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    Geneva, Jet d’Eau fountain

    Jet d’Eau fountain

    Geneva’s most iconic landmark is the Jet d’Eau; with a single jet, this powerful fountain on Lake Geneva reaches such heights that it can be seen throughout the city. In perfect weather conditions, it might even be the first thing you see when flying into Geneva Airport.

    Geneva Lake

    Day cruise on Lake Geneva

    Cruises on Lake Geneva are popular with tourists and locals alike. If you don’t fancy a modern yacht or a cruise ship, you can opt for a Belle Époque steamer and enjoy a trip which will transport you back in time to 1910.

    Geneva, Alps

    Flights to Geneva

    The bustling city of Geneva (or Genève), located near the Swiss-French border, is as famous for its nature and beauty as it is for its status as an important hub of international power and innovation. It’s also a tourism hub and, whether you’re looking to explore Lake Geneva and the Alps or visit some of the historic sites and monuments, a visit to Switzerland’s second-biggest city won’t disappoint.

    Full of diversity and creativity, there are plenty of things to do and see, including a visit to the UN’s European headquarters, the Palais des Nations. Book your flights to Geneva with Brussels Airlines today!

    What to do in Geneva?

    1. Visit the Old Town. Many of Geneva’s must-see gems are located in and around this charming part of the city. St Pierre Cathedral is a highlight – here you can discover the archaeological wonders hidden beneath the buildings or admire the mountain view from the tower. Cobbled streets, historic houses and flowing fountains give this area a fairy-tale feel that is definitely worth discovering.
    2. Explore the Alps. Located just a stone’s throw from ski resorts such as Samoëns, La Clusaz, Chamonix and St Cergue, combine your Geneva city break with some time on the slopes. Skiing isn’t the only thing to do in the mountains either – try sledging or ice skating in winter and paragliding or hiking in the summer.
    3. Get out on Lake Geneva. If you’ve just got one day in Geneva, then take a picturesque boat trip on Central Europe’s largest lake. Whether you want a short-but-sweet trip to the other side of the city or prefer a day trip to Lausanne, make sure you make time to fully appreciate the natural beauty of this area.
    4. Find a hidden treasure at Plainpalais flea market. Trading every Wednesday, Saturday and the first Sunday of each month, this is a great place to buy antiques, clothes, furniture and much more.
    5. See the Jet de l’eau, this iconic city landmark is a huge plume of water that towers 140 metres above Lake Geneva. In summer, the Bains des Pâquis public baths are the perfect place to swim, relax and enjoy the amazing views.
    6. See the other side of Geneva at "L’Usine". A top alternative venue for music, culture and the arts, this club is the place to be if you’re looking to let loose. A very different kind of nightlife to Geneva’s many polished establishments, the crowd is as eclectic and varied as the music and it’s famed for its fun vibe.
    7. Be amazed by CERN. The European Organization for Nuclear Research will fascinate visitors – visit the scientific exhibitions or take a tour of the labs where some of the most important research of our time is being carried out.

    Practical information for your trip to Geneva

    • Brussels Airlines flies to and from Geneva Airport, which is 4 km from the city centre and easily accessible by train or bus. Be sure to pick up your free public transport card from your accommodation or the machine in the arrivals baggage area, which grants you free use of the unireso bus, train, tram and boat network.
    • Current local time in Geneva:  
    • Currency: Swiss Franc. Euros are also widely accepted; however, be prepared for a steep exchange rate.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: : +41. There are also a number of free Wi-Fi spots around the city.
    • Electric sockets: Type J. Switzerland operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
    • Travel Information: Switzerland is not an EU member but has signed the Schengen agreement. Therefore, many travellers will only need a passport or appropriate ID card to enter the country and don’t require a visa for stays less than 90 days. You can find more information here:
    • Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required. More health information is available on the website:

    Dos and Don’ts in Geneva

    • Geneva, cruise on the lake
    • Do expect to hear multiple languages. French is the main language spoken in the city because of its geographical location. However, Italian, German and Romansch are also national languages.
    • Do eat local; Geneva boasts thousands of restaurants so there’s sure to be something you’ll love.
    • Do consider getting out of the city. Geneva is well-connected by train, making Lausanne, Bern and Interlaken easy to reach.
    • Don’t feel obliged to tip. A service charge is usually included in the price.
    • Don’t go hiking unprepared. This sport is a common pastime in Switzerland, so an easy, medium or hard route may not necessarily match your expectations. If in doubt, get a guide or ask advice before setting off.
    • Don’t get caught out by shops being closed on Sundays. If you’re looking to get some shopping done, even just in the supermarket, make sure you don’t leave it until Sunday, as most places will be closed.

    Local phrases & essential vocabulary

    If you’re brushing up on your language skills for your trip to Geneva, your best bet is to opt for French. Around a quarter of the population speak English and about 40% are from outside of Switzerland. Making the effort to learn a few key phrases will go a long way.

    • Hello: Bonjour
    • Goodbye: Au revoir
    • Thank you: Merci
    • Please: S’il vous plaît
    • Yes/no: Oui/non
    • Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais?
    • I would like…: Je voudrais…
    • Excuse me: Excusez-moi
    • Sorry: Desolé

    Cultural events in Geneva

    There’s no shortage of cultural events in Geneva, whatever the time of the year:

    • Visit the International Geneva Motor Show, held annually in March at the Palexpo.
    • Listen to poetry and music recitals during the summer at the Bains des Pâquis.
    • Celebrate in the streets at the Escalade in mid-December; expect street parades, traditional costumes and lots of fun.
    • Rock out at the Fête de la musique every year in June. This open celebration sees hundreds of bands and artists playing in the street all over the city and draws huge crowds.

    When to go to Geneva?

    The question of when to visit Geneva really depends on what you want. The climate is pleasant for most of the year, with the summer months offering warm and breezy weather. Temperatures drop considerably between December and August, but if you’re looking to go skiing, this is also when there is the most snow.

    What to eat in Geneva?

    • Cheese: there are countless ways to enjoy this very typical Swiss staple, but raclette and fondue are particularly popular. Melted in a pot or straight from a huge cheese wheel, and typically enjoyed with bread, charcuterie and other dipping delights.
    • Chocolate: you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to chocolatiers, whose selection of indulgent treats is sure to wow.
    • Rösti: a deep-fried potato cake that makes a great afternoon snack.
    • Whatever else is in season. Eating locally and seasonally is a way of life in Switzerland so go with the flow and try some of the delicacies on offer at the time of your visit.

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