Without a doubt, one of the best-known cities in Europe is Geneva. Many treaties have been signed here, and it is also the ‘capital’ of Swiss watchmaking. With the arrival of the holidays, the Swiss city becomes one of the most requested destinations by tourists, which is why at step2travel we wanted to make this post to give you a series of tips for traveling to Geneva.
One of the main recommendations that we want to make to you before you decide to head to Geneva is that you do so having taken out travel insurance. If you buy it, you can ensure a peaceful vacation, since, in the event of an unforeseen expense or problem, the insurance would cover you. Some of the situations may be the loss of luggage or the need for urgent medical attention.
The best tips to travel to Geneva and enjoy a great experience
Geneva is one of the most important cities in Switzerland, which is why the town has great charm in its streets and buildings. So that you can get to know this town well and make your trip totally unforgettable, we have a series of tips for traveling to Geneva.
1. How many days do you need to get to know Geneva
We start with the tips to travel to Geneva talking about the amount of time or days that you will need if you want to know all the corners of this beautiful city. Geneva is not known for being a particularly large city , since it only has about 500,000 inhabitants. Therefore, if you have only come to Switzerland to get to know Geneva, a weekend will be enough to get to know the city.
This city, being small, practically concentrates all the emblematic places that are worth visiting in its historic center . It is true that if you plan to travel to several cities in this country, Geneva has a very special location, since it has various cities in its surroundings, such as Basel or Zurich .
2. What is the best time to travel to Geneva
Another of the big questions that many people ask themselves before traveling to the Swiss city is what is the best time to enjoy this town. Among the tips for traveling to Geneva and enjoying the city, we see that any time of the year is a good time to head to this town. Being a major city, not only in Switzerland but throughout Europe, you will always be able to find activities and attractions in the city .
In the end, what you should take into account when traveling to Geneva are different aspects such as the cold and the rain that occurs in winter. Maybe if you want to enjoy sunny days and some heat, among the tips for traveling to Geneva is to do it during the summer months.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for winter postcards, it is best to travel during the months of December, January, and February. It may also be that your goal is to ski, so you have to travel to Geneva in winter, where you will find some of the Alps ski slopes nearby.
3. Be careful with mobile data
We continue with the advice to travel to Geneva with an issue that many people are unaware of. In Switzerland there is no roaming service , so if you decide to connect to the Internet without Wi-Fi, you will probably receive a large phone bill at the end of the month. This is because Switzerland is outside the European Union and the European Economic Area.
In the end, the best advice to travel to Geneva and be careful with your mobile expenses is to buy a Swiss prepaid card . With it you will be able to control all your mobile expenses, avoiding unpleasant surprises in this sense when you return to Spain. A card with a calling and Internet plan can have a price of around 20 francs , which is less than 20 euros.
4. Bet on public transport
Geneva has the particularity of not being a particularly large city, so among the tips for traveling to Geneva is to use its efficient public transport. You should know that as soon as you arrive at the airport, a train ticket is included with the plane ticket that you have to spend in the next 80 minutes.
You can also move to the city center by bus , although it will take about 20 minutes to get there. The good thing about a city like Geneva is that it has a great transport network that is divided between buses and trams. In addition, you have the possibility of combining all types of transport in a single ticket.
Another tip for traveling to Geneva is to inform yourself if you stay in a hotel, since many give their tenants a ‘Geneve Transport Card’ , a card with which your trips on public transport will be totally free. Without a doubt, one of the great advantages of staying in these places if you are a tourist.
5. Change your euros when you arrive in Geneva
Another piece of advice for traveling to Geneva and having a peaceful experience is that as soon as you arrive, you exchange your euros for Swiss francs. It is true that in Geneva it is allowed to pay in euros in different places, such as in some shops, public transport, car parks, among others. Of course, you have to know that the change will be given in Swiss francs, adjusting to the daily exchange rate.
For this reason, it is best that you go to any of the exchange houses that are scattered throughout the city. We also recommend that you be careful about withdrawing money from an ATM in Geneva, as they could charge you somewhat high commissions. For this reason, another of the tips for traveling to Geneva is to talk to your bank beforehand so that they can inform you about the possible commissions that they may charge you.
6. Remember to bring an adapter for your plugs
If you have never traveled to Switzerland, you may not know that the sockets there have a voltage of 230 V, being three pins. One of the tips for traveling to Geneva is to do it with an adapter in your suitcase to avoid any mishap. It is true that many hotels have these adapters for tourists, but it is better to be careful in this regard since it can save you in a complicated situation.
7. Find out what language is spoken in that area
If you do not know Switzerland well, then you will not know that depending on the area where you are, one language or another is spoken. The different languages that are considered official in the country are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. In the case of Geneva, being in the westernmost part of the country, French is spoken.
Among the tips for traveling to Switzerland, we can include learning some basic concepts of French to be able to understand the basics with the different Swiss citizens that you meet during your stay. You should also keep in mind that the French spoken in Switzerland is not the same as that spoken in France. In any case, being a country where there are many international organizations, you will also be able to understand yourself speaking English .
8. Be sure to visit the most emblematic buildings in the city
As we have mentioned before, in Geneva you can find the headquarters of some of the most important organizations in the world. Some of these buildings are the world financial center, the UN, the headquarters of the Red Cross or the World Health Organization. Among the tips for traveling to Geneva, we include that you pay a visit to Lake Leman, a symbol of the city.
If you are looking for a more cultural plan that helps you learn about the history of Geneva and Switzerland, you should visit the Patek Philippe Museum, which focuses on the history of watches, one of the symbols of the Alpine country. You can also walk through the old town and see some buildings such as Saint Peter’s Cathedral or the Bourg-de-Four square. Although it is a small city, it has many points that you have to visit due to its importance, not only in Switzerland but throughout the world.
We hope that with all these tips for traveling to Geneva, all the doubts you may have will be removed and you will buy your tickets to the Alpine country. This city has one of the most interesting histories in the world, being the place where many important international treaties were signed while producing the most accurate watches in the world.