If there’s a more tourist friendly city than Geneva then I haven’t come across it yet. At the invitation of the Geneva Tourism Board, I along with 11 others, spent a weekend in the home of the United Nations and Red Cross. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the city (like how everyone speaks French) but under the direction of my hosts, I realized that pleasant surprises are abound in Geneva.Ease of transport
The train journey from the airport to city center takes less than 10 minutes. And the kicker is… the journey is free! Just be sure to pick up your free ticket (valid for 80 mins) from a machine by the baggage claim. Another visitor friendly offer is the free transport pass available from all hotels that allows for train and water taxi transports for the duration of your stay. I appreciated its ease of use which really helped limit the hassle of waiting in line and getting the correct change etc. Vineyards in Geneva’s countryside
The Swiss are famous for their cheese and chocolate but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they also produce wine. An e-bike tour was organized for our group to ride through the scenic countryside of Geneva and its vineyards. I unfortunately had to hang back since I’m not the most confident of cyclists and a bike that’s slightly too big for me was enough for me to call it quits and hail a taxi. It was not my proudest moment but on the bright side I had time to amble around to find specks of Swiss countryside life.I later met the rest of my party for a Rhone River cruise sampling 7 selections of Genevan wine, my favourite being a refreshing pink rose. Along our route I marvelled at the number of people who came out to embrace the Swiss summer on the river, sunbathers and kayakers alike. It’s also striking just how happy everyone seemed to be – us included.
The charms of Old Town
The charms of old town is undeniable. This is where you go to get lost with abandon taking in the architecture, its history and narrow walkways taking you to one picturesque place to another. The cathedral looms over old town and is a worthwhile stop to make for panoramic views overlooking the city. Equally quaint is the Bourg-de-Four Square, the old Roman marketplace, that attracts both tourists and locals – it’s the perfect spot for people watching. On Sunday the area is pretty empty since most of the shops are closed which makes for an especially pleasant slow stroll.If you’re to find yourself in Geneva I’d also recommend a gourmet picnic at super trendy Parc des Eaux-Vives. They provide a steal worthy picnic basket full of goodies equipped with a Swiss Army Knife that’s particularly useful for sausage slicing. Just be sure to bring a bottle of mosquito repellant for that romantic sunset picnic in the park.I now leave you with a fun video of our time in Geneva by the folks at We Like Travel: