Geneva is a tranquil city, sitting on the largest lake in central Europe. With plenty to see and do, here’s a perfect 3 day Geneva itinerary.
How To Get Around Geneva
Before we start, if you’re looking for transfers from the airport to your hotel, you can secure a cheap and easy Geneva Airport to Geneva City Transfer.
If you’re a tourist staying in any Geneva, you will receive a free ‘Geneva Transport Card’ when you check into any accommodation.
This will grant you free access to all modes of public transport for the duration of your stay.
If you’ve scheduled a 3 day Geneva itinerary like us, then you should easily get around each place within plenty of time.
As for getting around Geneva, it couldn’t be easier. There are numerous options:
Firstly, the most popular option if you want to get from one side of the lake to the other, is to catch the yellow shuttle boat that crosses Lake Geneva. Also known as Mouettes.
They run every 10 minutes and are yellow in colour, so you can’t miss them.
It was enjoyable seeing the city from the water, so we highly recommend you adding this mode to your 3 day Geneva itinerary at some point.
You can travel for free by boat with your Geneva Transport Pass, or you can find out more info on ticketing and prices Geneva Lake Boats website.
Geneva has a great tram network, allowing you to reach many places in and around the city, fast and efficiently.
Trams are also a cool way to see the city at pace without missing out on too many sights!
You can travel for free by tram with your Geneva Transport Pass, or you can find out more info on ticketing and prices on the Geneva Public Transport website.
Another option for the shorter journeys (or longer journeys depending on your fitness level) is to ride bikes.
Most of the city is flat and there are an abundance of bike paths, so this is a great incentive for most cyclists. The paths along the lake are truly beautiful to ride around too.
If you’re not up for the exercise, you can also catch one of the many taxi bikes rolling around the city. They are an efficient eco-friendly way to get around and the riders are full of tourist info.
Standard buses are included within your Geneva Transport Pass.
However, there is also the famous Geneva: Open-Top Bus Sightseeing Tour.
This is always popular among tourists and is great way to see many famous landmarks around Geneva at ease.
If you opt for standard buses, the best way to find your route is via google maps using the small bus icon.
If you’re unsure of anything though, you can always ask the drivers. Geneva is very multi-cultural so it’s highly likely that the public transport workers will speak good English.
In Geneva, you can order taxi’s by phone, or you can hop in them from the authorised taxi ranks dotted around the city.
Or like the New Yorker’s, you can even hail one from the curb!
Here are some taxi numbers that may come in useful:
Taxiphone.ch: 022 33 141 33
Genevataxi.ch: +41 22 707 04 25
Taxireservation.ch: +41 22 707 04 20
Some of the best days out we’ve had in Geneva have been on private tours.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
From food tours, to lake cruises and watch workshops, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the Swiss hub!
Best Time To Visit Geneva
Geneva is a beautiful city to visit at any time of the year. However, to make the most of all the outdoor activities on offer, the warmer months between May and October are going to be the best.
If you want to avoid the busiest time, peak season is during the months of July and August when tourists flock to the city.
Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.
What To Pack
3 Days In Geneva Itinerary
Explore The Old Town
The Old Town is a great place to start on your 3 day Geneva itinerary.
Walk around the old town and discover the beautiful history that Geneva has to offer. Explore the shops and cafes down the narrow hilly streets, and embrace the culture and Swiss style of life.
There are many galleries as well as museums and historical sights all tucked between the beautiful buildings.
Depending on what you’re into, you can also hop on a guided tour such as the Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise to really learn the ins and outs with a guide.
English Garden + Big Ferris Wheel
Whilst walking around the Old Town, we highly recommend taking a stroll through the English Garden (or Jardin Anglais) and riding the Big Geneva Ferris Wheel.
Created in 1855, the English Garden has a very special place in the heart of Geneva’s citizens. Its paths are the perfect place for an idyllic stroll in the centre of the city.
As you pass through the bronze statues and popular water fountain, you’ll come towards the large flower clock and from here you cannot miss the Big Ferris Wheel!
The Ferris Wheel lasts just 5 minutes, giving you 4 complete loops of the ride and is a unique way to see the city of Geneva from a height.
Adults: CHF 6
Children: CHF 3
Children under 1 age: Free
Daily: 12pm – Midnight.*
*The Ferris wheel is only open in summer, from 4th June – 19th September.
Private Boat Cruise On Lake Geneva
A great way to spend the afternoon, if the weather is on your side, is by taking a private cruise on the famous Lake Geneva.
You really get to see the city in a different light from the water. With VIP views of the Swiss mountains, it’s an activity not to be missed on your 3 day Geneva itinerary.
There are many different kinds of boat tours and cruises available. The most popular of which is the 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise.
We enjoyed a classy private boat tour with Geneva Boats before sailing into the sunset with a glass of bubbly.
It was definitely one of the most memorable moments from our 3 days in Geneva.
Dinner On The Beach
Once you’re finished with the Old Town and the lake, there’s no better way to spend your first evening than with dinner on the beach in the ‘Eaux Vives District’.
You have a great array of restaurants to choose from in this area and each one has a unique ambience.
We ate at Restaurant De La Plage & Buvette, the restaurant directly on the beach.
We watched the sun go down behind the panoramic views of the city and mountains, all whilst enjoying the delicious food and beverages they have on offer.
In our opinion, out of all 3 days in Geneva, it was the best spot for a romantic evening meal.
Take A Yoga Class
Lose yourself in a morning yoga lesson at the ‘Bains Des Paquis’.
Start your day moving, breathing consciously and feeling every inch of your body wake up.
‘Bains Des Paquis’ are popular public bath houses on the pier in Lake Geneva, and they turn into saunas during winter.
We are far from yogi’s but the early morning yoga lesson really set us up for the second day in Geneva.
It was an unbelievably perfect location, listening to the lakes waves subtly crashing against the pier, whilst stretching from head to toe.
So if you’re into yoga you’re in for a treat. However, even if yoga is something you’ve never tried, we highly recommend giving it a go here. Purely because of the experience as a whole.
Many people head to the pier to have their morning swim and it’s an all round great vibe on the Bains des Paquis.
Our yoga session was arranged with a lady named Kathryn who was very kind and if you’d like to give it a go you can contact her on Facebook.
Watch Making Workshop
Why not try a watchmaking workshop in the heart of Geneva? After all it is the watchmaking capital of the world!
The city tells the time in a thousand and one ways and flaunts its many prestigious watchmaking brands around the Lake.
From Rolex to Patek Philippe, you’ll spot all the big names in lights come the evening. However, we enjoyed a workshop at a smaller Swiss based company – Initium, in the Old Town.
It was really interesting to see the mechanics behind the faces of these very delicate time tellers. We sat and took apart the movement screw by screw, before putting it all back together!
If you’re into watches, making your own is not only a special experience, but you’ll never find the same watch twice. Plus it’s a unique souvenir to take away from Geneva, THE kingdom of watches.
You can make a reservation from Monday to Saturday: 9am to 12pm or 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
For more info you can contact them through the Initium website.
Lunch In The Old Town
After all that tense finger shaking, a spot of lunch will probably be in order!
The Old Town is not only home to secret passages and stunning architecture, but it also boasts many romantic, quirky restaurants and cafes too.
We stopped for lunch at a very traditional restaurant, Hôtel-de-Ville, following our watchmaking workshop. Here we experienced all the Geneva vibes in a really great setting.
We fell in love with the romantic Old Town and we believe everyone that visits will too.
There are also plenty of Geneva’s Old Town tours available for those with a bit more time on their hands. Or that may be interested in the history.
E-Bike Vineyard Tour + Wine Tasting
One of our favourite activities on our 3 day Geneva itinerary was riding through the beautiful vineyards on e-bikes.
The incredible panoramic mountain views you see are second to none and we really felt this was the moment that we experience true Geneva.
If you love the vino and the not so strenuous activities, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this comfortable scenic tour.
We tried many different delicious wines, from stunning locations and balconies that looked over fields of perfectly aligned vineyards.
We booked our tour through ebiketour.ch and can highly recommend adding this experience on your 3 day Geneva itinerary.
Dinner In The Vineyards At La Cabuche
We ended our e-bike tour at La Cabuche and what a place it was.
We enjoyed a memorable sunset and a huge buffet feast of delicious fancy finger foods.
La Cabuche is open to the public Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm & Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Otherwise it is available by appointment.
From a distance you can see the planes coming in and out of Geneva airport from La Cabuche, and with the fiery sunset we had, the planes left a pink candy floss trail behind them.
After dark, the city lights came on and the views were just as incredible.
Needless to say it was the perfect ending to fulfilling day and it allowed us some relaxing down time to wind down and enjoy the stillness.
An unforgettable evening in Geneva!
Urban Street Tour In Taxi Bikes
For your final day, why not discover the hipster side of Geneva and the meanings behind the many creative wall murals covering the city.
We learned all about the different forms of art dotted around Geneva, whilst cruising around comfortably in our taxi bikes.
The guides were not only super friendly but very well educated on the talented artists behind the art. Meaning we were able to learn as we went along.
Whilst you’re exploring the urban district of Geneva, don’t forget to remind your taxi bike driver that you want to head to Jonction. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Geneva.
Pointe de la Jonction is a famous place where the River Rhone (from Geneva Lake) meets the River Arve (from Mont Blanc).
What makes it such a tourist attraction is the colour combination of the two rivers and the way they meet at ‘the junction’.
The water flowing from Geneva Lake is crystal blue, where as the water flowing from Mont Blanc is more of a musky blue.
The two contrasts of colours adjoining are beautiful to see and a real freak of nature. It’s also crazy how the streams of blue stay intact and somehow do not merge together.
There is the option to witness it from the ground like we did at Point de la Jonction. However, if you’d like to see the contrasts of blue from above, the best option is to walk over the viaduct at Viaduct de la Jonction.
We can highly recommend the Taxi Bike guys and you can find out more about their ticketing and prices through the Taxi Bike website.
There are also of course plenty of other E-bike tours such as the Geneva: E-Bike City Tour. Where you zip through Geneva on an electric bike and explore the city’s gorgeous parks, the Old Town, the Water Fountain and the Flower Clock.
Carouge is a bohemian style town with balcony-less, barn style buildings and splashes of colour throughout.
With it being it’s own three-square kilometre patch of city, it has many stories to tell.
Carouge was actually Sardinian for twice as long as it has been Swiss, so like a getaway to the Mediterranean, it is a blend of romantic Italian style restaurants, crowded bars and unique shops.
This is certainly a town for walking. And not just along the flower-filled streets, but through the Saturday market and into hidden courtyards.
If you explore deeper into the town, you just might uncover an invisible alley, with a park bench and flowers. It is a place full of wonderful mystery and has to be on your 3 day Geneva itinerary.
Whilst in Carouge, don’t forget to swing by one of the best Swiss chocolate factory’s, Philippe Pascoët.
Lauren picked up a little something so that we could taste some real Swiss chocolate following our lunch at Café Du Marché.
If you have the time and you’re a real chocolate lover though, why not check out a Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva.
A three-hour walking tour where you taste, indulge and fully experience Geneva’s chocolate culture.
Don’t leave Geneva without taking an ‘international flight’ over the French/Swiss countryside.
What we thought would be a scary/daunting experience was actually very peaceful.
We spread our wings and took flight over the border of France and Switzerland and what an incredible trip it was.
Seeing all the places we’d visited on our previous days from the sky, including the sheer size of Geneva Lake, is an awesome thing to add to your 3 day Geneva itinerary.
We flew with Rafting.ch and had the most joyous experience. We crossed the French border to get to our starting point but depending on the winds on the, the pilots choose from a few different locations.
So if adrenaline is your thing, sit back, relax and admire the panoramic views from above.
You really get a glimpse of what it feels like to be a bird. Soaring through the sky whilst following the peaceful direction of the winds.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
A sunset Stand Up Paddle Board to remember!
By this point you’ve probably cruised across Lake Geneva on some sort of boat. But how about getting even closer to the water?
Stand Up Paddle Boarding on our last night in Geneva was the perfect way to end our trip.
We paddled around as the sun set and it so the most tranquil experience of our 3 days in Geneva.
After we parked our boards up and got changed, we hung around the quirky lakeside bar and had an Aperol Spritz at Tropical Corner.
With good vibes for those on and off the lake they also offer wake boarding, windsurfing and other types of water sports.
A great spot for sunset before heading to Rue Henri Blanvalet for a trendy final dinner.
Dinner In Rue Henri Blanvalet
After 3 days in Geneva, your last night should definitely be spent at one of the many trendy places to eat in Rue Henri Blanvalet.
Geneva has a lot of wonderful restaurants and bars spread out across the city, but if you’re looking for the highest concentration of them, Rue Henri-Blanvalet in Eaux-Vives is your place.
It’s well known as the best street in Geneva for dining and drinking. We ate delicious Peruvian cuisine at Alma and also tried the most delicious cocktails.
We hand our own private room through a secret door which was very cool.
Plus if you’re looking to carry on the night there are plenty of bars in the area that will be pumping until the early hours!
Where To Stay In Geneva
The elegant Four Seasons Hotel Geneva is set in a historic building from 1834.
All rooms at Four Seasons’ are unique as well as luxurious, with classic French furnishings. They all offer views of the city, the garden or the lake.
The fine dining restaurant serves Italian cuisine, local products and features wines of Italy, France and Switzerland.
The spa area includes an indoor infinity-edge pool as well as a fitness room. Children’s amenities are provided as well as a babysitting service.
The hotel is located in the centre of Geneva, a 10-minute walk from the train station and just beside the Mont Blanc Bus Stop.
Entirely renovated in 2012, The Hotel N’vY Manotel is just 350 yards away from the banks of Lake Geneva.
A stone’s throw from the train station and a 15-minute walk from the centre and the UN.
The stylish rooms have a flat-screen HD TV, a Hi-Fi system, a multi-media plug, ambient lighting and Wi-Fi internet access.
Tag’s Café offers food to take away or to eat in, in a setting with a relaxed New York vibe. Customers can use the tablet computers.
Ibis Genève Centre Nations is located in the centre of Geneva, just 900 yards from Cornavin Train Station.
It offers modern en-suite rooms with a flat-screen cable TV, as well as free Wi-Fi access in the entire hotel.
Guests of the Centre Nations Ibis benefit from a 24-hour reception and a bar serving drinks as well as snacks around the clock.
Lake Geneva and the international organisations are 1.2 miles away, and Geneva Airport is 2.5 miles away.
For more places to stay in Geneva, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.