My Favourite Things To See In Geneva

Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Our Final Stop In Switzerland Was Geneva

It was a short train hop from our stay in Bern to Geneva. This was our last stop in Switzerland for this trip. We were refreshed after the train ride and decided to walk the short distance to the hotel. It was an easy stroll downhill. Walking in Geneva was definitely a way to find my favourite things to see in Geneva. But there were so many other things we found on our short stop in Geneva.

A Great Ritz-Carlton Experience at Hotel De La Paix Geneva

As our Central Europe trip drew to a close, we decided to really splurge on the stop in Geneva. We booked at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix. Every minute of our stay at this great hotel reinforced that we made the right decision. This first Ritz-Carlton experience would keep us going back.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Our upgraded room overlooked Lake Geneva. One of our favourite things to see in Geneva was the view from our patio. The lake was a busy spot. We watched the traffic go by. And we could see so many of the iconic sights of Geneva while we sipped a late day drink.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

The view out our window at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix helped us plan our travel around Geneva.

The Iconic Jet D’Eau Was Visible Everywhere

We got our first view of the iconic Jet D’Eau from our Ritz-Carlton patio. The fountain started up at about 9 am and stopped some time after it got dark. After dark one night we even got a light show on the fountain.

Jet dEau Fountain - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Jet dEau Fountain - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Taking the ferries was definitely something we did several times on our visit. The 3 routes took you across the lake to different spots. The ferry view of the Jet D’Eau was just close enough to get a great view. But not close enough to get wet.

Water Ferry - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Jet dEau Fountain - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Jet dEau Fountain - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Geneva was a great water city. If you are a water person, there are lots of ways to get out on the water.

Boats on the Lake - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Boats on the Lake - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

From the water we got a great view of several of the beach areas in Geneva. The one close to our hotel had a high diving board. Even in May, the beaches were a busy spot. Don’t worry if you forget your bathing suit. It did not seem to be mandatory!

Swimming in the Lake - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Lake Geneva and the iconic Jet D’Eau were certainly one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.

Visiting St Pierre Cathedral

From our room we could see the St Pierre Cathedral standing high on the hill. It glowed in the light from sunrises ann sunsets. As we walked in old town, the spires poked up between buildings. When we headed up the hill to visit, we got our first view of this landmark with the towers standing high above Geneva. That was where we were headed!

St Pierre Cathedral - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

It was a fairly plain church inside compared to some of the gilded churches we saw at the start of our trip in Prague. As usual, I looked first for the stained glass windows and the organ.

St Pierre Cathedral Inside - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Inside - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Inside - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We were told that we must walk up in the towers. Once we got our tickets, we passed through the turnstile to the South Tower of the St Pierre Cathedral. We waited for the light to turn green. Very narrow spiral stairs led up. We hurried because it was almost noon and we wanted to hear the noon bells while in the tower. As they started to peal, the sound reverberated round us.

St Pierre Cathedral Tower Spiral Stairs - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower Spiral Stairs - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower Bells - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

As we walked up in the South Tower, we came to several spots where you could take pictures from windows or through mesh. It was exciting but was not really what we had expected. It was not going to be one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.

St Pierre Cathedral Tower - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

The Best Panoramic View From The Top of St Pierre Cathedral

We were glad we did not stop at the top top of the South Tower. The old wooden rooms created a platform that connected us to the North Tower. And then we walked up more spiral stairs.

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

When we got to the top, we found an open air platform around all sides of the North Tower. We knew this was the view we looked for. We walked slowly around. On one side we got a view out over Lake Geneva and the Jet D’Eau. The other side of the North Tower looked down over the bridges in Geneva and we saw the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix. On the far side we looked over the old town and out to the mountains.

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

At one point we looked down at the other church below us. On the other side we got a great close up view of the St Pierre Cathedral spire that is so prominent on the skyline of Geneva.

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

St Pierre Cathedral Tower View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

As we prepared to walk down several sets of steps, we knew that the panoramic view from the St Pierre Cathedral was absolutely one of our favourite things to see in Geneva. If you want to get this view, be warned that there are no elevators for any part of the climb. The stairs are very narrow and steep. If you get claustrophobic, this may not be the climb for you. The North Tower platform edge is very high so there is no fear of falling once you reach the top. But it is a pretty high viewpoint at 157 steps above the church (which was already on a hill).

Where The Rhône and Arve Rivers Meet

One of the things that was recommended to us was to head out to the Junction. This was the point where the Rhône and Arve Rivers met. We figured out what tram to take with no problem. When we got off, we debated a path by road or along the river. When I headed down to a narrow river path, David was not sure it would lead us where we wanted to go. With a little billy goat agility, we did finally hit the path to the point at the Junction.

The Junction - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We walked out to the observation point and got our first view of the rivers on either side of the point. The river on our left was the Arve which is fed by the glaciers coming from the Chamonix Valley. On our right was the Rhone River coming from Lake Geneva. The rivers were strikingly different colours. We could see the distinct line where the two rivers started to mix.

The Junction - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We walked back along the Rhone River. It was a favourite spot for young people to hang out. We just missed some kayakers as they finished their drills. People laid about in bathing suits. We were definitely the oldest person on the point by decades!

Seeing the Junction was certainly an interesting one of the things to see in Geneva.

Things We Saw As We Walked Around Geneva

The city of Geneva was in full bloom when we arrived.  One day we took the ferry that stopped at the La Grange Park.  It was a large green space to enjoy.  Flower gardens and trees sprinkled colour around.  Fountains and gazebos added scenery.

La Grange Park - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

La Grange Park - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

La Grange Park - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We were intrigued with the variety of clock towers we found when we travelled around Switzerland. But then we were in the land of clocks!

Clock Towers - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We found ourselves one day walking around the university campus. We have found that libraries are often the most interesting buildings. Certainly when we visited Chicago, the old library ceilings were amazing works of art! From the outside we could see that there was a wall of stained glass. When we finally found the lecture hall with the window, we were disappointed to find a projection screen covering part of the art. But there was more to be found when we wandered in the building.

University Library Stained Glass - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

University Library Stained Glass - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

University Library Stained Glass - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Like many of the cities in Europe, every building and square held something for us to see. Statues and monuments decorated the streets and parks.

Statues - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

 CH Lebourg SC 18721 Statues - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Ceramica via reggio Art - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Brunswick Mausoleum - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Mosaics - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Navigation Statue - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

We never left without our phones and camera in hand. Walking around Geneva we found some of our favourite things to see in Geneva.

Art In The Street Everywhere In Geneva

We are always on the lookout for street art when we travel. We found lots as we wandered the streets of Geneva.

Street Art - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Street Art - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Street Art

When we were at the Junction, we found a treasure trove of interesting and colourful pieces of street art.

Junction Street Art - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Junction Street Art

Street art was certainly one of our favourite things to see in Geneva!

We Ate So Well In Geneva

We had some great meals in Geneva. The food was tasty and often healthy. We loved the great selection of cheeses. Being so close to Italy, we found that eating Italian was always a great bet. The beer was good. Especially the places that brewed their own on-site.

Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Italian Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Brasserie du Molard Beer Garden - Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Brasserie du Molard Beer Garden - Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Of course we found Swiss chocolate everywhere. But we also found a Laduree macaroon shop that we had to try. My favourite flavour was salted caramel.

Swiss Chocolate - Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Laduree Macaroons - Great Food - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

The gourmet food and excellent service at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix often brought us back to the hotel to eat. There was an artistic flair to the food in Geneva. We were never disappointed!

Food Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Food Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Food Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix Geneva Luxury - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

It is not surprising that food was one of our favourite things to see in Geneva and to taste!

Sunrises and Sunsets Across Lake Geneva

Every day was started with a view out of our Ritz-Carlton window as the sun rose over Lake Geneva (also called Lac Leman). We sat on the patio and watched the sun peek over the mountains and spread colour below us.

Geneva Sunrises - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Geneva Sunrises - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

The sun set behind us. We never got a great view of the sun setting but we could see the buildings and mountains turn pink as the sun set. Once the sun was down, the lights started to twinkle on. We always love to see a city after dark.

Geneva Lake Night View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Watching the sun play over the city was one of our favourite things to see in Geneva.

We Found Some Favourite Things To See In Geneva

We had a short stop in Geneva at the end of our visit to Switzerland. Our splurge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Pais Geneva meant we really struggled to leave the hotel! But we did!

We really loved this city and wish we had booked more time. We found so many favourite things to see in Geneva. And we still had more things on our list to see in the city. We loved the city so much that we did not make any of the day trips out of town that we planned. A day trip to Lausanne and Montreaux was definitely something we wanted to do. A winery visit in the hills outside of Montreaux would have been perfect.

The view from Geneva continually teased us with the mountains on the horizon. The bus runs from Geneva to the French area of Chamonix. This would have been a perfect mountain visit. But that was left for another visit.

Geneva Mountain View - Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Geneva Mountain View

We know that we will be back to visit Geneva. There are still so many things to see and do. We were sad to leave Geneva but excited that we headed to Milan next!

What was some of your favourite things to see in Geneva?

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Things To See In Geneva.jpg

Things To See In Geneva.jpg

About TravelAtWill 431 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

24 Comments

  1. My dad just returned from Geneva and has those exact same pictures in front of the giant fountain. He especially loved the spires on St Pierre Cathedral. thanks for the detailed info. Both your inputs help me plan my trip:)

  2. Wow amazing. I was always imagining Geneva as a bureaucratic town. Those pictures are really beautiful. I’m surprised with street art in Geneva. Definitely after this i’m interested to visit Geneva.

    • Noel, We were so glad we did not listen to a lot of people who told us that Geneva wasn’t worth more than a night. We loved it and wish we had booked more time. Definitely worth your planning a return visit. Linda

  3. Geneva is such an elegant city and the Ritz is the Ritz. I can’t imagine how opulent the Geneva Ritz was. Fascinating picture of you in the spiral staircase. Did you know that every staircase spirals in the same direction? That way a right-handed swordfighter will have the advantage when he fights down the stairs. After all, if it’s your castle you will be at the top.

    • Jenn and Ed, We just loved Geneva. And were so glad we capped off a great trip with a stay at the Ritz. I did not know that about spiral staircases. But it makes sense. Unless you are left handed 🙂 The views were definitely worth the climbs. Linda

  4. Such a luxurious city. I visited early one spring when it was rainy and quite cold. So, it’s wonderful to see some of the same sites in better weather. Nice that you were able to get out and hike as well.

  5. So never really thought about visiting Geneva. Switzerland for me is all about mountains and valleys. But your photos have brought the city alive for me. Somehow, I had a zurich-like business centre in mind when I though of Geneva but it looks like a charming town with spires and water bodies and old churches and beautiful red roofed buildings.

    • Shweta, Everything I had read in advance of the trip suggested that Geneva would be more like Zurich. But it definitely was not. I found this city on the lake to be beautiful with lots of places to visit. I would definitely recommend it be added to a Swiss mountain trip. Linda

  6. Ive never been to Europe, and I mostly read about awesome statues, the city architecture and the street art there, just like the ones you posted, but not much on the beaches and the water. Thanks for your post! What camera did you use to take the photos of the mountains? Those shots were amazing!

    • Kirstie, We found a little of everything in Geneva. We are water babies so we are always looking for water activities. We used a Canon 80D with a 70-200 zoom lens to get the distance shots. Thanks for the photo feedback 🙂 Linda

  7. I’ve travelled through Geneva quite a few times, but have never spent the night! I must change this. I enjoy getting out on the water when we are in Zurich and it sounds like Geneva affords many similar opportunities. I didn’t realize that the Rhône and Arve Rivers converge in Geneva – I hope I can find my inner billy goat and get to the same spot! Did you enjoy Milan?

    • Nancy, We loved everything we did in Geneva and hope you get to go and spend overnight. I love how a city changes once the lights come on. I am so far behind in writing blog posts for this trip. They are all sitting in draft with thousands of pics still to review. So it may be awhile before Milan posts. We were quite exhausted by the time we hit Milan to fly home. We had another great hotel and it rained a lot. So we did just a little. But Milan is a major gateway from Toronto so I know we will be back many times. Thanks for asking. Linda

  8. Holy moly, that hotel was definitely worth it! Those patio views were so beautiful. I could have sat out there for hours. And I would have never thought of Geneva as a street art destination. I guess I think of it as more… proper? But it’s good to see that there is some because that is always something I am on the hunt for as well. 🙂

    • Vicky and Buddy, The Ritz was a great spot to enjoy Geneva from. We are always amazed at how much street art we find when travelling. And I am sure there was lots more to find. Linda

  9. Wow! Photos of the city are amazing, but when I came to food I just wanted to jump in and eat it all. 🙂 Switzerland is such a beautiful country and I would really love to visit, if only it wasn’t that expensive. One day! 🙂

    • Janja, I will admit that we found all of Switzerland to be expensive for everything. We compromised on some things so that we could splurge on others. Something to plan as a special treat. Linda

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