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Geneva in Winter

Hi! We are travelling in and out of Paris for 13 days over Christmas this year. We plan to take the train to Geneva and spend four days there (one of my husband's bucket list items is to visit CERN). I'm interested to learn about day trips from Geneva (we can fit two, maybe), because most of what I read on these forums indicates that Geneva is not super exciting. Also, if you have any tips on navigating public transport in winter I'd love to hear it. I was planning on doing Montreaux/Chillon, before I learned that the ferries don't run extensively in the winter. Thanks!

Posted by
6516 posts

Also, if you have any tips on navigating public transport in winter I'd love to hear it

When you stay in a hotel in Geneva, the hotel will give you bus pass which allows you to get around Geneva for free. Other than that Geneva is well connected by train to the rest of Switzerland if you want to take daytrips.

Posted by
7201 posts

You’re spending a long time in boring Geneva. I was excited also to see CERN up until about the 3rd hour of enduring a super intelligent scientist droning on and on in a lecture room watching PowerPoint presentations. Yikes! There were several people like me who actually just got up and walked out.

Posted by
6 posts

@Jazz+Travels - thank you for the tip! That is very good to know.

@Tim - thanks for the response. I am certain CERN is the right decision for us. As I mentioned above, your thoughts are similar to many of the sentiments in this forum. I am hoping to get ideas on day trips in the area, to liven up "boring Geneva".

Posted by
3150 posts

We love Geneva so what is boring for some including Rick Steves is wonderful for us and travel experts like Samantha Brown & Burt Wolf. The latter lived in Geneva for years. Take opinions about what is “boring“ with a grain of salt.

We typically stay in Geneva for about 4 days when we visit. Consider also taking a day trip to Gstaad as it will be wonderful fun in winter.

Posted by
6 posts

@Continental - Awesome, thank you! I will look into Gstaad. Since it is our first time in the Geneva area, I'm sure we will have plenty to see!

Posted by
6 posts

I have read about Lausanne, and a day trip to either Annecy or Gruyeres. Does anyone have perspective on whether these sites are worth a day trip?

Posted by
1669 posts

Annecy is really worth it if the weather cooperates. Quick by bus, pleasant town for a stroll, and beautiful scenery!

Posted by
128 posts

I would suggest you visit the village of Broc if you like chocolate. You can tour the Calliers Chocolate Factory. Fun tour and lots of free samples!

Posted by
1669 posts

In addition, I just read that the rail connection between Geneva and Annemasse is set to open on 15 December. This opens up day trip options a bit, with additional train connections to Saint Gervais les Bains, and Annecy (slower than bus).

Posted by
146 posts

A day trip to Lausanne would be nice. Lausanne has an interesting Old Town area and a lovely cathedral. The area by Port D'Ouchy has great views of Lake Geneva and the mountains and is near the Olympic Museum. You can easily take the train from Geneva to Lausanne and then take the train to Montreux/ Chillon also to see the castle.. Vevey is a cute little town reachable by train. Laderach Chocolate in Vevey offers chocolate making classes if you are interested.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you everyone! Sounds like there are quite a few wonderful options. I appreciate the help!