geneva

EU Recommends: What To Visit/Do in Geneva

There are so many wonderful things to see and do in Geneva, it can be hard to know where to start! Here, we have listed some of our favorites.  

If you visit any of the places below or have suggestions to add to the list, get in touch via Instagram @eu_business_school. We’re collecting and sharing student recommendations so our community can make the most of their time in Geneva.

What to Do in Geneva—EU Students Top Picks

    

Bains de Pâquis

Bains de Pâquis

These kitsch, 1930s public baths on the shore of Lake Geneva are a great place to hang out on a sunny day. You can swim and sunbathe on the pier, attend the free poetry and classical music recitals early in the morning, or relax in the sauna and hammam. The restaurant is also a favorite, serving the best fondue in Geneva during the winter months at an extremely reasonable price.

Botanical Garden and Conservatory

Botanical Garden and Conservatory

Collections at Geneva’s remarkable, historical botanical gardens include: The Animal Park – a conversation zoo for local wildlife; The Garden of Smell and Touch – an immersive, sensory experience; and The Historic Rose Garden – which smells incredible when the roses bloom in early Summer; alongside an extensive collection of over 16,000 species of live plants. A wonderful place to relax or walk and, best of all, entrance is free.

CERN

CERN

At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to push the boundaries of human knowledge. CERN is the birthplace of the internet; info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first web server, and scientists continue to conduct pioneering particle physics research here. You can visit the exhibitions or book a free guided tour to understand the fascinating history and cutting-edge science at CERN.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, known locally as Lac Léman, is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and straddles Switzerland and France. There are lots of ways to take to the water; take a ferry, paddleboard or swim, and enjoy the majestic backdrop of the Alps and Jura mountains, reflected in the water. The brand new (free!) public beach in Eaux-Vives is a great place to spend the warm summer days. From here you can take boats all over the lake and even enjoy a special Happy Hour cruise!

Palais des Nations

Palais des Nations

Geneva is a global diplomatic center and a visit to the Palais des Nations, home of the U.N., is essential for anyone keen to understand the history and continued role the region plays in international politics and peace. Discover how the biggest issues facing the world today are being tackled; guided tours in English are given every day.

Parc des Bastions

Parc des Bastions

Located just below Geneva’s old town in the heart of the city, Parc des Bastions most famous feature are its life-sized chess boards. The large lawns are perfect for a picnic and there is also a peaceful restaurant located in a glasshouse. In the summer the park is home to music festivals and cultural events and in the winter, a (free!) skating rink pops up and there is a lively and bustling Christmas Market.

Parc de la Grange

Parc de la Grange

Parc de la Grange is the largest of Geneva’s city parks, laid out over terraces on the shore of the lake. Stroll through the grand entrance guarded by stone lions and explore the 2,000-year-old ruins of a Roman villa. In summer, enjoy a theatrical production at one of the park’s two theatres, relax on one of the deckchairs provided by the city, or stroll in the rose garden to enjoy over 200 varieties of the gorgeous scented flowers.

Patek Philippe Museum

Patek Philippe Museum

The Patek Philippe Museum is a temple to watchmaking. Located in a restored Art Deco building, the museum houses an incredible antique collection, starting with the first watch ever made in the 16th century, as well as the entire Patek Phillipe collection from 1839 onwards. Explore five centuries of horological history; public tours take place every Saturday.

Plainpalais Flea Market

Plainpalais Flea Market

One of the largest flea markets in Switzerland, Plainpalais Flea Market takes place on every Wednesday and Saturday, as well as the first Sunday of the month. It attracts a buzzing crowd of bargain hunters, antique dealers and curious shoppers, browsing everything from homewares to vintage clothing. A monument to the monster in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein stands among the market stalls, and you can also find international street-food from Peru to Morocco.

L’Escalade

L’Escalade

L’Escalade is an annual event that takes place at the start of December to commemorate the defense of the city against an attack by the Duke of Savoy in 1602. Join revelers on the streets to watch colorful parades pass through the Old Town in historic costume, while enjoying some warming hot wine (or vin chaud).

St. Pierre Cathedral

St. Pierre Cathedral

Climb the towers of the iconic St. Pierre Cathedral to get a bird’s eye view of the city. The top of the south tower is open to the elements so in winter, it’s wise to choose the north tower and enjoy the view from inside! Afterwards, wander around the Old Town and enjoy a beverage at the Café La Clémence, cozy on the inside in winter and featuring outdoor seating with a great view in the warmer months.

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a major sport in Switzerland. Geneva’s team – the Genève-Servette Hockey Club, also known as The Eagles – is one of the best in the country. Go to one of their games to enjoy an electric atmosphere and a typically Swiss sporting event.