Located in the southwestern region of Switzerland, Geneva is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe with a rich historical and unique culture. Fringed by vast mountain ranges of the Alps, Geneva attracts thousands of holidaymakers’ particularly outdoor enthusiasts annually. The city is home to Lake Geneva, one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes, as well as a vast majority of magnificent museums and monuments. Geneva, the capital of the canton of Genève, which stretches about 109 sq. m. (282 sq. km) is the second largest city in Switzerland. The city stands out for being one of the world’s most cultured and attractive city, combining natural beauty with a colorful archaeological offerings.
The official languages of Switzerland include French, Germany, Italian and Roman. However, most residents in Geneva speak more than one language, but the most prominent language spoken by over 80% of the population is French. Just a quarter of the city’s entire population and majorly tourists speak English. If you are to deal with locals, it is advisable to start off your conversation in French before transitioning in English. Learning the basics in French language is therefore highly recommended before traveling to Geneva.
Located in the southwestern corner of Switzerland, Geneva is nestled along the banks of Lake Geneva, one of the largest rivers on the European continent. Bordered by the Jura Mountains to the west and French alps to the east, Geneva is just 4 km from France, with the closest French town being Annemasse. Other French towns with close proximity to Geneva include Ferney-Voltaire, Collonges-sous-Salève, saint-genis-pouilly. The city is just 2 hours by flights to several major cities across Europe including Milan, Madrid and Paris. The city is well connected and can be easily reached by train from Spain, Germany, France and Italy.
Due to its close proximity to the mountains and beautiful lakes, Geneva features a mild, pleasant weather throughout the year. The city experiences heavy downpour between the months of September and October. The coldest months are January and February. Winter in Geneva is extremely cold due to its close proximity to the lake which breed cold moist air, while summer is hot and long with relatively low humidity.
Geneva has a rich historical past and unique culture which dates back over 4000 years. If you would like to know more about the rich history of Geneva, visit the many fascinating museums and archaeological sites where the city’s past is preserved.
Geneva is home to over 100 hotel accommodations ranging from luxury 5 star resorts to budget hotels. Most hotels are strategically located within the city center and are also closely located to several major attractions, shopping centers and exotic restaurants within the city. These hotels offer great facilities, fully equipped rooms and outstanding customer service.
The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. However, most hotels, restaurants and shopping centers accept euro as a means of payment, but expect to pay a premium rate. The city is home to several ATM machines where locals and visitors can make cash withdrawals to cater for their daily needs. Also, major shops, night clubs and other entertainment venues accept credit card.
Despite the city’s small size, Geneva is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world that attracts thousands of shopaholics. It is a perfect destination to shop for the best things life has to offer including jewelry, chocolates, leather goods, cloth, watches, souvenirs, bags and much more. Most retails stores do not stay open past 7 pm on week days, 6 pm on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays.
Health and safety
Geneva is one of the safest travel destinations with low crime rates. However, there are other common petty crimes such as pick-pocketing at train stations, bus stations, airports and other touristy places. Hospitals and clinics are well equipped with state of the arts facilities and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Geneva is one of the most impressive travel destinations that leaves visitors spoilt with choice on things to do and places to visit. One of the city’s popular landmarks is the Jet d’Eau, a 140 m tower of water shooting up on the lake. Other world class attractions include CERN, the biggest particle physics lab on the face of the earth; the Cathedrae Saint Pierre, a place where John Calvin, a theologian once preached in the early 19th century; Geneva’s Old Town, which houses several incredible bars, cafes and antique shops; and the 330ft-long Reformation Wall.
Best time to go
The best time of the year to visit Geneva is during the summer months from June to August. During this time, the weather is pleasant and mild making it possible for visitors to enjoy lots of memorable activities including a cruise on Lake Geneva. Make sure your vacation trip to Geneva coincides with two key festivals widely celebrated at this time of the year in the city – Lake Parade and Fêtes de Genève. Geneva is a charming city where visitors can enjoy the best holiday experience any time of the year.
Geneva International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe and is located few kilometers from the heart of the city. There are several transport options that connects the airport with the city center including car rentals, bus, taxi, train and hotel shuttles. There are also convenient parking space at the airport that rarely gets full, but you can also make reservation for parking spots online. There abounds plenty of shopping opportunities for travelers to buy clothes, antiques, watches, jewelry and many more at affordable pricing. The on-site store, Migros Supermarket, sells food and groceries and is open all through the day until 8 pm. Geneva Airport serves millions of travelers annually and offers flights to several domestic and international destinations. The airport also has close proximity to several exotic hotels. Booking your accommodation close to the hotel will save you a lot of time and money especially if you are visiting for just a few days.