What to do for 2 days in Geneva


Apr 5th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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What to do for 2 days in Geneva

We are flying back to US from a cruise in the end of June and have it set up for a 3 night layover in Geneva, Switzerland. Besides knowing we both want to see Switzerland, it was set up more because it was convienient than having any actual plan. We know there is a lot to see in the area and would love to get a few suggestions on making the most of the two full days we will have there.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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You will probably get better recommendations if you indicate your actual constraints unless you have compelling reason to stay all three nights in Geneve.

I am guessing that your cruise ends in Basel or somewhere in middle France? And your flight out is from Geneve sometime in the morning? Then you probably have two nights somewhere else and one last night somewhere on Lake Geneve, but not necessarily Geneve, but close enough to make it to your flight.

If your cruise is ending in Basel, it is possible to spend two nights in Berner Oberland or in Zermatt for that Swiss mountain view, and then come back to Geneve or close enough for the last night. If you want to stay in the lake, you can stay in Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne, etc (middle to east end of the lake) and visit Gruyeres, Chillon, etc. Montreux to Geneve airport is 1 hr 45 min by train and from Lausanne it is 50 min.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Our cruise ends in Barcelona and every flight connection we looked at had a plane change or layover somewhere, so we decided Geneva (again, just convenience on the return connections, no other specific reason).

We have an economical BNB booked in Geneva for the 3 nights in Geneva. We fly in about 5pm on a Friday. We will have all day Saturday and Sunday, then fly out on Monday morning.

We both are looking forward to seeing the Alps and I would love to visit a glacier, if possible. Chocolate would be a big hit, as well as any local cuisine in general. I love history and the science side of nature, my wife likes art and the beauty side of nature.

What little I have read says we should not miss a boat ride on Lake Geneva. We don't have any specific goal or itinerary - more of a "just see what is there". We figure with only two days, we won't stray far from Geneva since we would like to take a much more extensive trip to France and the surrounding area in the future.

What we are looking for are some ideas to make the most of Geneva itself and not get back to the US to hear about something in Geneva that was a "don't miss" but we missed it.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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Take the boat over to Yvoire and have lunch at the Hotel Restaurant du Port.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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Although I found enough to keep me interested for my last 2 nights in Switzerland staying in Geneva, I'd suggest you rent a car and drive to Yvoire, a gorgeous French medieval town on the lake. Then continue onto Montreux visiting Chateau Chillon, and Gruyere and the chocolate tour in Broc.

You could see Yvoire and Chateau Chillon on Saturday and Gruyere/Broc on Sunday.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 12:52 AM
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I don't think there's a consensus "must-see" in Geneva that you'd kick yourself for missing, but that depends. My personal ones were the lakefront and CERN (what little of it is public). That said, I'd absolutely day-trip it out of Geneva. Chateau de Chillon's really cool, Lausanne's cool, especially if you like the Olympics, heck, you can day-trip to a lot of places in Switzerland if you budget your time wisely. And I'd say there isn't anything in Geneva worth holding you back from that.
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Apr 6th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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The whole Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French) area has a very good tourist infrastructure (including luxury hotels and top restaurants with gourmet meals for 200-300 USD/pax) since the end of the 19th century. It's one of the sunniest places of Switzerland (together with the Cantons of Valais and Ticino). The most scenic part is between Lausanne - Vevey - Montreux - Villeneuve). The whole area is never really crowded, despite many day trippers from all over Switzerland.

Geneva has only 200.000 inhabitants (500.000 with suburbs), but the amenities of a big capital. People from all over the world (among them many Arab princes) fly to Geneva for shopping (and so).

Weather changes from year to year. Usually, the warmest month is July, with maxima around 30-32 and (noon) minima around 20 degrees. June is often more rainy.

Geneva airport is small but efficient. Local people use to arrive there from town (5 min by train, 20 min by bus) less than an hour prior to the plane's departure. Direct flights to almost all important places in Western Europe. Easyjet offers actually July flights to many European capitals for less than 50 USD (with 1 piece of checked in luggage).

Mont Blanc, the highest mountain of Western Europe can be seen from many places in town, from the Lake and from Mont Saleve, the "house" mountain, which can be reached by city bus and cableway.
Buses and trains from Geneva to Chamonix (2 hrs trip), from where you can go up to 3800 m by cableway (..cross the glaciers by gondola up to the Italian border if you like).

Some places around Lake Geneva or not far away from it:

historic steamboats on Lake Geneva:

Blonay-Chamby historic railway:

Chillon castle:

Gruyeres castle, cheese diary and chocolate factory:

Chatelard-Emosson (Mont Blanc area):


Entirely walled city of Murten:

Region des Trois Lacs

Check also

Roman amphitheatre and Roman Museum of Avenches
Roman Villa of Vallon
biggest Romanesque church of Switzerland and Monastery of Payerne
Nature Park of Grande Caricaie
Medieval town and spa of Yverdon
Roman mosaics of Orbe
Monastery of Romainmotier
Castle and Menhirs of Grandson
Menhirs and Dolmen of Onnens,38.html
medieval town of Neuchatel with castle, cathedral and many fine museums
Biel/Bienne with it's small but fine city center, good museums and a lot to see in the Lake Bienne area
Medieval Bueren an der Aare with wooden brige over the Aar river
Natural reserve of Altreu and it's storks
Medieval town of Solothurn with baroque cathedral and many museums
La Chaux-de-Fonds, capital of watchmaking

Gorges of Areuse, Seyon and Taubenloch

boats plying between Yverdon, Neuchatel, Murten, Biel/Bienne, Bueren and Solothurn
Cablecars Biel/Bienne - Macolin/Magglingen, Ligerz - Preles, St-Imier - Mont Soleil, Neuchatel - Chaumont
The trains from Yverdon to Ste-Croix, from Neuchatel to La Chaux de Fonds and from Biel/Bienne to Tramelan bring you up to 1000 m of altitude.
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Apr 18th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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Bookmarking for our trip this summer. Thank you!
cybertraveler is offline  
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Apr 19th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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Hey cybertraveler, maybe we will see you there in June!

After reading this forum and doing some other research, I am hoping we can find a day trip that includes Mont Blanc and Mer de Glas (glacier) on one of our two days there.
AlbertD is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2013, 07:08 AM
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Nothing is easier than a day trip from Geneva to Mer de Glace:
Bus Geneva dp 9.00 - Chamonix 10.15/10.30 - Monteners/Mer de Glace ar around 11.30
Chamonix dp 17.00 - Geneve ar 18.40
Fare from Geneve up to Mer de Glace and back: 90 EUR/pax
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