Get Aways

Day trips by car or train

GARE ROUTIERE (Geneva Bus Station) info

GARE CORNAVIN (Geneva Train Station) info

City Links:


Travel Suggestions (with special thanks to Masha Cemma, 2014 Global Health Fellow)

* Consider using a car-sharing service, like blablacar.com – very cheap!

Montreux (French)

  • Montreux Jazz Festival  – lots of food, free concerts, dancing
  • http://www.youthhostel.ch/de/hostels/montreux
  • 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

Annecy (France)

  • 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

Vevey (French)

  • Home to the UNESCO protected vineyards
  • Take gondola up the vineyards and have lunch looking out onto the lake
  • http://www.veveyhotel.com/

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.)

Sion

  • 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.

Gruyere

  • Castle that’s worth a visit
  • Maison de Gruyere (Cheese factory)
  • Broc is close by (Callier Chocolate factory)
  • Landscape in general is stunning

Gimmelwald (German)

  • Hiking around in the Alps – very high up!
  • http://www.mountainhostel.com/
  • 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.

Grindlewald (German)

  • 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.

Zermatt

  • 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.

Interlaken (German)

Lucerne (German)

  • 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.

Bern (German)

  • 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).

Ticino (Italian)

  • 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:

 

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