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Things to do in Geneva

Things to do in  Geneva

Welcome to Geneva

Set on the shores of Europe’s largest alpine lake, Geneva is as sporty as it is sophisticated. Cosmopolitan and cobblestoned, the most populous city in French-speaking Switzerland is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations and Red Cross, but its international reputation exceeds city borders. Located on the southwesternmost tip of Lake Geneva just minutes away from France, the Swiss town offers easy access to skiing the French Alps, cruising the Swiss Riviera, and sampling chocolate, cheese, and wine in Broc, Gruyeres, and the countryside. End your day trip in Geneva’s pedestrian-only old town for museums, plazas, and St. Peter’s Cathedral.

Top 10 attractions in Geneva

#1
Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

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Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) is Switzerland's largest body of water, though most of its southern shore lies within France. A crescent of blue hemmed in by the snowy peaks of the French and Swiss Alps, the lake is a year-round hotspot for outdoor activities, with a northern shore covered in picturesque villages, terraced vineyards, and medieval castles.More
#2
Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)

Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)

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Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Empire State Building, and Geneva has the Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)—a stunning feature in Lake Geneva launching water 460 feet (140 meters) into the air. Enjoy views and snap a souvenir photo from the waterfront, where the River Rhône meets Lake Geneva.More
#3
Maison Cailler

Maison Cailler

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Switzerland is famous for its high-quality chocolate, so a visit to the oldest chocolate manufacturer in the country should be on your itinerary. The Maison Cailler—a renowned chocolaterie—offers informative and interactive guided tours that are fun for the whole family, even members without much of a sweet tooth.More
#4
Ariana Museum (Musée Ariana)

Ariana Museum (Musée Ariana)

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In a leafy park along the scenic banks of Lake Geneva is the Ariana Museum–a palatial, three-story mansion home to over 20,000 glass and ceramic objects. The museum features a private collection of ceramic vases, cups, statues, stained glass windows and paintings, plus a room of contemporary ceramics on the second floor and a display of temporary exhibitions in the basement. Though most descriptions are in French, the free museum is still worth a visit for its beautiful surroundings.Held in an impressive, Baroque-meets-classical-style building, the museum gives way to high-vaulted ceilings, rich burgundy walls, massive columns and an accessible balcony overlooking the Parc de l'Ariana. There's also a tea room (similar to a cafe) and an outdoor patio offering lunch (though you'll need reservations).The Ariana Museum is located alongside the entrance to the Palace of United Nations and opposite the Red Cross Museum, so you'll be able visit all three attractions in just a few hours. Visitors with a Geneva Pass can enter the museum for free, with the added benefit of free, unlimited public transportation and admission to over 40 other city attractions, including the Red Cross Museum.More
#5
Palais des Nations

Palais des Nations

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The United Nations has its European headquarters in Geneva, in the Palace of United Nations (Palais des Nations Unis). Guided tours of the offices offer a behind-the-scenes look at rooms like the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, which was decorated by famous artist Miquel Barcelò, and the Assembly Hall.More
#6
Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie)

Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie)

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The Flower Clock in Geneva is hard to miss. It's adorned with seasonal flowers, and known as the largest flower clock in the world, making this centrally-located attraction a tourist hot spot. Located in Geneva's lakefront English Garden (Jardin Anglais), the horticultural timepiece is one of the most photographed sights in the city.More
#7
Brunswick Monument

Brunswick Monument

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The Brunswick Monument in Geneva, Switzerland is a mausoleum for Charles II, the Duke of Brunswick. The Duke was an eccentric linguist, musician and horseman who came to Geneva after being driven out of his duchy of Braunsweig in 1830 and then building a fortune in Paris. He bequeathed his entire fortune to the city in exchange for such a monument being constructed in his honor. Never before had such a mausoleum been constructed in Geneva, so the monument’s construction was subject to great debate. While the Duke died in 1873, the monument was eventually built in 1879. Meant to be a replica of the Scaliger Tombs in Verona, Italy, it was designed in a neo-Gothic style and faces Lake Leman.More
#8
Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)

Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)

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All visitors to Geneva should spend some time exploring the Old Town (Vieille Ville) area. It’s full of fascinating museums, churches, and atmospheric cafés, plus most of the streets are pedestrian-only, so you can wander aimlessly without a care.More
#9
Tavel House (Maison Tavel)

Tavel House (Maison Tavel)

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The oldest example of domestic architecture in Geneva, the Tavel House (Maison Tavel) traces its origins to the beginning of the 14th century, with its layers revealing the wealth and prestige of its various owners and the growing importance of the city. As you approach, stone heads peer down at you and a corner tower lacks only Rapunzel to complete the fairy tale impression.Once inside the distinctive dark stone walls you can explore the house from top to bottom. The cellar contains excellent examples of woodcarving and ironwork through the centuries, while the attic boasts a superb model of Geneva in the mid-19th century, when its fortifications were still intact. In between you’ll find displays of domestic interiors, including the surprisingly light and airy private quarters, fully outfitted kitchens, and displays including suits of armour and coins, highlighting the importance of finance to the city.More
#10
St. Peter's Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Pierre)

St. Peter's Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Pierre)

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From Roman mosaics in the foundations to the neoclassical columns of its facade, St. Peter's Cathedral, or Cathédrale St-Pierre in French, is not only Geneva’s main house of worship, it is also a fascinating time capsule of the different influences that have dominated the city over the centuries. Depending on how you approach it, you could be forgiven for thinking the cathedral is actually a group of smaller buildings huddled together, as successive building programs – most notably Romanesque and Gothic – never completely wiped out previous traces.St-Pierre is associated above all with the Protestant reformer John Calvin, who preached here in the 16th century; his rather uncomfortable looking wooden chair is still on display. And if you’re feeling energetic, just nearby is the entrance to the cathedral’s north tower, which will reward your 157-step climb with one of the best views of Geneva.More

Trip ideas

Top Swiss Towns Near Geneva

Top Swiss Towns Near Geneva

Montreux Day Trips from Geneva

Montreux Day Trips from Geneva

How to Spend 3 Days in Geneva

How to Spend 3 Days in Geneva

Recent reviews from experiences in Geneva

star-5
Bucket list ticked
MariaTheresa_D, Sep 2020
Glacier 3000 and Montreux Riviera from Geneva
Need to come back during winter 😍
star-4
Really Good
kiejam3, Feb 2020
Geneva City Tour
Since Geneva is a small city, we got to see it within the 2 hours.
star-5
Wonderful arrival experience
Gloria_E, Sep 2019
Private Arrival Transfer: Geneva Airport to Hotel
On the way to our hotel he pointed out many attractions in Geneva.
star-5
Superb experience
William_D, Aug 2019
Private Arrival Transfer: Geneva Airport to Hotel
After a four hour delay in our flight in to Geneva when we couldn’t advise our service of this delay we were pleasantly surprised and relieved to see our friendly and cheerful driver patiently still waiting for us.
star-5
Great Tour
Ken_H, Jul 2019
Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise
Absolutely wonderful tour of the city, and the tour guide was excellent with English, He was animated and gave us great information regarding many points of interest during the tour.
star-4
The best tour ever
Diana_C, May 2019
Chamonix and Mont Blanc Day Trip from Geneva
It was my dream to see the alps since I’m very young, so this is like a dream come thru.
star-4
A great way to see Geneva
Brian_T, Mar 2019
Geneva 3 lines Sightseeing Bus Tours 24 hours
It gave us the opportunity to see parts of the town we might not have seen on foot.
star-5
Great day trip back in June. Picked up...
simone_c, Jul 2018
Chamonix Mont Blanc Trip from Geneva with optional extras (shared excursion)
Picked up on time- amazing audio commentary in English on the way to Chamonix and around the town.
star-5
Good way to see Geneva if you are...
Mili P, Aug 2017
Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise
Good way to see Geneva if you are short of time.
star-4
Pretty calm, easy going tour seeing...
Nathan_T, Nov 2016
Day Trip to Montreux, Chaplin's World Museum and Chillon Castle
Overall not really a tour, just transportation to see some beautiful scenes.
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The Geneva City Tour opened our eyes...
JosefinaSL_P, Oct 2016
Geneva City Tour
The Geneva City Tour opened our eyes of what to see in Geneva along with a window to its history.
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It's a full-day tour which took us...
AnnaKatrina_C, Jul 2016
Chamonix and Mont Blanc Day Trip from Geneva
We also took the Petit Train to see the Mers de Glace, which is also amazing.
star-4
Enjoyable full day tour. Worth going...
Sarah J, May 2015
Day Trip to Gruyères Medieval Village & Chocolate Factory from Geneva
Worth going to see a bit of the countryside outside of Geneva.
star-5
Tour was very well worth it. The...
Lois C, Jul 2014
Day Trip to Montreux, Chaplin's World Museum and Chillon Castle
a very nice day trip if you want to see something other than Geneva.
star-5
Very well managed and thanks for the...
Venkataraman D, Oct 2014
Independent Chamonix and Mont Blanc Tour from Geneva
The guide was polite and the bus was full and we covered all the attractions - cable car ride to Aguille di Midi, Montveners Train until return to Geneva.
star-5
My husband's birthday celebration in Geneva, Switzerland.
MariaLeila_V, Oct 2019
Geneva 3 lines Sightseeing Bus Tours 24 hours
We transferred to the mini train ride to go around Old Town Geneva to see the Botanical Garden, Reformation Wall, Flower Clock, etc.
star-4
Great day trip
Daniel_H, Sep 2019
Chamonix Mont Blanc Trip from Geneva with optional extras (shared excursion)
This is a great place to visit.
star-4
Wonderful tour! Once in a life time...
Katie L, Jul 2016
Chamonix and Mont Blanc Day Trip from Geneva
Only criticism would be that the bus leaves too early to travel back to Geneva so we did not get to see as much of Chamonix as we would have liked.
star-4
Most beautiful Chamonix, but disappointing tour operator
Adri_B, Aug 2019
Independent Chamonix and Mont Blanc Tour from Geneva
Communication in English also clearly a problem.
star-4
Maggie was the tour guide of the...
Ronald S, Aug 2017
Day Trip to Montreux and Château de Chillon from Geneva
I opted to visit the quaint little village of Corsier instead of going to Charlie Chaplin Studios.
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