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Gavin Explores - Geneva

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This weekend myself and my partner Andrew took a short get away to visit his family in Geneva, Switzerland.

This is my second trip to Geneva, the first one being in June. Going in the depths of a fresh but pleasant winter was a great contrast to being there in the build up to summer in June.

Getting There

The flights were cheap, £60 return each; Friday 2.30pm returning Sunday at 7pm from Gatwick.

We were staying with Andrew’s brother who lives in a nearby French town, so accommodation for us was free. Be warned when visiting Geneva, it is EXPENSIVE. And I mean, very expensive. To be fair, it is a city in Switzerland, so it kind of goes with the territory. What I was unaware of with Geneva is that it is a Swiss city that is surrounded by France, it’s really worth looking at it on Google maps to understand it, you will often find that attractions near Geneva may well be based in France, so it can be a bit confusing without researching it first (or just having a quick mooch online). If you are looking for a less expensive trip (which I tend to be), it is worth looking in the French towns surrounding Geneva as you’ll find accommodation here tends to be much cheaper. Bare this in mind when buying essentials, we had to make a stop to pick up some medicine and spent 6 Euros in a French pharmacy on what would cost 40 Euros in Switzerland.

Things To Do

The top-rated attraction in Geneva is the Jet d’eau. a fountain in the middle of Lake Geneva, with the close second being a flower clock, however for me Geneva’s best attribute is its beauty and the architecture. I love wandering around, looking at the big historic buildings and soaking up the culture and high fashion.

Although I haven’t been (YET), the United Nations have an office there (second largest to the New York site (WHERE I HAVE BEEN)), but they reportedly do very good tours. As do the headquarters of the Red Cross. Geneva is based on one side of a croissant-shaped Lake Geneva, which makes for lots of water based fun in the summer; swimming, jet skiing, pedalos and the like. The lake itself is surrounded by the most picturesque Swiss villages, such as Yvoire and Montreux, which are well worth a visit (and definitely on the list for our next summertime visit).

Geneva is surrounded by the most idyllic mountains. We spent a sunny yet cold winter day climbing up the Saleve mountain to take in the view of the misty valley and Alp mountain range. If you are a fan of hiking and mountain climbing, and obviously skiing in the winter, then Geneva will be right up your street. I’m yet to make it to Geneva for skiing, but it is most definitely on the list.

Geneva 2

Eating & Drinking

I can honestly say that visiting Geneva has NOT helped my beach body plans. The place is heaven for cheese lovers. I would strongly recommend you get a raclette or fondue. 

Table de Raclette - St Julien (a nearby town in France) which was, and I’m not kidding, one of the best cheese meals of my life, but it does leave you with the biggest food baby. Beer too. They bloody love a beer.

Geneva itself has a great variety of restaurants and cafes, on account of its huge expat community bringing their own styles and flavours, but steak based. To repeat my earlier point, Geneva is expensive, meal prices vary, but an inexpensive meal would set you back around £20, with half a beer (half litre) costing around a fiver. It’s not the most expensive place in the world, but it adds up. Actually, I’ve done some research and it is ranked the 8th most expensive city in the world.

Things To Know

  • They speak French in Geneva
  • They spend Swiss Francs in Geneva
  • Travel is cheap in Switzerland
  • Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Europe
  • Geneva is clean. Very little litter of graffiti
  • It really is a beautiful city

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