useless and expensive to carry a car in Geneva. To get around town, use public transport (consisting of trams, buses and trolleybuses). In summer, cycling, for rent or purchase, or cycling by taxi, offers an original way to discover the city, its surroundings and surroundings as far as neighbouring France. Les Mouettes genevoises, small boats are adequate to move from one bank of Geneva to the other of Lake Geneva.

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Discover Geneva

An amazing city, far from being behind the times. Because it is the world capital of fine watchmaking, it is undoubtedly always on the move. It knows how to reinvent itself by revitalizing its image and by offering a quality and safe living environment. A cosmopolitan city, it adapts to all desires. Unusual and secret, its rich heritage is exalted in the old town. International and a symbol of peace, the institutions of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the WHO place the city at the centre of the world. Trendy, it is perfect for a watchmaking shopping trip in the great Geneva houses (Rolex, Patek Philippe). It abounds in places to eat and chocolate, for which it alone has the recipe. It is a city full of culture with its forty museums, its high-flying events programme and its trendy places. Its water fountain, the banks of the lake and its parks make it bucolic and romantic.

Pictures and images Geneva

Vue sur les quais de Genève. Phil Schutz
Boutique Ysatis. Philippe GUERSAN - Author's Image
Musée Ariana abrite des collections de céramiques et de verre. Philippe GUERSAN - Author's Image
Exposition Pablo Bronstein au Centre d'Art Contemporain Annik WETTER

The 12 keywords Geneva

1. #Banks

Safes under the lake filled with gold bars, myth or reality? More than a hundred banks have their headquarters in the city of Calvin. Thanks to its neutral status, Switzerland remained outside the major world conflicts. After 1945, the financial system was not affected and Switzerland became an international financial centre.

2. #Calvin

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It was in Geneva that the French man of letters Jean Calvin helped Guillaume Farel to consolidate the Protestant Reformation, from 1536 onwards. His work encompassed the fields of religion and culture, but also economics and politics. The Wall of the Reformers pays tribute to this central figure in the history of the city and to other preachers.

3. #Chocolate

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Dreaming of a fountain where chocolate flows freely is possible in Geneva. The chocolate makers flood the streets with the smell of chocolate and lure us into their appetizing shops. You will find it in all its forms, in ingots, in the shape of a Swiss knife and even in the form of a wick of Titeuf (the cartoon hero of the artist from Carouge)

4. #Escalade

This festival, celebrated annually on December 12, commemorates the victory of Geneva over the troops of the Duke of Savoy Charles-Emmanuel I. On the night of December 11 to 12, 1602, a violent attack to seize the city began by climbing its ramparts. Two female fighters from Geneva have passed on their names to posterity.

5. #Watchmaking

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Geneva is undoubtedly the cradle and world capital of luxury watchmaking. Several monuments, such as the Horloge fleurie, the carillon of the Passage Malbuisson, but also museums, such as the Patek Philippe Museum, the boutiques of the Rue du Rhône and the famous Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, are there to remind us of this.

6. #International

More than any other city with the same number of inhabitants, Geneva is distinguished by its international influence. It is home to some thirty international organisations and, along with New York, is the world's leading centre for meetings and conferences, thanks to the presence on its soil of the United Nations Organisation (UN)

7. #Water jet

From the Geneva shores of Lake Geneva, you can admire the famous 140-metre high water jet. Before it became one of the city's most important symbols, it was used as a safety valve when the water produced by the Coulouvrenière waterworks on the Rhone was over-pressurised and the craftsmen stopped working in the evening.

8. #Longeole

This pork sausage flavoured with fennel or caraway is an integral part of Geneva's culinary tradition. In 2009, the Federal Office for Agriculture (OFAGE) even awarded it a protected geographical indication (PGI). This sausage made from pork shoulder and rind must be produced in the canton of Geneva.

9. #Rousseau

Musician, philosopher and writer, author of the Confessions,Emile or Education, the Social Contract and Julie or the New Heloise, the city pays tribute to him on Rousseau Island. Although his travels took him all over Switzerland, France and Italy, it was in Geneva that he spent the first sixteen years of his life.

10. #Tramway

Geneva Public Transport (TPG) is inseparable from the life of Geneva. This is evidenced by the numerous occurrences of the terms "trams", "Mouettes" (small boats), "trolleybus" and "bus" in conversations. In 1900, Geneva already had a tram network of more than 90 km, including electric and steam trams.

11. #Green

A true city of parks, the city of Geneva has about 50 parks spread over more than 310 hectares, with 428,000 plants, including 40,000 roses and 40,000 trees. In addition to the undeniable social, aesthetic and climatic roles they play, some parks will allow you to discover the great variety of fauna and flora.

12. #Vineyard

Vignoble et campagne genevoise (c) Séverine VULLIEZ.jpg

With its 1,400 hectares of vines, Geneva is the third largest wine-producing canton in Switzerland. This tradition, which was initiated by the Romans on Geneva soil, was however threatened at the end of the 19th century by competition from French wines. The twenty or so grape varieties will amaze your taste buds, such as Chasselas, Muscat and Pinot Noir

You are from here, if...

You say "ninety" for "ninety"

You answer "service" to someone who thanks you.

As a greeting, you say "goodbye".

You are punctual. In a country of fine watchmaking, you have to be!

You leave a tip in restaurants and bars. It is not obligatory, but in general the people of Geneva do it.

You're driving slowly. Between Geneva and Lausanne, radars are installed every 5 to 7 km on the motorway. Be careful, GPS speed camera warnings are forbidden in Switzerland!

You give priority to the pedestrian, even if you have plenty of time to pass by.

You kiss a person three times when you kiss them, not twice.

You pick up a newspaper in the self-service area and pay for it, of course!

You are tolerant and respectful and prefer to explain yourself rather than get angry.

You drink your coffee with a little cream.

You buy a chocolate pot to celebrate the Escalade in December.

Other destinations nearby Geneva

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