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A week in Geneva
- 6 days
- Culture / Heritage
- Faune and flora
- Relaxation / Well-being
On the shores of Lake Geneva thrones Geneva, capital of international organizations. During a weekend, you will have the chance to visit Switzerland's second largest city and its many monuments. And, if the climate permits, a swim in the lake is quite possible.
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Details of the stay: A week in Geneva - 6 days
Day 1 : Geneva, the must-see
Morning. Geneva is above all famous for the Lake Geneva, the Rhône which flows into it towards the Mediterranean, and also for the Jet d'eau, which like a game throws its 14 tons of water from the lake into the air every minute. So let's start by understanding the city through the liquid element. From the right bank (direction of flow of the Rhône), the quai des Pâquis, then on the Mont-Blanc bridge, the view of the lake, the Jet and the Mont-Blanc is breathtaking. Take a slice of bread at the Bains des Pâquis if you wish. To get to the other side, go over the machine bridge and take the time to immerse yourself in the city's watchmaking tradition in the city of time. A space where it is understood that the mastery of watchmaking technology has also enabled the Swiss to become masters of time. You can also decide to take a "Seagull" to cross via the lake. Then continue towards the Place Neuve by the rue de la Corraterie.
Lunch. Arrived at Place Neuve, and to recover from this first long walk in the city, lunch in the very beautiful and very Art Deco restaurant of the Parc des Bastions (Old Town - Bastions) is essential. Under the glass roof supported by elegant green-grey posts, one feels transported at the beginning of the century to a stone's throw from the neoclassical architecture of the old town. An almost authentic Belle Époque look awaits you.
Afternoon. It is now time to get to the heart of the matter. In the Bastion Park, the Reformer's Wall takes you right back to Protestant Rome. Austere dresses and aesthetics worthy of Tolkien, here we remember that the Reformation was to Geneva what the Renaissance was to Italy, a great flow of reflection and thinkers that made the city a rich and powerful centre. An impression confirmed by the visit of Saint Peter's Cathedral at the top of the old city: a perfect combination of austerity and power, magnificence and restraint.
Dinner. Since we are in the old town, we might as well extend the journey back in time, with the choice of the Café Papon and its terrace opening onto the promenade de la Treille, a historical place, out of time in summer, or the large beams of the restaurant des Armures in winter, with of course, to warm up, a small fondue in the carnotzet.
Evening. We can end this first day with a visit to the Alhambar, this well-known place in the old town where Geneva meets all of Geneva in front of its large bar and its good-natured and uncomplicated dance floor.
Day 2 : Art in Geneva
Morning. Return to the old town for breakfast on the Place du Bourg du Four in front of the flowered fountain. Then history and culture are on the agenda for the morning. The Tavel house and its long history, before entering the Museum of Art and History, which allows you to discover the richness of the collections and also the artistic creation of Geneva in the 19th and 20th centuries. For a coffee break or an aperitif, the Café du Bourg du Four below the square will attract your curiosity. The wooden front reminds us of period cafés and the posters on the wall project us into the lives of the famous Genevans.
Lunch. Since we are already in the Museum of Art and History, why not enjoy the excellent restaurant Le Barocco, located on the lower ground floor overlooking the very beautiful courtyard in summer. On the menu, a beautiful mix of all the influences that meet in Geneva, under the gaze of peaceful statues.
Afternoon. To avoid the risk of being trapped by store closures on Sundays, it is better to shop on Saturdays. When you leave the museum, go down to Les Eaux-Vives via the Russian church and the picturesque district of La Terrassière, for the shops on Rue des Eaux-Vives. Then take the tram to rue de Carouge (12), towards rue de Leschot. You can stop for a drink at Les Recyclables or at the Jules Verne café (Plainpalais). To conclude this already busy afternoon, let's head for Mamco and its exploration of contemporary artistic creation.
Dinner. Adjacent to the Mamco, a restaurant with 19th century decoration plunges you into Geneva's nightlife on the right foot. We appreciate the bistro universe of the Café des Bains. You can also walk to the Halles de l'île, Geneva's most famous restaurant, praised both for its atmosphere and its cuisine.
Evening (1). For this evening, the rue des Bains is very lively and you will be spoilt for choice between many cafés and bars. The neighbourhood mixes beer-hungry students and trendy young people in search of festive experiences. Café Cuba or Café du Lys are essential addresses in the district.
Evening (2). To end this evening, after this gentle start, a boost is needed as you head towards Carouge and its Black Cat, unless you let yourself be tempted by the neoburlesque shows of the Palais Mascotte in the warm Easter district.
Day 3 : Geneva in its natural state
Morning. After these purely urban sequences, the third day will also be an opportunity to go green, and in Geneva we have a choice. Beaches and parks are as many exotic places in the city. To recover from the previous day's evening, nothing beats a good brunch, either at the very central Halles de l'île, or at the Coup de Girafe for a more intimate atmosphere. In any case, then go to the pointe des Eaux-Vives and its very special atmosphere as a seaside resort. Why not take a walk on the lawns of Lagrange Park and Eaux-Vives, where the sand of Baby Plage?
Afternoon. After crossing the lake via one of the "Seagulls" from the Black Port towards the Pearl of the Lake, head for the Nations district, with a visit to the European headquarters of the UN and its impressive flag aisle and constructivist architecture. A little further on, take the time to discover the very touching Red Cross Museum, opened by Laura Bush and Raïssa Gorbachev, a symbol of peace and compassion.
Dinner. Let yourself be tempted by the authentic Geneva cuisine of Le Rémor, which you will find strangely full - Le Rémor is, in Geneva's memory, always open on Sundays. A detail that we don't forget in this city that jealously (and fortunately) keeps its Sunday available to be with the family.
Evening. Between Victoria Hall and the Grand Théâtre de Genève, a cultural evening will conclude this journey, which began in the water and ends in art.
Day 4 : Historical and international Geneva
Morning. To get your weekend off to a good start, discover international Geneva with a visit to either the Palais des Nations, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) or the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Lunch. Once you arrive in the Pâquis district, settle into one of the many foreign restaurants in the district, which brings together a large number of different nationalities. You can also choose to eat at the Bain des Pâquis bar, an emblematic place where all of Geneva meets, in a magical setting in the middle of the Rade.
Afternoon. Passage on the right bank in Geneva "Mouette", this shuttle boat that crosses the lake, to admire the great classics: the Jet d'eau (with a good ice if it is hot enough), the Flower Clock and the charming old town of Geneva. If you have enough energy left, climb to the top of St. Peter's Cathedral, the view of the region will reward your efforts!
Dinner. Stay in the neighborhood and eat a good fondue! You can choose between the Café des Antiquaires, with its excellent price-quality ratio, or the Café aux Armures, with its historical setting in the old town.
Evening. You will have to come down from the hill to go to the trendy district of Plainpalais, populated by bars of all kinds where young people from Geneva meet. If you prefer an opera, a play, a concert or a film, you will be spoilt for choice!
Day 5 : On the heights of Geneva
Morning. We will take the time to stroll through the adorable streets with their colourful little houses in the Carouge, behind which are hidden mysterious gardens. Then, climb up by cable car to the top of the Salève (neighbouring France), dear to the heart of Geneva, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Geneva plain, and the Alps on the other side. You can even consider a descent into the air by paragliding!
Lunch. On the terrace in summer, if possible via the brunch hut, to feel fully in weekend mode. The most convenient way is to taste it in the district, which is full of good restaurants in all price ranges. The Auberge du Cheval blanc is to be discovered.
Afternoon. If you don't know anything about the mountains, go to the Museum of Art and History to admire Ferdinand Hodler's remarkable paintings, Konrad Witz's Miraculous Fishing or the halberds used during the attack on Geneva by the Savoyards in 1602, the famous Escalade !
Dinner. A chic evening with dinner in one of the city's finest restaurants, the Gusto, ideally located in one of the city's legendary palaces, the Metropolis. A romantic evening in perspective if you opt for a drink at the 5 Lounge bar, the hotel's roof-top with its breathtaking view of the Jet d'eau.
Evening. Direction the only lively corner of the old town after dark. On the Place du Molard, Lord Nelson Pub is one of the few establishments in the area to invite for a last drink, in happy company please!
Day 6 : Park and gastronomy
Morning. If the weather is fine, take the time to reach the lake via the botanical garden and the Pearl of the Lake, it is a very nice walk. It is one of the most beautiful and vast parks in Geneva and the calm and panoramic views it offers deserve to be lost for a few hours.
Lunch. Unless you prefer a quick picnic in the park, we will return to Les Eaux-Vives, heading for another park, to have lunch in the Brasserie du parc des Eaux-Vives, which we appreciate especially for its serene and natural aspect and especially its magnificent terrace.
Afternoon. It is impossible to leave Geneva without looking at the delicate collections of the Baur and Bodmer foundations, between treasures of the history of writing and refined jewels from the Far East. Then join Cologny.
Dinner. To end this stay, we reserve the last evening for ourselves to taste classic Italian dishes, but revisited in a chic version at the restaurant In Fine (Bourg de Four), which also offers appetizers and cocktails in their lounge in the basement. Then, why not discover the old town and its cobblestones at night, romantic as you wish!
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