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What to visit in Geneva Tour Nord

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days – Itinerary (map included)

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days – Itinerary (map included)

Table of contents

In this post, you’ll find several tips for organising a trip to Geneva as well as an itinerary of what to visit in Geneva in 2 days.

Geneva is Switzerland’s second-largest city, after Zurich. Despite this, it is a relatively small city, making for an excellent weekend getaway.

Its location in the centre of Europe and the flights available at its airport make Geneva an excellent choice for a getaway in central Europe. It’s certainly a pleasant city, some parts of which (such as Geneva’s Old Town or the part by Lake Geneva) look like they’re straight out of a postcard.

The different seasons offer visitors different experiences. On the one hand, in summer you can find a city full of life, take pleasant walks by the lake or even enjoy one of the artificial beaches near the lake. On the other hand, in Winter you’re likely to find the city covered in snow, which makes it just as lovely and dreamy.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Pointe de la Jonction
Pointe de la Jonction

So, throughout this article, you’ll find tips on what to visit in Geneva in 2 days, but also some information on:

  • Best hotels in Geneva
  • Best time to visit Geneva
  • How many days you need in Geneva
  • How to get from Geneva airport to city centre

At the end of the post, I’ll also include an alternative version of a 1-day itinerary in Geneva for those who have less time to spend in the city.

What is the best time of the year to visit Geneva?

Any time of year is a good time to book a trip to Geneva. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the weather conditions are very different throughout the year.

In summer, for example, the temperatures are more pleasant, allowing you to enjoy many of the city’s green spaces and even take a dip in Lake Geneva. The months with the mildest temperatures are June to August.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Lake Leman
Lake Léman

However, during the Winter, you’ll have fewer hours of light and it’ll be colder. It often snows in the city, so if you choose to visit Geneva at this time of year, you should dress appropriately. Have a look at my tips for staying warm in cold destinations!

Despite all this, winter is a popular time to visit, as the city is located relatively close to some ski resorts. What’s more, if you visit the city in December, you’ll also find a very Christmassy atmosphere with the various Christmas markets in Geneva. There are a few scattered around the city, but the one in Place Mont-Blanc stands out in particular.

It’s also in December that one of the most important events in Geneva takes place – L’Escalade, where there are various festive parades and the city gets into a lively mood.

Apart from the weather, there is another important factor when deciding when to visit Geneva – the prices! There’s no denying: Switzerland is not a cheap destination. It’s one of the most expensive countries in Europe (and the world) and, as you might expect, Geneva is no exception. So, if you want to save some money when travelling to Geneva, I suggest visiting outside the high season, visiting from March to May or from September to October.

💡 EXTRA TIP: I’ve already had the opportunity to visit Geneva twice and both my visits took place in the summer (once in June and once in August). This is undoubtedly a time when the city has a different charm, with more people on the streets. Plus, you won’t find the city as crowded as other European cities during the summer months which is great!

How many days in Geneva?

Geneva is a small city and its main points of interest are located relatively close together. In fact, I suggest you choose to visit the city mostly on foot, as walking around the city can be quite pleasant.

However, despite being a small city, there are still some places to visit in Geneva. If you want a quiet, unhurried visit, then 2 days in Geneva is the ideal length for such a trip. A weekend in Geneva can be an excellent getaway idea 😉.

However, if you have less time available, it is possible to visit Geneva’s most emblematic sites in just one day. If this is your case, you can also find an alternative version of a 1-day itinerary in Geneva at the end of this post.

Is Geneva worth visiting?

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know how much I love travelling and that I like most (not to say all 😄) of the destinations I visit. Geneva was no exception, of course. I found it a very nice city and especially lively during the summer months when the weather is more pleasant.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Lake Leman
Lake Léman

However, even though I’ve visited Geneva twice, I was there for a short period of time each time. Although I found the city interesting for a 1-2 day getaway, I also have to be completely honest and admit that it’s far from being one of my favourite cities in Europe.

So, in my opinion, Geneva is worth visiting for a few days, but it’s unlikely to become your favourite city in Europe.

How to get to Geneva?

Geneva’s airport has excellent connections with many cities in Europe as well with some destinations outside Europe, such as:

  • Morocco
  • Egypt
  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • New York
  • Canada

How to get from Geneva airport to Geneva’s city centre?

Geneva airport is located quite close to the historic city centre (about 5 km) and it’s quite easy to get ter.e These are the most convenient and affordable options for getting to Geneva’s historic centre:

  • Bus: The journey takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on which part of the centre you go to. You can find more information here. The ticket costs around 3€.
  • Train: The journey takes less than 10 minutes to the central train station (Gare Cornavin) and the trains are very frequent. The ticket costs around 3€. More information here.

💡 EXTRA TIP: Although I had read online that the train ticket to the city centre was free as long as you collected it at the airport, I was informed at the airport that this option no longer exists.

What documents do you need to enter Switzerland?

As a Portuguese citizen, I only need an identity card to enter Switzerland, even though the country isn’t part of the European Union.

For other nationalities, I recommend checking the official websites to find out what documents are needed specifically for each country of origin.

What currency is used in Switzerland and how to pay?

The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). In March 2024, 1 CHF = 1.04€. Most places accept cards, so it’s unlikely that you’ll need to withdraw cash.

To make purchases in a currency other than the one I usually use (Euro), I always use the Revolut card, which has several advantages. One of the biggest advantages of using a Revolut card when travelling is that it doesn’t charge any fees for transactions in different currencies.

If you still haven’t heard about all the advantages of having a Revolut card, you can find out more here.

How to have internet in Geneva?

If you live in the European Union, I must remind you that Switzerland is not part of the EU and so, your SIM card you’ll activate its roaming services once you arrive in Switzerland! So, during your flight to Geneva don’t forget to switch off your mobile data to avoid receiving an unwanted invoice later on.

What to visit in Geneva Tour Nord
View from Tour Nord at St. Peter’s Cathedral

The good news is that there is free Wifi in many places in the city, which will help you browse the internet while strolling around the city. Even so, if you want to have internet all the time, I suggest buying a SIM, which can be useful for using Google Maps, for example. I suggest, for example, this e-SIM option, which has various plans at affordable prices.

💼 TRAVEL INSURANCE: Unexpected events happen anywhere in the world, so I always recommend getting travel insurance. I regularly use Heymondo, which offers some of the highest coverages on the market at very competitive prices. As well as covering medical expenses, Heymondo’s insurance also covers the loss or theft of luggage, electronic equipment and more. They also have a 24/7 customer service through their App. As A Ticket to Take Off reader, you get a 5% discount when purchasing Heymondo insurance. The purchase must be made using this link, and the price shown on the website already includes the discount.

TRAVEL insurance with -5% discount

What’s the best way to get around Geneva?

Geneva’s points of interest are relatively close together. So the easiest way to get around Geneva is often to walk from one place to another.

Sometimes, however, you’ll need to cover longer distances. In such cases, I suggest using the city’s public transport (i.e. tram and bus), which works pretty well. The company that operates these services is TPG (Transports Publics Genevois). You can check the fares for Geneva’s public transport. There are individual tickets, but also the option of day passes.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Lake Leman

These tickets also cover rides on the famous boats that cross Lake Geneva – Mouettes Genevoises.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you’re staying in Geneva, some of the city’s hotels offer a free public transport pass for the length of your stay. So, before you buy any travel tickets, I suggest you check with your accommodation if the pass is included in your stay.

Is Geneva expensive to visit?

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe and Geneva is no exception. Although public transport and most points of interest in Geneva are free, accommodation and meals are quite expensive and it can quickly add up.

Regarding accommodation, an alternative option is, for example, to look for accommodation in France, which is right next to Geneva and where accommodation is considerably cheaper. Of course, this option won’t allow you to stay in the centre of Geneva, but it can be a good alternative. One of the closest French cities is Annemasse, which is just 30 minutes by public transport from Geneva’s historic centre.

When it comes to meals, you can save some money by eating at fast-food restaurants or supermarkets, but even then the prices are higher than usual. Even so, it’s still possible to find some restaurants with reasonably prices. For example, I spent 24€/person, on average, on the meals I had at “normal” restaurants in Geneva.

Is it worth buying the Geneva City Pass?

The Geneva City Pass is a pass that gives you access to 60 activities. There are different pass durations:

  • 24 hours: 30 CHF (~31€)
  • 48 hours: 40 CHF (~42€)
  • 72 hours: 50 CHF (~52€)

Some of the main activities included in this pass are the Ariana Museum, the Archaeological Museum of St. Peter’s Cathedral or the Tower of St. Peter’s Cathedral. As well as access to various activities and guided tours, this pass gives you access to all public transport in the city.

Honestly, unless you’re planning to visit several museums in the city, I don’t think the pass will be worth it (even more if you stay in a hotel that offers a public transport pass). However, as I usually suggest with this type of city cards, write a list of what you want to visit in the destination and work out whether it’s worth buying the tickets separately or the Geneva City Card.

Check out everything that’s included in Geneva City Card here.

Hotels in Geneva

Although I’ve visited Geneva more than once, I only stayed overnight in the city on one of those visits. Since my visit to the city was due to a long stopover on a longer trip, I chose to stay near the airport.

I ended up choosing ibis budget Genève Aéroport. Without a doubt, the main factor that led me to choose this hotel was its proximity to the airport and easy access to Geneva’s city centre by bus. In addition, the hotel offered a daily pass to use the city’s transports free of charge, which made the visit much smoother.

The hotel was quite basic, but it fully served its purpose (a good night’s sleep 😆). The facilities were clean and comfortable.

In any case, I’ll share with you other accommodation options that look interesting in Geneva:

Activities & tours in Geneva

Powered by GetYourGuide

Geneva Tourist Map

Before I start sharing my 2-day itinerary in Geneva, here’s a map of the city to help you better plan a trip to Geneva.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days – Day 1

» Pont du Mont-Blanc

Start this 2-day itinerary in Geneva in one of the city’s most iconic places. The Mont-Blanc Bridge is one of several bridges that cross the Rhône river. It’s an excellent first thing to see in the city.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Pont du Mont-Blanc

It looks quite cool with the flags hanging along the bridge. Stop here for a moment to admire the famous and beautiful Lake Léman (also known as Lake Geneva). You can also take the opportunity to see Jet d’Eau – a jet of water in the middle of the lake.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Lake Leman

Relatively close to this bridge, you can also visit the pretty flower clock on the grass of Jardin des Anglais. After all, the famous Swiss watchmaking originated in this city.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Jardin des Anglais
Jardin des Anglais

» Molard Tower

Say goodbye to the lake (for now) because it’s time to head for Geneva’s Old Town (Vieille Ville). Let’s start with the medieval Molard Tower, which is relatively close to the previous point.

The Molard tower served to protect the port of Geneva, as the lake was previously closer to this location. The current version of the tower dates from 1591.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you get the chance, visit Place du Molard (square) at night when several mosaics with phrases in various languages light up on the ground.

» St. Peter’s Square (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre)

A few minutes’ walk from the Molard Tower is one of Geneva’s most important religious temples – St. Peter’s Cathedral. The cathedral is beautiful from the outside, but wait until you see inside. There is a room on the side of the cathedral that is especially beautiful. Admission is free!

When you visit Geneva Cathedral, you can also choose to climb Tour Nord (North Tower). In this case, there is an entrance fee, but I can assure you that it is well worth it: in addition to the beautiful houses, you have a wider perspective of Lake Geneva and Jet d’Eau. The views over the city are unforgettable, making this one of the best viewpoints in Geneva.

What to visit in Geneva Tour Nord
View from Tour Nord at St. Peter’s Cathedral

The ticket to climb to go up to Tour Nord can be bought inside the cathedral. There is no elevator to get to the top of the tower, so this will count as a short workout😉. Even so, it’s fairly easy (157 steps)!

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: A visit to the towers of St. Peter’s Cathedral costs 7 CHF (~7€). It is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm (from June to September). The opening hours are different during the rest of the year. See all the up-to-date information here.

Below the cathedral building, you can also visit an archaeological exhibition, where you can see the remains of other churches that existed there before the cathedral was built.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Visiting the archaeological area of St. Peter’s Cathedral costs 8 CHF (~8€). You can visit from 10 am to 5 pm. More information here.

» Place Bourg-de-Four (square)

Continuing through the streets of Geneva’s Old Town, there’s one place that’s worth a visit – Place Bourg-de-Four. It’s the oldest square in the city and it is very lively with all the cafés and terraces there. It’s a relatively quick visit, but an interesting one to add to any Geneva itinerary.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Place du Bourg-de-Four

» Rampe de la Treille

From Geneva’s most famous square, head to Rampe de la Treille. In this green space, as well as views of the mountains, you’ll find the largest wooden bench in the world (120 meters long). Take the opportunity to see the views and rest for a while!

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Rampe de la Treille

» Parc des Bastions

Just nearby, you’ll find another of the city’s green spaces – Parc des Bastions. Take the opportunity to stroll along Promenade des Bastions that runs through the park. It’s very pleasant, especially on warmer days.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Parc des Bastions

But the park’s surprises don’t stop there. There’s also a glass terrace in the park’s old bandstand, a giant chess and checkers game and the famous Reformation Wall (Mur des Réformateurs), which pays homage to the founders of the Swiss Protestant Church.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Parc des Bastions
Mur des Réformateurs

» Place de Neuve

At the entrance to Parc des Bastions, don’t miss another of Geneva’s most emblematic squares – Place de Neuve. This square is located behind the walls of the Old Town and here you can find some of the city’s most important buildings, such as the Grand Théâtre, the Rath Museum and the Music Conservatory.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Grand Théâtre de Genève
Grand Théâtre de Genève

» Pointe de la Jonction

Leaving the historic centre of Geneva, I recommend visiting what is probably the most different place on this itinerary – Pointe de la Jonction. This part of the city is located a bit further from the centre, so I suggest you use public transport to get there.

The reason for including this place on the itinerary is that from here you can see where the River Rhone and the River Arve (another river in the city) converge. While one has crystal-clear blue water, the other is more yellowish and muddy, creating a stunning photographic effect. For the best photo opportunities, I suggest going to the Jonction Viaduct.

» Nations Square (Place des Nations)

Use public transport again to visit Place des Nations (the journey takes around 30 minutes from the previous point). Place des Nations is an important place for the city, as it is here that you will find the Palais des Nations – the European headquarters of the United Nations.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days United Nations

After all, Geneva is known, among other things, as the Capital of Peace. In the square, in addition to a fountain with irregular jets of water, you’ll find one of the city’s most famous sculptures – Chaise Cassée (broken chair), which was created as part of a campaign against landmines. The initial plan was for this giant chair to remain in the city for only a few months, but it ended up gaining a captive spot in front of the Palais des Nations.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days United Nations
Chaise Cassée

If you’re interested, you can visit the United Nations building inside on a guided tour. The guided tour of Palais des Nations lasts around 1 hour and costs 22 CHF (~ 23€). The organisation recommends to book visits at least 3 months in advance. I recommend checking out the official website for visits to the Palais des Nations.

» Botanical Garden

Taking advantage of the proximity to the Palais des Nations, don’t forget to visit the Geneva Botanical Garden. Covering almost 28 hectares, this is one of the most incredible green spaces in the city. As well as a pleasant walk in the exterior part of the park, where you can even see some animals, I suggest a visit to some of the garden’s pavilions.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Visiting the Geneva Botanical Garden is free. The garden is open daily all year round, with opening hours varying according to the time of year. From 25 October to 31 March, the garden is open from 9.30 am to 5 pm and the rest of the year from 8 am to 7 pm. The greenhouses, meanwhile, are open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm all year round.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days – Day 2

After an initial day contemplating some of Geneva’s most emblematic sites, don’t think that the second day will be any less interesting! Keep reading to find out all the other things to do in Geneva in 2 days.

» Eaux-Vives and La Grange Parks

One of the most interesting things about Geneva (especially in summer!) is the number of parks and green spaces spread throughout the city. That’s why our second day in Geneva begins in the Eaux-Vives Park – one of Geneva’s oldest parks.

As well as this park, you can also visit Parc de la Grange right next door. Both are very pleasant to visit!

» Artificial beaches by the lake

If the weather is pleasant, there are some artificial beaches next to these parks, such as Eaux-Vives Beach or Baby Plage. In fact, if you visit Geneva on a hot day, you’ll probably find these beaches quite packed.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Eaux-Vives Beach

In any case, even if you don’t want to go to the beach, a stroll along the “seafront” should feel good and is an excellent addition to your itinerary 😄.

» Boat ride – Mouettes Genevoises

You can’t leave Geneva without seeing Lake Geneva from another perspective. That’s why I suggest taking a boat trip on the lake (the station closest to Eaux-Vives Park is this one). The cheapest (a ticket costs just 3 CHF, ~3€) and most convenient way to do this is by using mouettes genevoises, which are used by locals as a means of transport between the different sides of the lake.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Boat ride

Please be aware that the city’s public transport tickets work on these boats. More information on prices and timetables here.

If you prefer, you can also opt for a longer, more sophisticated cruise along Lake Geneva. For example, this 50-minute cruise along Lake Geneva has an excellent reputation and is often booked by tourists visiting the city.

» Quai du Mont-Blanc

If you’ve followed my tip and taken a boat across the lake, it’s now time to explore Quai du Mont-Blanc. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite places in Geneva.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Quai du Mont-Blanc

Quai du Mont-Blanc is a lakeside walk, especially pleasant on warmer days. Admire the lake once again, the transparent colour of the water and the famous Jet d’Eau, a jet of water that is the city’s trademark and throws water up to a height of almost 150 metres.

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Quai du Mont-Blanc
Monument to Brunswick

Along this path, don’t fail to admire the monument to Brunswick. A neo-Gothic style monument built in honour of Charles II, a benefactor of the city.

» Bains des Pâquis

Along this lakeside promenade, you’ll also find one of the city’s most famous sites – Bains des Pâquis. Basically, it’s a small island in the middle of the lake, used by locals as a beach.

During summer, as soon as you reach this site, you’ll be able to see many locals cooling off in the lake waters. However, even if you don’t want to “go to the beach”, you can always take advantage of other services on the island, such as the café, restaurant and even the relaxing Turkish baths and sauna.

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up using any of the services, but I did spend some time near the entrance people-watching and it’s clearly a popular place for locals to relax.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The opening hours of the facilities available vary according to the time of year. The price for access to the beach is 2 CHF (~2€) and 10 CHF (~11€) for the hammam. Check all the information about Bains des Pâquis.

» Notre-Dame Basilica

And it’s time to end this Geneva itinerary at the Notre-Drame Basilica, a Gothic-style basilica. Built in the 19th century, it is one of the main places of worship in the city. Entry is free!

What to visit in Geneva in 2 days Basilica Notre Dame

Geneva Itinerary – What else to visit

If you have more time on your hands, the list of things to do in Geneva may not end here. There are some museums in the city, for example, that might interest you. These are some of the main museums in Geneva:

What’s more, Geneva can be an excellent starting point for exploring other places nearby. There are several day trips from Geneva and these are my favourites:

What to visit in Geneva – 1 day itinerary

If you only have one day to visit Geneva, then I suggest sticking to the sites in the historic city centre. In my opinion, here is how to spend a day in Geneva:

  • St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • Place du Bourg-de-Four
  • Rampe de la Treille
  • Parc des Bastions
  • Place de Neuve
  • Pont du Mont-Blanc
  • Quai du Mont-Blanc
  • Place des Nations

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.





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