Surrounded by gorgeous scenery lies a city of humble splendor. One of the financial and humanitarian capitals of Europe, and the world, Geneva hides something fascinating for every traveler to discover.
Switzerland itself has always been a modest, yet proud, portion of my nationality. It is not only for the beautiful nature that surrounds every corner of the country, but the cultural ideals surrounding city cleanliness, respect for the environment, aestheticism, among many other things, exemplify Switzerland’s spirit.
Geneva specifically, found in the southeastern corner of Switzerland, just around 2 hours by car from Bern, has earned its status as one of the cleanest and most beautiful cities in Europe, if not the world. From its infrastructural modernity to its pristinely preserved Old Town, Geneva is one of the most welcoming locations to visit for any traveler (especially for the oncoming winter!)
Le Musée d’Art et d’Histoire / The Museum of Art and History
It’d be difficult to speak of Geneva without mentioning one of its crowning attractions, The Museum of Art and History. Located in the city’s center, you genuinely need no other reason to visit this beautiful structure, just to see it from the outside alone! Surrounded by cafes and lovely shops, it is easy to get distracted by the fascinating exhibits within. Inside, you are surrounded by relics from ancient Egypt, Rome, the Medieval Era, and many more! From age-old weaponry to entire reconstructions of original rooms, there is no shortage of things to see in this museum. What could be better than that? There is no admission fee for the permanent exhibits! Check out their calendar and more information on their website!
Jet d’Eau / Fountain of Water
Easily one of the most iconic landmarks (or watermarks?) of Geneva is its famous fountain located in Lake Geneva itself. Not only is it pretty to look at, but it is also surrounded by boatloads of fun – literally! You can take boat tours on the lake itself and discover all the hidden locations hidden by the rolling hills and forest.
Patek Philippe Museum
Most people can tell you that Switzerland’s craft in watchmaking is unparalleled – brands such as Patek Philippe have become iconic for making beautiful handmade watches, fascinating from an artisanal and artistic perspective simultaneously. Coincidentally, Patek Philippe Museum is located in Geneva as well, offering an in-depth look into the art of watchmaking and what exactly makes Switzerland a world-renowned origin of fine watches.
Jardin Botanique / Botanical Gardens
Geneva captures various fascinating cultures within its borders, though most surprising is its inclusion of horticulture. Located on the northern end of Lake Geneva, the Botanical Gardens house some 16,000 different and exotic plant species, trees, and other life throughout the year! Its herbarium is also one of the largest collections of plants and fungi, numbering at around 6 million specimens. The best part is, much of their collection is cataloged on their website for anyone to research, so feel free to dig in here (by the way, this location also has free entry!)
Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre / St. Pierre Cathedral
Geneva’s old town is full of its own wonders, from artisanal bakeries and Michelin-restaurants to archaic resurrections of its long history. St. Pierre Cathedral was built between the 12th and 13th centuries and is one of the most well-kept structures of that age. The beautiful art within is still in its original form. It is described perfectly by guided tours offered by the cathedral itself here. For history buffs, this is a must-see!
Any season, any traveler, Geneva has everything one might look for when visiting Europe. For most flights from the United States, Zurich and Geneva are typical layovers, offering an excellent opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Tom is a quarter Swiss and visits extended family in old-town Geneva frequently.