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Best Things To Do in Geneva

Geneva furnishes quite a few activities for whiling away a couple of days, like the Museum of Natural History, Old Town shopping excursions and lounging at Pâquis Baths and the Conservatory and Botanical Garden Geneva. Geneva also boasts breathtaking river, lake and mountain views; and for avid skiers, the French Alps are less than an hour away. If it's nightlife you're after, you might be better off heading to nearby Lausanne. 

How we rank Things to Do

Updated January 27, 2018

  • #1
    Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)
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    #1 in Geneva
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Straddling the Franco-Swiss border is Lake Geneva, a 224-square-mile lake formed by the Rhône River. It has been a popular vacation spot for years, drawing such memorable names as Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and Sophia Loren. In fact, many of Lake Geneva's visitors (including Hepburn and Chaplin) were so smitten

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  • #2
    Mont Salève
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    #2 in Geneva
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    No matter how physically fit you are, odds are you'll enjoy checking out Mont Salève. Situated about 12 miles southeast of Geneva across the Franco-Swiss border, this mountain offers a plethora of hiking and mountain biking paths, as well as paragliding and cross-country ski trails. If you don't want to

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  • #3
    Jet d'Eau
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    #3 in Geneva
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    No visit to Geneva would be complete without seeing one of its most iconic sights: the Jet d'Eau. Built in 1886 to help control a nearby hydraulic plant's water pressure at night, this impressive fountain spews water 459 feet into the air. Its central location in the middle ofLake Genevameans

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  • #4
    The Grange Park (Parc La Grange)
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    #4 in Geneva
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    OverlookingLake Genevaby theJet d'Eau, this park features a nearly 130,000-square-foot manicured garden filled with pools, pergolas and 200-plus kinds of roses. Additionally, an 18th-century villa – which is now a restaurant and hotel – still resides on the property, and complimentary concerts are hosted every summer at the on-site Théâtre

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  • #5
    Pâquis Baths (Bains des Pâquis)
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    #5 in Geneva
    Beaches, Recreation, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Recreation, Swimming/Pools
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you want to relax and enjoy picturesque views ofLake Geneva, make your way to the Pâquis Baths. Located in the Pâquis-Nations neighborhood of Geneva's Rive Droite area, this man-made beach was originally built in 1872 and has been open to the public since 1890. Today, it continues to welcome

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  • #6
    Conservatory and Botanical Garden Geneva (Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques Genève)
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    #6 in Geneva
    Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Nestled alongside Geneva's northern border between thePalace of NationsandLake Geneva, the Conservatory and Botanical Garden Geneva offers a serene setting for relaxing. This living museum features a variety of gardens, where visitors will find seasonal flowers, herbs, Swiss plants, rosebushes and more. Multiple greenhouses, a library, a gift shop, a

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  • #7
    St-Pierre Cathedral Geneva (Cathédrale St-Pierre Genève)
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    #7 in Geneva
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This cathedral – often described as a mash-up of Roman, Gothic and neoclassic stylistic elements – has survived centuries of turmoil. Its most notable chapter occurred in the mid-16th century when it was used by John Calvin as a vessel for the Protestant Reformation. Today, the St-Pierre Cathedral continues to

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  • #8
    Museum of Natural History (Muséum d'histoire naturelle)
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    #8 in Geneva
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're traveling with one or more budding naturalists, then a visit to Geneva's Museum of Natural History is a must. Situated in the southeastern part of the Eaux-Vives neighborhood within walking distance ofLake GenevaandSt-Pierre Cathedral Geneva, this animal-themed museum houses replica habitats filled with taxidermy animals, including owls, weasels and

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  • #9
    Palace of Nations (Palais des Nations)
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    #9 in Geneva
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Occupying an impressive amount of land near the Conservatory and Botanical Garden Geneva, the Palace of Nations was constructed at the end of the 1920s as the headquarters for the now defunct League of Nations. Today, this massive complex (one of the largest in Europe) is home to the U.N.'s European

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  • #10
    Patek Philippe Museum
    View all Photos
    #10 in Geneva
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One thing Switzerland is known for is watchmaking and enameling, and one of the best collections of timepieces can be found in the Patek Philippe Museum. There are two exhibits permanently on display here: the Antiques Collection, with a wide variety of timepieces dating back to the 16th century, and

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