Geneva is home to the world’s largest international organizations, one of the safest banking centers in the world, and manufactures of life-saving medical instruments. Entrepreneurs, artists, doctors, bankers and students book flights to Geneva for education and advancement in some of the world’s leading careers. While Geneva is certainly a city of progress and strength, there’s something for tourists, too.
It’s location to the Swiss and French Alps make flights to Geneva an easy escape for vacationers. Travelers can take part in some of Geneva’s famous cultural events or tour the museums lined around the city center. Its excellent transportation system makes it easy for Geneva travelers to tour the city and beyond. Before boarding your Geneva flight back home, make sure to purchase a piece of jewelry. Geneva is home to some of the largest manufacturers of watches in the world.
Summer is warm with temperatures in the mid-70s (Fahrenheit), and July can be in the upper 70s and hot. Fall is mild as temperatures drop to the low 70s and into the 50s in October. Winters are cold with daytime temperatures ranging from the upper 20s to the 40s, and when the bise (north wind) blows, it can be bitterly cold. Spring is mild with temperatures reaching the 60s. Rain falls year-round, and September usually gets the most rain.
Best Time to Fly to Geneva
July and August have the best weather and the biggest crowds. The beginning of August marks Swiss National day with two weeks of festivities. The summer is packed with events, especially music festivals so book your Geneva flights and accommodations well in advance.
Tourism peaks again during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The celebration of l'Escalade in December with its costumed and torch-lit processions brings throngs of visitors to the city.
June and September are pleasant times to visit if you book ahead, you'll likely to find cheaper Geneva flights and slightly lower lodging rates.
October, November, April, and May have fewer crowds, and possibly the lowest rates for Geneva flights and hotels, although some lodging establishments are closed during the low season.
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Getting around Geneva
The best way to see Geneva requires you to slow down a little. You can walk through the city or pick up one of the free bicycles that are available outside Genève Roule, the main train station, from May to October. The public transportation is very reliable and fast, but you’ll miss some of the lovely city if you’re speeding by on a tram, bus or trolley. You can travel on a bus or tram from early morning to midnight. After that a night bus runs until the next morning. Purchase your tickets ahead of time and don’t forget to validate them when you board. Buy a week-long pass if you’re staying long enough and save a bit of money. To get across the lake and back, hop aboard the seagull shuttle boats (les mouettes), which are part of the public transportation system. Bus tickets and les mouettes tickets are interchangeable. You can also lounge around the lake on one of the many cruises offered. Float around for the whole day, half a day or just an hour, whatever your heart and travel schedule desires. Taxis are easy to find, but fairly expensive. Parking is so difficult that it’s not worth the hassle of renting a car. Instead, try hiring a car and driver for the day.
Geneva Travel Information
- Geneva is known for watches and clocks. One more unusual version is the flower clock in the Jardin Anglais. The huge clock is planted with many flowers and keeps perfect time. Its second hand is the largest of any clock in the world (at 2.5 meters long).
- Walking tours of the city center are available through the tourist board and are an excellent way of seeing the main tourist spots along with some less well-known attractions. Among the tours on offer are “Art, Architecture and Urban Development”, “Geneva through Tales and Legends” and, fitting with the city's location, “A Walk with Water”.
- The town of Lausanne is situated near to Geneva on the banks of the lake and is an easy day trip to make. The famous town was once known for its restorative qualities because of its position on the lake. Today, it is a vibrant and fascinating city, with some stunning Swiss architecture.
- Shopping is a popular pastime in Geneva. As well as watches, other good buys to take home include the famous Swiss Army Knife (made by only two companies in the world) and chocolate.
- Geneva is the main arrival point for skiers to the French and SwissAlps. Be aware that the airport is divided into two sections and you can exit by either the French or Swiss side depending on your destination. As you exit the airport in the winter season, you’ll be faced with lots of ski reps collecting passengers for their buses. If you’re not booked on a package, don’t worry. It’s very easy to catch to the snow train to the major resorts. Failing that, try sweet-talking one of the reps headed to your resort to let you on the bus. If they’re not full up, it’s likely they will take you.