Godfrey Hall visits Geneva, beautifully located on the edge of the lake with excellent transport connections to the rest of Europe, the UK and within Switzerland. Often thought of as expensive, with a little planning it is possible to keep costs down whilst enjoying its spectacular location.
Well connected just a few minutes by train from the airport, the main station is close to the lakeside and city centre. There is lots to do and you can quickly get out into the local villages and countryside. A charming clean and well-run destination.
What to see.
Using the free travel pass which you can obtain from your hotel, you should make use of the small orange ferries, local trains and buses. The old town is well worth a look. Take the 36 mini bus from Rive and get off at the Cathedral which is free to visit and also explore the Red Cross Museum. Take the E bus from Rive to the end of the line to enjoy the pretty lakeside village of Hermance on the border and of course on your return to the city, don’t forget your photo by the Jet d’Eau.
What to eat
To keep costs down, try a midday meal at the restaurant on top of the Manor Department store, a short walk from the station. At evening time, venture to the Bains de Paquis on the side of the lake and join the mass of youngsters for a fondue or competitively priced meal. One fondue is easily enough for two but do book!
A chance to visit some of the suburbs using your pass, in particular Carouge, with its Mediterranean feel. Designed by Italian architects, it is very different from the rest of the Geneva. Shopaholics will enjoy the many outlets ranging from ultra-expensive designer shops to main chains such as Zara and C&A. A feast of fun. A lunchtime cruise will provide an excellent overview of the lakeside properties and towns and a visit to the free historical science museum in the Jardin Botanique will blow your mind!
Catch the morning CGN steamer to one of their many destinations such as Villeneuve or Evian and spend your time enjoying the history and restaurants. Annecy in France is a popular day out by coach or train from Geneva or you could try Lausanne. Your travel pass can also be used to get you out, by tram, to CERN , a scientific centre of excellence.
There are some excellent midweek flight deals available and you may like to try the family owned, newly refurbished Hotel Bristol close to the lake, the centre of the city and station or the Hotel Eden a little further along the lakeside. Spring and autumn are ideal times to go.