Geneva: a worthy splurge
Fall is my absolute favorite season.
Southern Italian summers are filled with wonderful things like boating adventures and dipping into the clear Amalfi Coast waters, but boy are the days HOT! I just love the first cool day after a scorching hot summer. I love soups and chili, soft sweaters, spiced apple-scented candles, and the whole Thanksgiving spread.
This year for the holiday weekend, we did things a little differently and we flew to Geneva, Switzerland.
Although Geneva is the second most populous city in the country, it has a unique small city feel and is quite peaceful. We really enjoyed our time there and would definitely go back for a second visit, especially when it is warm, to experience the summer activities.
Here are a few things I learned along the way (plus some super gorgeous photos for your viewing pleasure):
Getting around Geneva is extremely easy.
1. If you are arriving by airplane, don’t forget to stop at the FREE transportation ticket machine before leaving baggage claim. Each individual can take one ticket valid for public transportation in the city for 80 minutes. What an awesome idea! The most confusing part of arriving to a new city can be figuring out the best way to get to your hotel and this makes it simple. The trains are clean and reliable and will take you straight to the city center.
2. Let’s just keep the generous public transportation access going. If you are staying at a hotel within the city, each person gets a FREE public transportation card to use for the duration of their stay. These tickets are valid for the trains, buses, water taxis, and trams. The trams operate every few minutes and are the best way to get from one point to another.
Geneva is expensive. This year Geneva was ranked as the 7th most expensive city in the world.
They weren’t lying.
1. Check multiple websites for hotel deals. We compared booking.com, hotels.com, and Airbnb and ended up finding the best deal on hotels.com but this can vary. There is not really a “bad” area of town so just make sure you check the reviews before booking. The Old Town area is gorgeous, but as I mentioned above the city is easy to traverse so location shouldn’t necessarily be your deciding factor.
2. Food is going to be shockingly pricy. For example, cheese fondue (which is a must) runs about 25 Francs/~25 USD per person and this is just served with some bread, nothing fancy. My tip would be to go to grocery stores for breakfasts. Most will have freshly baked breads-both sweet and savory, bottled fruit smoothies, and nice coffee machines. Wine will also be well priced. This will save a significant amount of money.
And as always, my list of must-dos:
-Take a train around Lake Geneva to some of the smaller towns such as Lausanne, Vevey, or Montreux. In the warmer months, visit the Swiss wineries. During the winter holidays, visit the Montreux Christmas market.
-Walk around the Geneva waterfront and check out the famous Jet d’Eau (water jet on the lake) and abundant swans.
-Visit the United Nations headquarters then walk up to the award winning International Red Cross museum.
-Eat the delicious Swiss specialties-cheese, wine, chocolate! Don’t hesitate to try the hot Raclette cheese. It has a very distinct and truly nauseating scent (just my opinion), but it is surprisingly delicious. Try it on potatoes.
-Take a swim in the lake or float down the river in the summer.
-Stroll through Geneva’s Old Town. For a quieter jaunt, explore the city on a Sunday when most businesses are closed.
-Enjoy the international foods. I recommend Parfums de Beyrouth…so tasty and not absurdly expensive.
In summary, Geneva is a worthy splurge.
Ciao Bellas e Bellos xoxo,