Travel Tips Geneva – Find The Universe contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Found on the shores of Lake Geneva, and surrounded by mountains, the Swiss city of Geneva is certainly in an interesting location. With excellent transport links, it is also an easy place to visit for a trip to Switzerland.
Travel Tips Geneva
Of course, there are many reasons to visit Geneva other than just being interesting and easy to see! As the European headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross, it is an international center for diplomacy. It is also home to world-class watchmakers, exciting shopping opportunities, a historic and beautiful old town, and an impressive array of museums.
Tips On Travelling From Africa To Geneva
If a trip to Geneva is on your to-do list, and it should be, then we’ve put together this guide to things to do in Geneva to give you plenty of ideas for your visit. This could be as part of a longer visit to Switzerland, or just on a city break to Geneva.
Either way, you’ll certainly have no shortage of things to do in Geneva. From museums covering a range of themes, to world-famous fountains, scenic views, delicious food and luxury shopping opportunities, the city has something for everyone!
As part of our guide to what to do in Geneva, we’ve also included some tips on where to stay, how to get around, how to save money, and some popular tours for you to visit.
This guide to things to do in Geneva covers some of our favorite sights and activities in the city. There is so much to see and do, whatever your interests!
Fantastic Things To Do In Geneva, Switzerland
Perhaps the most famous landmark in Geneva is Jet d’Eau. It is a large water fountain at the southern end of Lake Geneva that shoots five hundred liters of water into the air per second, reaching a height of 140 meters (460 ft).
Given the height of the water, as you can imagine the fountain is visible from many places around the city. However, the best views are arguably from the waterfront, where you are closest to the fountain. A word of warning though – a change in wind direction can cause the water from the fountain to run over the edge of the water, and it’s very cold and wet!
The fountain, which has been operating in its current location since 1891, runs all year round unless it is particularly cold, or if it is very windy. It is also sometimes closed for protection. From spring to autumn, it also floats and lights up in the evening. You can see the full schedule here.
If there’s one thing that comes to mind when you think of Switzerland, it’s probably sightseeing. Along with cheese and chocolate, watches are one of the three main things most people associate with Switzerland.
One Day In Geneva Itinerary: Uncover Secrets Of The Old Town
As such, a visit to the Sights Museum is definitely the perfect thing to add to your Geneva sightseeing tour!
The Patek Philippe Museum is just such a museum. Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe is one of the oldest and most respected watchmakers in the world. The company’s luxury watches are worn by celebrities, royalty and world leaders. Patek Philippe also holds the record for the most expensive watch sold.
As such, I would say that a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum is a great way to gain an understanding of the sights, watchmaking, and history of this legendary watchmaker.
The focus of the museum is the incredible collection of timepieces inside. There are over 2,000 shows to watch! It includes clocks dating back to the 16th century, and the collection even includes the oldest clock ever made. Naturally it also includes many of Patek Philippe’s watches, dating back to when the company was founded in 1839.
The Green Guide To Geneva (on A Budget)
The museum is open to the public. There is an audio guide that covers part of the museum, however we would suggest that a public guided tour may be the best option. That’s because there’s a truly staggering array of timepieces on display, and if you’re not a true visual connoisseur, a tour will be the best way to get to know some of the main features of the collection.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, with tours in English once a day. You can see full details and opening hours here. There is a fee to enter, and it is included in the Geneva Pass.
Note that photography is not allowed in the museum and you must place all your belongings in a locker before you start your tour.
For those of you with a real interest in watchmaking, you might consider a watchmaking tour like this one, which will take you on a journey through 500 years of watchmaking history in the city.
Absolute Best Day Trips From Geneva, Switzerland
We can also recommend that you make sure you visit the Malboisson Clock, found off the Rue de la Croix d’Or, an amazing clock with a group of 42 bronze characters and 13 crates, which rings the clock by performing a small demonstration.
Most of the sights and attractions in our guide to things to do in Geneva are found in the Old Town, which is the historic heart of the city. While you’ll naturally see some of the attractions on this list, don’t forget to spend some time just wandering around the cobbled streets you’ll find here.
The old town is built on one of the highest points in the city, with the St. Pierre Cathedral as the focal point. The area around the cathedral is one of Europe’s oldest urban centers, with a history that stretches back over two thousand years.
A good option for exploring the old city is to take a walking tour like this one, which allows you to discover all the hidden alleys and cranes, as well as learn about the history of what you see.
Visit Geneva: Top 23 Things To Do And Must See
Found next door to the Patek Philippe Museum, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is the largest contemporary art museum in Switzerland.
The museum has a permanent collection, which presents modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to the present day. Both Swiss and international artists are represented. They also offer temporary exhibitions that showcase the works of various artists. Definitely consider one if you are a fan of contemporary or modern art.
The museum is open every day except Monday, and you can see the full opening hours on the website here.
Next to the Philippe Patek Museum and MAMCO is the Museum of Ethnology of Geneva or MEG. Founded in 1901, the museum focuses on ethnography, or the study of human cultures.
The Best Of Geneva In Winter
Basically, if you want to learn about the history of cultures around the world, you’ll want to visit MEG. With a vast collection of around 70,000 items, covering cultures from around the world, you’re bound to find something that interests you!
The MEG collection also has an incredible collection of photos with nearly 18,000 photos. In the library you can also listen to music from around the world.
Of course, there is no place to display everything at once. The permanent exhibition showcases more than a thousand items, spanning all major continents. There are also temporary exhibitions.
MEG is open every day except Monday, and you can see full information about opening hours here. Visiting the permanent exhibition is free. Temporary exhibitions have a fee, and you can also pay for a guided tour of the permanent exhibition if you wish. Access to the temporary exhibition is also included in the Geneva Pass.
Amazing Things To Do In Geneva, Switzerland [2023 Guide]
Geneva has no shortage of museums, which has probably already been revealed. This is great, because it means that even if you visit in the cold winter months, you’ll have plenty of things to do in the heat!
This also means that there is an amazing variety of museums on offer. Take the fire museum for example. This is an interesting little museum that charts the history of the fire service in the city.
I have a real soft spot for quirky museums like this, and I have to say this was definitely one of my favorite museums in Geneva. It was put together as a passion project, with experienced firefighters and volunteers putting it all together. When you visit, you will be greeted by retired firefighters, who will be able to answer any questions about the impressive collection, which dates back to 1840.
The fire department is always free to visit. If you want to visit, you should plan carefully as it has limited opening hours, which are Wednesday and Sunday, 10am to 12pm, and 1.30pm to 3.30pm. up to. You can find more information about opening times and planning your visit on the official site here.
The Monocle Travel Guide To Zürich Geneva + Basel: The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Monocle: 9783899559583: Books
The Jardin Inglise or “English Garden” is a historic urban park on the shores of Lake Geneva, found beneath the Old Town area. Since 1855, the park has sat in what used to be an old port.
Today, the Jardin Ingles covers an area of about 6 acres on the southern shore of Lake Geneva, which means it’s right there.