Day trips by car or train
GARE ROUTIERE (Geneva Bus Station) info
GARE CORNAVIN (Geneva Train Station) info
- Lausanne, Switzerland
- Montreux and Chateau de Chillon
- Gruyere, Switzerland and Cailler Chocolate Factory
- Yvoire, France
- Annecy, France
- Chamonix and Mt. Blanc, France
Travel Suggestions (with special thanks to Masha Cemma, 2014 Global Health Fellow)
* Consider using a car-sharing service, like blablacar.com – very cheap!
- Montreux Jazz Festival – lots of food, free concerts, dancing
- Take a paddle boat around the lake!
- It’s referred to as the “Swiss Riviera” and it’s gorgeous.
- If you’re staying in a hostel or hotel ask about the Riviera card – gets you free transit and a few other discounts
- Chateau de Chillon – most visited site in Switzerland ~Take the ferry back to Geneva, it’s a beautiful trip
- 40min drive from Geneva (use blablacar.com to get there) o Stop at a beautiful suspension bridge on your way
- Often referred to as little-Venice – quite gorgeous
- Home to the UNESCO protected vineyards
- Take gondola up the vineyards and have lunch looking out onto the lake
Lavaux Vineyards (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (French)
- These are the terraced vineyards you’ll pass on the way to anywhere else in Switzerland
- Take a train to Chexbres, where there’s a hotel called the Hotel Baron Tavernier. They have an outdoor bar called The Deck. Have at least one drink here – possibly one of the best views in Switzerland! (And that’s saying a lot.)
- Cow festival in May (yes, it’s a big deal in Switzerland)
- The cows fight each other and the one who wins the fight is named “Queen” and gets a wreath and bell. It’s unreal.
- Castle that’s worth a visit
- Maison de Gruyere (Cheese factory)
- Broc is close by (Callier Chocolate factory)
- Landscape in general is stunning
- Hiking around in the Alps – very high up!
- Try to schedule some time in Lauterbrunnen too (which you’ll pass through to get to Gimmelwald). Lots of waterfalls and pretty amazing scenery). Fun fact: Tolkein based Rivendell on the Lauterbrunnen Valley!
- Trummelbach Falls – a series of waterfalls inside a mountain including one that corkscrews! Something like 11CHF to get in, worth it.
- Lots of hiking and extreme sports (paragliding, etc)
At the top gondola station you can rent a scooter and ride that back down the mountain (worth it!!)
- Lake Frist is supposed to be very beautiful and very famous
Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe (or so they market themselves).
- You can take a cable car up but it’s quite expensive – 110+CHF. We didn’t go but others have said it was breathtaking, worth the price and not to be missed.
- The Matterhorn! Of Simpsons and Toblerone fame.
- There are lots of trams up various peaks, with assorted hikes and activities to do on each one. We chose Gornergrat. There’s a gorgeous panorama of the glaciers and the Matterhorn. A couple stops from the top is Lake Riffelsee (really a pond) where you can see the Matterhorn reflected in the water.
- Switzerland’s place for extreme sports
- Canyoning, paragliding, skydiving, white water rafting, etc.
- See the Lion of Lucerne. Mark Twain described it as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” He was on to something.
- See the Old City – one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- See the bears that guard the city gates
- Take the gondola up the Gurten and eat in the restaurant at the top (amazing view of the Bernese Oberlands)
- Bring a bathing suit and swim in the Aare (for strong swimmers only, since the current is very strong. Also it will be cold).
- It’s far from Geneva, but well worth the trip!
- Try and go there on a long weekend.
- Incredible fireworks show on Swiss National Day. Splurge for a ticket to watch the fireworks from a boat.
- Lugano and Locarno are both beautiful towns, right on Lake Lugano. Bring a bathing suit.
- Bellinzona: visit the three castles and roll down the grassy ramp of the biggest one!
Travel by air
We recommend the following for best prices: