Geneva is a city in Switzerland located at the southern tip of Lac Leman (also known as Lake Geneva). Geneva was the first city in Switzerland that I ever visited, and I absolutely loved the stunning views of the lake and Mont Blanc, as well as the cobblestoned side streets and chocolate shops (like Auer Chocolatier). Though French influence permeates Geneva, you can witness all walks of life as the headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross is situated here. 

Start the day by checking into Hotel Edelweiss, an adorable hotel centrally located that creates a Swiss chalet-style atmosphere. The hotel also offers a wonderful restaurant, where a folk band performs both Swiss songs as well as the famous yodel as you enjoy your evening meal. 

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On the way to breakfast at Café du Centre from the hotel, walk along the Pont du Mont Blanc. This bridge crosses Lake Geneva and is a great spot to see the Jet d’Eau, which is a large fountain that is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. 

Jet d’Eau

Once you make it to the other side of the lake, you will come across another one of Geneva’s beautiful treasures. L’horloge fleurie, or the flower clock, is an outdoor clock located on the side of Jardin Anglais park, comprised of about 6,500 flowering plants and shrubs that are used for the clock face. The plants are swapped out as the seasons change! 

L’horloge fleurie

After breakfast, visit St. Pierre Cathedral. You actually have the opportunity of walking up both the North and South Towers to look out over beautiful Geneva. A unique part of the experience is that the two towers are connected and you are able to see the Cathedral’s rooftop and original stonewalls with wooden beams. CJ and I visited on a Monday after breakfast, and we pretty much had the top of the cathedral all to ourselves. 

View from one of the towers of the St. Pierre Cathedral

For lunch, stop at Chez Ma Cousine, which is in the same area as St. Pierre Cathedral. Switzerland is known for being very expensive, but this spot famous for its delicious rotisserie chicken is extremely reasonably priced! There is a little spot for outdoor seating, which I recommend, where you can take in Old Town and people watch. 

St. Pierre Cathedral from below

If you are a lake person, spend the rest of the afternoon on a 2-hour boat ride to Yvoire. Not only will you get to experience shimmering Lake Geneva by boat, but you will also get to enjoy a charming medieval town. Please see my post, “Day Trip from Geneva: Yvoire” for more information. 

View of Lake Geneva by boat

If you are a mountain person, spend the rest of the afternoon hiking Mt. Saleve. Though on French soil, it is known as the balcony of Geneva, as you have gorgeous views of the city. From the city center, many public busses bring you to the bottom of the mountain. Remember to bring a passport, as you are travelling from Switzerland to France. A cable car then takes you to an altitude of 1,100 metres in less than five minutes, and you are then free to hike, climb, mountain bike, and take in all of the sights! 

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Sitting atop Mt. Saleve

End the day eating at Café du Soleil for dinner, an enchanting Swiss restaurant with a terrace and amazing food such as cheese fondue and steak frites. 

Geneva offers amazing food, activities, and sights. See for yourself and let me know what your favorites are!