Geneva – City break in the heart of the Alps.
Geneva is a suitable holiday destination for the quality-conscious traveler who also wants to experience the great peaks of the Alps and the beautiful scenery of Lake Geneva. Read the Beach Ball Destination Guide and plan your own vacation.
Geneva International is one of the most important centers in the Alps
Located at the western end of Switzerland , Geneva is the country’s second largest city and an important center for international organizations and air transport. For example, many UN organizations are headquartered in Geneva and the scientific star CERN is also located here. Geneva has a lot to offer the city holidaymaker, and in addition to city life, the surrounding countryside and the handsome Alps attract interesting day trips to nearby destinations.
Geneva is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world and the high price level is also reflected in tourism services. You have to pay a little more for hotels, restaurants and public transport here than in Finland, but the prices should still not be allowed to influence the travel decision. In Switzerland, it is quite possible to vacation at a reasonable cost.
Lunch or dinner on the restaurant ship is a cozy way to enjoy a summer evening in Geneva.
The best time to travel is the summer season
The climate of Geneva is typical of Central Europe. Summers are hot, winters cool. Summer temperatures typically range between about 20 and 30 degrees. In winter there may be snow and frost. Geneva is located at a low lake level, so it is not at the mercy of the mountains to be here. However, the city is just a stone’s throw to the nearest mountains, at whose altitudes the climate quickly changes.
Summer can be considered to start as early as April-May and the warm season lasts well into autumn. Even in October, there are more than 20-degree days. The Geneva region is a year-round tourist area, so you should choose the time according to your own preferences. If you want to include skiing in the Alps, February-March is the best time to do so. Otherwise, the most beautiful part of the summer is long and, in particular harvest time, when the northern side of Lake Geneva vines in a fine glow yellow and villages celebrated wine to celebrate.
Geneva is French-speaking Switzerland
Geneva belongs to the French-speaking region of Switzerland and a tourist will do best if he or she has at least one phrase in French. However, the city is very international, with numerous large companies and international organizations employing a large number of experts from elsewhere. England, if necessary, can cope in almost all situations. Swiss living in a multilingual country are also accustomed to changing the language if necessary. However, this does not mean that it is worthwhile to do business in Geneva, for example, in German, as the attitude wall between the German-speaking and French-speaking regions of Switzerland is nevertheless surprisingly high.
The Swiss currency is the franc. You can exchange money either in advance in Finland or withdraw it from an ATM on site. The price differences between the two options are usually not significant unless the amount is significant.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN GENEVA
The flags of all the Member States adorn the gates of the United Nations.
Direct flights from Helsinki
Geneva Airport is a major air transport hub and the city is well connected from almost all over the world. You can also easily get to Geneva from Finland with Finnair’s direct flights. Round-trip fares range from around € 250 to € 450 depending on the time of day. The most expensive is during the ski holiday season, when flight prices can start up to 600 euros. Alternative flights are offered, for example, via KLM Amsterdam or Swiss Airlines via Zurich. In some situations, the exchange connection may be cheaper than a direct flight or easier on schedule.
When arriving in Geneva, take advantage of the city’s special offer: air passengers receive a free 80-minute public transport ticket on arrival, providing easy access from the airport to the city center. The ticket can be redeemed from the vending machines in the luggage lobby – so do not move from the straps to the lobby side until you have grabbed the ticket with you.
Accommodation in Geneva
Geneva’s hotel offer is wide but expensive. The city hosts a wide variety of major events, congresses and trade fairs. Together with the busy visitor traffic from the UN and other NGO headquarters, they keep hotels in the region busy and prices high.
The cheapest solution to the hotel question is to choose one of the nearby towns, such as Nyon, east of Geneva, which is a cozy lakeside town and cheaper, but still so close to Geneva that you can easily get there.
You can also try home accommodation, but it may not bring significant savings, as even private accommodation prices in Switzerland are higher than in the rest of Europe.
Getting around Geneva
Getting around the center of Geneva is easy on foot, as the distances are relatively short. Public transport is powered by buses and trams. Commuter trains run rail outside the city. Taxis are reliable in Switzerland, but also quite expensive.
If you only stay in the city during your trip, the rental car is of little use. But if your intention is to explore the countryside as well or take day trips to nearby towns, there is the easiest way to get around a rental car. Motoring is the best way to get to the finest scenic spots and alpine mountain villages. Driving in Switzerland is easy and the traffic is not much different from Finnish.