Traveling Europe: Geneva, Switzerland

After a wonderful time in Venice (read about it here!), my dad and I continued our European travels by hopping a train to Geneva, Switzerland.  Coincidentally, we actually flew over Geneva on our way to Rome the week before.  I managed to capture this amazing shot of the Swiss Alps from the plane… it was a perfect day to fly over!

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During transit to Geneva our train experienced an issue, so we had to get off and wait for another train in Brigg.  The unexpected stop was a little chilly… standing outside on a train platform in Switzerland in December isn’t exactly cozy.  The scenery, however, was beautiful!  Because the temperature was so cold (well below freezing), I decided to leave my DSLR packed in Switzerland because it is only rated for above-freezing temperatures and I didn’t want to risk any problems for the rest of the trip!  All of the photos in this post are from my good ol’ iPhone 5s.

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In Geneva, we stayed in the Mont Blanc square area, which worked out great because it was only a few minutes walk from the train station– no cab needed!  This area is situated right on the beautiful Lake Geneva, which I can imagine is wonderful for a boat ride in the warmer months!

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The older architecture around Geneva is beautiful!  Certainly different from anything you see on this side of the pond!

IMG_0004dwMonument Brunswick in the Square des Alpes

One of the interesting things we did in Geneva was the city segway tour.  I learned how to ride a segway, which was pretty fun!  Below is a shot from the quick little training session they do before the tour, and yes, I totally rode over those middle dividers a few times! 😉  The segways had license plates and were fast enough for us to ride along in city traffic, so we were able to see a lot of the city in a relatively short amount of time.

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I would like to mention that for this tour my clothing layers included: a tank top, long sleeve shirt, thick sweater, winter coat, leggings UNDER my jeans, gloves, wool scarf, and knit cap.  I was still cold!

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One of my favorite meals in Geneva was at a restaurant/bar called The Clubhouse, where I had one of the best veggie burgers of my life!  The Clubhouse is an “order at the bar and seat yourself” kind of place, and I loved the atmosphere.  It wasn’t too crowded, the food and beer were fantastic, and it even had some pool tables.  Definitely recommend to future travelers in the area!

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Geneva is also home to one of the most historic shopping districts in the world, so of course we spent some time going around the shops.  Everything was decorated for the holidays, which made the experience all the more pleasant.

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And of course, you can’t do Switzerland without some Swiss chocolate.  We hit up Auer Chocolatier in the shopping district, and while $40 for a box of chocolate is a new record for me, it is the best chocolate I’ve ever consumed.

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So that was Geneva!  Another wonderful city, and I would especially love to visit again and take a trip up to the mountains, or go during the summer months and take a boat ride out on the lake.  I’m sure the rest of the country is beautiful as well!

My travel tips for Geneva:

  • If you’re going in the winter, pack WARM.  Okay, this is an obvious one, but I even felt a bit chilly in my warmest clothes during my stay.  If I could go back and give myself one tip while packing, I would have included some of those little air-activated pocket heat packs that you can buy to put in gloves/socks while skiing… I definitely could have used some during that segway ride!
  • The currency is Swiss francs.  For somebody traveling through Europe, it’s always good to have a heads up when you are stopping somewhere that Euros aren’t (generally) accepted.  I had brought only Euros with me (which are the currency in Italy and France, other destinations of ours), and was turned down when I tried to use them.  Had to make a quick stop at an ATM!
  • The Mont Blanc Square area is great to stay in if you plan to walk everywhere.  We stayed in this area, and it was less than a 15 minute walk from most of what we planned to see.
  • Chocolate.  The chocolate shops can be a little spendy, but it’s totally worth splurging on a box to try!

Have you read my other Eurotrip posts?

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  • Fifi

    I have also recently travelled to Switzerland. It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been! :) I hope you had a great time! :) x

  • Corie

    I did a Segway tour in Chicago and ended up jumping off of the Segway to avoid crashing into another tour goer!

  • Annika

    Haha- love how one of your travel tips in chocolate 😛 Your photos are beautiful- I love the one of the alps. I got a few shots out of the plane during christmas, thankfully my pilot announced that the alps were shown on the right since I was dozing off :) Segways seem really fun, but a bit scary! I did this motorcycle activity when I was a kid at camp and I ran it into the sides more than a few times 😛

  • http://caffeinatedpinkaholic.blogspot.com/ Laura

    Geneva looks absolutely gorgeous! I remember when I was in Europe (I was in London and Paris for two weeks) that I was shellshocked by the gorgeousness of the architecture. And then you stand there and think about how old everything is…yeah.

  • Kim Amberg

    I have never been to Geneva (I live close to Zurich, so in the East of the country) but after seeing your pictures I need to go there.

  • http://www.mascarawarrior.blogspot.com/ mascarawarriorblog

    It looks like you had a really great time! That chocolate looks divine, and that mountain shot looks absolutely ethereal. I hope you have it mounted somewhere in your house.

  • Allison

    great pictures of course! Switzerland looks lovely

    http://mercuteify.blogspot.com/

  • beautopiaxoxo

    Beautiful pictures! So cool that you learned to and actually rode a Segway!
    http://beautopiaxoxo.blogspot.com

  • Bee

    Kind of disappointed that there aren’t any pictures of the big fountain or the UN building…that’s what Geneva is famous for ^^
    Them not letting you pay with Euros is verrrry odd. I live in Basel (close to the German and French border) and you can usually pay with Euro bills but your change will be in Swiss francs.

  • Monica Mont

    It just looks like you had such a good time! traveling is awesome!

  • Aleks Vargas

    Looks wonderful, cold, but wonderful! :) Glad to hear you enjoyed your time nonetheless!

  • Jacob Phelps

    lovely photos, as always!

    jacobcphelps.blogspot.com

  • Kristen

    I cannot wait to read the rest of your posts about your trip! It is getting me so excited for my long away, but upcoming trip to Europe!

  • Paola Ysabel

    Swiss chocolates! I heard they’re really really good. I love reading your travel posts. :)

  • Sterndli98

    I love my swiss choclate. What is good you can also buy only one or two as a treat. Thats what I usually do once or twice a week.

  • Amy

    I’ve been to Switzerland (to Zermatt, Geneva and Bern in August) and it was one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited! We had a view of the Matterhorn from our hotel room. Very expensive place though- you can only afford to stay there for a few days.

  • http://www.balmainbeauty.com/ Karen

    Never got to Geneva on one of my european trip’s either but I still have a whole list of countries in Europe I want to visit and hopefully I can do that in 2016. If you like Swiss chocolate you’ll probably like Belgian chocolate and I wondered why you didn’t go to Belgium as it’s not too far from France.

  • happyhoyt

    That chocolate looks amazing!

  • Samira

    Glad you enjoyed Geneva! I was born and raised in Geneva so it’s my home, but I’m in the UK now studying in university. So funny to see photos of the places my friends and I hang out, in one of your blog posts!
    How long were you staying? You should definitely come back in the summer it’s much much warmer :)