Places to visit

On the Swiss border with France, between the Alps and Lake Geneva, the Geneva area offers many attractive places to visit. With Switzerland’s excellent public transportation system, quaint villages, scenic vineyards, neighbouring cities and even mountains are all within easy reach. Let Geneva be your base for exploring these unique cultural destinations and natural surroundings.

Mont Salève

Over the border in France, Mont Salève offers a natural playground just minutes away from the city of Geneva. Take a 5-minute cable car ride up 1,100 metres for a panoramic view of the city, the Alps and Mont Blanc. Nature lovers and sports enthusiasts can spend the day hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding or simply enjoying the fresh air.

Photo credit: © Genève Tourisme

Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

In Lavaux, wine enthusiasts and nature lovers can explore 800 hectares of terraced vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps. 40 minutes by train from Geneva, this UNESCO region features charming villages and traditional wine cellars in spectacular natural surroundings. Comfortable walking paths offer the ideal way to soak up the beauty and viticulture of Lavaux.

Photo credit: © Genève Tourisme

Yvoire

On the French shore of Lake Geneva, the medieval village of Yvoire is a delightful destination, often listed among the most beautiful villages in France. Visit the Garden of Five Senses with its eclectic mix of plants, or simply enjoy the pleasure of wandering through Yvoire’s perfectly preserved alleys and squares. From spring to autumn, you can reach Yvoire by taking a cruise across Lake Geneva.

Photo credit: © Genève Tourisme

Montreux

Perhaps most famous for its summer jazz festival, Montreux also shines in winter with its lively Christmas market. This small but elegant city at the opposite end of Lake Geneva features majestic lake and mountain views. The nearby Château de Chillon, a dramatic island castle rising from the shores of Lake Geneva, has inspired romantic writers and poets from around the world.

Lausanne

Easily reached by boat or train from Geneva, Lausanne is a vibrant city overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps. A hub of business and university life, Lausanne is also home to a wide variety of cultural attractions and museums, including the Olympic Museum and AQUATIS: the largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium in Europe. Visitors can explore the winding streets of the city centre or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the lake.

Annecy

Often called the ‘Venice of the Alps’, the old town of Annecy is among the most picturesque in France. Charming pedestrian streets weave between canals, while the Palais de l’Isle, a medieval castle surrounded by water, is the jewel at the centre. Just beyond the old town, the pristine blue waters and mountains of Lake Annecy offer natural beauty to rival the city’s architecture.

Chamonix

Near the Italian and Swiss borders, the famous French mountain village of Chamonix lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak. Chamonix is the only ski resort within 90 minutes of Geneva offering pistes above 3,000 metres. From the town centre, take the 20-minute Aiguille du Midi cable car ride to reach the summit terrace at 3,842 metres and enjoy magnificent views of Mont Blanc.