Geneva is the second largest city of Switzerland after Zurich. The city is known for its United Nations headquarters and the nuclear research center CERN. But there's an impressive number of tourist attractions in this lakeside cosmopolitan city as well. The local name in French is Genève. In German, the city is called Genf.
These are the hotels we suggest for your stay.
Rent an apartment or holiday home in or around Geneva.
Any questions left about Geneva? Feel free to post to the forum!
Geneva is an internationally oriented city in Switzerland, a few kilometers from France. Geneva is visited by tourists, politicians and scientists from all over the world. It's a city where life is very comfortable but expensive. The price should not put you off though. As a tourist, it's perfectly possible to enjoy Geneva in a day or two without spending that much. Also it's worth knowing that the average price of hotels isn't that different from other Swiss towns, and there's budget accommodation too.
The town attracts many visitors from around the globe, so there's a wealth of choice when dining out. Do you like Swiss, French, Thai, Indian, Korean, Chinese or Japanese food? All of that and more is available. There's a lot to see and do and the lakeside location makes it very attractive to stroll around town.
Location and scenery
Geneva is situated along beautiful Lake Geneva, in between the Jura mountain range and the Alps. You can make day trips into France, e.g. to the Mont Blanc.
Reasons to stay in Geneva
If you are planning a long vacation in Switzerland (e.g. two weeks or more), you can start with a day or two in Geneva if you're interested in culture, museums and city visits in general. Then proceed to the Alps to see the mountains.
If you have booked a late flight to Geneva or an early flight from Geneva, it makes sense to stay the night and explore the city for a couple of hours. You can find airport hotels here.
Reasons to skip Geneva
Geneva is not situated in the mountains and it's located in one of the utmost corners of Switzerland. It's not an ideal base if you want to make day trips all over Switzerland.
If you have limited time to see Switzerland, we recommend to go straight to the Alps: e.g. to the eastern part of Lake Geneva, Zermatt or the Bernese Oberland.
Geneva for a winter holiday
Geneva is not suitable for snow holidays. It’s far from the snowy Swiss Alps, and ski areas are too far away for a day trip.
The Chamonix-Mont Blanc area in France could be visited in a day, but a single journey still takes 2,5 to 3 hours.
Geneva is attractive in late November and December for its Christmas atmosphere. The old town has beautiful decorations. Several Christmas markets are held. By mid-December, visitors can enjoy the large “l’Escalade” festival with music, cannon fires, demonstrations and food.
What not to miss during your stay
If you plan to visit multiple attractions, then consider to purchase a Geneva City Pass to get discounts. Your rail pass may get you discounts as well.
Below are some suggestions for what to do during your stay in Geneva. These aren't 'must sees' for everyone. Just pick what you're most interested in, and check out the Geneva Tourism website for more ideas.