Things to do in Geneva – Switzerland

Welcome to Geneva, a city that offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the charming Old Town, taking in the breathtaking views of Lake Geneva, or indulging in Swiss chocolate, there is something for everyone in this beautiful Swiss city. Join us as we discover the top activities and attractions that Geneva has to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Geneva offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
  • The Old Town is a must-visit for its historic charm and picturesque streets.
  • The iconic Jet d’Eau is a symbol of Geneva and a popular spot for taking selfies.
  • Explore the Plainpalais flea market for unique vintage finds.
  • Bastions park is a peaceful green space perfect for a leisurely walk or ice skating in winter.

Explore the Old Town

If you’re visiting Geneva, a trip to the Old Town is a must. This historic neighborhood is filled with charm and character, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s past. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobbled alleys, and you’ll discover quaint shops, cafes, and galleries along the way.

One of the main attractions in the Old Town is the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre. This breathtaking cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is known for its stunning architectural features. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city and Lake Geneva.

Another highlight of the Old Town is the Place du Bourg-de-Four. This picturesque square is the oldest in Geneva and is surrounded by charming buildings and outdoor cafes. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee while immersing yourself in the local atmosphere.

Explore the Old Town:

Cathédrale Saint-PierreA stunning cathedral with panoramic views of the city.
Place du Bourg-de-FourThe oldest square in Geneva with outdoor cafes and a charming atmosphere.

“The Old Town of Geneva is a true gem, with its narrow streets, historical landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s like stepping back in time and experiencing the city’s rich history firsthand.” – Traveler’s Review

Don’t forget to take a walk along the promenade that offers stunning views of the city and the majestic Jura mountain range. Soak in the beauty of Geneva’s Old Town as you explore its hidden corners and immerse yourself in its unique ambiance.

Take a selfie at the Jet d’Eau

If you’re visiting Geneva, one attraction that you absolutely can’t miss is the famous Jet d’Eau. This iconic water fountain shoots water an impressive 140 meters into the air, creating a spectacular sight. It has become a symbol of the city and is a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. So, don’t forget to grab your camera and take a selfie with this incredible landmark.

To get the best views and photo opportunities of the Jet d’Eau, head to the Pont du Mont-Blanc or the Promenade du Lac. From these vantage points, you’ll be able to capture the fountain in all its glory with the stunning backdrop of Lake Geneva. The Pont du Mont-Blanc also offers a picturesque view of the surrounding mountains, adding to the beauty of your selfie.

Interesting Facts about the Jet d’Eau

Did you know that the Jet d’Eau was originally created as a safety valve for a hydraulic power network in the late 19th century? It was only later that it was moved to its current location on Lake Geneva’s waterfront and became the popular tourist attraction that it is today.

So, be sure to include the Jet d’Eau on your list of things to do in Geneva. It’s not only a fantastic spot for taking memorable selfies but also a symbol of the city’s beauty and engineering prowess. Capture the magic of this magnificent fountain and create lasting memories of your visit to Geneva.

LocationBest Spot
Pont du Mont-BlancOffers a panoramic view of the Jet d’Eau and Lake Geneva
Promenade du LacClose proximity to the Jet d’Eau, perfect for capturing its full height

Rummage in the Plainpalais Flea Market

If you’re a lover of vintage clothes, second-hand toys, and unique treasures, then the Plainpalais flea market in Geneva is a must-visit destination. This bustling market is a treasure trove of hidden gems, offering a wide variety of items that cater to every taste and style.

As you explore the stalls, you’ll find racks filled with vintage clothing, from elegant dresses to retro t-shirts. Whether you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind outfit or simply enjoy browsing through fashion history, the Plainpalais flea market is the perfect place to find that special piece.

But it’s not just clothing that you’ll discover at this vibrant market. You’ll also find an array of second-hand toys, antique furniture, and unique decorative items. From classic board games to vintage collectibles, there’s something to capture the imagination of every visitor.

After a day of rummaging through the market, take a break at the charming 1930s café and ice-cream parlor, Remor. Enjoy a delicious treat or a well-deserved cup of coffee as you reflect on your finds and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of one of Geneva’s most iconic markets.

Table: Highlights of the Plainpalais Flea Market

Vintage ClothingElegant dresses, retro t-shirts, unique accessories
Second-Hand ToysClassic board games, collectible figurines, vintage playsets
Antique FurnitureTimeless pieces, vintage home decor, unique finds
Decorative ItemsQuirky ornaments, art prints, retro homeware

Experience the thrill of uncovering hidden treasures and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Plainpalais flea market. Whether you’re a seasoned vintage enthusiast or simply appreciate the charm of second-hand finds, this market promises a unique and enjoyable shopping experience.

Take a walk in Bastions Park

Bastions Park is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Geneva. This picturesque green space offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a spot to relax and soak up the sun, or a fun activity for the family, Bastions Park has something for everyone.

One of the highlights of the park is the Café Restaurant du Parc des Bastions, a charming eatery where you can enjoy a delicious meal or a refreshing drink amidst the tranquil surroundings. The café offers both indoor and outdoor seating, allowing you to take in the beautiful scenery while savoring your food or beverage of choice.

In the winter months, Bastions Park transforms into an enchanting wonderland with an ice rink. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice, surrounded by the park’s natural beauty. It’s a perfect activity for both beginners and experienced skaters, providing hours of fun for all ages.

Table: Facilities at Bastions Park

Café Restaurant du Parc des BastionsA charming eatery offering indoor and outdoor seating, serving delicious food and beverages.
Ice rinkA winter attraction where visitors can enjoy ice skating in a beautiful setting.
Children’s playgroundA dedicated area with play equipment for children to enjoy.
Picnic areasDesignated spots for visitors to have a picnic and enjoy the park’s natural surroundings.

So, whether you’re seeking a peaceful walk, a delicious meal, or a fun winter activity, Bastions Park is the perfect destination. Immerse yourself in nature, unwind in the café, or glide across the ice rink – the choice is yours. Visit Bastions Park and discover the tranquility and beauty it has to offer.

See Geneva’s Italian side in Carouge

When visiting Geneva, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant neighborhood of Carouge, located just a short tram ride away. Known for its charming Italian architecture and bohemian atmosphere, Carouge offers a unique experience that showcases the city’s multicultural influences.

Strolling through the streets of Carouge feels like stepping into a small town in Italy, with its colorful houses, decorative balconies, and lively squares. The area is known for its artisan workshops, boutiques, and second-hand bookshops. Take your time to browse through the shelves of these bookshops, where you can discover rare finds and hidden literary gems.

As you wander through Carouge, make sure to also appreciate the local cafés and restaurants that line the streets. Enjoy a cup of espresso or indulge in some gelato while immersing yourself in the lively ambiance of this bohemian district. Carouge truly offers a delightful fusion of Swiss and Italian cultures, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler in Geneva.

Carouge: A Snapshot of Italian Influence

Italian ArchitectureSecond-hand Bookshops
Colorful houses and decorative balconiesA treasure trove of rare finds and hidden literary gems
Artisan workshops and boutiques 
Cozy cafés and lively restaurants 

“Carouge truly offers a delightful fusion of Swiss and Italian cultures, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler in Geneva.”

So, if you’re looking to experience a different side of Geneva, venture into Carouge and immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere, characterized by Italian charm and artistic flair. From the unique architecture to the second-hand bookshops, this neighborhood offers a delightful blend of cultures that will leave you captivated.

7. Sip Bohemian Cocktails at La Verre à Monique

If you’re looking for a truly unique and immersive cocktail experience in Geneva, look no further than La Verre à Monique. This hidden gem combines the bohemian ambiance of a speakeasy with imaginative and expertly crafted cocktails.

Step into La Verre à Monique, and you’ll be transported back in time to the era of clandestine bars and secret gatherings. The dimly lit space, retro decor, and jazz-inspired soundtrack set the stage for an evening of indulgence and escapism.

But it’s not just the atmosphere that sets La Verre à Monique apart—the cocktails are truly something special. From classic concoctions to creative and unconventional mixes, there’s something to please every palate. Sip on a perfectly balanced negroni, try the bartender’s signature creation, or let the knowledgeable staff guide you through their extensive menu of handcrafted drinks.

La Verre à Monique is a place where mixology becomes an art form. Each drink is meticulously prepared with attention to detail, using high-quality spirits, fresh ingredients, and innovative techniques. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or just looking to try something new and exciting, the drinks at La Verre à Monique are sure to impress.

Immerse Yourself in the Bohemian Vibe

La Verre à Monique is more than just a bar; it’s a destination that invites you to step out of the ordinary and embrace the bohemian spirit. The intimate setting encourages conversation and connection, making it the perfect place to meet up with friends or enjoy a romantic date night.

So, if you’re seeking an unforgettable cocktail experience in Geneva, venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden world of La Verre à Monique. Raise your glass, savor the carefully crafted flavors, and let the bohemian ambiance transport you to another time and place.

Pamper yourself at the Bains des Pâquis

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation in Geneva, a visit to the Bains des Pâquis is a must. These 1930s public swimming baths, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

At the Bains des Pâquis, you can indulge in a range of activities to pamper yourself. Immerse yourself in the invigorating waters of the lake, take a sauna to cleanse and detoxify, or treat yourself to a soothing massage to ease any tension. The casual and friendly atmosphere of the baths adds to the overall sense of relaxation, making it the ideal place to unwind after a busy day of exploring Geneva’s attractions.

One of the highlights of the Bains des Pâquis is the opportunity to enjoy a dip in the lake itself. Whether you choose to swim, float, or simply bask in the sun on the pier, the refreshing waters and stunning views create a tranquil and serene ambiance. The combination of the natural beauty of Lake Geneva and the therapeutic benefits of the water make for a truly rejuvenating experience.

After your relaxing swim, sauna, or massage, you can continue your pampering session at one of the on-site cafes or restaurants. Indulge in a delicious meal, sip on a refreshing drink, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The Bains des Pâquis offers a complete wellness experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the rest of your Geneva adventure.

Head into the mountains

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Geneva is the perfect base for your mountain adventures. With numerous ski resorts located in Switzerland and France within easy reach, you can hit the slopes for a day of exhilarating skiing or snowboarding.

During the summer months, the mountains surrounding Geneva offer endless opportunities for hiking and exploring. Strap on your hiking boots and embark on scenic trails that lead to breathtaking vistas. With well-marked paths and varying levels of difficulty, there’s something for hikers of all abilities.

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, why not try paragliding? Soar through the sky and take in the stunning panoramic views of the mountains and valleys below. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Table: Ski Resorts near Geneva

Ski ResortDistance from GenevaVertical DropNumber of Slopes
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc87 km2,807 m119
Verbier162 km1,500 m96
Portes du Soleil79 km1,000 m286
Les Trois Vallées150 km1,830 m338

Whether you’re skiing, hiking, or paragliding, the stunning natural landscapes surrounding Geneva offer endless adventures for outdoor enthusiasts.

Go spoilt-for-choice shopping

When it comes to shopping, Geneva offers a wealth of options to satisfy every taste and budget. From high-end boutiques to department stores and vintage finds, you’ll find it all in this shopper’s paradise.

If you’re looking for luxury and designer brands, head to Rue du Rhône, a prestigious shopping street lined with renowned fashion houses and jewelry shops. Here, you can indulge in the latest fashion trends or find that perfect statement piece to add to your collection.

For a more diverse shopping experience, visit Globus, one of Geneva’s premier department stores. With multiple floors offering a wide range of products, from fashion and beauty to home decor and gourmet food, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. Take your time to explore the various departments and discover unique items that suit your style and preferences.

Explore Vintage Treasures in Plainpalais

If you’re a fan of vintage shopping, Plainpalais is the place to be. This vibrant neighborhood is home to a flea market that’s a treasure trove of unique and eclectic finds. Browse through the stalls filled with vintage clothes, antique furniture, second-hand toys, and more. You never know what hidden gem you might uncover!

Shopping Options in GenevaDescription
Rue du RhôneA prestigious shopping street with high-end boutiques and jewelry shops.
GlobusA premier department store offering a wide range of products, from fashion to home decor.
PlainpalaisA vibrant neighborhood known for its flea market, perfect for vintage enthusiasts.

Whether you’re looking for luxury brands, unique vintage pieces, or simply enjoy the thrill of shopping, Geneva has it all. So go ahead and explore the streets, boutiques, and markets to find your perfect purchase.

Explore the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Geneva is not only known for its natural beauty and vibrant culture but also for its rich history of humanitarian work. The city is home to the renowned Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, which offers a poignant and educational exhibition on the organization’s global efforts.

At the Red Cross Museum, visitors can delve into the history and impact of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. The exhibition showcases the inspiring stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others in times of crisis and conflict. From medical aid to disaster relief, the museum highlights the essential work carried out by these humanitarian organizations.

“The Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum is a testament to the power of compassion and solidarity, reminding us of the importance of humanity in the face of adversity.”

For a more comprehensive understanding of global diplomacy, visitors can also take a guided tour of the Palais des Nations, the European seat of the United Nations, conveniently located near the Red Cross Museum. The combined visit provides insights into both the humanitarian and diplomatic efforts shaping our world.

Visiting the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

  • Location: Avenue de la Paix 17, 1202 Geneva
  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Ticket Prices: Adults – £9; Students and Seniors – £7; Children (6-15 years old) – £4
  • Guided tours and audio guides are available in multiple languages.
Key HighlightsVisiting Information
Interactive exhibitions showcasing the history and work of the Red Cross and Red CrescentLocation: Avenue de la Paix 17, 1202 Geneva
Powerful stories of humanitarian efforts around the worldOpening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Combined visit with the Palais des Nations for a comprehensive understanding of global diplomacyTicket Prices: Adults – £9; Students and Seniors – £7; Children (6-15 years old) – £4
 Guided tours and audio guides available in multiple languages

Hike on the Salève

If you’re looking for stunning panoramic views and a thrilling outdoor adventure, a hike on the Salève mountain is a must-do activity in Geneva. Just a short distance from the city, the Salève offers a picturesque escape into nature. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on one of the many trails that wind their way through the mountain’s rugged terrain.

As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of Geneva and the sparkling waters of Lake Geneva. The panoramic view from the summit is truly awe-inspiring, providing a unique perspective of the city and its surrounding natural beauty. It’s the perfect spot to capture stunning photographs or simply immerse yourself in the peaceful serenity of the mountains.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenging trek or a leisurely explorer seeking a gentle walk, the Salève has trails suitable for all levels of fitness and ability. From beginner-friendly paths to more advanced routes, there’s something to suit every adventurer. Make sure to check the weather conditions and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for a safe and enjoyable hike.

Table: Salève Hiking Trails

Trail NameDifficulty LevelDistanceEstimated Time
Le Pas de l’EchelleEasy5 km1.5 hours
La Grande GorgeModerate10 km3 hours
Le MôleDifficult15 km5 hours
Le Pas de l’AneAdvanced20 km7 hours

Before you set off on your hike, it’s recommended to visit the Salève cable car station, where you can take a scenic cable car ride to the summit. This not only saves time and energy but also allows you to fully appreciate the breathtaking sights during the ascent. Once at the top, you can choose to continue hiking, enjoy a picnic, or simply relax at one of the cafes while soaking in the panoramic view.

So, lace up your hiking boots and explore the beauty of the Salève mountain. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the city, a hike on the Salève offers an unforgettable experience with incredible panoramic views that will leave you in awe.

Celebrate in the streets at the Escalade

The Escalade festival is a time of vibrant celebration in Geneva’s Old Town. This annual event draws locals and tourists alike to immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere and experience a taste of Geneva’s rich history and culture. The festivities include a lively parade through the narrow streets, showcasing traditional costumes and music that harken back to the city’s past.

One of the highlights of the Escalade festival is the opportunity to indulge in vin chaud, a warm spiced wine, and enjoy melted cheese served with freshly baked bread. These traditional treats warm both the body and the spirits as participants join in the merriment. The festival also features street performances, live music, and a variety of food stalls offering delicious local delicacies.

The Escalade festival culminates in a magnificent fireworks display that lights up the night sky, creating a truly magical atmosphere. The fireworks can be viewed from various vantage points throughout the city, with the Old Town providing a particularly picturesque backdrop. It is a spectacular sight that shouldn’t be missed.

Join us as we celebrate the Escalade festival in Geneva’s Old Town, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this cherished tradition. With its parade, vin chaud, melted cheese, and stunning fireworks display, the Escalade festival is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Geneva’s rich cultural heritage.

Paddleboard on Lake Geneva

Looking for a unique way to explore Lake Geneva? Why not try paddleboarding? This exciting water activity allows you to glide across the pristine waters of the lake while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Rent a paddleboard from one of the many rental shops along the shoreline and head out onto the calm waters.

As you paddle along, take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque cityscape of Geneva. Feel the gentle breeze and the cool water beneath you as you navigate through the crystal-clear lake. Paddleboarding is not only a great workout, but it also offers a peaceful and tranquil experience, allowing you to connect with nature in a whole new way.

After your paddleboarding adventure, unwind and relax at Tropical Corner, a popular lakeside spot. Sit back and enjoy a refreshing drink while watching the sunset over the lake. The relaxed atmosphere and stunning views make it the perfect place to end your day on a high note.

“Paddleboarding on Lake Geneva is a truly unforgettable experience. It offers a unique way to explore the lake and take in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, you’ll find yourself captivated by the tranquility and serenity of the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to paddleboard on Lake Geneva and create lasting memories.” – Local Paddleboarding Enthusiast


  • Paddleboarding is a unique way to explore Lake Geneva and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  • Rent a paddleboard from one of the many rental shops along the shoreline.
  • Enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of paddleboarding while connecting with nature.
  • Unwind at Tropical Corner and watch the sunset over the lake for a perfect ending to your day.
Rental ShopsContact Details
Geneva Water SportsPhone: +44 123456789
Lake AdventurePhone: +44 987654321
Water WorldPhone: +44 567891234

Embark on a paddleboarding adventure on Lake Geneva and create unforgettable memories in this stunning destination. Experience the tranquility of the lake, the breathtaking views, and the sense of freedom that comes with gliding across the water. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore Lake Geneva from a different perspective.

Indulge in a Chocolate Tasting Tour

When visiting Geneva, one simply cannot resist the allure of a chocolate tasting tour. Experience the rich and delectable world of Swiss chocolate as we guide you through the city’s finest chocolatiers. Immerse yourself in the tantalizing aromas and flavors of handcrafted chocolates, made with the utmost skill and precision.

Start your journey at the prestigious Patek Philippe Museum, where time stands still and the art of watchmaking is celebrated. Explore the intricate mechanics of these timeless creations before venturing out to discover the equally exquisite artistry of Swiss chocolatiers. Sample an array of indulgent chocolates, from silky smooth truffles to velvety pralines, and let your taste buds revel in the sheer decadence.

As the tour continues, be sure to make a stop at Valmandin, one of Geneva’s renowned coffee shops. Here, you can savor the perfect pairing of rich, velvety chocolate with a freshly brewed cup of artisanal coffee. The harmonious combination of these two delights will transport you to a realm of pure bliss.


What are the top attractions in Geneva?

Some of the top attractions in Geneva include the Old Town, the Jet d’Eau, the Plainpalais flea market, and the Bains des Pâquis.

Where can I find Geneva’s historic charm?

Geneva’s historic charm can be found in its Old Town, with its cobbled alleys, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, and Place du Bourg-de-Four.

Where is the best spot to take a selfie in Geneva?

The best spot to take a selfie in Geneva is at the Jet d’Eau, located on Lake Geneva. Head to the Pont du Mont-Blanc or the Promenade du Lac for the best views.

Where can I find unique treasures and vintage finds in Geneva?

The Plainpalais flea market is the perfect place to find unique treasures and vintage finds, from bric-a-brac to second-hand toys and furniture.

Where can I enjoy a leisurely walk in Geneva?

Bastions park is a peaceful green space popular for walks. You can also sit by the café Restaurant du Parc des Bastions or skate on the ice rink during winter.

Where can I experience a taste of Italy in Geneva?

Carouge, a short tram ride from Geneva, offers a taste of Italy with its Italian architecture, second-hand bookshops, and local artisans.

Where can I find a unique cocktail experience in Geneva?

La Verre à Monique is a bohemian-themed bar in Geneva that offers imaginative and well-priced drinks in a speakeasy-style setting.

Where can I relax and unwind in Geneva?

The Bains des Pâquis is a 1930s public swimming baths located on Lake Geneva, where you can treat yourself to a sauna, massage, or a dip in the lake.

What outdoor activities can I do near Geneva?

Geneva’s proximity to ski resorts makes it an excellent base for skiing. You can also try activities like hiking, paragliding, and mountain biking in the surrounding natural landscapes.

Where can I go shopping in Geneva?

Rue du Rhône is a great place for high-end boutiques and jewelry shops, while department stores like Globus offer a wide range of options. Plainpalais is perfect for vintage enthusiasts.

What museums can I visit in Geneva?

You can visit the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum to learn about humanitarian work. You can also take a guided tour of the Palais des Nations, the European seat of the United Nations.

Where can I go for panoramic views of Geneva?

You can hike up the Salève mountain for breathtaking views of Geneva and Lake Geneva. You can also enjoy a cable car ride, paraglide, bird-spot, or relax at one of the cafes.

What festivals can I attend in Geneva?

The Escalade is a vibrant winter festival celebrated in Geneva’s Old Town, while the summer festival ends with a spectacular fireworks display.

What water activities can I do in Geneva?

You can go paddleboarding on Lake Geneva to enjoy the tranquil waters and stunning surroundings. Afterward, you can relax at Tropical Corner and watch the sunset.

Where can I indulge in Swiss chocolate in Geneva?

You can discover the world of Swiss chocolate and sample the finest creations at various chocolatiers. You can also visit the Patek Philippe Museum to learn more about the art of watchmaking and stop by Valmandin, one of the city’s best coffee shops.