The Best Things to Do In Geneva, Switzerland

I sat down to write this article as a Geneva itinerary, but soon realised it would better as a guide to the best things to see and do. The reason being is that much of what The Adventure to Me (human name, Kim) and I did during our long weekend in Geneva was dictated by the Geneva Pass we purchased, which in hindsight didn’t prove to be as valuable as we first thought.

We spent far too much time trying to fit in attractions included in the Geneva Pass that we perhaps wouldn’t have considered otherwise, so I believe I can bring much more value to your trip research or wanderlust by letting you know what the best bits of Geneva were for me.

Fortunately, Geneva is an incredibly easy city to walk around, so you won’t find it too difficult pulling together your own itinerary based on the attractions that interest you below. But if you really want to know how we spent our time in Geneva, check out Kim’s article.

Surprisingly, a number of the things to do in Geneva are completely free that I’ve already covered here, so this article covers a mixture of paid and free activities and sights that in my opinion are worth a visit. 

Quick Links

A Quick Word about the Geneva Pass

The Geneva Pass didn’t provide a whole lot of value for us in terms of the attractions, but that’s not to say it isn’t invaluable per se. Since we stayed in this Airbnb we didn’t receive the complimentary free travel card all hotel guests receive, so in that respect it probably did save us some money after all.

My recommendation would be to price up to the activities you’d like to see and do, see how many of those are covered with the Geneva Pass, and consider if the savings outweigh the cost of the card. Remember if you’re staying in private accommodation and therefore don’t receive the complimentary travel card, the Geneva Pass will cover you for all public transport.

 Best Things to Do In Geneva

The Geneva Pass

Free Public Transport

If you’re staying in a hotel, youth hostel or at a campsite, then you’re entitled to a free Geneva Transport Card for the length of your stay for use on the buses, trams, trains, and yellow taxi-boats. You should ask for it upon your arrival.

If you’re staying in private accommodation such as an Airbnb like we did, you won’t be eligible for the free card however, you’re still entitled to free 80 minutes of travel from the airport – available to everyone! To claim your free ticket simply press the button on the machine located in baggage claim.

 Best Things to Do In Geneva

Free Airport Travel Ticket and Machine

Sighteeing

Parc de La Perle du Lac

A hidden beach-like oasis? Yes please! Don’t miss the ‘hidden’ beach at Parc de La Perle du Lac for a chance to dip your toes in that luscious turquoise glacial water. I quote hidden because it is in fact painstakingly obvious by not only the gate that bids you entry, but the small jetty that walks out into the water.

Covered in Geneva Pass? It’s already free.

 Best Things to Do In Geneva - Parc de La Perle du Lac

Parc de La Perle du Lac Jetty

Carouge Umbrella Street

Easily reached by the public bus, Carouge is a fanciful French-inspired neighbourhood in Geneva. Sadly we didn’t have a huge amount of time to spend here, but enough time to get a snap under the umbrella street that disappointingly wasn’t blooming. (Is that what you call an umbrella that’s not been opened?)

Covered in Geneva Pass? It’s already free since it’s a public street.

Best Things to Do In Geneva - Carouge

Carouge Umbrella Street

Viaduc de la Jonction

This is by far one of the best sights we saw in Geneva, I mean just look at the beauty in that convergence! And the colour of that water is just mesmerising. The easily reachable viaduct offers the best views of this – free and open to the public.

Covered in Geneva Pass? It’s already free.

Viaduc de la Jonction

Viaduc de la Jonction

Activities

Cross the Border at Mount Saleve

As you can see from the photo below it was pretty frosty up on that mountain, and no we weren’t dressed appropriately. Since I was wearing culottes and therefore not warm AT ALL! We didn’t walk around Mont Saleve as was available – it was mostly covered in snow anyway. Remember if you stop in the cafe for a drink – which offers beautiful views of Geneva – it’s paid in Euros as you’re now in France!

Covered in Geneva Pass? Yes – Return Cable Car

Best Things to Do In Geneva, Switzerland - Mont Salève

Mont Salève in Early May

Eating and Drinking

Cheese Fondue at Restaurant Les Armures

Having had cheese fondue at every opportunity in Geneva, I can confirm that Restaurant Les Armures was by far the best. But that isn’t surprising considering it’s their speciality as Geneva’s oldest café. Americans will be sure to let you know that former President Bill Clinton dined there himself.

Presidential celebrities aside, the restaurant is set in the picturesque Old Town with beautiful interiors. We went for the cheese fondue with mushrooms and bacon, with an extra side of new potatoes. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiting staff for the correct way to eat fondue.

Covered in Geneva Pass? No.

Chocolate Tasting at Stettler

Both being chocolate lovers, we decided to indulge in a chocolate tasting session at Stettler. This 60-minute ‘Passion Chocolate’ session cost £30 and covered the history of chocolate in Switzerland, and quite a few tasters including raw cocoa and some of the rarest chocolate in the world.

Perhaps because it was just the two of us and the store I felt that this was a little expensive for what we covered, however, it was a really nice experience and I felt like a chocolate connoisseur afterward – I’m sure much of what you pay covers the chocolates you eat and in all fairness, we did get to try quite a bit.

Top tip: while the Chocolate Paving Stones at Stettler were by far the best chocolate we tasted not just in Geneva, but ever, you can pick up a cheaper box from Auer.

Covered with the Geneva Pass? No.

Stettler Chocolatier in Geneva

Stettler Chocolate Tasting

DIY Chocolate Tasting Tour

Being world-renowned chocolatiers, there’s no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to taste as much Swiss chocolate as possible! And with a growing number of chocolatiers in the city, there’s plenty of opportunities to sample the local flavours.

The most renowned chocolatiers in Geneva are Stettler, Auer, Favarger and Teuscher so be sure to visit as many as you can during your visit – and any more you like the look of!

Covered in Geneva Pass? No. 

Favarger Chocolatier in Geneva

Favarger Chocolatier in Geneva

Grab a Cocktail at Bleu Nuit’s Le Frigo Bar

A quirky little bar that’s worth a visit. We visited here after the cheese fondue at Restaurant Les Amures, and you have to walk through the Bleu Nuit restaurant in order to reach it at the back. The bar itself is like walking into a disco ball. It’s a very small space with bar stools around the edge serving up cocktails.

Covered in Geneva Pass? No

Geneva's Bleu Nuit’s Le Frigo Bar

Entrance to Bleu Nuit’s Le Frigo Bar

In case you missed it earlier, here’s the best FREE things to do in Geneva

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