Discover Switzerland’s natural beauty and rich cultural life on a day trip to Geneva.
Switzerland is a beautiful destination for any traveler and attracts tourists from around the world. Geneva is an incredibly romantic, picturesque city with views of Mont Blanc.
What should you do if you only have a short time in this lovely city? Here we’ll share some of the top attractions for a day trip to Geneva.
But first, we’ve got a few tips for how not to waste precious time on transportation. If you prepare well for your trip, you’ll know the best transport options for all your needs.
If you’re arriving by air, your plane will likely land at Geneva Airport, the oldest air terminal in Europe. The Geneva airport serves as a central transportation hub for passengers.
Therefore, we advise you to book an AtoB Geneva airport taxi so that upon arrival, you can immediately use an airport transfer service and get to your accommodation without delay.
The city offers train, bus, trolleybus, tram, and water transport. You can find all the necessary information – transport schemes, routes, and timetables – on the official website.
Day Trip to Geneva
Geneva’s Old Town and the Tavel House
Around 200 years ago, star-shaped fortifications encircled Geneva on all sides.
Find the Tavel House (Maison Tavel), a six-floor museum in the Old Town, to get a better feel for how Geneva appeared and how these defenses evolved.
The Tavel family constructed Geneva’s oldest domestic structure, which houses the museum, in the 12th century.
A multimedia display can be found on the bottom floor, while a stunning 3D model of the city is on the highest floor. Every central street, home, and tree is represented.
On the model, it’s easy to see that the Old Town was constructed on a hill above Lake Geneva, that the Rues Basses are actually at the bottom, and that various walls and borders mark the beginning of the newer districts.
The Promenade and English Garden
Also on the south side of Lake Geneva is the well-manicured English Garden. There are many exciting and free things to see here.
The Flower Clock (L’Horloge Fleurie) changes its floral design several times a year.
Next to the flowers is the National Monument. Two ladies stand side by side and symbolize the accession of Geneva to the Swiss Confederation.
It was only about 200 years ago that Geneva became a part of Switzerland; the Congress of Vienna approved its accession in 1814, and the process was completed in 1815.
Look north across the lake and see The Geneva Water Fountain, one of the city’s best-known landmarks.
Its original purpose was to reduce the pressure on the Geneva water supply.
Now it’s a symbol of Geneva, with a height of about 460 feet (140 meters). Due to its size, the fountain is visible around the city, and it’s illuminated at night.
There are often ducks and swans next to it, so bring breadcrumbs if you want to feed them.
A bit further east along the lake’s shoreline is a swimming area (Plage Publique des Eaux-Vives) with rocks instead of sand.
International Organizations in Geneva
In Geneva, there are numerous international organizations you can visit, including:
- European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
- United Nations (UN)
- Red Cross Museum
The official languages of the UN are English, French, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, and Russian.
Take a walk in the center of Geneva at the Place Molard, and you’ll find greetings on the paving stones in all these languages. In the evening, they glow, making the pavement look nice.
You can sign up to tour CERN in advance; the tours are free and conducted by employees.
You can even go underground to the Large Hadron Collider, but only at certain times of the year, such as January, when the world’s most powerful particle accelerator is shut down for maintenance.
A few blocks south of Tavel House is Park Bastion, home to the University of Geneva and Reformation Wall.
This stone wall features five-meter sculptures of the “fathers” of the Protestant Reformation movement: Calvin, Farel, Beza, and Knox.
The park’s northern end features large chess boards painted on the ground.
North of Park Bastion and still within the Old Town, take a walk on the small park Promenade de la Treille.
The elevated park features the longest wooden bench in Europe (and maybe the world) and a chestnut tree, by which the city authorities annually determine and officially announce the arrival of spring.
However, the old chestnut tree fell ill recently, and its functions were transferred to a younger tree.
These are the key sights you can see on a day trip to Geneva. So, don’t forget to include this fascinating city when traveling to Switzerland.
Book everything you need in advance: tickets, Geneva airport taxi, accommodation, etc. And enjoy the contradictions and harmony of Geneva.
This story is brought to you in partnership with AtoBTransfer.
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He’s been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
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