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10 of the best things to do in Geneva, Switzerland

  • Geneva is fun and easy to explore

    Home to the United Nations and the Red Cross, don’t let Geneva fall off your radar when planning a trip to Europe. With its French influence, this cosmopolitan city knows how to entertain. Easily accessible by air, train or car, reliable public transportation is free for all visitors staying in a Geneva hotel, hostel or campsite.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Buy a Geneva Pass

    One pass serves as your discounted or free ticket to more than 50 attractions. Valid for one, two or three days, the Geneva Pass helps you discover spots you might otherwise have passed up like Saint Peter’s Cathedral.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Get in your steps for the day

    Admission to the cathedral is free, but the Geneva Pass covers entry to Saint Peter’s sought-after North Tower. Climb the 157 steps for a fantastic panorama of the city, lake and the more-than-450-feet-high Jet d’Eau fountain.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Relax on (arguably) the world's longest wooden bench

    What’s said to be the world's longest wooden bench runs the length of Old Town’s Treille Promenade. Built in 1767, it runs nearly 400 feet, offering plenty of space to take in city and mountain views.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Become a watchmaker for a few hours

    Renowned for its watchmaking history, timepiece aficionados can now make their own Swiss watch at Initium in Geneva.  Under the careful guidance of a master watchmaker, students assemble a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Full and half-day workshops are available.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Set sail on Lake Geneva

    Mouettes, a type of water taxi, get you from one side of the lake to the other, but for the best water views, hop aboard a dedicated sailing of Lake Geneva. Hour-long cruises come with close-up views of the Jet d’Eau fountain, mountain vistas, famous villas, gardens and more. The CGN Geneva Tour is also covered by the Geneva Pass. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available to download the recommended audio guide while waiting to board the vessel.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Take time to stop and smell the flowers

    And set your watch by the most famous clock in Geneva. Made of thousands of flowers, the Flower Clock changes with the season. The timepiece’s second hand is reportedly the longest in the world, measuring a bit more than eight feet.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Visit the home of the United Nations

    Guided tours of the Palais des Nations are offered several times a day, and some 120,000 folks visit every year. Save time to see the "Broken Chair" sculpture, located on the Place des Nations, facing the UN. Standing nearly 40 feet tall, the work of art pays tribute to victims of land mines.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Head to France to see Geneva

    Just across the French border, the Mont Salève cable car climbs more than 3,600 feet, rewarding passengers with staggering views of Geneva below. The mountain ascent takes less than five minutes. Once at the lookout, you can watch paragliders make flying look easy, go for a hike or simply relax. Getting there is easy, but takes some time. After the 20-minute bus ride from Geneva, it’s less than a 10-minute walk with plenty of signs to lead the way. You’ll be crossing into France, so it’s a good idea to have your passport handy.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Make a Swiss Army knife

    You can create your own Swiss Army knife at the Victorinox Flagship store in Geneva. Expect to spend about an hour at the knife assembly station properly positioning the many pieces that make up these trusty tools. Finishing details include choosing the case color and having your knife engraved with a memorable message.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

  • Eat fondue

    Is there anything better than a warm pot filled with melted, gooey cheese? Just maybe a warm pot filled with melted Swiss chocolate. Luckily you can eat both at Restaurant Edelweiss while listening to traditional live Swiss music.

    Photo courtesy of Dana Rebmann

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