Geneva is located on the westernmost point of Switzerland and actually borders France. It sits on Lake Geneva (also called Lac Léman) and is a diverse city that is full of unique things to do including museums, city views, food tours and so much more. Geneva is perfect to visit year-round as each season has its own set of cool attractions. Christmas is an especially great time of the year to visit as the Christmas markets are open and if you’re lucky enough to be visiting around December 12th, you’ll also be able to experience a beautiful festival called L’Escalade that’s unique to Geneva.
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- 1 – GO ON A CHOCOLATE TOUR
- 2 – VISIT THE ST PIERRE CATHEDRAL
- 3 – CLIMB ST PETER’S TOWER
- 4 – ATTEND L’ESCALADE
- 5 – CRUISE ON A LUNCH BOAT
- 6 – VISIT BAIN BLEU FOR A REAL MOROCCAN HAMMAM EXPERIENCE
- 7 – TAKE A FONDUE MAKING COOKING CLASS
- 8 – TAKE THE TRAM TO CAROUGE
- 9 – RIDE THE TAXI BIKE
- 10 – TAKE A WATCHMAKING CLASS
1 – GO ON A CHOCOLATE TOUR
I think many people will agree that any food tour is a good idea but when it comes to a chocolate tour, I think the vote would be unanimous yes. Switzerland offers some of the best chocolate in the world and if you find yourself overwhelmed with the myriad of chocolate shops located in Geneva, then book a chocolate tour with Local Flavours Tours. This 3-hour tour is run by Antonia, a charming tour guide who will give you the most thorough history on chocolate as well as little anecdotes that will leave you smiling. This particular chocolate tour hits about 5 chocolatiers and has you tasting everything from hot chocolate to pastries to truffles. Best of all, you also get to see much of the city during your tour. As mentioned below in the itinerary section, this tour is perfect for 2 days in Geneva.
2 – VISIT THE ST PIERRE CATHEDRAL
This 850+ year old cathedral was initially built by Roman Catholics and later transformed into a Protestant church during the Reformation. It is known as the home church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. The cathedral has a beautiful pillared entryway with an equally beautiful interior.
3 – CLIMB ST PETER’S TOWER
If you’re visiting the cathedral, you’ll want to add climbing the tower in the church to your list of what to do in Geneva. The city views you’ll see at the top are fantastic and well worth the time and energy spent climbing the 157 steps to the top. Aside from that, getting to the top is a bit of an adventure. You have to climb one tower and then walk across to the other where you’ll climb further up. Once at the top, you’ll find several different angles of the city.
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4 – ATTEND L’ESCALADE
This festival is native to Geneva and is a true commemoration of independence. The festival is held around December 11-12 (or the weekend nearest to these dates) and is a fun celebration filled with re-enactments, chocolate, singing and food. I wouldn’t hesitate to plan my trip to Geneva based off this festival as it’s (obviously) held once a year. During the celebration, a secret passageway is opened to the public; walking through you can admire the old walls and the fact that the doors will close on it until next year’s December rolls around.
5 – CRUISE ON A LUNCH BOAT
This one is for all foodies. Reserve a table on board the “Savoie” and enjoy a meal prepared by Philippe Chevrier’s team as well as a trip around Lake Geneva. It’s delicious, scenic and definitely one of the most unique things to do in Geneva.
6 – VISIT BAIN BLEU FOR A REAL MOROCCAN HAMMAM EXPERIENCE
This spa might look plain from the outside but once you step through its doors you’ll see why it made this list. First you’ll enjoy the two pools, one inside the building and the other outdoors. Both are modern and incredibly relaxing and best of all, heated. Once you’re finished in the pools, you can begin your hammam portion. Allot 3 hours for the full experience.
7 – TAKE A FONDUE MAKING COOKING CLASS
No visit to Switzerland is complete without some cheese fondue. One of Geneva’s traditional restaurants Edelweiss offers cooking classes for learning how to make fondue. You can opt for a package that includes dinner if you want to make a full meal. The fondue from Edelweiss is amazing and makes for a romantic date idea.
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8 – TAKE THE TRAM TO CAROUGE
Carouge is a quaint suburb of Geneva located about 20 minutes by tram from Old Town Geneva. As soon as you walk off the tram, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve stepped into Italy or France as the houses lining the streets are colorful and give off a very different vibe than the rest of Geneva. Carouge is fun for a half-day visit.
9 – RIDE THE TAXI BIKE
Taxi bikes are a fun way to see the city and get to where you want to go. Thinking about visiting during winter? No worries. The drivers equip each taxi bike with blankets so you’ll be warm as you ride.
10 – TAKE A WATCHMAKING CLASS
If you love watches but you’re more of a hands-on person, then look into a watchmaking class at Initium. You can opt for the half-day class where you learn how to put together or take apart the internal workings of a watch or you can choose the full-day class where you get to create your own watch from start to finish and customize it according to your preferences.
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