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Getting to Geneva from the airport
If you're flying to Geneva from the UK, good news! Enjoy short flight times of 1 hour 30 minutes from London, 1 hour 50 from Manchester and just 2 hours 10 from Edinburgh.
Geneva Airport, or Genève Aéroport, is just 4 kilometres out of the city centre, so you won't need to worry about how to get to Geneva when you land. There are up to seven trains an hour from the airport to the city, with journey times of just seven minutes! There's also a 20-minute shuttle bus. Did we mention both modes of transport are free?
How to spend a weekend in Geneva
Planning a trip to Geneva? Whether you're visiting with family, friends or for a romantic escape, there are plenty of ways to spend your days in this unique Swiss city. It's one of the most attractive European cities for a weekend break or longer, famous for its beautiful Old Town, Lake Geneva and stunning historic architecture.
Geneva is a relatively compact city home to many unique things to see and do, a beautiful urban landscape and plenty of excellent restaurants, bars and shops. It's a perfect choice for a leisurely weekend away! Explore the city on foot or hop around on the Unireso public transport system, including trams, trains and boats. That's right, boats! What better way to get around the city than sailing from A to B via beautiful Lake Geneva!
Lake Geneva and the Geneva Water Fountain
Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman, is a crescent-shaped lake separating Switzerland and France, set with the Alps as a breathtaking backdrop. The Swiss Riviera stretches along the north shore of the lake, while on the French side, the spa town of Évian-Les-Bains is a beautiful place for a day trip.
Lake Geneva offers many activities for couples, families and solo travellers of all ages. Connect with nature and relax, set out on an adrenaline-filled adventure or enjoy a round of golf on one of Geneva's world-class courses.
The Geneva Water Fountain, or Jet d'Eau, is one of the city's most famous landmarks. It's easy to see why – the 140-meter jet makes it one of the world's tallest fountains! It goes off throughout the day and evening, only switched off at night, in strong winds and below-freezing temperatures. The fountain is one of Geneva's must-see attractions at any time of year.
St Pierre Cathedral
The St Pierre Cathedral is a beautiful church in the city centre, set at the highest point in the Old Town with stunning views of Geneva. The archaeological site below St Pierre is home to many treasures from antiquity.
This 12th century church is a must-visit while you're in town. Be sure to climb to the top of the North Tower to enjoy panoramas of the city below!
Museum of Art and History
Geneva's Museum of Art and History, or Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, is one of Switzerland's three most prominent museums. Explore archaeological, applied art and fine arts collections spread throughout several impressive galleries.
See paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century at Geneva's Art and History Museum, with highlights from the Italian, Dutch, French, English, Genevan and Swiss Schools. Highlights include Konrad Witz's The Miraculous Draft of Fishes and works by Rembrandt, Cézanne, Modigliani and Rodin.
Geneva's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has showcased impressive development since opening in 1994. The collections include mostly art from the 1960s to the present day, with various unique spaces providing a perfect setting for its artworks.
The MAMCO collection includes over 6,000 pieces, including paintings, sketches, sculptures and photography from international artists. Find the museum inside a disused factory spread over 3,500 square meters, the largest museum for contemporary art in Switzerland.
Geneva Old Town
Spending time in the Old Town is one of the top things to do in Geneva – it's a place unlike any other! Switzerland's most extensive historical city comprises charming cobblestone streets, small squares and secret passages. St Pierre Cathedral is the jewel of Geneva Old Town, standing at its highest point, serving spectacular views of the streets below.
Explore the maze of winding streets and discover traditional restaurants, cafés and independent galleries dotted around. Historic architecture means plenty to admire while you walk around. Bourg-de-Four Square is the oldest location in Geneva Old Town, a once-Roman marketplace today home to shops and Medieval marble fountains.
Where to eat and drink in Geneva
If you want to sample traditional Swiss cuisine in Geneva, you'll be spoilt for choice. The city is home to many excellent international restaurants, including some of the world's most exciting spots and plenty of local favourites that are sure to satisfy every taste.
Traditional Swiss foods in Geneva
- Cheese fondue. Melted cheese served over a flame to stay liquid – dip chunks of bread, sausage and vegetables into the molten cheese and enjoy with friends
- Raclette. Melted cheese served on top of roast potatoes, small pickled gherkins and onions
- Milk chocolate. Swiss chocolate has made a name for itself around the world, and it's a must-try while you're in Geneva
- Cheese! Some of the best Swiss cheeses to try include vacherin, appenzeller, sbrinz and – of course – Emmentaler (Emmental)
- Saucissons. Pork sausages famous throughout Romandie
The best restaurants in Geneva
Geneva is home to 29 Michelin Guide and starred restaurants. That's a lot for such a compact city! If you're planning a meal to remember, try one of these award-winning spots, and you're sure to be glad you did.
- Vieux-Bois. An 18th-century building home to Geneva's hotel school and restaurant - think traditional service and impeccable dishes
- Lémon Café. An excellent neighbourhood restaurant with dishes inspired by the chef's travels
- L'Aparté. A Michelin star restaurant beside Lake Geneva
- Nagomi. A no-frills Japanese restaurant serving excellent sushi, ramen and tempura
- Bayview by Michel Roth. Unforgettable modern French cuisine served with the Alps and Lake Geneva as your backdrop
- L'Arabesque. Classic Lebanese dishes in an elegant, oriental setting
- Le Bologne. A vintage bistro making the best of seasonal produce
- Le Jardinier. For panoramic lake views, refined cuisine and impeccable service
- L'Atelier Robuchon. An open kitchen creates a dramatic atmosphere, while contemporary French dishes never disappoint
- Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge. A locals favourite for simple yet memorable meals from Lyon
- Le Grill. An excellent steakhouse with views of Lake Geneva
- Le Chat-Botté. An elegant Michelin star restaurant serving contemporary-style cuisine
- Il Lago. Boasts a Michelin star for its Northern Italian menus accompanied by French, Italian and Swiss wines
- Tosca. A beautiful restaurant pairing Tuscan dishes with Italian wines