Lying on the southwestern shore of Lake Geneva with views towards Mont Blanc, sophisticated Geneva combines old-world charm with an international flavor. On your holiday in Geneva, you’ll enjoy absorbing attractions, pavement cafes, lakeside promenades and grand old hotels.
Polished and pretty, Geneva is one of Switzerland’s most attractive holiday destinations. Its getaway appeal is in its leafy squares, elegant architecture and cosmopolitan dining scene. It’s also in its role as a global peace capital, with humanitarian organisations like the Red Cross, the World Health Organization and the UN calling it home.
Spend some time discovering Geneva’s many cultural institutions, which include museums on watchmaking, ethnography, marionette construction and particle physics. Or visit more mainstream Geneva highlights like the Mailbuisson Passage, with its mechanical clock and bells; the delightful botanical gardens and conservatory near the Palais des Nations, or the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, a theatre housed in a striking former hydroelectric-power station near the point where the River Rhône flows westwards out of the lake towards Lyon.
If people-watching and exploring different neighbourhoods is more your style, spend some time in laid-back Carouge across the River Arve. Technically a separate city, this Mediterranean-influenced district expresses its Sardinian heritage, and it is often referred to as the ‘Greenwich Village of Geneva’ for its Bohemian atmosphere and fashionable nightlife scene.
Geneva is a fabulous holiday spot if you’re into sport and nature, whatever the season. The mountains are easily accessible by both car and public transport, so take a trip to the high-altitude village of Chamonix in France for the cable-car ride to the summit of Aiguille du Midi, or hire a bicycle and tour around the lake, where marked trails lead through five different regions across two countries. Alternatively, take a relaxing cruise to the Medieval lakeside settlement of Yvoire, said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Many people choose to holiday in Geneva’s lakeside towns of Vevey, Montreaux and Lausanne, but you might prefer to stay in the city and visit them on day trips. Use Expedia to search for holiday hotels beside the lake or in the city centre.