If the time is approaching for your next trip to Europe, then it’s never a bad idea to start the journey in Geneva, Switzerland. Of course, Switzerland has many beautiful spots like Zurich and Bern, but Geneva is arguably the finest area to begin your vacation or even gap year.
Geneva is a beautiful lakeside city nestled at the base of the Swiss Alps, but epic mountain views are not the only reason to enjoy this metropolis. The lake itself is full of wonders to behold, the Old Town is straight out of a fairy tale, and there are so many fantastic stores and food to enjoy, that we think Geneva is where your Euro trip should start.
So, regardless of whether you’re traveling to Europe for several weeks or just want a small getaway from New York, check out a flight to Geneva and begin your vacation in the best way possible with a Swiss retreat.
The Old Town
It’s fair to say that many European cities have a designated Old Town, but well… Geneva’s is really old! The St. Pierre cathedral, for example, was built roughly 850 years ago and has been expertly preserved in its original state.
It’s pretty on any day, but if you’re lucky enough to see a concert when it’s lit by candlelight, then it feels like a trip back in time. You can even climb the tower (if you don’t mind stairs) and witness a spectacular view of the city.
What’s more, the cobblestoned streets and hidden alleyways are all wonderful to walk around and marvel at. Plus, you simply must grab a coffee and cake at the Place Bourg-de-Four, which is the oldest square in the city. You’re bound to find cute souvenir stores and century-old secrets in any part of the Old Town.
Chocolate and cheese
The Swiss have a reputation for delicious cheese and chocolate for good reason! They take the art of making these foods very seriously and simply love to share the exquisite tastes with the rest of the world. For cheese enthusiasts, any restaurant will serve fondue, which is basically dipping fried bread into melted cheese and it’s as amazing as it sounds.
For chocolate aficionados, there will be many stores across Geneva, but anything coming from Lindt is a must-have, which is a brand name you might know already. The Favarger store is also worth a look, as they’ll often let you try your own creations, but if things don’t go to plan, then simply eat all their tasty products (well, maybe not all) and live out your chocolate dream.
Paddleboard on Lake Geneva
A trip to Geneva can’t be without something a bit extreme like paddleboarding on the lake. Sure, you can also go on boating tours or even rent your own vessel for a day trip, but on a nice summer’s day, paddleboarding is the way to experience this pristine lake.
Afterward, there are all sorts of fantastic bars, restaurants, and cafes scattered all around the lake, but the best spot to enjoy everything is at Tropical Corner. This is where you’ll be able to find the best sunset and biggest party vibes. Nothing beats sipping a cocktail, listening to DJs spin their catchy tunes, and watching the sun go down over the Alps and the water.
Finally, if you really want to capture Geneva at its most startling, then the view from Mont Salève can’t be missed. The roughly 5,000-foot high mountain can be hiked up, but for those who think that’s too much on a Saturday afternoon, then simply jump in the cable car and it’ll whisk you up there in just five minutes. Bring a picnic and then stare out at the gorgeous vista before you end the trip to Geneva.