With so many travel-worthy destinations around the globe, it can be quite hard to decide where you should spend your precious vacation days.
A pre-ski stopover for many traveling to the Alps, the postcard- city of Geneva is often overlooked in favor of fairy tale Swiss towns like Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald. However, the ‘city of peace’ with its labyrinthine old streets, sparkling Lac Leman, and the surrounding snow-capped Alps, is definitely worth visiting.
Here’s how we whiled away a wonderful day in town…
We touched ground on a warm sunny morning. The airport is located less than 4 km from the city centre, so getting to our lovely hotel was super easy, fast, and free! (Passengers arriving at Geneva Airport can get a free ticket for the public transportation system, valid for 80 minutes).
Our hotel, which was just steps away from the upscale street Rue du Rhône, offered an exceptional location on the shores of the crescent-shaped Lake Geneva, making it the perfect base from which to explore the city.
After checking- in and refreshing ourselves, we crossed the river Rhône and took a romantic stroll under the cool shade of the trees in the central Jardin Anglais where we found the most stunning floral clock ever.
With more than 6,500 flowers and plants, the “Horloge Fleurie” is not only a floral masterpiece, it also tells the time with Swiss precision. Did you know the seconds hand of Geneva’s Flower Clock is the largest in the world (it is more than 2.5 meters long)?
Then, we walked on towards the Jet d’Eau, Europe’s tallest water fountain. The famous jet of water is the symbol of the city. The towering spray reaches more than 450-feet (137 metres) high, that is about 50m higher than the Statue of Liberty!
From here, we headed up into the winding streets of the Old Town for chic boutiques and cafes. For some of the best views of the city, we went up the 157 steps to the top of the imposing, part-Romanesque, part-Gothic Cathédrale de Saint-Pierre.
When I heard Ladurée had opened a tea room designed by the famous interior designer Mahdavi in Geneva, I knew we had to stop there for sweet treats.
Ready to be captivated by India Mahdavi´s whimsical interiors, we headed to Ladurée Geneva located within the historic Hotel des Berges. As soon as we entered in the colorful store, I fell in love with the soft purple candy chairs and curving forms seen in the fluted counters and tables.
India Mahdavi has created a sophisticated and seductive environment that includes a pastry shop, a restaurant, and a tearoom overlooking the satin lake.
As chocolate is one of Switzerland’s undisputed culinary icons, our visit to Geneva wouldn’t be complete without purchasing a stash of our favorites. We were determined to find the best confiseries to sample this national treasure, and I have to say, we successfully fulfilled our mission!
One of our splendid discoveries was Confiserie Sprüngli. For more than 175 years, the Swiss luxury confectionery manufacturer has delighted costumers from all around the world with its exquisite range of products made from Swiss chocolate. We absolutely loved their Champagne Gold mini-macarons which are made with white chocolate and a dash of Perrier- Jöuet champagne.
Unlike typical Parisian ones, these light and airy macarons can only be found in their stores. I became so addicted to them that Javi surprised me with a gift box of these delicate treats at the airport! (I´m enjoying some cappuccino flavored ones while writing this post!).
Läderach chocolate shop is well worth a visit for their delicious confections. Here, we bought a fresh chocolate bag to enjoy it sitting by the lake.