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Best things to do in Geneva

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Canton of Geneva  /  Geneva
If you're looking for things to do in Geneva, remember that you can do more than just shop for chocolate and watches there. Don't miss St Pierre Cathedral and the archeological remains beneath it, which reveal the city's rich history and provide a glimpse into the origins of Christianity in this part of Europe. If you need some fresh air, head to Jardin Anglais, an urban green space filled with iconic monuments. Those looking to step out of town can visit Chillon Castle, where a view of Lake Geneva comes with a chance to take a step back in time and see one of the city's most visited historic monuments.

Geneva is best known for its Bodies of Water, Fountains, and Landmarks.

Top 15 things to do in Geneva

1. Lake Geneva

One of Western Europe's largest bodies of water, Lake Geneva sits on the northern side of the Alps. Shared by Switzerland and France, the lake serves as one of the continent's most popular year-round travel destinations, its pristine natural areas a favorite stomping ground for both hikers and skiers. The Swiss side of the lake features a string of picturesque cities, the largest of which is Geneva. This city serves as a hub for paddle steamer cruises, providing a slow but scenic way of connecting to other ports on the lake. After visiting the region's old wineries, castles, and thermal baths, head to one of the lake's tranquil beaches, backed by rugged mountain scenery and shady woodlands.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
Tours from $28 › Learn more about Lake Geneva

2. Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre

For panoramic views over the city and its lake, climb the northern tower of Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre. Known mostly as the adopted home church of John Calvin (one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation), the cathedral dates back to the 12th century, its architecture an eclectic mix of styles. The archaeological site beneath the cathedral, excavated over the last few years, reveals the city's rich history and explores the origins of Christianity in this part of Europe. Take the underground passage connecting the cathedral to the adjacent museum, dedicated to presenting the historical significance of the Reformation. Audio guides are available in English, German, and French. If you'd prefer a guided tour, check the website, where you'll also find information about upcoming live organ performances.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre

3. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Room Escape Games

4. Chocolate Flavours Tours Geneva: 3-hour Chocolate Tasting and Old Town Visit

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Experience Geneva’s award-winning chocolate creations as well as an Old Town guided visit in a delightful 3-hour walking tour. Our guests enjoyed this sweet discovery so much that we are TripAdvisor's Geneva no 1 rated Tour, Winner of the Tripadvisor Best of the Best Award for 2020 (award offered to 4700 attractions and hotels out of 8,700,000 listed worldwide), Number 1 Food Tour in Switzerland, Winner of the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2019.During the tour your passionate guide will share with you the secrets of chocolate: from the origins to the manufacturing, the history of Swiss chocolate as well as anecdotes and stories about Geneva. You will taste 12 of the best Geneva and Swiss chocolate creations in 6 different stops.You will also enjoy a guided visit of the picturesque Old Town, learn about its history, explore the Lower Streets (les rues Basses), Left Bank (Rive Gauche) and the Right Bank (Rive Droite) and enjoy a boat ride from one bank to the other.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $110 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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Best tours in Geneva

5. The Geneva Water Fountain

A standout among the city's modern landmarks, the monumental The Geneva Water Fountain has served as one of the city's crowning symbols for over six decades. One of the largest fountains in the world, the structure pumps about 500 l (130 gal) of water each second, its misty plumes reaching a height of over 140 m (450 ft). Most sightseers choose to appreciate the structure from a distance, but if you do not mind a little spray on your clothes, you can inspect it at close range by standing on a pier, accessible from the left bank of the lake.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $6 › Learn more about The Geneva Water Fountain

6. The Flower Clock

Created as a symbol of the city's watchmakers, The Flower Clock celebrates nature and changes with each season. With a diameter of 5 m (16.4 ft), the clock features the world's longest second hand, measuring 2.5 m (8.2 ft). Created in 1955, 6,500 flowers and plants make up the functional clock, which reflects the time transmitted via satellite.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $17 › Learn more about The Flower Clock

7. Palais des Nations, Genève

Take a tour of the European home of the United Nations, the monumental Palais des Nations, Genève, which houses a large collection of public art and serves as one of the world's major centers of diplomacy. Built in the 1930s for the now-defunct League of Nations, the classically designed compound hosts thousands of global conferences and smaller meetings, welcoming 25,000 delegates each year. Take the guided tour to see the enormous assembly hall, ornate council chamber, and surrounding landscaped gardens, which offer fine views of the nearby Alps. Security is always tight here, so make your tour reservations well in advance and prepare to show your passport at the entrance.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Palais des Nations, Genève

8. Gruyères Tour from Geneva With Panorama Train Ride, Chocolate and Cheese Tasting

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Set off and discover traditional produce while taking in Switzerland's landscapes on a full day combined coach and train trip from Geneva. Soak up the enchanting atmosphere at Gruyeres and admire the rolling hills and meadows as you descend the hills to Montreux, overlooking Lake Geneva and the towering Alps. In between, you'll savor chocolate and cheese tastings to round out your full day trip.
Suggested duration: 10 hours
Tours from $251 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Humanitarian aid and current global problems come to life at International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. Walk through "The Humanitarian Adventure" exhibition, which presents the problems of defending human dignity. This display outlines the idea of reconstructing family links and reducing natural risks. Learn the history of the Red Cross and use the "On the Spot" exhibit to track current Red Cross and Red Crescent operations around the world. Hear the stories of people who have been helped by the institution and the survival skills they learned. Be sure to pick up an audio guide upon entry, which will provide more information about each exhibit.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $17 › Learn more about International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

10. Bains des Paquis

Experience a view of the lake and Geneva's famous Jet d'eau from Bains des Paquis, a public bath area. Soak up some sun on the beach, relax in the sauna, treat yourself to a massage, or bathe in the hammam. Facilities for water polo and tai-chi lessons are also available. A favorite way to warm up is by indulging in the fondue, considered by many to be some of the best around.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Bains des Paquis

11. Patek Philippe Museum

Discover over five centuries of watchmaking history at Patek Philippe Museum, which houses a large collection of fine timepieces and related mechanisms created from the 16th century up to the present day. Founded by one of Switzerland's leading watch manufacturers, the museum devotes a great deal of attention to the brand's own luxury products, with a special focus on modern precision pieces and lavish 19th-century pocket watches. The antique collection looks beyond the brand's best products and traces the evolution of timekeeping with displays of the finest examples of Swiss-made watches, musical automata, and portrait miniatures painted on enamel. Check the website for public and private guided tours.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Patek Philippe Museum

12. Chillon Castle Entrance Ticket in Montreux

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Welcome to Chillon Castle!A medieval gem nestled in an exceptional panorama between Swiss mountains and lake. Cross the drawbridge and step into a world that inspired some of the greatest artists for what’s sure to be a memorable experience! Our romantic-meets-authentic tours are made to measure: come on your own, as a couple, or in a group; choose from a costumed tour guide, an audio guide or explore the fortress at your own pace. Our quirky castle trail and touch-screen videos will take you back in time to the era of the Dukes of Savoy. Chillon Castle is also available for private events, such as candle-lit banquets, birthday parties or even our guided tour with wine tasting package. The most visited monument in Switzerland hosts exhibitions, shows and concerts all year round. It’s a must see!
Suggested duration: 1 to 2 hours
Tours from $14 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Reformation Wall

Reformation Wall depicts the story of the Protestant Reformation with statues of significant individuals, events, and documents. Built in 1909, the 18 m (60 ft) wall resulted from a contest designed to spruce up the grounds of the University of Geneva. Because the city was the center of Calvinism during the Reformation, the wall honors four important Calvinists most prominently. Statues of Theodore Beza, John Calvin, William Farel, and John Knox stand 5 m (16 ft) tall in the center of the wall. Surrounding these figures are Calvinists from other countries, such as Oliver Cromwell from England, and William the Silent from the Netherlands. Below the statues, read descriptions of how each of these figures supported Calvinism and the Reformation.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Reformation Wall

14. The Olympic Museum Lausanne (Musee Olympique), Lausanne

Discover the history of the Olympic movement at The Olympic Museum Lausanne (Musee Olympique), an interactive venue packed with engaging and informative exhibits. Founded in 1993, the museum uses audio-visual displays and themed galleries to attract nearly 250,000 sports and history buffs each year. Start your tour at the galleries dedicated to the history of the ancient Games and their modern rebirth, featuring torches used in various opening ceremonies. As you move through the galleries, use individual viewing stations to explore thousands of video clips documenting major moments in sports history. Finish your visit at the museum park, which contains a collection of sports-themed sculptures by artists Jean Tinguely, Fernando Botero, and many others.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $22 › Learn more about The Olympic Museum Lausanne (Musee Olympique)

15. Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise

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Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva is Switzerland's second-most popular city and one of the greenest cities in Europe. Visit Geneva on a bus, go for a ride on a mini-train, or walk around the cobbled streets of the Old Town You will be taking a step back in time with Saint Peter’s cathedral, Place Bourg-de-four, original market place, the arsenal and the town hall; lose yourself in the grandeur and beauty of this culturally and influential town.This sightseeing tour allow you to discover Geneva’s most famous attractions, including the iconic Flower Clock, symbol of the city's watchmakers and love for nature, and the impressive fountain, Jet d’Eau. This is your opportunity to snap some pictures of the magnificent spray from the fountain.Listen as your guide explains the importance of this city as a diplomatic and financial center, and pass through the district around the UN building.
Suggested duration: 3 to 4 hours
Tours from $17 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

Best tours in Geneva