A cosmopolitan city at the heart of Europe, Geneva makes it an appealing getaway for a weekend trip or mini-vacation. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, and explore what makes the City of Peace one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Head out on Lake Geneva

No matter where you look in Geneva, it’s hard to miss the grand, sparkling-blue Lake Geneva. It sits between Switzerland and France and stretches as far as the eye can see.

During the summer, the lake is a popular spot for swimming and kayaking. Get your costume out and dive in! The lake is easy to find no matter where you are in the city: follow the waterways to their eastern mouths, or get a tram along the charming streets to the waterfront.

Take a boat trip across the lake to see the castle in Aigle or the wine-growing region of Lavaux. Alternatively, potter around the Old Town, where many Geneva attractions lie. It’s where you’ll find the majestic Cathédrale Saint-Pierre and the fascinating International Museum of the Reformation, which charts the history of radical religious movements.

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Fashion at Manor. Photo courtesy of Manor.

Pick up quality Swiss goods at Manor

Geneva is known as an expensive city, and that’s especially true for the tourist shops which line the Old Town and the shores of Lake Geneva. If you’d like to avoid these, follow the locals’ advice, and head for Manor department store.

There are four Manor stores spread out across the city, with two close to each other. The grandest one is on Rue de Cornavin, located close to the Coutance tram and bus stop. The elegant building plays host to a large number of brands, selling a great selection of goods at reasonable prices. It’s the perfect place to pick up some artisan Swiss chocolate or a top-of-the-range watch.

While Manor’s wares seem upmarket, in Switzerland they’re very much mid-range. Make sure you travel with extra space in your luggage so you’ve got room to bring back some beautiful homewares or warm hats – nowhere does winter clothing like Switzerland.

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Photo courtesy of La Bottega.

Dine out in style at La Bottega

Wherever you look, Geneva restaurants combine opulence and splendour. If you fancy somewhere pared-down that doesn’t compromise on flavour, try La Bottega – for our money, it’s the best Italian place in town.

Combining traditional ingredients with modern gastronomy techniques, chef Francesco Gasbarro creates food that is remarkable while remaining true to classic flavours. The restaurant itself feels cosy without being cramped. The exposed brick wall, large arched windows and high ceilings instead evoke a sense of elegance.

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Photo courtesy of La Bottega.

La Bottega sits in a spot that most places would kill for. It’s only a short walk to the lake, and transport links are plentiful. Stretch your legs after dinner in the nearby Parc de Bastions, or stroll along the lakefront and take in the view of Geneva’s sparkling city lights reflected in the water.

Geneva may be an unconventional pick for a mini-break, but it’s certainly becoming more popular. The historic setting, stunning surroundings and delicious local food make it a great place to visit.

Cover Photo: Lake Geneva by Dennis Jarvis.

Choice Hotels in Geneva