Switzerland is a beautiful country and the city of Geneva should definitely be on your list. Travelocity mentions that there are pretty lakes (Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne) and, of course, people love to go skiing here.
There is a lot to explore here, and it's always awesome to feel prepared when heading to a totally new destination. Wondering about what area of the city to find a hotel in, or what local food to try first, or what you need to know about the best landmarks to visit, how to tip, and what money to bring?
Here is a travel guide to Geneva, Switzerland and the 10 things that tourists should plan their trip around.
See The City From Mont Salève Or Lake Geneva
What is there to do in Geneva? The Crazy Tourist says that you should definitely see the city from Mont Salève. There are cable cars that can bring you to the top of this mountain, which is around 1,400 meters high.
The website also mentions Lake Geneva and says that tourists can go on a beautiful boat ride. There are parks and homes near the lake, and according to a Lonely Planet forum, you can also go hiking here. This is easy to do since there are lots of signs. As someone explained, "Trails are marked in TIME rather than distance. This makes hiking oh so easy for you. The time is based on the average hiker."
A Summertime Trip Will Be Wonderful In Geneva
According to Make My Trip, you definitely want to head over to Geneva during the summertime. As the website explains, "The best time to visit Geneva is during the summer months when the weather is mild and breezy. Summers in Switzerland usually boast plenty of sun, though rain is just as common. Although this is also the most crowded season, it is the best time to enjoy a cruise on Lake Geneva."
Hotel Les Armures Is A Good Choice, Along With Hotel Central
Located in an area called Old Town, Les Armures is in a building that was built back in the 17th century. According to Booking.com, this hotel is beloved by people traveling with their significant other, and some politicians have even stayed here over the decades. Trip Advisor notes that you can try fondue in the hotel's restaurant, which is called Les Armures.
Hotel Central has 30 apartment-style rooms, and if you want to stay at a place that is super close to the lake, it's actually just a three-minute stroll. You're close to Maison Tavel (a landmark in the city -- more on that later) and restaurants.
Base Yourself Out Of Old Town
Where should you stay in Geneva? According to The Broke Backpacker, it's smart to stay in a neighborhood called Old Town if this is your inaugural vacation to this city. The website explains more about this area: "The Old Town of Geneva is the historical part of the city, dating back almost 2000 years. It is one of the largest old towns in Europe, and it is a real pleasure to walk around its streets on a sunny afternoon."
The website mentions that there are many different kinds of places to stay here, from Airbnbs to hotels to hostels, so you can have some options.
Definitely Make Sure To Enjoy Some Fondue And Bircher Müesli
Fondue is one of the most popular dishes in Switzerland. Go to Restaurant Edelweiss which, according to this Trip Advisor review, is great for both the food and the restaurant's overall atmosphere: "The fondue was delicious (we tried both the cheese and chocolate fondue). The live performance is amazing. The entire evening was very cozy and warm. Absolutely love the experience!"
Bircher Müesli is a popular breakfast food in Geneva, and you can order it at a place called Cottage Cafe. You can also order bread and homemade jam. Bircher Müesli typically has rolled oats, apples, milk, and some dried fruit and nuts.
What You Should Know About Public Transportation In Geneva
Public transportation in Geneva, Switzerland is called TPG (FR), according to Hello Switzerland. You could buy a day pass, or the website suggests buying a "Tout Genève" pass. The city has both trains and buses, so it's up to you to see what you feel comfortable with and what feels convenient.
Geneva.info explains that "zone 10" is all of Geneva, so that's where you want to be going, and you'll be able to use your pass for one hour (unless you get a day pass).
Cathedrale de St-Pierre And Maison Tavel Are Awesome Landmarks
One landmark in Geneva, Switzerland is Cathedrale de St-Pierre. According to Geneve.com, this church has been around since the 12th century. There is actually an archeological site under it, and you can see a lot of Geneva (plus the gorgeous lake) if you walk up 157 steps on the cathedral's north tower.
Maison Tavel (which translates to "Tavel House) is a museum in a gorgeous old house. According to Geneva.info, tourists can come here and see what it was like in Geneva back in the medieval period, which sounds fascinating. There's a 3D map of what the city was like in 1850 on the highest floor of the building.
The Currency Is The Swiss Franc And Tipping Isn't Required (But You Could)
According to Lonely Planet, the currency used in Geneva, Switzerland is the Swiss franc. That being said, you could also bring some euros with you on your trip because there are some places (such as hotels) that will be cool with that.
As for tipping, it's not completely necessary here. Lonely Planet explains that your bills at bars, restaurants, and hotels will have a 15 percent "service charge." This could also happen when you take a cab. Of course, you might want to tip a little, and the website explains that people living in Geneva will "round up the bill after a meal for good service."
Get A Great Flight Deal During The Month Of February
Wondering the best month of the year for a flight deal to Geneva? Cheap Flights says that it's February.
The website also recommends a Wednesday morning plane ride for the cheapest option, which is definitely helpful to know about.
Learning Some French Is Helpful, Along With Staying Close To A Budget
Before you plan your trip to Geneva, it's good to hear some advice from someone who has spent a lot of time there. Someone who has been living in the city of Geneva for almost two years posted on Reddit and said that learning some French will be helpful. You'll meet many people who are English speakers, but many people do speak French.
They also suggest staying close to a budget during your travels as the city is known for being a little pricey.