After I finished school, I went to Switzerland to work in a hotel as a waitress. It was a beautiful hotel on a hill in a village called Beatenberg and it was there and then that I fell in love with the country. I haven't seen every country in the world, by far! But so far Switerland is my absolute favorite and if it wouldn't be for the high cost of living I would probably be living there.
I wanted to go on a trip to Geneva but after looking for an affordable hotel, which I couldn't find, I decided just to go there as a daytrip. And It worked perfectly! Me and my partner flew there in the morning and flew back in the evening. These days it is so easy to just hop on a plane. In the same time as taking a train that will bring you from London to Manchester you can go almost anywhere in Europe. Don't try and do these daytrips with ryanair though, as they fly on the airport wayy outside the city's and so it will take you at least an hour and way to much money to get from the airport to the actual city...
Geneva is a perfect a city to go for a trip like this though. Laying in the middle of mainland Europe, it's just over an hour away from almost every european airport. The airport in Geneva itself is located just a 15 minute trainride away from the central railway station and believe it or not, but you can get FREE traintickets to take this train! You find the ticket machine for these free traintickets in the baggage reclaim halls and are valid for 30 minutes.
We went to Geneva on the way home from Barcelona, we just booked the early morning flight from Barcelona to Geneva and then ht evening flight from Geneva back home. For us, this was the perfect way to extend out holiday and see Geneva aswell, without having to spend money on a expensive hotel there. In this post I will describe what we did that day to make it the perfect and cheap day.
Feed the Swans on the River Rhone
Relax in the Sun, Jardin Anglais
Walk Along the Lake
Relax on the Beach
Ride on One of the Mouettes
Mouettes, or yellow shuttle boats, are Geneva's public transport boats operated on the Geneva Lake - Lac Léman, between 4 harbours in a city center. Mouettes provide convenient way for locals to cross the lake and very interesting, beautiful and fairly cheap way to experience the Lake and see the Geneva from a new perspective for tourists.
You can use your free transport pass from your hotel for these boats, otherwise these are the ticket prices, that I think are pretty cheap for the great boat ride that you get 🙂
|60 minutes||Adult CHF 3.50||Discounted CHF 2.50|
|One way||Adult CHF 2.00||No Discount|
Walk Around the Picturesque Old Town
Climb the St. Pierre Cathedral
The Cathedral is a fine example of architecture of the period and has a tiny collection of paintings and artifacts to view. After seeing the main hall, the real treat begins at you ascend the tower (Fee 5 franc) and take in the view of the city and lake.
The spiral staircase takes you up through the steeple in a continually narrowing staircase. So narrow that an actual traffic light is installed to manage traffic up and down. Given the narrow circular staircase, it's not possible to have people in both directions. The views at the top are panoramic and include impressive views of the lake and distant mountains. Well worth the climb.
Cheese Fondue at La buvette des Bains des Paquis
Geneva is the 5th most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in Europe. So visitig this city on a budget is gonna mean that you are gonna have to enjoy the free things in life, the sun, the people, the views, the buldings, the fountains, the lake, the architecture and the Swiss air. The good thing about Switserland as well is that the water flowing from the tap is as pure as it's get's, so you don't have to spend money on drinks if you don't want to. Everywhere around the city you will find little waterfountains for drinking, so refill your waterbottles and spend your money on something else!
I hope to have given you some ideas on things to do when going to Geneva on a budget. So now I can only say, go there and fall in love with the country as well!!