Looking for a weekend break? Try Geneva – sleek, international, upmarket and stylish. Yet a combination of easy access and free city transport also makes it a great place for a cheap weekend break.
Geneva In a Weekend
Locals call it Lac Léman, but either way it’s impressive to find the largest natural freshwater lake in Western Europe right in the centre of the city, complete with a backdrop of snowy mountains. The “size-is-everything” Jet d’Eau fountain that shoots up 130 metres into the air is also pretty eye-catching.
Flower Clock – Horloge Fleurie
With adverts and watch displays lining the centre of town, perhaps it’s only fitting that Geneva created its floral masterpiece as a fully functioning clock. I visited in winter, when the spectacle seemed a little, er, lacklustre but perhaps it’s more interesting in summer.
Geneva’s Old Town at the Weekend
Meticulous cubes of chocolate, cafés, lanterns, cobbled streets, shutters, wrought iron balconies and enclosed courtyards. Geneva’s Old Town shows European café culture at its best.
Museum of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Thoughtfully put together, this museum showcases the work of the world’s oldest humanitarian agency and explains all those Geneva Conventions. For an in depth article on the Red Cross museum, visit Inside the Travel Lab.
Place du Molard, Geneva
Look out for the cubes of backlit international greetings arranged across the cobbled floor. Café du Centre comes highly recommended by Rough Guide author Matthew Teller. I also loved the Brasserie du Molard next door, where you can taste blonde, blanche and amber beer plus indulge in a rich, cheesy Flammekueche.
Getting Around Geneva
The old town and the borders of Lake Geneva are easy to get around on foot. However, tourists are also given Geneva Transport Cards that allow FREE transport on all the city’s trams, trains, buses and boats! Amazing – and also very handy for travelling from Geneva Airport to the main train station, Gare Cornavin. Most Geneva landmarks live between the main station and the lake, although you will need to take a tram to visit the Red Cross Museum.
Accommodation in Geneva
Geneva Hotels tend to be pretty upmarket. Search online for a good deal (the best deal I found on this occasion was through Lastminute.com’s Top Secret Hotels but I also found some good offers through twitter.)
More Information on Weekend Breaks in Geneva?
A Free Weekend in Geneva – Margaret Doherty on Europe A La Carte