Geneva has long been associated with the 1864 Geneva Convention which established the humane rules of war. What fewer people know is that this treaty was signed in one of the most picturesque travel destinations in Europe.
Summer is the ideal time to visit, since the temperatures reach a comfortable 26C (79F) during the day and drop down to a cooler 17C (63F) at night. During the summer months, Geneva becomes a bustling town filled with music, open-air bars and restaurants, and astonishing views of Mont Blanc.
Accommodation and activities
There is an abundance of activities on offer, and accommodation to fit any desired budget. Lakeside, waterfront views can stretch your pocket with prices at £450 per night, although three-star hotels average around £150 per night. In general, Geneva can be a bit expensive. Expect to pay roughly £15 per meal with an accompanying beer or wine for £8.
So, what can you do in Geneva? You can enjoy world-class museums, visit international organisations, and do some historic sightseeing as you explore the scenic old town.
Enjoy the picturesque Lake Geneva – Lac Leman
Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Leman, is one of the largest lakes in western Europe. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by the rising mountains of France and Switzerland. In the summertime, the lake’s many free beaches attract people from the city. Bains de Paquis is a popular swimming spot featuring saunas, restaurants, and sandy beaches. The water stays a cool 15C (59F) and provides a welcome relief from the summer sun.
You can rent pedalos or power boats to enjoy the beauty of the crystal-clear water and the striking water jet: the Jet D’eau (Geneva Water Fountain) is one of Geneva’s best-known landmarks and can be seen from the air. It pumps a huge 500 litres of water per second 140 metres (460 feet) into the air! There are lots of other tours to enjoy too.
Cruise the lake
For an all-around unforgettable experience, you might want to consider signing up for a lake cruise. The Lac Leman boat tours feature a historic paddle steamer, allowing you to stop off at different locations around the lake. You can enjoy a brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise. For a budget option, you can ride on the Mouettes (Geneva public transport lake boats) for a mere £2, which provide similarly gorgeous views.
Taste the fondue at a local restaurant
No trip to Switzerland would be complete without sitting down with a glass of wine and cheese, especially dipping a crunchy baguette into a pot of steaming hot Gruyère fondue. This iconic communal dish has been considered a Swiss national dish since 1875, when the first modern recipe was developed.
Visit major international organisations
Geneva holds an impressive position on the international stage. If you are interested, there are tours available for you to visit the United Nations. You could also see the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In the streets, you will encounter people of every nationality. Geneva’s strong international culture brings cuisines and cultures together, yet you will enjoy Swiss precision and safety in the city. So take a seat by the lakeside, and raise a glass to the beautiful views!