- The trains are on almost always on time and precise as in 8:36 so if you get there at 8:36 sharp, the train may already be pulling out of the station. The good thing is that on the rare event that the train is late, they tell you exactly how late it’ll be (see photo above where it says that our train to Geneva was going to be 8 minutes late).
- Taxis are prohibitively expensive so if you can, take the tram or the bus or better yet, walk around (carefully so you don’t fall like I did) since the center of town is pretty small.
- The Swiss are polite and helpful and most speak English especially in Geneva where so many expats and foreigners reside. So if you get lost (like we did), ask and they will point out the way.
- Eating out in Geneva is fairly expensive. Restaurant main courses sometimes start at 49 CHF (about US $47) so order the prix-fixe menus which are usually better value or better yet, order a smaller portion (see #5).
- Restaurant menus usually have a petite faim or petite assiette portion for starters and main courses and works well for those who are gourmets rather than gourmands or for ladies who (don’t) lunch.
- Geneva is alive during the week so if you go there for pleasure, don’t go on a weekend as the city is very quiet with most restaurants and shops closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
- The famous shopping street rue du Rhone is where the expensive brand names are – jewelry and watches for the most part but fashion boutiques as well. Start in the middle near rue Pierre Fatio where Hogans and Tods are then work your way down to Globus (department store).
- Almost all of the grande-dame Geneva hotels have been refurbished and now boast modern interiors – Jacques Garcia’s La Reserve, Tony Chi’s Intercontinental, Adam Tihany’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhone, Pierre-Yves Rochon’s Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues – which are breathing a new life to Geneva’s staid ambiance.
- The Swiss eat ten and a half kilos of chocolates per person per year so there are obviously lots of chocolate shops around town. Each Swiss has his/her preferred chocolate brand. To sample a few and find your own favorite – read this.
- Last but not least, it would be better not to mention the Swiss bank secrecy laws future as the outcome of all this controversy may change what Switzerland has been known for.
One thought on “10 things I learned on my mini-break to Geneva”
I had never been to Geneva! It looks like it is a nice place when I see it on tv. I hope I can visit it one day so that I can have the same list as yours.