Things to do in Geneva

About Geneva

The must-see attractions in Genève include the spectacular Jet d'Eau, visible from many parts of the city, the historic St. Pierre Cathedral, and the United Nations Office, exemplifying the city's role in global diplomacy. A stroll through the picturesque Old Town and a visit to the symbolic Flower Clock are likewise essential.
A visit to the Natural History Museum will fascinate kids with its life-sized dioramas. The city's parks, especially Parc de la Grange with its large playground and free animal park, offer splendid spaces for children to play and explore. During summer, the shores of Lake Geneva provide ample beach activities.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy sailing on Lake Geneva, hiking or cycling along its picturesque shores, and immersing in the beauty of the Botanical Gardens. In winter, the proximity to the Alps offers opportunities for skiing and snow sports.
For indoor enjoyment, exploring the wealth of knowledge at the Museum of Art and History, delving into the world of science at CERN's visitor center, and relishing the intricate craftsmanship at the Patek Philippe Museum come highly recommended.
The best tours in Genève provide a comprehensive experience of the city's cultural heritage and include guided walks through the Old Town, boat tours of Lake Geneva, and visits to renowned chocolate factories to discover the secrets of Swiss chocolatiers.
The most popular museums in Genève include the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, which offers insights into humanitarian efforts worldwide, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Art and History, each showcasing extensive collections.
On rainy days, guided museum tours, such as those of the Patek Philippe Museum or the Ethnography Museum of Genève, and indoor chocolate or cheese tasting tours, provide perfect escapades from the weather while still allowing visitors to experience the city's rich offerings.
For a quick glimpse of the city, engaging in a self-guided audio tour of the Old Town, taking a mini-train tour around Lake Geneva, or enjoying a succinct guided visit to one of the city's numerous galleries can be accomplished in under an hour.

Best Things to Do In Genève

Explore the vibrant city of Genève with an array of activities, offering a unique blend of culture and recreation.

Genève: Patek Philippe Museum

What is it?
A prestigious museum dedicated to the art of watchmaking.
Why you should go?
The Patek Philippe Museum is an esteemed destination that epitomizes Genève's rich heritage in precision horology. Housing an exquisite collection of timepieces dating back to the 16th century, it offers visitors an opportunity to dive into the world of fine craftsmanship and innovation. With its superb exhibitions of antique and contemporary watches, the museum narrates the story of one of the most revered brands in watchmaking. It's a fascinating encounter with the intricacies of time and a testament to the city's enduring relationship with this delicate art form, ranking high among places to visit in Genève.

Genève: Conservatory and Botanical Garden

What is it?
A serene oasis showcasing a vast collection of flora.
Why you should go?
Nestled near the heart of the city, the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Genève presents a lush escape for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. This botanical paradise brims with more than 16,000 species of plants and meticulously landscaped gardens. It's not just about what to see in Genève but also about taking a moment to unwind amidst the beauty of living organisms from around the globe. Educational displays and thematic gardens enhance the visit, making it an enlightening and picturesque experience, and certainly among the best things to do in Genève.

Genève: Carouge

What is it?
A bohemian neighborhood with a Mediterranean charm.
Why you should go?
Known as "Little Italy," Carouge is a district where Genève's cosmopolitan flair is seen through its Sardinian architecture and artisan boutiques. As a hub for creative souls and a haven for foodies, the area provides a delightful contrast to Genève's more business-like demeanor. Visitors can stroll through its colorful markets, relax in laid-back cafes, and discover hidden courtyards. Carouge's zest for life makes it a treasure trove of experiences and a definite must for anyone exploring Genève's things to do.

Genève: L'horloge fleurie (Flower Clock)

What is it?
A unique blend of horological excellence and floral artistry.
Why you should go?
As a symbol of the city's watchmaking tradition and its love for nature, the Flower Clock is a charming attraction set in the English Garden. This living timepiece, intricately composed of thousands of flowers and plants, is redesigned with the seasons offering a fresh spectacle throughout the year. Its aesthetic and precision make it one of the enticing things to do in Genève. Visitors flock to see the clock's hands move over the beautifully manicured floral display, making it one of the most photographed landmarks in Genève.

Genève: Lake Geneva Cruises

What is it?
Scenic boat cruises on one of Europe's largest lakes.
Why you should go?
Taking a cruise on Lake Geneva is amongst the quintessential Genève activities. Visitors can soak in panoramic views of the surrounding Alps and Jura mountains while gliding over the lake's tranquil waters. The cruises offer a variety of experiences, from short trips to thematic voyages that may include dining or historical insights. It's a refreshing way to appreciate the city's picturesque setting and provides an opportunity for a deeper connection with Genève's natural allure.

Genève: Jet d'Eau

What is it?
An iconic water fountain and one of the tallest in the world.
Why you should go?
Jet d'Eau is a landmark synonymous with Genève, thrusting water 140 meters high into the air and creating a captivating spectacle on Lake Geneva. As one of the best things to do in Genève, a visit to this grand fountain promises stunning photo opportunities, especially at sunset. Its powerful presence is a technical marvel and a symbolic greeting to visitors, embodying the city's creativity and vigor. Whether admired from afar or up close, the Jet d'Eau leaves a lasting impression as a must-see attraction in Genève.

Genève: St. Pierre Cathedral

What is it?
An architectural masterpiece with a blend of various styles.
Why you should go?
St. Pierre Cathedral stands as a historical sentinel in the heart of Genève's Old Town. Visitors can explore its rich past, from its Romanesque roots to its Gothic grandeur. For those interested in what to see in Genève, the Cathedral's archaeological site uncovers millennia of history below its floors, offering an extraordinary journey through time. The panoramic view from the Cathedral's towers presents a breathtaking vista of the city and its surroundings, making it one of the top places to visit in Genève for a blend of cultural enlightenment and awe-inspiring views.

Genève: The Old Town

What is it?
A historic district with cobbled streets and charismatic buildings.
Why you should go?
The Old Town is the historical heart of Genève, inviting visitors to wander through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, lined with cafes, boutiques, and galleries. Among the fun things to do in Genève, exploring this district reveals a tapestry of cultural treasures, such as the Maison Tavel and the Place du Bourg-de-Four. History buffs will relish the chance to walk in the footsteps of influential figures like John Calvin. For a touch of serenity, the Old Town offers peaceful courtyards and terraces with spectacular views, ensuring a memorable experience for any first-time visitor.

Genève: United Nations Office at Geneva

What is it?
A landmark institution of international diplomacy and peacekeeping.
Why you should go?
Considered one of the most significant Genève activities, a tour of the United Nations Office provides a profound insight into global governance and humanitarian efforts. As the European seat of the UN, this complex - including the grand Palais des Nations - is a beacon for political aficionados and advocates of world peace. Visiting this site offers a rare opportunity to witness the halls where critical decisions affecting the world are made. It stands as a poignant reminder of Genève's pivotal role on the international stage and is a must-visit for those seeking to understand the essence of the city's global influence.

Genève: The Geneva Water Fountain

What is it?
A mesmerizing display of water and light on Lake Geneva.
Why you should go?
The Geneva Water Fountain offers one of the best Genève tours for visitors looking to embrace the beauty of the city's lakefront. Known locally as the 'Jet d'Eau,' this fountain's towering streams of water and light create an enchanting sight, particularly at night when it's illuminated. Surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, the fountain's scenic backdrop invites onlookers to enjoy leisure moments and capture photographs to cherish. The fountain is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a symbol of Genève's dedication to innovative artistry and environmental aesthetics.

TOP-5 tours in Genève for first-time visitors

  • Discover the heart of the city through the things to see in Genève with a tour that encompasses the iconic Jet d'Eau and the enchanting Old Town, providing a perfect introduction to the city's history and charm.
  • Embark on Genève excursions that lead to the magnificent Palais des Nations. Learn about international diplomacy in a city that's home to the United Nations European headquarters.
  • For those wondering what to do in Genève, experience the vibrant cultural scene with an audio tour of the Museum of Art and History, showcasing a rich collection from various epochs.
  • Explore the fun things to do in Genève by visiting the picturesque Parc des Bastions and play a game of giant chess while delving into the city's academic heritage.
  • Indulge in the best Genève tours that take you on a journey through the renowned Rue du Rhône, where luxury shopping blends seamlessly with breathtaking lakefront views.

Fun things to do in Genève with kids

Looking for engaging experiences suitable for the whole family? Genève is teeming with child-friendly activities that are sure to delight. At the top of the list is the Natural History Museum, which boasts an impressive array of exhibits from animated dinosaurs to a plethora of stuffed animals and insects, providing an educational yet thrilling day out for curious minds. Next, make your way to the labyrinthine adventure at the Labyrinthe Aventure Evionnaz. Just a short trip from Genève, it is the largest permanent maze in the world, offering a fun challenge for both kids and adults. Finally, for a splash of fun, visit the Genève Plage. This public beach area on Lake Geneva features safe swimming zones, a large pool with slides, and plenty of green space for picnics and relaxation. Combining education, adventure, and leisure, these attractions are ideal for families searching for what to do in Genève with their little ones.

Things to do in Genève with family

When visiting Genève with family, the city presents a host of activities that cater to all ages. For an enriching experience, the History of Science Museum in Genève is a treasure trove, with exhibits dedicated to the scientific instruments that paved the way for modern technology, sparking the imaginations of both young and old. Adventure-seekers can then head to the Geneva Adventure Park, where zip lines and obstacle courses set amongst the trees offer an exhilarating day outdoors. As for a more relaxed atmosphere, the picturesque English Garden, with its famed Flower Clock and abundant green lawns, is perfect for a family picnic and leisurely walks while enjoying the view of Lake Geneva. These places to visit in Genève provide a mix of learning, adventure, and relaxation, ensuring that families have a memorable experience bonding and creating lasting memories.

Free things to do in Genève

Enjoying Genève doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag, as the city offers numerous free attractions. First on the list is a stroll through the scenic Parc La Grange. It's the city's largest public park and boasts a magnificent rose garden, ancient trees, and expansive lawns—ideal for a relaxing day out. Then, immerse in the city's history by walking through the Old Town's winding streets and marveling at the stunning architecture, including St. Pierre Cathedral. Take advantage of the audio guide to delve into the tales of this historic district. Wrap up your cost-free experience by visiting the bustling Plainpalais Flea Market. Held several times a week, it's a place where locals and visitors alike hunt for treasures, from vintage apparel to rare antiques. These activities showcase some of the best things to do in Genève, offering rich experiences that delight travelers without stretching their budgets.

Cheap things to do in Genève

Visitors to Genève often discover that enjoying the city on a budget is entirely possible with an array of inexpensive attractions. Start your day with a wander around the iconic Plainpalais Farmers Market, where you can sample local delicacies and absorb the vibrant atmosphere without spending a fortune. Then, for a minimal fee, climb to the top of St. Peter's Cathedral's North Tower for breathtaking panoramic views across the city. It's an invigorating climb that rewards you with stunning vistas. End the day at the Bains des Pâquis, a public bathhouse by Lake Geneva, where for a small entry fee, one can swim, unwind in the sauna or simply enjoy the lakeside ambiance. These activities are among the top Genève excursions for those looking to experience the city's charm while keeping an eye on their budget.

Things to do in Genève for couples

Genève holds a romantic allure with its blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication, perfect for couples seeking memorable experiences. A leisurely cruise on Lake Geneva offers an enchanting retreat with stunning views of the city skyline and surrounding mountains. Such an outing provides a serene moment to connect while drifting on the tranquil waters. For an artistic and cultural date, the Museum of Art and History presents an extensive collection where lovers can wander through time, appreciating artifacts and artworks from the region and beyond. Lastly, nothing says romance like a twilight walk through the charming Carouge district. With its bohemian flair, intimate cafes, and artisan boutiques, this neighborhood exudes a cozy, romantic vibe, making it an ideal destination for couples to explore. These spots are considered some of the best things to do in Genève for those looking to foster romance and create unforgettable moments together.

Things to do in Genève at night

The nocturnal charm of Genève entices visitors with its diverse array of evening activities. Begin with the iconic Jet d'Eau, which illuminated against the night sky, creates a majestic backdrop for a lakeside stroll. This landmark fountain is a beacon of light and a symbol of the city that provides a romantic and awe-inspiring sight after dusk. For those seeking vibrant nightlife, the neighborhood of Les Pâquis offers an eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and international eateries, making it a melting pot for night owls and a place to experience the city's cosmopolitan spirit. Alternatively, a quiet evening can be spent at the Parc des Bastions, where the fairy-lit promenades make for a tranquil retreat in the heart of the city. With historical statues and the famous Reformation Wall, the park takes on an enchanting atmosphere at night. These are the go-to Genève attractions for those looking to experience the city's culture, energy, and serenity after sunset.