Complete Guide to Visiting Geneva

Geneva is filled with a plethora of museums, outdoor markets, mountains of chocolate, beautiful nature, and shopping. Geneva truly is a place you need to cross off of your bucket list.


Old town in Geneva

Some refer to it as the City of Peace. The name derived from the beautiful nature that it is filled with and the astonishing mountain that surrounds it - the Alps.

There is a lot of things to do in Geneva so you need to be meticulous in your preparations and punctual in your decision making - the pragmatist inside of you has to come out and play.

The Swiss are all about punctuality, it is like it is in their blood or DNA. As accurate as a Swiss watch is an old saying that stuck with them - because it perfectly describes them.

It is one of the few positive stereotypes in the world that are true. The Swiss really respect everyone’s time. And all they expect in return is for you to do the same.

It might not be as rigorous as in Japan where the subway central apologizes to its travelers for a delay of a couple of seconds. But the Swiss understand how valuable each second in today’s time and age is.

We live in a world filled with an abundance of information, from news to trivia there might be too much information and outlets through which information can flow. And it can be really hard to dilute all that information in order to find the ones that aren’t fake or actually are useful.


Lake Geneva

And in order to have enough time for ourselves to fulfill our goals, dreams, and desires - respecting each other’s time is crucial. The Swiss understood that concept very well, and they acknowledged it long before the world became as fast-paced as it is.

Complete Guide to Visiting Geneva 2020

The first thing that will make you not worry about your trip to Geneva is the language barrier. There simply is not one - the main language in Geneva is French, however, the city is multinational, and most if not all residents speak English as well.


Currency might be a little troublesome, however. Euro is still accepted as a regular occurrence, however, you can use the euro but there will be a premium (higher) rate applied when paying in Euro currency.



Man taking cash from the ATM

On the upside, there are a lot of ATMs almost on every corner in the city where you can get your money from the bank and exchange it at a nearby Exchange office to the Swiss Franc which is the official currency used in Geneva.

Travel Tip

When you get to Geneva, you should find out where you can buy a Geneva Pass. With this ticket for a limited amount of time, depending on the price - for 24, 48, or 72 hours you are able to visit many museums for free, as well as spending time on the lake and using the public transport.

It is a low cost and economic way of a tourist visit to Geneva. It is not a thing to miss out on lightly.


What is the secret of getting around Geneva - well there is not one, there are a couple of ways to get to your destination, some are included in the Geneva Pass, while others are not included in the pass.

Like any other city in the world, and maybe the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind when transport is mentioned. The word transport is quite easily associated with the taxi industry.

You can order them by phone or hail them in the street. They are required to speak English by law, making it more comfortable if you don’t speak French. Beware that rates increase at night, on Sundays, and on holidays.

The second mode of transportation, more than known and accustomed to is certainly public transportation. Trams and buses are running for the entirety of the day and night, however, when the sun falls the number of vehicles and frequency falls as well.


Popular Swiss Train

And as an added bonus Geneva fosters one more mode of public transportation - this one is not as frequent an occurrence as the other two. Only a couple of cities in the world have it, with Venice on top of my mind - boats are a neat way of public transportation in Geneva.

You can also rent a car in Geneva, the price is not too steep and the roads are quite well taken care of. You will have an easy time driving in Geneva as the drivers are not prone to excessive driving and the roads are looking quite well.

Renting a limousine service or a professional chauffeur in Geneva service is another quite common way of transportation, as there are a couple of dozen of companies that provide this service. The competition is steep and the quality is even better just because of it.


Luxury black limousine and chauffeur

You are able to book a limousine service as a one-time deal - get to your destination or you can book it by the hour. It depends only on what you want - and as a tourist, you should look into guided tours around the city from the comfort and luxury of a limousine.

And last but not least - walking on foot or renting a bike. If you are looking for a way to explore the city on your own then perhaps doing it on foot or by cycling is the way that suits you the most. There are many bike rental services in Geneva that you can get a bike from.

Top 5 Things to Do in Geneva

These are our top choices for things to visit or do in Geneva:

  • Fish on Lake Geneva
  • Explore Old Town
  • Paraglide
  • Make Your Own Swiss Knife
  • Physics Museum

Fish on Lake Geneva

Before you go fishing, you will need to acquire a fishing permit, however, you needn’t worry about it as it costs only 10 francs to get it. And they can be bought at numerous locations such as fishing equipment stores throughout Geneva.

There are also packages for the summer that include bed and breakfast accommodations, a fishing guide, one of the local fishermen will be at your disposal the entire trip. And in the end, you will have a hotel chef to prepare the fish or you.

Explore Old Town

Old Arsenal, La Place du Bourg-de-Four, and Maison Tavel are just some of the numerous sights that you mustn’t miss when you go to the old part of the city. The Old town offers everything from old cathedrals to art galleries for you to sightsee.


For those of you who are fans of extreme sports, you are in luck as one of the options in Geneva is Paragliding. You start from the mountains in France and make your way down to Geneva gaining a new perspective of this fine city.

Flights take off daily and each one takes about 45-60 minutes. It will cost you around 150 CHF per person.

Make Your Own Swiss Knife

Who doesn’t want a Swiss knife? With all the features it provides you with, from scissors to knives just think of all the situations you can use them - a couple of things come to mind instantly.

Swiss knives are quite helpful for the outdoors and camping. It can come really handy in those situations.

But you can also use it for some mundane everyday activities - some plastic bag is harder to open than they should be, well you have portable scissors on your keychain - no fuss about it.


Swiss Knife

At some stores in Geneva, you are given the opportunity to assemble your own swiss knife and have it engraved. The helpful staff is with you all the way.

It can be used as a gift for any situation or you can make it for yourself as well - it is quite a neat souvenir to bring home with you.

Physics Museum

What happens at the Physics (CERN) Museum in Geneva is one of the most important physics experiments right now.

Walking through the same hallways as the great minds who are trying to recreate the Big Bang and to prove the big bang theory. It is truly an inspiring place to visit for anyone, not just the physicists.



They also host annual exhibitions like the Universe of Particles and Microcom - very fascinating exhibitions to attend.

In Conclusion

Geneva is one of the most interesting cities to visit in Europe. The proximity to the Alpes, the beautiful nature that surrounds, and the general tone and vibe you get from the city is not an opportunity you should disregard.

Getting around the city is quite easy with the Geneva Pass that consists of numerous features that you can use to your advantage.

Another neat thing is that there is no language barrier - French is the most used language however everybody knows English, and the cab drivers need to know as that is the law.