What to see in Geneva in one day

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

A small town in western Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva near the French border and surrounded by the Alps, it is known for being one of the richest resorts in the world.
Cosmopolitan and international, headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross, is the ideal destination for a day trip or to spend a weekend.
Suitable for those looking for a diversified lake, cultural, mountain tourism, it is also the right place for those who want to do luxury shopping.
Here's what to do and see in 1 day in Geneva.


  1. One day itinerary in Geneva: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Geneva: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Geneva: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Geneva: Morning

1 - Jet d'Eau-Jardin Anglais, Saint Pierre Cathedral

Start your day with the Jet d'eau, the "water jet" fountain, symbol of the city, located on the Eaux Vives pier, 140 meters high and from where every second more than 500 liters of water are expelled at 200 km / h.
Then pass by the Jardin Anglais where you can also admire theFlowery Clock, classic location for taking a photograph.
Reach the Vieille Ville in about 15 minutes and visit the Saint Pierre Cathedral; then go up to the North Tower from where you can have a nice view of the city (10: 00-18: 00, church free, tower CHF8 / € 7,50).

2 - Place du Bourg de Four, Promenade de la Treille, Parc des Bastions

In the second part of the morning, stroll in the nearby Place du Bourg de Four with some fountains, numerous cafes, restaurants and shops. Admire the splendid facade of the Museum of Art and History.
At 1 km you will find yourself for the Promenade de la Treille, where there is the longest wooden bench in the world, from here you arrive in less than 7 minutes at the Parc des Bastions.
Here you can admire the reformers' wall, 100 meters long and erected in honor of the men who worked for the reform and the creation of Protestantism, and the giant chess games.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,2 km / 40 min
  • Places visited: Jet d'Eau-JArdin Anglais (free), Flower Clock (free), Saint Pierre Cathedral (free), North Tower (€ 7,50), Place du Bourg de Four (free), Parc des Bastions (free)
  • E-Bike ride in Geneva, Lake Geneva and old town
  • Where to have breakfast: Glacier Lake 1207 - Get Directions

One day itinerary in Geneva: Afternoon

1 - Maison Tavel

Stop for lunch at the "Cafè Restaurant du Parc des Bastions", a place with a nice atmosphere where you can choose between more sophisticated menus and simple dishes (from CHF 22 / € 20,50).
Then pay a visit to the free Maison Tavel (11: 00-18: 00, closed on Mondays), the oldest house in Geneva, where you can admire paintings, engravings and furniture from the city's medieval past.
Then take a taxi (CHF 15 / € 13,50) or bus 25 (from the Metropole stop, CHF2, € 1,80) and in about 20 minutes you will arrive at Botanical Garden.

2 - Jardin Botanique, United Nations Building

Treat yourself to a relaxing walk among the plants and the numerous greenhouses that are inside and from here you can reach the United Nations building.
This marvelous palace is one of the most important diplomatic centers and one cannot come to Geneva without visiting it.
Spend approximately 1 hour and a half to visit this important center, the adjacent gardens and the sculptures found outside (Mon-Sun 10: 30-16: 00 upon booking a guided tour; admission CHF13 / € 12,00) .

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,8 km / 23 min (by taxi)
  • Places visited: Maison Tavel (free), Jardin Botanique (free), Palace of Nations (€ 12,00)
  • Where to have lunch: Cafè Restaurant du Parc des Bastions, Promenade des Bastions 1 - Get directions

One day itinerary in Geneva: Evening

1 - Cruise on the lake

To end your day in Geneva we suggest, around sunset time get on one of the typical boats "Mouettes" which make various connections from one side of the lake to the other.
However, we simply suggest that you sit on board without a specific destination, but to be able to enjoy beautiful views (convenient embarkation points from the Palace of Nations is Pâquis and then you can get off at Molard; otherwise other embarkation / disembarkation points are De-Châteaubriand, Eaux-Vives and P + R Genève Plage, cost each way CHF3,50 / € 3,00 ). We recommend taking a 1-hour tour on the lake (from € 17,00; starts at Quai du Mont-Blanc 1 - Get directions).

2 - Place du Bourg de Four

For dinner we suggest you go to "Chez Ma Cousine", a place in the historic center where you can eat well without spending too much (prices from CHF23, € 22,00).
Before going to sleep, then, you can stop for a drink in one of the many clubs that are nearby Place du Bourg de Four.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,2 km / 16 min
  • Places visited: cruise on the lake (€ 17,00), premises of Place du Bourg de Four (free)
  • 1 hour cruise on Lake Geneva
  • Where to dine: Chez Ma Cousine, Place du Bourg de Four 6, Get Directions

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Geneva airport is 7 km from the city center, reachable by train in 6 minutes (CHF 5,00 / approximately € 4,20)
  • Official currency: Swiss Franc (CHF) - (€ 1,00 = CHF1,07)
  • Getting around: 6 tram and bus lines (6: 00-24: 00), yellow taxi boats (7: 30-19: 30) and CFF trains. With a single ticket you can use all transport. The fare to the city center is 3,50 CHF / € 3,00 on buses, trams and boats (60 minutes). 3 rides by bus / tram or 1 ride with the local boat is 2 CHF / € 1,90 - find out more
  • Geneva Transport Card: you can ask for free at the accommodation where you are staying, alternatively it costs CHF 10,00 / € 9,00
  • Best time: from May to September, with preference for the summer (June-August). But beware of frequent summer storms - find out more

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

If you only have one day to visit Geneva, we suggest you skip the visit to the museums which would take you too much time. The attractions to consider only if you stay more days are the following:

  1. Patek Philippe museum
  2. Museum of Art and History
  3. Cern
  4. Russian Church of Geneva
  5. Ariana Museum
  6. The Cité du Temps
  7. Bains des Pâquis
  8. Parc de La Grange
  9. Parc des Eaux-vives

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