How To Spend A Weekend in Geneva

Updated: Aug 11, 2019


Switzerland is and always be one of those places that will never cease to take your breath away. No matter the season, we are always in a state of bewilderment that such beauty can exist on this planet.


Home to numerous lakes, villages, and the wondrous Swiss alps, Switzerland’s beauty doesn’t exist only in nature, but also within its quaint towns, medieval quarters and infamous landmarks like Château de Chillon.


Between the museums, scenery, mountains of chocolate and shopping, Geneva is truly a hidden gem in Switzerland. Located at the southern tip of Lake Geneva, with the view of the French Alps in the distance, the city is the definition of a winter paradise.


Geneva is the location headquarters of both Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross making it a global hub for diplomacy. With endless amounts of chocolate, an incredibly rich history, and one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, Geneva is the perfect place to begin your adventure in Switzerland.


Where We Stayed

Located right in the center of Geneva, the deluxe 4-star Hotel Eden Genév was the perfect start to our weekend in Geneva. The rooms have a beautiful balcony that overlook the lake and is surrounded by plenty of restaurants. A buffet breakfast is served every morning and offers international meals at the small restaurant.


Other Hotels to stay in Geneva....

InterContinental

Hotel Conravin

Tiffany Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Geneva




Breakfast at Café du Centre

Situated right in the heart of the old city, Café du Centre is one of oldest brasseries in Geneva. Kick off your weekend with a mimosa, some of their famous oysters and a classic eggs Benedict. Enjoy the style and ambiance of the restaurant either on their vast terrace or in their traditional dining rooms.


Take a stroll to The Geneva Water Fountain

After breakfast, visit the famous Geneva fountain! The Jet d’Eau is the infamous large fountain in Geneva and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Situated at the point where Lake Geneva empties onto the Rhône and it is visible throughout the city.


Five hundred litres of water per second are jetted to an altitude of 140 meters at the speed of 200km per hour! You can take a visit to the fountain by a stone jetty from the left bank of the lake…but be sure to wear your waterproof clothes, because you will come out drenched!

L’horloge Fleurie

Translated to “Flower Clock”, this outdoor flower clock is located on the western side of Jardin Alglais Park. Around 6,500 flowering plants and shrubs are used for the clock face. The plants change as often as the season and continues to leave the area blooming!


Have a picnic at Jardin Anglais


This urban park in Geneva is situated at the location of an ancient harbor and a wood.


The park hosts the Le Monument National and the L’horloge fleurie as well as several pavilions, a sculptured bronze fountain by Alexis Andre and a coffee house.


Pack a few baguettes and a bottle of wine for an amazing picnic at one of the city’s most beautiful parks.


The open park is situated right on the lake and is a great place to relax and take in the beauty of Geneva.



Visit St Pierre Cathedral

St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva was built as a Roman Catholic cathedral but became a Reformed Protestant Church during the Reformation. It is known as the adopted home church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation.


This place is absolutely stunning, from the architecture to the history of John Calvin and the restoration, this cathedral has everything. It provides an amazing view of Geneva from the top…just remember to wear your walking shoes because there are a ton of steps to climb to get to the top.


See the Reformation Wall

The International Monument to the Reformation, is a monument honouring the main individuals, events, and documents of the Protestant Reformation by depicting them in statues and bas-reliefs.


The wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva which was founded by John Calvin. It is built in the old city walls of Geneva, and the monument’s location there is designed to represent the fortifications and integral importance of the Reformation.


Take an Afternoon Dip at Bains des Pâquis

Across the lake from Old Town, the popular public bath houses on a pier in Lake Geneva that turns into a giant sauna during the winter This is the perfect place to have an aperitif before dinner while enjoying the lake. The pools are in the middle of the lake is a great place to relax.


Have Dinner at Place du Bourg-de-Four

Place du Bourg-de-Four is a city square in the Old Town of Geneva. This commercial center has a beautiful fountain, restaurants, shopping and most importantly-tons of Gelato stations. The Place is also near Geneva’s largest church, St. Pierre Cathedral.



Brunch at Café Papon

There’s no better way to start your day of cultural tourism with a delicious Sunday brunch in the heart of the city. Geneva’s culinary scene is often found in its historic Old Town, with its fascinating features such as the stunning neo-classical St Pierre Cathedral.


A great location for a weekend brunch, Café Papon is located right by the cathedral in historical Old Town. Inside the café there is a classic and charming ambiance, while outside there is a lovely open terrace. It offers a range of Swiss delicacies as well as some Italian and French dishes.


Go to the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

The International Red Cross Museum had just gone under significant renovation from 2011 to 2013 and is incredibly well done. The exhibition named “The Humanitarian Adventure” presents three contemporary problems through three distinct spaces; each created by a different architect.


1. Defending Human Dignity

2. Reconstructing Family Links

3. Reducing Natural Risks


As you enter each of the three spaces you are invited to engage in an awareness-building experience before you discover the area’s informational content. There are twelve holographic witnesses that lead you through your humanitarian adventure and are there to remind you that human relations are at the heart of all humanitarian action. We found the personal stories quite moving and there was so much to take away from the interactive technology. The Red Cross Museum is a must-see place for everyone to properly understand how important it is for an organisation like the Red Cross to exist and do the work that it does.


There was an additional temporary exhibition revolving around criminal punishment downstairs, a significant current issue that the United States is dealing with. While shedding light on some of the world’s most infamous war criminals and intricate prison breaks, the museum also did well to explain the consequential repercussions that having a criminal record can have on an individual.


Visit the Palais des Nations

Home of the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Palais des Nations serve as the headquarters of the League of Nations. In a tour you can see several conference rooms, meeting halls, treaties etc. There is also a wonderful garden by the lake that you can walk through.


Check out Musée Ariana

While the subject of this particular museum isn’t really interesting (ceramic and glass work), the building itself is beautiful. It was built in 1877 and is shaped by Neo-Classical and Neo-Baroque elements and is situated on Avenue de la Paix, near the Palace of Nations.


Walk by the Broken Chair by Palais des Nations

The Broken Chair is a monumental sculpture in 5.5 tons of wood that stands 12 meters high…so its hard to miss. It depicts a giant chair with a broken leg and stands across the street from Palace of Nations. It symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva…it’s hard to forget when it stands outside their office windows. Be careful not to get wet from the fountains directly underneath it!


Walk around the Conservatoire et Jardin Boutique

This beautiful museum of flowers and plants is a monumental institution in Geneva. The botanical garden is an excellent serene environment with a view of the lake. There is a carousel for kids and adults, restaurants, and a green house for plants with a bunch of gorgeous flowers.


Have Dinner at Café du Soleil.

You can’t boast about going to Switzerland and not have tried traditional Swiss Fondue. This place serves traditional Swiss food; a cuisine that totally reinvents the use of cheese.