30 Unique and Fun Things to Do in Geneva | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Natasha, a passionate explorer who loves uncovering unique and fun experiences in Geneva. Join me in discovering the hidden gems of this vibrant city through a blend of adventure, culture, and breathtaking sights.

Unique and Fun Things to Do in Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland, is a picturesque city that offers visitors a wealth of experiences.

From exploring hidden neighborhoods and water sports on the iconic Geneva Lake to indulging in Swiss chocolate, there's something for everyone in Geneva.

In this article, we will take a closer look at 30 unique and fun things to do in Geneva, discussing the attractions and activities that will help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Lake Geneva

Top Choice Hotel

Hotel de la Paix

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Chez Ma Cousine

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Bar La Clémence

Best Time to Visit

Summer: July-August for warm weather activities.

Average Temperature

Temperate climate with mild to warm summer temperatures.

Transportation Options

Trains, trams, buses, boats - transportation variety in Geneva.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Geneva, Switzerland, immerse yourself in the city's rich history and breathtaking scenery. Explore the iconic Jet d'Eau, a majestic fountain set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Geneva, and take a leisurely stroll along the serene promenade. Delight in the charm of Old Town as you wander through narrow cobblestone streets, admiring the well-preserved medieval architecture and indulging in delicious Swiss chocolates at local boutiques.

Unwind in the picturesque Parc des Bastions, where you can bask in the peaceful atmosphere while marveling at the Reformation Wall, a tribute to Geneva's significant role in the Protestant Reformation. Discover the city's cultural side by visiting a variety of world-class museums, such as the Museum of Art and History or the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. Geneva truly offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

What You'll Need to Bring

Passport, comfortable walking shoes, warm clothing, umbrella, camera, power adapter, local currency, travel guidebook, personal identification, travel insurance, language translator app.

What Not to Miss

  • Jet d'Eau: Iconic water fountain in Geneva
  • Old Town: Explore the historic heart of the city
  • St. Pierre Cathedral: Visit the famous cathedral
  • Lake Geneva: Enjoy the beautiful lake and its surroundings
  • United Nations Office: Discover the international hub in Geneva
  • Patek Philippe Museum: Explore the world of luxury watches
  • Parc des Bastions: Relax in the park and admire the Reformation Wall
  • Carouge: Wander through this charming neighborhood
  • Geneva Flower Clock: Admire the famous clock made of flowers
  • Mont Salève: Take a cable car ride for stunning views of the city

What to Eat and Drink in CITY

  • Fondue: Try the traditional Swiss cheese fondue
  • Raclette: Savor melted cheese served with potatoes and pickles
  • Chocolate: Indulge in Swiss chocolates and pralines
  • Lake Geneva Perch: Taste the local freshwater fish delicacy
  • Geneva Salad: Enjoy a refreshing salad with local produce
  • Swiss wines: Sample local wines from the Geneva region
  • Swiss pastries: Treat yourself to delicious pastries and desserts
  • Geneva beer: Try a locally brewed beer in one of the city's many pubs
  • Rösti: Delight in the Swiss-style grated potato dish
  • Cervelat: Savor the popular Swiss sausage

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking: Geneva can be quite fashionable, so it's best to pack light and avoid overpacking. Bring versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched.

  2. Rushing through Old Town: Take your time to explore the historic Old Town area of Geneva. Don't rush through it as there are many hidden gems, quaint shops, and charming cafes to discover.

  3. Ignoring the Lake Geneva Promenade: Don't forget to experience the beauty of Lake Geneva by strolling along the promenade. It offers stunning views of the lake and the famous Jet d'Eau.

  4. Skipping on Swiss Chocolates: Geneva is famous for its mouth-watering Swiss chocolates. Don't miss the chance to indulge in this delectable treat.

  5. Avoiding public transportation: Geneva has an excellent public transportation network. Avoid the cost and hassle of driving by taking advantage of the efficient tram, bus, and boat services.

  6. Not respecting local etiquette: Be mindful of local customs and etiquette while in Geneva. For example, it's customary to greet people with a firm handshake and maintain good manners in public places.

  7. Skipping the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum: Don't miss the opportunity to visit this compelling museum that shares the inspiring history of humanitarian work.

  8. Disregarding the language: Though many people in Geneva speak English, it's always appreciated if you can learn a few basic French phrases to show respect.

  9. Overlooking markets and food stalls: Explore the local markets, such as the Plainpalais Flea Market and the Carouge Market, where you can find unique souvenirs, fresh produce, and delicious street food.

  10. Bypassing the wine region of Lavaux: Take a day trip to the nearby Lavaux region, known for its picturesque vineyards. Sample some exquisite Swiss wines and soak in the breathtaking scenery.

1. Explore Lake Geneva on a boat tour

Lake Geneva Boat Tour

Lake Geneva, which sits on the border between France and Switzerland on the north side of the Alps, is one of the largest in Western Europe. It is celebrated for its stunning mountain scenery and picturesque villages.

Starting at the Pierres du Niton and cruising via the Pointe à la Bise, a boat ride on Lake Geneva is a perfect way to tackle your Geneva sightseeing and see important sights, such as the UN building and the iconic Jet d'Eau fountain.

2. Stroll through the scenic Parc de la Grange

Parc de la Grange

Parc de la Grange, located beside Parc des Eaux-Vives, is one of the largest and most picturesque in the city. The park is a significant historical site, containing neolithic menhirs and the ruins of a Roman villa.

It was once the private grounds of the 18th-century manor house, Villa de La Grange. The park is an ideal place to enjoy a break from the busy city and offers something for everyone with its playgrounds, paddling pool, flower gardens, and two theaters.

3. Explore the Art and History Museum

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire

The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire is the largest art museum in the city, with a collection of over 650,000 objects. Its archeology department showcases prehistoric artworks, while its antique, classical, Byzantine, and modern collections display a diverse range of artifacts and artworks.

The Art and History Museum boasts more than 7,000 square meters of exhibition space, providing visitors with ample opportunity to explore. The Musée Rath, which is part of the museum, houses temporary exhibitions that change two to three times a year.

4. Take a tour of Palais des Nations

Palais des Nations

A visit to the Palais des Nations, the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, is a must for those interested in international relations. As the European United Nations office, it is home to institutions that play a critical role in international politics, economics, and science.

A guided tour of the building takes visitors through various halls, including the Assembly Hall, where world leaders gather for important meetings, and the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, which showcases the work of the UN on human rights issues.

5. See the views from the towers at St. Pierre Cathedral

views from the towers at St. Pierre Cathedral

The St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva dates back to the 12th century. Built on the site of an older church, the Cathedral played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, becoming an unofficial center of Protestantism.

Notable figures such as John Calvin, one of the leaders of the movement, used the Cathedral as a place of worship. Although the church's interior is relatively simple, the Chapel of the Maccabees is a highlight for visitors, featuring a lavishly decorated pulpit and beautifully painted ceilings.

6. See the Jet d'Eau water fountain

Jet d'Eau water fountain

The Jet d'Eau is an iconic landmark in Geneva. The fountain was originally built as part of a nearby hydraulic plant. Jet d'Eau was relocated to the bay in 1891 and has become one of the city's major attractions.

Jet d'Eau is one of the tallest fountains in the world, shooting water up to an impressive height of 140 meters, which is higher than the Statue of Liberty. Jet d'Eau is easily spotted from the shores of Lake Geneva and is visible from the air as you fly into Geneva airport.

7. Take a guided tour of Geneva Old Town

Geneva Old Town

The Old Town of Geneva, or Vieille Ville, is a historic district full of winding, cobbled streets, ancient buildings, art galleries, secret passageways, and hidden courtyards that you can explore on a guided tour.

The district is home to several museums, including the Barbier-Mueller Museum and the Maison Tavel, Geneva's oldest house, which has been converted into a museum dedicated to the city's history.

8. Relax and unwind at the Bains des Pâquis

Bains des Pâquis

Bains des Pâquis located on the beautiful lakefront promenade, Quai du Mont Blanc, features 1930s public swimming baths. Bains des Pâquis is a favorite spot among the locals to swim and relax or enjoy a sauna, steam bath, or massage.

The swimming area is also perfect for sunbathing, and visitors can rent deck chairs and umbrellas. Apart from swimming, visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the cafes and restaurants at Bains des Pâquis and enjoy the views of the Geneva Lake.

9. Visit the Basilica Notre-Dame

Basilica Notre-Dame

The Basilica Notre-Dame in Geneva is an impressive Roman Catholic church constructed in the mid-19th century and a significant religious landmark in the area that is frequently visited by pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela.

The church is home to a range of notable art pieces, such as the stunning stained glass windows created by Claudius Lavergne. The basilica's architecture is a unique blend of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Classical elements, with towering arches, intricate carvings, and grandiose facades.

10. Explore the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Museum

International Red Cross & Red Crescent Museum

The Red Cross Museum is dedicated to the 150-year history of the humanitarian institution. Its permanent exhibition covers three major challenges facing the world today: defending human dignity, restoring family links, and reducing natural risks.

The Red Cross was founded in Geneva following the first international conference, sparked by the experiences of local businessman Jean-Henri Dunant, who witnessed the horrors of war in Solferino, Italy. The Red Cross Museum is rated as one of the best museums in Geneva.

11. Explore the International Museum of the Reformation

International Museum of the Reformation

The International Museum of Reformation in Geneva, located next to the Cathedrale de St. Pierre in the Old Town, is a must for those interested in the history of the Protestant Reformation, a movement in Europe in the 1500s that sparked religious reform.

This museum houses manuscripts and artworks that detail the impact of the Reformation on Europe and beyond. There is also a section devoted to John Calvin, a prominent religious reformer who lived and worked in Geneva during the 16th century.

12. Walk through the Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Conservatory and Botanical Garden

The Conservatory and Botanical Garden is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and connect to nature. This living museum, located next to Avenue De La Paix, features over 16,000 species of plants.

You can wander through the arboretum, which houses several oak trees that are over 300 years old, and admire the historic rose garden. The Botanical Garden also has a Herbarium, with one of the world's largest collections of plant and fungi species.

13. Sample authentic Swiss chocolate

Swiss chocolate

Switzerland is famous for producing the world's finest chocolates and the city of Geneva has a history of chocolate making that goes back to the 1800s. Trying Swiss chocolate is a highlight when visiting Switzerland that you shouldn't miss.

The city's best chocolatiers have been in operation for over 70 years, including Favarger, Du Rhône, Teuscher, Stettler, and Auer. You can take a tour of artisan chocolatiers in the city center, sample delicious Swiss chocolate, and witness the traditional methods still in use.

14. See the Broken Chair sculpture

Broken Chair sculpture

The Broken Chair sculpture is a 12-meter sculpture created by artist Daniel Berset and made from five and a half tons of wood. It was originally commissioned by the European NGO Handicap International as a symbol of their campaign against landmines.

The three-legged chair serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of these weapons. Since 1997, the Broken Chair has stood in the Place des Nations, where it has become an iconic landmark of Geneva.

15. See the rivers meet at Pointe de la Jonction

Pointe de la Jonction

The Pointe de Jonction is the meeting point between Rhone and Arve and is a popular spot for relaxation and swimming. The waters of the two rivers, which are visibly different in color, flow side by side but do not mix

The Pointe de la Jonction was formerly an industrial area but has recently been transformed into an urban park with several lovely cafes and scenic trails for visitors to enjoy along the riverbanks.

16. Learn about watchmaking at the Patek Philippe Museum

Patek Philippe Museum

Located in a restored factory, within walking distance from the old town, The Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva showcases over five centuries of watchmaking history, with over 2,500 antique and modern watches.

The watches on display come from Europe's most renowned watchmakers and Philippe's exclusive collection. 

Patek Philippe has been creating high-precision timepieces since 1839 and the Patek Philippe Museum is a testament to the brand's long-standing commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

17. Visit CERN


CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is an international research organization located near Geneva. It is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator that was instrumental in the discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle in 2012.

The laboratory also created the World Wide Web in 1989, which revolutionized global information-sharing. Visitors can tour some of the facilities and learn about cutting-edge research being conducted by scientists from around the world.

18. Take a day trip to Montreux and Château de Chillon

Château de Chillon

Montreux is known for its musical heritage, as it has been home to many famous musicians. One of its top attractions is the Chaplin’s World Museum, located in the former home of Charlie Chaplin and dedicated to his life and legacy.

The day trip also includes Château de Chillon, a medieval castle perched on a small island in Lake Geneva. It dates back to the 11th century and has been used as a prison and a summer residence for the Counts of Savoy.

19. Visit the Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in Geneva is a top attraction for nature lovers. Established in 1820, it is the largest natural history museum in Switzerland, and home to an extensive collection of over 6 million specimens.

The Natural History Museum features exhibits that cover various fields, including paleontology, mineralogy, zoology, and botany. Visitors can explore the galleries and learn about the history of life on Earth, the diversity of plants and animals, and the geological formation of our planet.

20. Visit Geneva's Oldest Square, Place du Bourg-de-Four

Place du Bourg-de-Four

Place du Bourg-de-Four is the historical heart of Geneva’s old town. It is the oldest square in the city and has served as a marketplace since the 11th century. Today, it remains a popular gathering place for both locals and visitors alike.

The square is also known for hosting various markets, including the popular Christmas market. Nearby, you can find the Promenade de la Treille, which features the old chestnut tree where the start of spring is celebrated every year and offers views of Mont Salève.

21. See the Statue of Frankenstein

Statue of Frankenstein

The city of Geneva is famous for being the setting of Mary Shelley’s classic horror story "Frankenstein". While staying by Lake Geneva in 1816, Shelley created the story to entertain her friends.

The book includes landmarks from the city such as Calvin College, which is now one of the city’s high schools. Visitors to Geneva can find a statue of Shelley’s Frankenstein on Plainpalais, where the monster committed his first murder in the story.

22. See Geneva's famous Flower Clock

Flower Clock

The famous Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie) is located in the Jardin Anglais, on the western shore of Lake Geneva. The clock is made up of over 6,500 flowering plants and is designed to represent the Swiss passion for timekeeping and the importance of nature.

You can enjoy the beauty of the garden and the precision of the clockwork, which is maintained year-round by horticultural experts. It is a great attraction for those interested in botany and Swiss culture and offers a picturesque backdrop for photos.

23. Try local cuisine

local cuisine

Geneva is known for its high-quality cuisine, including Swiss cheese fondue and chocolates. 

One of the highlights of a food tour in Geneva is exploring the city's best coffee shops and bakeries and the trendy Eaux-Vives area with hip cafes and restaurants.

And there's also no way you can visit Switzerland without treating yourself to delicious cheese fondue, a dish made with melted cheese and served with bread. 

You can find excellent fondue at traditional Swiss restaurants like Le Gruyérien and Café du Soleil.

24. Go kayaking on the Rhone River

kayaking on the Rhone River

Kayaking on the Rhone River in Geneva is an exciting way to explore the city's beautiful surroundings from a different perspective. Kayaking also provides a great opportunity to exercise and enjoy the fresh air.

The Rhone runs through the heart of the city and provides a unique view of Geneva's skyline and landmarks such as the Jet d'Eau fountain and the iconic Pont du Mont-Blanc bridge. There are plenty of options for guided tours and equipment rentals in the area.

25. Take the cable car at Chamonix and Mont Blanc

mountain cable car

For adventure seekers, a trip to Chamonix and Mont Blanc is a must-do experience when visiting Geneva. Located just a short distance from the city, Chamonix is a resort town and a popular destination for winter sports.

One of the highlights of the area is the Aiguille du Midi cable car which takes you to the peak of the French Alps for stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Afterward, you can indulge in a delicious traditional lunch at one of the local restaurants.

26. Paddleboard on Lake Geneva

Paddleboard on Lake Geneva

Paddleboarding on Lake Geneva is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors while visiting Geneva. This activity is suitable for people of all ages and skill levels, making it a great option for families and groups.

The calm waters of the lake provide a perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the city, the Jet d'Eau fountain, and the mountains. Paddleboarding is also an excellent way to get some exercise while exploring Lake Geneva.

27. Take a day trip to Evian-les-Bains


Evian-les-Bains is a lovely day trip destination located on the southern shore of Lake Geneva, just 25 miles from Geneva. This charming French town is famous for its mineral-rich thermal springs and its stunning location surrounded by the Alps.

Evian-les-Bains offers visitors beautiful parks and gardens, great views of Lake Geneva, and world-renowned spas. Visitors can also visit the Evian Resort, which is home to one of the world's most prestigious golf courses, and enjoy some of the finest dining in the region.

28. Play chess in Parc des Bastions

Parc des Bastions

Parc des Bastions is a delightful park located just a short distance from the Old Town of Geneva. The park is well known for its many monuments, including the Reformation Wall, which honors the leading figures of the Reformation movement.

Visitors can also relax under the shade of the park's many old trees, enjoy a picnic on one of the benches or play a game of giant chess. The park is also home to the city government building, the Palais Eynard, the University of Geneva, and a lovely café.

29. Have fun at the Tropical Corner

Tropical Corner

The Tropical Corner, situated at the Nautical Center of Geneva-Plage on the banks of Lake Geneva, features a beach, a large outdoor swimming pool, and a restaurant. This is an extremely popular place during summer weekends.

It offers windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding rentals and has a lovely terrace overlooking Lake Geneva. With its beautiful setting and fantastic water activities, the Tropical Corner is an ideal spot for a day out with family and friends in Geneva.

30. Take a day trip to Mont Salève

Mont Salève

Mont Salève is a popular destination for a day trip, located just outside of Geneva. Often referred to as “the balcony of Geneva,” Mont Salève offers visitors breathtaking panoramic views of the city, Lake Geneva, and the Jura Mountains.

One of the most popular ways to reach the top is by taking the cable car, which takes just a few minutes and offers amazing views. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy the various hiking trails and outdoor activities available.

FAQs: Fun things to do in Geneva, Switzerland

Let's also explore some of the most common questions that readers have regarding fun things to do in Geneva, Switzerland.

What is the main attraction of Geneva?

Geneva is known for its picturesque location along the shores of Lake Geneva and its stunning natural scenery, including the nearby Alps.

Its rich history and culture are also major attractions, as it is home to several museums, monuments, and landmarks, including the Jet d'Eau fountain, the Palace of Nations, and the Old Town Geneva.

Is there a lot to do in Geneva, Switzerland?

Yes, there is plenty to do in Geneva. You can explore the city center and old town and visit the Palais des Nations (the United Nations Office), Saint Pierre Cathedral, the Botanical Garden, Parc des Bastions, and Quai du Mont Blanc.

Geneva is also a great base for day trips and exploring the surrounding region. You can take a mountain cable car at Chamonix and Mont Blanc, or take a boat tour of Lake Geneva.

How do you spend your day in Geneva?

Some popular activities in Geneva include visiting the Palais des Nations (the United Nations building) or the Old Town.

You can also stroll along the shores of Lake Geneva or in the Botanical Garden, take a mountain cable car at Chamonix and Mont Blanc, or try the local cuisine in one of Geneva's many restaurants.

How can you enjoy Geneva, Switzerland?

To fully enjoy Geneva, visitors should make sure to explore both its city life and natural attractions.

Some top Geneva attractions include taking a boat tour of Lake Geneva and taking a cable car or mountain biking in the nearby mountains.

You can also immerse yourself in the city's culture, by taking a walking tour of Geneva city center, trying local foods and wines, and experiencing its vibrant nightlife.

Summing Up: Unique and Fun Things to Do in Geneva

As you can see, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Geneva. Visiting this city offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure.

From exploring the charming Geneva old town, Palais des Nations, and the Saint Pierre Cathedral to exciting day trips and taking a mountain cable car for stunning views, there is so much to do when you visit Geneva.

With so much to do when you visit Geneva, it's definitely worth putting on your travel list. So pack your bags and come explore all this wonderful city has to offer.