Being only a couple of weeks from the end of the semester, it seems like the perfect time to start planning a summer getaway. Our proposed destination only requires 2 hours of air travel from Madrid, Spain, and you would only be leaving IE’s international environment for another international environment in the heart of Europe: the beautiful city of Geneva, on the east side of Lac Léman.
Enveloped by Swiss and French mountain ranges, around the water you’ll find beautiful hotels with both aquatic and alpine views. But Geneva goes far beyond its scenic views: the city is not Switzerland’s capital, but it is nicknamed the worldwide center of diplomacy. It is packed with international organizations, experiences, cultures, and European allure. During your stay here, you will surely absorb Swiss culture, but also the multitude of other cultures and international experiences it has to offer.
So come with me to my hometown, as I take you on the perfect weekend trip; as that is all you really need, considering it is a small city!
Let’s start with the basics:
- Currency: Swiss Francs (CHf, Fr., or SFr.)
- Proposed budget: 220 CHf.
- Languages spoken: French, though many speak English
- Public Transport: SBB FFS (train service) and OTPG (bus and tram service). Of course, Uber can also be found, and taxis are less common.
- Weather: during the summer months, it tends to be pretty warm, but there may be some unexpected rain!
Now I’ll present you with some suggestions for food, drinks and activities:
- $ Les Merveilles de Fred – fresh, warm brioches with chocolate or praliné, and meringues (LITERALLY one of my favorite things in the world)
- $$ Martel – coffee, avocado toast, pancakes, french toast, sandwiches…
- $$$ Any hotel on the Lac Leman’s Brunch
Lunch and dinner places
- $ Nero’s Pizza – Pizza, baked goods, italian desserts, and juices
- $ Threekids Bagels – bagels named after places in Geneva
- $$ Pizzeria Ristorante Molino Molard – Italian food
- $$ Brasserie Lipp – French food
- $$-$$$ Café du Soleil – The oldest restaurant in Geneva, serving fondue and other typical Swiss food.
- $$-$$$ Restaurant les Armures – Fondue and other typical Swiss food
- $$$ Chez Philippe – Steakhouse
- $$$ Au Relais de l’Entrecôte – Steak frites
- La Clémence or Brasserie à la Pomme d’Or, in Old Town
- Arthur’s or Nico&Co by the lake
- Java Club located in the Fairmont Hotel
- Le Baroque
As for accommodation, you will find all sorts of price ranges, although the best and most exclusive ones are in the surroundings of the Jet d’Eau.
- Musée d’Art et Histoire – The Museum of Art and History
- Patek Philippe Museum (for the watch lovers)
- MAMCO Geneva (Modern art museum)
- The Lac Léman
- Walk around the Old Town
- Visit the Cathédral de St. Pierre – St. Peter’s Cathedral: climb to the top of the cathedral and enjoy a panoramic view of the city
- Parc des Bastions: park with giant chess sets, and where the Reformation Wall is situated
- L’Horloge Fleurie – Flower clock located in the park in front of Lac Léman. In the summer there is a ferris wheel most times.
Activities outside/near Geneva:
- Visit Lausanne (the Olympic capital)
- Visit the Olympic Museum
- Get Ice Cream at Manu in Nyon
- Take the boat from Nyon to Yvoire, France
- Visit Vevey and Montreux
- Visit Hermance
- Take a Panoramic hike
If you do decide to come to Geneva this holiday, let me know what you think… although I can almost guarantee you will love it.