The city, which is often mistakenly called the capital of Switzerland, is not surprising: Geneva is the largest city in Switzerland by territory, and it is here that the UN headquarters and the main office of the Red Cross are located. Despite the serious status of the “capital of the worlds”, Geneva does not lose its romantic atmosphere and attracts tourists from all over the world with medieval architecture and picturesque views of Lake Geneva. To make your trip to Geneva unforgettable, we advise you to rent a small car and visit not only the city itself, but also its surroundings - believe me, even the quiet villages in Switzerland are full of charm.
Geneva International Airport ( Geneva International Airport or Cointrin Airport ) - download the scheme
IATA code: GVA
Location: 5 km from Geneva
Official website: www.gva.ch
Information: +41 22 717 71 11
You can rent a car at the Geneva airport with such rental companies as, for example: Sixt, Europcar or Advantage. Please note that the northern border of the airport runs along the border between Switzerland and France. Therefore, if you rented a car in the Swiss part of the building, and you will return it in the French part of the airport, the rental company may require a surcharge. There are several indoor and street parking lots at the airport where you can park your car for several minutes or two weeks. There are parking lots where the first hour of parking is free, and there are parking lots with a fixed starting fee.
All roads in Geneva lead to this wonderful lake - the largest in the Alps. Here you can feed swans, watch gulls flying over the lake, take a boat ride and see the famous 140-meter Jet d'eau fountain. We recommend you dine in one of the restaurants on the waterfront to enjoy the gorgeous sunset and watch how Geneva is transformed in the late afternoon. The most romantic place in the city, which in no case can not be missed.
8 - 14 avenue de la Paix
An interesting fact: in the foundation of the first stone during the construction of this building, a temporary capsule was laid down containing a list of all countries participating in the League of Nations (until 1946 the building belonged to this organization), copies of constituent documents, as well as coins of all countries included in the community. After the collapse of the League of Nations, the palace turned into the UN headquarters, which annually hosts about 8,000 meetings. In front of the building is the famous sculpture "Broken Chair", symbolizing the protest against the use of anti-personnel mines, depriving people of limbs. In 2014, an art group from Geneva installed a three-meter-high figure of Vladimir Putin under a broken leg chair and dedicated the politician to her peacekeeping activities.
17 Avenue de la Paix www.redcrossmuseum.ch
One of the most touching museums in the world, telling that the main value of our world is human life. The main exposition of the museum is based on the stories of people affected by natural disasters and military conflicts. In the halls of the museum you will find touch panels, with a palm to which you will hear the story of a person saved by the Red Cross. Be sure to pay attention to the white figure of the man at the table - this is Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross Committee. It is no coincidence that he is depicted at the desk: having witnessed the battle of Solferino, when nine thousand wounded remained to die on the battlefield, Dunant wrote the book “Memoirs of the Battle of Solferino”. She helped the author draw public attention to the suffering of soldiers, and as a result, an international conference was held in Geneva in 1863, on which it was decided to establish the Red Cross. Who knows, maybe after visiting this museum you will want to become a volunteer of the organization and will be engaged in the most noble work - saving precious human lives.
A tiny island with a rich history, located along the Rhone river next to the Mont Blanc bridge. In the XVI century there was a military bastion of the city, and in the XVII century - a recreation area, named after the great philosopher and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau. According to legend, this island was a favorite place for the thinker to walk, so this is where his monument stands. In the middle of the 20th century, the island was connected to the shore using a small bridge and turned it into a cozy and quiet park, which was chosen by couples in love and people seeking solitude.
When three architects, adhering to completely different styles, work together on one project, it turns out Les Schtroumpfs - a residential quarter, more like illustrations for fairy tales. If Gaudi or Hundertwasser came to Geneva, then probably they would have settled here. Colorful balconies, fancy wall paintings and buildings that resemble melted ice cream in shape are architectural madness that looks organically even in such a sophisticated city like Geneva.
10 minutes on a rented car - and you are in the small town of Carouge, designed by Italian architects and preserving the romantic mood of Italy. Under Calvin, the Genevites fled to this city from harsh religious orders and plunged into the atmosphere of fun and pleasure forbidden in Geneva for several days. Carouge changed many times and was completely rebuilt in the XVIII century by the king of Sardinia, to which the city belonged then. Now, Carouge is a quiet and comfortable place where you can drop by for a couple of hours for beautiful fountains, the Cinema Bio retro cinema and cheese fondue in the La Bourse restaurant on Place du Marché 7.
Wine connoisseurs recommend renting a car and heading north to Lake Geneva to the city of Nyon - here in the cave of the White Castle there is a wine cellar where you can buy fine Nyon wines. And in the castle itself you will find the Museum of History and Porcelain. For a picturesque view of the lake, you should go to Chestnut Square, where in good weather local people gather and play chess. If you have time, look into the fishing village - a very colorful place with picturesque houses and a market with a large assortment of fresh fish. By the way, if you find yourself in Nyon at the end of April, you will be taken to the European documentary festival Visions du Réel.
After driving about 50 kilometers north of Geneva, you will find yourself in the secluded Ju Valley - the center of watchmaking in Switzerland. It is here, in the heart of the Jura Mountains, that the luxury watches Breguet, JaegerLeCoulter, Audemar Piguet and Patek Philippe are produced. In the Joux Valley you can not only buy watches, but also go to the Museum of the History of Watches or look at the local cheese factory for a tasting of the occupied cheese Vachren-Mont-d'Or. In winter, the valley turns into an excellent ski resort, and Lake Zhu - into a large skating rink, surrounded by mountain hills. Quiet and calm valley, walking along which you will feel an amazing unity with nature
The capital of the French-speaking canton of Vaud, has long been considered the favorite place of emigrants and deposed monarchs. The city is built on three hills surrounded by vineyards, and at the foot of Lake Geneva - Lausanne is a colorful place that combines the features of a bustling city and a cozy resort. Lausanne is the headquarters of the Olympic Committee, an interactive museum of the Olympic Games is opened here, which, with the help of numerous exhibits and video installations, tells about the history of the games. Lovers of non-standard art are advised to go to the Musee de l'Art Brut, which contains works created by prisoners and the mentally ill. Be sure to stroll along the Ouchy promenade, visit the Beau-Rivage Palace hotel-palace, which is located directly on the promenade and, of course,
If you arrive in Switzerland in April-May, we recommend that you rent a car and come to the small town of Morges, where the tulip festival takes place at that time: the city is buried in bright colors, and a sweet floral aroma is floating in the air. The main attraction is a 13th-century castle on the embankment of Lake Geneva, it houses four museums, one of which is the wonderful Musee de la Figurine Historique, a museum of tin soldiers with more than 10 thousand figures. Walking along the promenade, you will see dozens of luxury yachts against the backdrop of the Savoy Alps. Audrey Hepburn lived next to Walrus, in the village of Tolochenaz, from 1963 until her death in 1993, now the actress’s grave is located there.
Place du Molard 5 www.cafeducentre.ch
For oysters and shrimp it is best to come to the Café du Center - a restaurant that specializes in seafood and serves such a great tuna tartare that you will still taste its wonderful taste in your mouth. Inside, the institution looks quite strict: dark wood, massive chandeliers, large mirrors and snow-white tablecloths. Outside, under a large canopy, there are tables with wooden chairs in which you can comfortably sit in the evening and, while drinking local rose wine, enjoy the unique atmosphere of Geneva.
Place du Bourg de Four 13 www.cafedubourgdefour.ch
For baked potatoes Rösti (röschti) tourists come here from different countries. The cafe is small, there are several tables on the street, which we recommend that you choose to have a nice snack with a view of the Old Town. Here you can often meet local residents, and this always speaks in favor of any cafe and restaurant. Do not miss this cozy and lovely place in a typical Swiss spirit.
Place du Cirque 4 www.mullersfactory.ch
A cafe that is perfect for five-o'clock tea. On the menu are pancakes and waffles with various fillings and toppings, we advise you to choose a syrup sweeter and denser (you will think about calories later) in order to feel for yourself what a sweet life is. The interior of the cafe resembles a boudoir of a romantic young lady who slowly drinks tea from a small porcelain cup and lazily shakes her leg in a satin slipper. Women will be delighted with this place, and men can only indulgently look at everything that is happening from the side and wonder how a little is actually needed to make a woman happy.
Rue chaponiere 9
If you are traveling in Geneva and you do not have time for a long lunch in a restaurant, we recommend that you go to Monte Bianco, where they prepare delicious sandwiches from fresh baguette with different fillings. Here you can also buy a jar of local pickles as a souvenir to your friends or choose a good bottle of wine. Outside there are wicker baskets with inexpensive fruits and vegetables. A very pleasant and atmospheric place where you can buy everything you need for a picnic somewhere in the park of Geneva. Do not hesitate to seek help from the owner of the cafe, he will gladly recommend wine to you and prepare a hearty and tasty sandwich.
14 Boulevard Georges-Favon
Although the name of the bar translates as “hairdresser”, it has nothing to do with it. Rather, this bar looks like a warehouse of trinkets that they decided to use for room decor. Violet walls, bright yellow chairs, sneakers hanging by the laces to the ceiling, and an orange Buddha figurine on the bar counter are an odd interior without which this bar would lose its zest. The bartender Kevin (by the way, all visitors adore him) will prepare for you excellent cocktails that people like to decorate here, for example, red peppers, chupa-chupsami or raspberries on a skewer.
Rue de Richemont 18
+810 41 22 518 31 96 www.hotelnvygeneva.com double room - from 555 CHF
Nondescript on the outside, but incredibly stylish on the inside, N'vY Boutique Hotel will be an ideal place for creative people who want to live a few days surrounded by contemporary art. Neon lighting in the lobby, graffiti on the walls, bright sculptures and a rack with electric guitars of famous rock musicians - despite the colorful and detailed design, in N'vY you feel very relaxed and comfortable. The interior of the rooms is calm, decorated in bright colors, in some rooms the bathroom is separated from the sleeping area by a glass wall. If you are traveling in a rented car, you can leave the car in a paid parking lot at the hotel (the price here is much lower than in the city).
Rue du Puits-Saint-Pierre 1
+41 22 310 91 72+ 41 22 310 91 72+ 41 22 310 91 72 www.hotel-les-armures.ch double room - from 392 CHF
Five-star hotel located in a historic mansion in the Old Town. The interior in the style of the 17th century castle, spacious rooms with large windows and simple dark furniture, impeccable cleanliness and friendly staff - Les Armures does not have the pathos inherent in luxury hotels, but you can feel the unique atmosphere and subtle designer taste. This hotel is famous for its guests; George Lucas, Paul McCartney, Pele and other stars have stayed here. If you certainly want to live in an expensive hotel, but do not know which one to choose, then Les Armures will be an excellent choice for you. Perhaps this is the most comfortable and stylish hotel of all the luxury hotels in Geneva.
2 place de la Navigation
+810 41 22 518 31 91 www.hoteledelweissgeneva.com double room - from 290 CHF
What you don't expect in the center of Geneva is a chalet-style hotel with rustic furniture and a fireplace in the living room. Edelweiss has a warm, homely atmosphere: pastel colors in the decor, the walls are lined with light wood, many soft chairs, fresh flowers and small paintings are everywhere. In the evenings, the hotel's restaurant hosts folklore shows with live music - this makes Edelweiss even more charming. The hotel has a Russian-speaking waitress, which is very handy for those who are not good in foreign languages.
Rue Rothschild 55
+41 22 544 38 38 www.hoteljadegeneva.com double room - from 260 CHF
The hotel, equipped according to the principles of feng shui: a minimalist design, muted colors in the interior, there is nothing superfluous, every thing is in its place. Once in Jade, you immediately immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the East and concentrate on only one thing - on your vacation. The price includes breakfast. Lunch and dinner are quite simple, so we recommend that you eat in the city (the hotel is located near the center of Geneva). By the way, not far from the hotel at Rue Plantamour 37 you will find the excellent burger The Hamburger Foundation, which is open until late.
Boulevard James-Fazy 2
+41 22 732 44 23 www.destourelles.ch double room - from 170 CHF
The hotel occupies an old residential building of 1885 near the historical center of the city. Most rooms overlook the Rhone River, so your every day will begin with a beautiful city view. Cozy balconies have small chairs - in the morning you can have a cup of tea here (there is a tea set in the room) and watch the city wake up. The interior of the rooms is simple, there is everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay.
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© Ellina Rudenko, 2015