Paris and Geneva

Old Mar 12th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Posts: 109
Paris and Geneva

My husband and I are flying to Paris from Canada on Good Friday. We will have three days together, then one day by myself while he is in meetings. We then fly to Geneva for two days.

I would greatly appreciate suggestions of things to do in Paris, but mostly looking for suggestions for a nice hotel situated in the Left Bank. Two nights will be paid for by my Husband's employer and two nights will be on our nickel.

Also looking for suggestions for a hotel in Geneva which will be covered by the employer (within reason).

Any thoughts on what to do by myself in Geneva for two days also appreciated!!

Thanks very much.
s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Hi S,

>My husband and I are flying to Paris ... We will have three days together, then one day by myself while he is in meetings. We then fly to Geneva for two days.<

Is there some compelling reason to leave Paris for Geneva?

ira is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2005, 04:27 PM
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As I interpreted the post, they are going to Geneva because the husband has business there, also.

To reply to the original query, I suggest doing the things both you and your husband are interested in during your free days, and the things that interest you but not him during the days he is involved with business.

You can get better responses if you could provide some detail on the particular interests of the two of you.
Musicteacher is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2005, 05:38 PM
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I'm terribly sorry for not being more specific --- going through some very sad times and struggling to make this trip happen in spite of it all.

But...I am a journalist and should have taken the time to elaborate...especially with kind people on the receiving end ready to help.

This trip has come up very suddenly and I haven't had time to think it through. Yes...there are meetings in Geneva which is the reason for our departure from Paris. We simply want to experience the best in each of the cities --- I apologize for the non-specificity but I'm in the midst of a whirlwind and desperately trying to make this happen.

The second responder gave me pause...what are our interests? Are we too busy living our lives to develop "interests"? I anchor tv news...I like to eat...I like shopping only if I can find great deals...I am wide-eyed and wanting to experience the best that these marvelous cities have to offer. I am woefully uninformed and extremely grateful for any advice.

Thank you.
s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 03:53 AM
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Hi s1a2r3,

I've spent a lot of time in Montreux on Lake Geneva, about 1h20 from Geneva. Because I really hate big cities, I haven't spent a lot of time in Geneva itself, so I'm not sure how much help I can be.

But here is my list of activities anyway -- they assume a base of Montreux, but you can reach all of these easily by train from Geneva. By the way, you can check rail schedules at

Spend a morning walking along the 11km flowered lakeside promenade from Clarens to Villeneuve, passing the Chateau Chillon between Territet and Villeneuve; there are plenty of cafes to stop and have a coffee & snack along the way to replenish your strength. There are also plenty of benches to sit and read, watch other walkers, or simply stare at the majesty of the lake and the mountains in the distance.

If you make it all the way to Villeneueve, top off your long walk with a wonderful pizza & beer lunch at a lakeside café in Villeneuve, then take the ferry back to Montreux (I think the ferry stops in late Sep/Oct).

Spend a morning walking up to Montreux's old city and the old church for fantastic panoramic views from the church’s terrace. Have lunch at the Hotel/Restaurant du Pont at 12 rue du Pont (I had a ravioli in cream sauce with shaved truffles that was out of this world!). Montreux’s website is at

Spend the morning in Vevey hunting down the antiques shops in the old town. Then have lunch at the Hostellerie de Geneve on the Pl. Marche. Vevey’s website is at

Be sure to walk from Vevey to the town of La-Tour-de-Peilz, just a few blocks. Walk along the lake past stately trees and park benches until you come to an old fort, a small park, and the port. You'll see lots of folks out playing in good weather.

Take the train (the “wine train”) from Vevey to Chexbres, then spend a morning walking the vineyards down to the lake, hitting Rivaz & St. Saphorin. For lunch, find the Auberge du Rivaz (in Rivaz . . . ) with a terrace lake view or see if any of the cellars are having a cheese/wine tasting. Website:

The lakeside village of Cully, just east of Lausanne, is a picturesque stop and has two recommended restaurants, the Auberge du Raisin and the Au Major Davel.

The lakeside village of Lutry, just two miles east of Lausanne, has a well-posted tour of medieval buildings as well as some good wine caves for tasting. Website: www.

Spend a day in the mountains, taking the train to the resort of Gstaad. On the way back, stop at Chateau d'Oex for lunch.

Take the funicular from Territet up to Glion and have lunch at the Hotel Victoria, enjoying its panoramic views of the lake.

Spend an afternoon in the medieval village of Gruyeres, making sure to sample the berries in creme-double. Website:

Spend an afternoon in Nyon at the Roman museum and the Caesar's columns nearby. The Fodors guide recommends a meal at the Auberge du Chateau just steps from the Roman museum. It was closed when I was there, but it looked charming. Website:

Go to the small, charming village of Celigny. Not much to see here but a picturesque place (it was actor Richard Burton’s home during the last years of his life). Have lunch at the Auberge du Soleil -- great prix fixe feast!

Spend the morning in the town of Morges, just west of Lausanne. Morges has a cobbled main street that is lined with shops and patisseries; it has a flowered lakeside promenade that signs say runs all the way to Lausanne; and it has a large, green park next to the lake that is filled with stately trees. Here's the Morges tourism website:

The website for the tourist office of the region is:

My personal travel journal (w/photos) of Montreux:

I hope someone will come along to give you some ideas about Geneva itslef!

My condolences on your very sad time. I hope you enjoy your trip!

swandav2000 is online now  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 04:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi s,

>...a nice hotel situated in the Left Bank.<

We always stay at the Bonaparte, a 2* in the 6th. 125-165E dbl w/ bkfst.
Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67

These are 3*

Also see Paris Superthread

I hope it all works out.

ira is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Hi s1a2r3 (weird handle ;-) )


Don't know your hotel budget, but since your husband's employer will be picking up at least part of the tab in Paris, I would recommend something better than a 2*.

One option would be the Sainte-Beuve (not the standard rooms though), though it's probably already booked up at such short notice. Other more upscale options would be (roughly from cheapest to most expensive) the Hotel Madison, de l'Abbaye, Bel-Ami, Luxembourg Parc, Lutetia, Victoria Palace and Montalembert.

I've only stayed at the Sainte-Beuve but know the location of the other hotels well and have seen overwhelmingly positive comments on them in this and other forums. (website for the Sainte-Beuve)


Don't have any personal experience with hotels as my mom lives there, but location-wise the boutique-style La Cigogne is unbeatable.

Right next door but less upscale (very small rooms apparently) is the Hotel Longemalle. Another safe choice with small rooms is the Hotel du Midi.

Hope this helps,
Andre is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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Oh one more point - you will probably find it more enjoyable to take the TGV train from Paris to Geneva, especially in 1st class, rather than flying.

You can book your tickets on, choosing FRANCE as your location. Prepay and either print your tickets out at home (if you snag a deeply discounted Prem's fare) or pick them up at any train station or "Boutique SNCF" in Paris.

Hope this helps,
Andre is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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Oh my goodness. I am overwhelmed with your kindness and generosity of time. I will read these more thoroughly later today and may have follow-up questions.

Thank you again --I wish you a wonderful day.

s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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As a solo female with a few days to spend in Geneva, I would take the train immediately out to Lausanne, Vevey, and/or Montreux. These towns are only an hour away and MUCH more easy to enjoy IMO than Geneva (which is a huge, world-class, international city). Quite honestly I'd even choose a hotel in Vevey or Montreux and train IN to Geneva instead of staying there. The trains run all the time, many people commute this route daily. It's no big deal to get around.

Do a quick 'search' using Montreux and Vevey here on Fodors... there are several people who have been discussing this fabulous part of Switzerland in great detail lately.
suze is online now  
Old Mar 19th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Just back to making travel plans ---goodness it's getting late!!

Hotel de Buci is about 40 euro more per night with no breakfast (included at Agora).

Is it worth it? I'm having trouble placing the Agora. Not enough hours in the day!

s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Sorry, I didn't explain this properly. Have a booking at the Agora St. Germain in Paris ---but could book at the Hotel de Buci. It looks charming, but it more expensive.

s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Susan, put the Agora street address into, and then it will "place" it for you.
Travelnut is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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O.K. Here's the plan...

four nights in Paris at Hotel de Buci ---first two nights on us... 200 euro for standard room.

Upgrade the next two night to 240 euro for a superior room (i.e. a little bigger)

TGV to Geneva ---ANDRE!!! Thank you for your suggestion --we tried to book on-line - got totally confused between 1st class and something called first value --- we're drained and I've decided to put this booking in the hands of an agent. Any advice?

I'm booked into hotel du midi in Geneva -- but wondering if there is a better choice ---I"m thinking of surprising my husband with an additional night in Montreux --thanks to your most generous suggestions --- I'm very limited in search time, but I gather the Hotel Eden au Lac (sp?) would be a great choice. My husband deserves a wonderful additional day to this trip and I think Montreux would be a good choice.

Actually, it would work like this --- his meetings in Geneva end at about 3pm on Friday, April 1st.

We could take the train to Montreux that evening ---dine (where?) stay at, perhaps Eden? ---the next day, do whatever(?) from there --stay a second night in Montreux and then depart for Geneva Sunday morning. Actually, we would likely be flying from Geneva at 11:00 am. Is that too early to be leaving from Montreux?? I'm sorry to be asking all of this....some of you will be shaking your heads and saying "we 've already told her this..."

Tomorrow is a new day. I will breathe. And this will all happen...mostly because of you!

s1a2r3 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 04:06 AM
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Hi s1a2r3,

For your Lake Geneva portion --

Yup, the Eden au Lac is a great choice -- perfect location and perfect views over the promenade (people watching from your balcony) and over the lake. It recently changed its name to the Eden Palace au Lac -- website at

While I can't tell you what is "too early" for you on your morning of departure, I can tell you that you can leave Montreux at 5.53 and arrive at the Geneva airport at 7.15 (0 changes) or leave at 6.19 to arrive at 7.33 (0 changes) or leave at 6.55 to arrive at 8.12 (0 changes). You can check rail schedules at (use "Geneva airport" as your destination).

Have a blast!

swandav2000 is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Concerning hotel in Paris, I would suggest you a hotel I discovered for not a long time and that is called Hotel Suede Saint Germain, located in a little and calm street, not far away from Saint Germain des Pres, in the 7th, with a beautiful decoration. It is a 3 star hotel..I don't know your budget?
Have a look att he website:
Enjoy your trip!
Morganne is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 06:14 AM
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My dh and I absolutely loved Geneva and didn't find the city "too big" as others described. We too were brought the opportunity at the last minute (and in fact never had a strong desire to go to Switzerland before this opportunity arose) so had to make last minute plans. As such, I chose the Best Western which is directly across the street from the Gare (train station). I know, a best western, but this place definitely had the european feeling and was a wonderful place with a wonder european meal included.

My dh and I took the train from Paris and agree that the TGV is the way to go - you get to go through the Alps which are beautiful and it's actually much easier than a plane. It only took 2 and a 1/2, three hours and it was wonderful.

For Geneva itself, Fodors and Frommers both have a wonderful walking tour. We did all of the walking tours for the city (we just combined them) and easily did it in one day - it took about 6-7 hours, but that was with stopping at the museums, stopping at several cafes for wine, stopping for lunch etc. It was very leisurely and my dh and I, who are not the most active people in the world, found it very doable. The UN and Red Cross could be another whole day in itself.

We loved Geneva, I found it to be very pretty, story book like, and would love to go back again.

Have fun!
radiofanatic is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 06:16 AM
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You asked for suggestions for things to do in Paris. The Fodors Paris page has "Best in 3 days" suggestions. To those suggestions, I would add Ste. Chapelle, to my mind the most spectacular sight in Paris. Go on a sunny day if you can. Also, sit in the sun with a picnic lunch in Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuilleries (or both). About the best thing to do in Paris is just soak up the atmosphere - take a look at the many trip reports by visitors to Paris on this board to put yourself in the mood. And enjoy Paris - it is fabulous!
mamc is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Dear s1a2r3,
This may come a bit late but here are my suggestions for Geneve.
Geneve is a small city and it's easy to see the old city by foot. Note that it can be quite cold and windy in March. If you want to be indoors, the Red Cross museum, though out of the center of town a bit, is interesting. Busses are easy to take - go to the TDG kiosk at Rive to get a map. Buy tickets from the machines at bus stops. Go to the flea market on Wed. and Sat. mornings at Plainpalais. If you don't want to leave Geneve but want to see Swiss cuteness, Veyrier is a very cute tiny town easily accessed by bus and is close to the Saleve telepherique (which might be closed still in March). The train ride to Montreux is super beautiful. Since Geneve is 40% foreign, you'll have no communication problems.
Have fun-
swissle is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2005, 11:26 AM
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If you give me your dates I'll do a dry run on the SNCF site and get back to you.

The train ride actually takes just over 3.5 hours and doesn't cross the Alps (there is some pleasant scenery though), but it's much less of a hassle and more comfortable than flying IMO.

Andre is offline  

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