Getting to the city
But for those that fly into Geneva and are going straight to the city, you can make use of the free train ride to the city.
"Since 2008, you can pick up a free ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area at the Arrival level. This Unireso ticket, offered by Genève Aéroport, allows you to use public transport in the canton of Geneva free for a period of 80 minutes."
You can visit Geneva Airport Website for more details about it. And if you're staying in a hotel, hostel or campsite, you can also travel within Geneva for free using the Geneva Transport Card!
"The Geneva Transport Card is your free passport to Geneva's transport network.
When you stay in a hotel, a youth hostel or at a campsite, you receive free of charge a Geneva Transport Card. Taking the tram, the bus and the train on Geneva territory will not cost you a penny. You even can cross the lake with the yellow taxi-boats for free.
This personal and non-transferable card is offered to you at arrival. During your stay in Geneva, you can use the entire Geneva transport network (UNIRESO: bus and tram (TPG), train (CFF) and taxi-boats (Mouettes Genevoises).
If you arrive at Geneva International Airport, you can get a 80-minute ticket free of charge for a ride to the place of your accommodation. The ticket machine is in the luggage retrieval hall."
Visit Geneva Tourism for more details.
For this current trip, we arrived into Geneva after our snowboarding trip in Val Thorens. Although our coach from Val Thorens alighted us at the airport, we were unable to make use of the free train ride as we didn't fly in on that day. So we bought a train ticket and traveled to our Airbnb accommodation in the city. It was a nice apartment that's slightly outside the city (2 bus stop from the central station or about 10-15min walk) and our host Ari is an extremely friendly and hospitable person.
Geneva wasn't a very exciting city for us. The reason for visiting this city was that we had a friend who was here and decided to just meet up with him and explore the city a little.
Upon arriving the first night, we met up with Gabriel for dinner and went to a nice steak place near the central station called, Cafe De Paris. It was nice quaint restaurant with vintage decor. There was only 1 item on the menu, steak and fries. That's what I call having focus. Doing one thing and doing it good. The place was fully packed when we arrived but we were glad Gabriel made a reservation. We also had a surprise to celebrate Steph's birthday while dining there. It was really memorable as everyone in the restaurant sang along and cheered for her; some also came up to wish her a happy birthday. Visiting Switzerland during winter time has also been one of Steph's wishes as she would love to see a nice white wintery wonderland with sparkling snow-filled landscape. Thus I decided we would go and visit Switzerland during this time, even though I had been here before. We were really blessed that the weather was good, snow was fluffy for snowboarding and she had a great time visiting this place. I'm glad that I'm able to make the wishes of my wife come true! Happy birthday my dear! :)
I thought the steak were decent and rather tender. It was quite unique as they serve the steak over a small fire. Probably so that you could further control how cooked you want your steak to be. You can also check out TripAdvisor reviews on that place.
Gabriel and I with our steak
Celebrating Steph's birthday
Everyone singing along and cheering
Lunch at a Middle Eastern eatery with some church friends
Another big highlight in Geneva (mainly for techies) is CERN; The home of the Large Hadron Collider as well as the birthplace of the World Wide Web, or more commonly known as the Internet. And that's also the reason why you're able to read this blog post now. Cool right? ;)
They have a free tour but you need to register for it before the actual day of your tour. You can do so here or navigate to the page via their main home page. Do note this tour does not include the underground visit. You have to wait for special open days to visit their underground facilitates.
There is also a decent outlet shopping just slightly outside of Geneva called Aubonne Outlet. It is quite a big shopping center with food and super market as well. We were in a rush so we only managed to get a pair of winter boots. If we had more time, we would probably have needed to get an extra luggage as well. ;)
Geneva is generally a small city and there is nothing too fanciful, so don't expect to be having lots to do there. You can see the attractions on TripAdvisor or Wikitravel Geneva to get a feel of the things to do there. It's a good place to start or end your trip since most international flights fly here.
You can read more on our full Switzerland trip and overall itinerary here.
Date of travel: Jan 2015
Flickr Geneva Photos
Public Trains (SBB)
Swiss Travel Pass