One night, I did a big mistake in Geneva asking a local if I was walking in a safe area. He got quickly offended by my question and responded, “Everywhere in Geneva is safe and not dangerous.” Did I buy his statement? Of course not but I understood that it is safer than other cities.
The Geneva Water Foundation is one of the most famous attractions in Geneva. It is present in every travel images of the city and you will immediately notice groups of tourist taking selfies with the fountain while passing through Pont du mont-blanc bridge. Personally, it took me a while to fall in love with the fountain. It was smaller than I imagined and there was nothing unique about it. I watched it during the day, evening, night and in the morning as I passed through it; I unexpectedly fell in love with it on the last night of my trip while sipping wine at BATEAU GENÈVE bar during the full moon in the Rhone river. I think first sight love doesn’t happen to everyone but you do fall in love eventually. In addition, I was surprised by how clean the river was. You can see the bottom of the river with no difficulty (check the photo gallery). Similarly, the city itself is too clean. Visiting from Paris with the Seine river, the level of cleanliness in this city really shook me. Cheers to them for maintaining it’s standard.
One of my best experiences was to walk around the river in the Jardin Anglais Park in the evening. It is relaxing to grab a drink beside the river and enjoy the city like a local. The buildings in the bank of the river are all owned by watch brands and they also have a big watch located in multiple parts of the streets. Speaking about watches, do not forget to check out the Flower clock near the park. It is another biggest attractions of the city.
Would you eat Perch from the river after I mentioned it was too clean multiple times? Café du centre has one of the best fillets of perch with lemon butter sauce. It has outside seating and is walking distance from the river. Guess what, the fish Perch served in this restaurant is caught from the river and it tastes delicious. Do grab Swiss wine that goes along with the fish. It was my first time to try the Swiss wine and it tastes like a bio wine, good for frequent drinking. For dessert, I recommend you to try Llaollao, a few minutes walk away from the restaurant. It has the best natural frozen yoghurt and I added pistachio sauce on the top. I have never tried Pistachio sauce anyplace elsewhere in the world. This dessert place is definitely one of my best findings and a local recommended it to me. Do not miss this place.
I also tried Salade Genevoise at La Pelier. It is one block away from Café du centre. The Salade Genevoise is one of the best salads I had in Switzerland. They have it in the size of an appetizer and plats due to high demand. You can have your own pick. In terms of trying the food, do check out Mc Donalds too. Switzerland has it’s own unique Quinoa Curry Burger menu, which is perfect for vegetarians. I liked the curry sauce that came with the burger and the burger tastes better than the fish menu. They should definitely expand it in other countries too. Also, do check out the cafe called Luma Coffee. It is a bit walk from the river but worth it. The interior is cosy and the latte tastes very good. I visited it twice for breakfast and it never failed me. The foods in Geneva are not cheap. So, it is better to add 5 francs more and eat good food rather than spend 18 francs on chicken nuggets with fries and soda.
Like every European town, Geneva has its own old town. I highly recommend you to visit Mason Tavel, one of the oldest houses in Geneva in the old town. It has a free tour about the Geneva city’s history during medieval times. Do go to the third floor to check out Geneva’s map before the convention. Near the Mason Tavel, there is the beautiful Hotel de Ville and St. Pierre Cathedral. The cathedral was catholic before it was changed to Protestant. Try to find what changes they made to the cathedral during the Geneva convention. If you are tired of walking, you can relax at Promenade de la Treille in the old town. It has a beautiful viewpoint looking at the university and the park. The old town is a great place to walk around and try some restaurants. No, the Swiss do not live in the old town. One of the tour guides told me that the old town is pretty empty at night. So, you will not experience the local life in the old town. I feel lucky to live with the Airbnb host to experience how the locals are living currently. The new buildings are pretty modern with ancient elevators. I had Virginia who is a great host. Click here to check out her place. I highly recommend booking it and the place is located in walking distance from the station and the river.
Discussing safety again, Geneva is a safe place to travel solo in day and night. But just like any other places, do be conscious of your surroundings always.