Geneva is a famous city in Switzerland that some people feel compelled to visit because it’s a famous city in Switzerland. Sure, there is history here, and fine architecture, and even a lake, but Geneva is more of an international business city than a tourist draw. The official language is French, although English and German are widely spoken as well. It’s clean and expensive, just as you’d expect from Switzerland. There are things worth doing in Geneva, but not as many as you might think.

What To Do

It’s hard to miss the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, being the world’s tallest fountain shooting water 140 meters up with incredible force. This being Switzerland, of course the city is filled with banks, high end shopping, and particularly watch retailers. The Patek Phillipe Museum shows the art of watch making and watches themselves with examples dating back to the 16th Century.

Geneva’s Old Town is worth visiting, partially for the Cathedral St. Pierre, which stands at its highest point. This cathedral displays the history of the Reformation along with history of Christianity in general. It’s connected by an underground tunnel to the International Museum of the Reformation, which compliments the cathedral but with modern displays and films.

Getting There

Many will arrive in Geneva by train, but the city has a fairly major airport so it’s possible to book a ticket directly into Geneva Airport (code: GVA). It’s served by major carriers and recently by a few discount carriers, but it might be cheaper to fly into Bern or Paris and take the train to Geneva. The Geneva Airport is on the train line so getting into the center is fast and not too expensive.

Where To Stay

This is not a cheap city, but there are a few hostels in Geneva that can take the edge off the prices. There are hotels in Geneva of course, but most of them tend to be posh and/or business places so finding a cheap room can be difficult.