Geneva – it may not be the first holiday suggestion that springs to mind, but where else can you explore the skies, secret passageways and time itself, asks unLTD’s Sarah-Louise Kelsey
Geneva will light up your life for the duration of your stay and you’ll never go hungry as its home to the greatest Swiss chocolate makers in the business.
There’s not 101 things to do but actually a list of 1001 so whether it’s hiking, skiing, watchmaking or eating (chocolate) Geneva is generous in its activities – you’ll be spoilt for choice and asking for more time (from the watchmakers) to explore. Sadly, we don’t have time (or room) to do a top 1000 list so here’s our top five instead!
- Somewhere which has influenced everyone’s lives and the reason why you can go and fill your Instagram feed with stunning photos of Geneva. Guessed what it is yet? It’s The Globe or The Globe of Science and Innovation to give it its technical term. Geneva is home to the European Nuclear Research Organisation where in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee made a proposal to his boss – a way to link and share information via the internet – in simpler terms, The World Wide Web. The Globe represents the Earth and is an unprecedented landmark in Geneva from sunrise until sunset. Inside you can be immersed in the ‘Universe of Particles’ exhibition and you can even be soared straight up to the Big Bang.
- Speaking of soaring, the next on the list – jump on board and soar into the sky…in your very own hot air balloon! An unforgettable experience as you take off for more than hour of flight and see the famous Alps, Lake Geneva and, if you’re lucky enough, maybe even Jura. But it doesn’t end there, why not treat yourself while you’re up there to a Gourmet flight and enjoy a meal freshly prepared by a renowned chef. Eating and flying not your thing? No worries at all, try the adventure flight instead and see the magic of Geneva in the night sky.
- Let’s put our feet back firmly on the ground now for number three and explore the most historical part of the city – the Old Town full of little secrets and home to medieval charm. It’s one the history buffs will not want to miss. The Old Town is encapsulated by St Peter’s Cathedral, the centre of the Reformation. The cathedral offers a way of seeing the city from above by staying put on the ground, the only issue is you have to climb 157 steps to see it, but a least that can be your exercise done for the day. On departure from the cathedral you can then surround yourself with history by wandering through the narrow medieval streets. Not to ruin the surprise, but there’s also secret passageways which link up the streets of the surrounding cities so follow them and find yourselves on a little adventure through history.
- After exploring history and the passage of time, why not explore time itself and create your very own Swiss Watch. Although they can’t offer time travel, they can encapsulate you in the weird and wonderful world of the ancestral skill which immersed not just a region, but an entire country. You’ll have the opportunity to put theory into practise with some simple tools and the help of a master-watchmaker you’ll be able to see the watch you assembled tick to life. The experience is one you won’t forget – and it’s a great way to ‘pass the time’!
- Finally, what better way to end the day than with some delicious Swiss chocolate? Favarger is the one and only chocolate manufacturer in Geneva that masters every stage of the chocolate making process – and for this factory it all began with a romantic love story. There once was a watchmaker who fell head over heels in love with the daughter of a chocolate maker from Geneva. They decided to get married and he embraced the chocolate making profession alongside his stepfather. Seven generations later, the Favarger family continues to lovingly create chocolate which is loved by many, drawing upon its past to influence its future. Staying within the 21st century though you can visit the factory and discover the magic behind Favarger chocolates through guided tours and workshops with a chef chocolatier if you ask nicely.
So, there we have it, a top 5 things to do during your flying visit to the postcard perfect Geneva. But remember it doesn’t stop there, from art exhibitions, to flea markets and from the top of the mountains to riding the waves of Lake Geneva, the city appeals to everyone.
We’d definitely recommending adding to our Top 5 and make it a Top 10 or even a Top 1000 – if you have the time!