Things to do in
Geneva

Explore this cosmopolitan lakeside city home to a host of international organizations and mountain views.

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Our most recommended things to do in Geneva

Geneva: 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise

1. Geneva: 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise

Explore Geneva and its stunning lake from a new perspective — directly on the water. Begin your tour from the Pierres du Niton, cruising towards the Pointe à la Bise. Peer at Geneva’s famous Jet d’Eau, the iconic fountain the city is famous for, Mont-Blanc mountain and the surrounding Swiss Alps, as well as famous buildings, such as the UN. Pass by elegantly manicured gardens that line the shores of the lake, as well as the stunning surrounding flora and fauna, before heading back to the dock from which you departed. An app with information about the cruise is available to download on the spot in a free wifi area; all the information about this will be given at the cashier's desk.

From Geneva: Guided Day Trip to Chamonix and Mont-Blanc

2. From Geneva: Guided Day Trip to Chamonix and Mont-Blanc

Visit the site of the first Winter Olympics. In Chamonix you’ll experience majestic scenery on a drive through the Arve Valley and from the 12,605-foot viewing platform on Europe’s highest mountain. This full-day tour begins in Geneva with a drive across the French border through the glacier-fed Arve Valley. At Chamonix, marvel at the splendid backdrop of the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges. You’ll take the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi, which was the world’s highest cable car ride when it was launched in 1955. Enjoy breathtaking panoramas of this Alpine wonderland, with views into France, Switzerland, and Italy. Lunch will be at your leisure. You will also have the chance to ride the astonishing Montenvers rack railway to the Mer de Glace glacier. The journey on this electric train covers 3 miles of beautiful mountainous scenery before arriving at the longest glacier in France. You're free to spend the day as you please. Wander by foot to discover the town’s many delights, such as Parc Loisir, Musée Alpin, Lac Gaillands or Atelier Les Racines. Chamonix is the world capital for outdoor activities: mountaineering, alpinism, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, trail running, and skiing.

From Geneva: Full-Day Trip to Chamonix and Mont-Blanc

3. From Geneva: Full-Day Trip to Chamonix and Mont-Blanc

How does it feel to be at the foot of the highest mountain in Europe? Find out, with reliable transport from Geneva to Chamonix Mont Blanc. Board a bus and enjoy the 75-minute drive by motor-coach through the picturesque Arve Valley to the typical Alpine village at the foot of the remarkable and majestic Mont-Blanc. Enjoy your day as you stroll in the little streets full of charms of Chamonix. Enter in a local shop to discover the local flavors as Mountain Honey, cheese or charcuterie. Try a fondue or a raclette in once of the numerous restaurants of this well-known ski resort. Discover where the first Olympic Games of winter started in 1924. Situated at the border between France and Italy, this town is famous for its tunnel under the mountain, which joins the 2 countries. Enjoy the activities available in this little town before you head back to Geneva. If you choose the cable car option you can enjoy the ride up to the Aiguille du Midi and be amazed by the view. In the afternoon, take advantage of the mountain train and discover the Ice Sea. If you choose the all inclusive option you will have lunch in a nice brasserie in Chamonix.

Geneva City Pass: Discounts and Free Offers at 40 Sights

4. Geneva City Pass: Discounts and Free Offers at 40 Sights

With the Geneva City Pass, you can explore city and countryside in all their splendor. Free entry, reduced rates, vouchers and many surprises await you with the Geneva Pass, which will help you to discover the city and its cultural and cosmopolitan riches, as well as its parks, mountains, and lakes. The Geneva City Pass offers many tours such as a guided walking tour of the Old Town, a classic city tour from the iconic Jet d'Eau water fountain to the International district of Geneva, or a guided tour in Carouge, a wealthy suburb of Geneva with a well established art scene. Don’t want to walk too much? Take a mini-train along the shores of Lake Geneva. From there you could also hop on a boat to see more of the beautiful Lake Geneva and the sights it has to offer as you cruise along the Rhône, or you could rent some water vehicles (sailing, pedal, or motorboats) yourself. It's all included in your pass! Not enough yet? Take the cable car up to mount Salève and look over Geneva from above. Speaking of mountains, a night skiing package with fondue afterwards is also included in your pass. Nothing caught your fancy yet? How about spending some time in one of Geneva’s numerous museums! Whether you're interested in science, modern art, ethnography, or the history of Switzerland, there is something to suit all tastes. Visit the Fondation Baur and Musée des Arts d’Extrême-Orient to see art from the Far East, or stop by Musée Ariana which has a one of a kind collection of glass and ceramic art pieces. This and much more awaits you with the Geneva City Pass!

Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva

5. Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva

Join this delicious guided chocolate tour of Geneva to experience one-of-a-kind, award-winning chocolate creations. Visit some of the city’s best artisanal chocolateries – from traditional to modern. You’ll experience chocolate in all shapes and forms: from chocolate pralines, to truffles, ganaches, drinking chocolate and pastry. During the tour, learn the secrets of the origins and manufacturing of chocolate, as well as the history of Swiss chocolate. The tour includes a visit to the old town, and you will hear anecdotes and stories about Geneva, and experience Geneva’s most important tradition – breaking the chocolate “marmite” (cauldron). There is also a fun boat ride in the tour. The best way to discover a city is through its flavors, its local artisans and its stories, so have fun with this exciting, sweet and exhilarating sensorial experience.

Geneva: Open-Top Bus Sightseeing Tour

6. Geneva: Open-Top Bus Sightseeing Tour

Start your adventure through the bustling streets of Geneva at Gare Routiere where you can hop on to your open-top tour bus. Your guided tour will take you to some of Geneva's most historical and culturally significant landmarks.  First, visit Jet d’eau, Geneva’s iconic water fountain located in the harbor. Your tour through the harborside area will acquaint you with the wonderful city parks like the Jardin Anglais, a large selection of the lakeside restaurants and cafes this part of the city has to offer and the famous Bains des Paquis. After the harbor, make your way to the Flower Clock, situated in the Jardin Anglais. Marvel at the vast array of flowers the garden has to offer. See the stunning Parc Des Eaux Vives and the wealthy suburb of Cologny with its mansions and impressive architecture. Here you will have access to one of the most beautiful vantage points for looking out over the city of Geneva. Before being taken back to the pickup point, your tour bus will make its way to the famous United Nations headquarters (Palais des Nations). From here you will also get the chance to witness the 'Broken Chair' sculpture.

Full-Day Trip to Riviera Col du Pillon & Glacier 3000

7. Full-Day Trip to Riviera Col du Pillon & Glacier 3000

Discover the picturesque area of Les Diablerets (little devils) in the heart of the Alps Vaudoises at Col du Pillon. Made up of chalets, this village has an amazingly preserved heritage. Don't miss the majestic 3000–meter high glacier. Dominate the snowy peaks and take on the Peak Walk, the world's first suspension bridge connecting two peaks. At 108 meters long, discover more than 24 peaks over 4000 meters on the walkway. Take advantage of the fun park where sleds are waiting for you. In summer, try a descent in the Alpine Coaster, Europe's highest tracked toboggan run.  If you prefer to stay in the village of Diablerets, take a stroll along the river and explore the beautiful landscape. Around 3:00 PM, head back to the bus to return to Montreux, and enjoy some free time to explore this artistic city before returning to Geneva.

Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi & Mer de Glace Full-Day Trip

8. Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi & Mer de Glace Full-Day Trip

Feast your eyes on dramatic landscapes as you travel by coach through the scenic Arve Valley to Chamonix. Chamonix’s position at the foot of Europe’s highest peak, Mont-Blanc, makes it one of the most popular mountain villages in the area. On this full-day trip from Geneva, you’ll have access to Aiguille du Midi, a rocky 3,842-meter peak close to Mont Blanc. Take a ride up on the most famous cable car in the world, (please note this cable car is currently under maintenance, your tour will feature an alternative cable car or activity). This high mountain site, equipped for your comfort and safety, offers a 360-degree panorama taking in the majestic Mont-Blanc as well as the whole of its massif. In addition, you’ll also enjoy panoramic views of the Chamonix Valley and the major peaks of the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. The Aiguille du Midi comprises the Piton Nord, the Piton Central with the Mont-Blanc gallery, and the Mont-Blanc terrace with its unforgettable view of Mont-Blanc. Take a charming little red train from Chamonix to the Montenvers site and the world famous Mer de Glace glacier. The Montenvers site is surrounded by the magnificent summits of les Drus, les Grandes Jorasses, and les Grands Charmoz. Learn about the largest French glacier and nature in the Alpine environment at exhibits here.

From Geneva: Annecy Half-Day Trip

9. From Geneva: Annecy Half-Day Trip

Annecy, located just 45-minutes from Geneva, is a town that has been awarded France’s prestigious Art and History designation. When you arrive in Annecy you’ll have a guided orientation walk and then plenty of free time to explore Annecy on your own. Please note that if you select the afternoon tour, then this will be self-guided.  As you walk through the streets of this charming town on the River Thiou you’ll come across numerous food and flea markets and historic monuments and landmarks. Browse the shops and stop to try a traditional dish at one of the many restaurants or cafés.

Gruyère Day Trip - Cheese & Chocolate Factory Tour

10. Gruyère Day Trip - Cheese & Chocolate Factory Tour

Chocolate Factory - Maison de Cailler Dive into the wonderful world of Cailler chocolate with your every sense. Your eyes discover mysterious ancient Aztec cocoa rituals. Your ears hear fascinating accounts of the first ever chocolate recipe in Switzerland. Your hands feel roasted cocoa beans and your nose wants to follow the aroma of freshly made chocolate. After the tour you will be left alone in the tasting room to try as much chocolate as you like. Gruyère Old Town At the foot of the Pre-Alps, you will be enchanted by the charm and picturesque architecture of the medieval town of Gruyère’s. The town has given its name to the area and to its delicious cheese. Come and explore a little town that’s been unaffected by the passage of time. Visit the impressive medieval castle and delight in the town’s wonderful gastronomy.  La Maison du Gruyère Cheese Factory Snuggling near the mountain pastures at the foot of Gruyère’s Castle, La Maison du Gruyère invites you to discover Le Gruyère AOP. The Maison du Gruyère takes you into the heart of the senses with an exhibition on fragrances and tastes. You will discover the secrets of cheese-making according to ancestral tradition. Panoramic Stop on Wine Terrace Lavaux is internationally famous as a terraced wine- growing region on the shores of Lake Geneva. Part of the Lavaux (bas-Lavaux) has been recognised since 2007 as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Stop here for some truly mesmerizing panoramic views.

Frequently asked questions about Geneva

What top attractions are a must-see in Geneva?

Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    Actually, the best time to go is in August, when the weather can get a little cooler - a perfect summer breeze. There's also a festival going on in the city! Of course, if you're planning to ski while you're in Switzerland, winter is better.

Good to know

  • Language
    French
  • Currency
    Franc (CHF)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +41
  • Best time to visit
    If you aren't visiting for the incredible winter ski season, try to visit Geneva in August, when there is a great summer breeze, and the city hosts an amazing festival!

Other Sightseeing Options in Geneva

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What people are saying about Geneva

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,921 reviews

Our guide Tom was amazing. It was so beautiful in Montreaux where the tour took off from and the ride up the mountain was stunning. I highly recommend this tour to anyone! It was a lot of fun on top of the mountain as well with some unbelievable views. However, we couldn’t ride the alpine coaster (may 9th) because they were still clearing the tracks, I think it usually opens it late may. I just wish they made it more clear the bus takes off in Geneva and then meets in Montreaux. There are several large indications within this posting that made us believe the only departure point was in Montreaux so we trained from geneva to montreax which costed us $88 Canadian. Other than that it was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend.

Our guide, Noa, was excellent. She was so friendly, lively and full of energy! She made sure to speak to everyone on the tour and helped them feel included. As for the tour, it was nicely paced and well conducted. I particularly liked the history part of it. If you want to do some walking in Geneva, and love chocolates and cakes, this tour is a good choice.

Definitely time well spent! Whole trip was well planned, we had enough time to enjoy all activities and also have some free time in Chamonix. Great guide who told us lots of things about the area and clearly enjoyed showing us around. Highly recommend!

Would have been even better with a guide but they provided a refund for that missing portion. Person at the office provided useful and quick overview of the plan which helped in our planning and enjoying each place.

Niels was an excellent tour guide. We had an amazing day and delicious lunch. Would absolutely recommend this tour!