The name Geneva conjures up images of crisp weather, beautiful green open spaces and water, lots of water; this the third largest city in Switzerland is incredibly wealthy with many of the worlds most famous diplomatic, international and financial organisations based within its centre.
The standard of living is incredibly high with only the very best of quality acceptable, the downside for the inhabitants is the high cost of living that goes alongside this – of course tourists get to take advantage of the benefits without the long term commitments.
Geneva is cosmopolitan, filled with a true melting pot of languages and cultures, people come here for the work and stay for the lifestyle, the young and the trendy eating in the most modern of restaurants, drinking in some of the best bars in Europe and enjoying the beauty of the largest Alpine lake with its dramatic shores, wildlife, and water activities. A close proximity to the Alps also makes Geneva the perfect base for short break skiing trips, making this urbane city the perfect destination for those that want a little more from a winter activity holiday.
Where to Stay
Geneva has a great range of luxury hotels such as the five star Beau Rivage or the Grand Hotel Kempinski but you will pay for the privilege, these hotels are not alone in their luxury, four and five star hotels fill this city catering to the discerning crowd that it attracts.
Finding a budget option might be slightly more difficult, but if you look around there are several good quality hostels, basic and clean and a perfectly adequate for a few nights stay at a very reasonable price, mainly used by the young crowd that flood to the city on European backpacking adventures, these can be slightly noisy but are usually great fun.
If you require a little more privacy than a hostel offers then the best place to find budget but quality accommodation is in the area surrounding the airport; you may not get the beautiful views that the city offers but what you do get is an affordable base for your break in Geneva.
Where to Eat
There is no shortage of good restaurants in Geneva with some of the finest chefs in the world choosing this vibrant city as their base, many restaurants have Michelin stars and various other high ranking accolades so the choice of fine dining is huge.
Le Grand Quai Restaurant serves only the very best of seasonal produce; the modern dining room nestling within the historic building works perfectly and the menu mirrors this trend with modern interpretations of classic food prepared using only local products – this is one not to miss.
Calm may appear to be just a humble café but it is so much more, traditional foods all home baked on the premises and served on the lovely outdoor terrace make this a special place for a light meal without any of the fuss that is often found in this grand city.
What to Do
Relaxation and chocolate have to be top of many peoples wish list, even better is if you can combine the two and the After The Rain Spa does just this, offering the perfect milk chocolate body wrap or bathing in a variety of liquid chocolates – this is an experience that has to be tried to be believed.
Visit the Jardin Anglais to see how this city makes the most of its green and open spaces, sat on the lakeside this flower lovers paradise with its amazing flower clock will astound you with the sights and sounds – the flower clock amazingly is made from over 6000 living flowers and is a thing of awe and beauty.
Take a complete city tour, firstly by coach and then by tram to see some of the best attractions on land, then head to the lake to take a boat trip around the banks of the city, with this completely different perspective of this amazing city being the highlight of the tour.
When to Visit
The close proximity to mountains makes Geneva a beautiful place to visit during the winter months, although quite warm and any snowfall usually thaws within the daylight hours. Summers in Geneva are pleasantly warm, the lake having its own beach culture with swimming and water activities taking place.
Geneva is a busy destination throughout the year, not only popular with tourists but also with business travellers, hotel booking should always be made and confirmed prior to travel.