How to Visit Geneva on a Shoestring
With glitter in the pavements, some of the world’s most expensive watches on display and Jet d’Eau in the background of a scene in the Wolf of Wall Street, you know you won’t be seeing any buy-one-get-one-free offers in Geneva.
However, in one of the most expensive cities in Europe, it is surprisingly not that difficult to avoid breaking the bank. There are so many things to see / do even if you are on a budget. You could...
1. Visit Jet d’Eau
Take a trip down to Lake Geneva to see one of the city’s top attractions, the famous water jet shooting 500 litres of water 140 metres up in the air, it is hard to miss! You can walk right up to it and even under it and it is completely free. Lighting up at night it is worth a visit once it has gone dark.
2. Rent a bike
By avoiding taxis and public transport you won’t only be helping your health but also your bank balance. With designated bike lanes and wide pavements it is encouraged, but if it is too energetic you could always walk along the lakeside walkway’s and see the city that way.
3. Hire a paddle boat
No yacht or chauffer? You can hire a paddle boat on Lake Geneva and spend time seeing the city from there. You can also take a number of water taxis across the lake too.
4. Try some local Swiss chocolate
You could visit some local and boutique chocolate shops in the city and sample some of the best chocolate in the world.
5. Go to special events in the city
Depending on what time of year you visit there might be a number of events that are worth going to, including the Geneva Festival, the open air lakeside cinema, the film festival, the chocolate festival, Swiss National day and the annual Regatta.
6. Take a cable car up Mount Saleve
For one of the best views of the city, take a trip up Mount Saleve and watch people paraglide off the mountain, or take one of the hikes or designated walking routes.
7. Take a walk through the old town
Stroll up and down winding cobbled streets filled with historical buildings, cafes, restaurants and galleries.
8. Play a giant game of chess in the City Park
Have a game with the locals or one of your family/friends, the chess and checkers games in Parc de Bastions are free and a lot of fun.
9. Visit the United Nations ‘Palace of Nations’ building
Whilst in the same area you could also see the broken chair sculpture and the Red Cross Headquarters.
10. Look around St Peters Cathedral
Take a walk up the tower and see one of the best panoramic views of the city.
11. Go to the city parks and gardens
There are so many parks in Geneva you will be spoilt for choice, take a picnic and enjoy the scenery. You could also walk round the city and see if you can find the flower clock.
Despite many reviews saying otherwise, you won’t need an extra bank account or Swiss gold to see the city.
By Nicola Shonick