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Solo Female Traveller with 3 Days in Geneva in March

Hi!

I will be extending a business trip and flying into Geneva the third week of March. I will have 3 full days to spend. I am not planning to spend any time in Geneva but instead was hoping to explore some of the surround small towns. I’m afraid though I have found too many that are appealing! I was looking at this “loop”

Geneva -> Lausanne -> Vevey -> Gruyere -> Montreux -> Chamonix -> Annecy -> Geneva

But I am guessing that’s too much for 3 days with public transit?? What do you recommend as the best use of my time? Like I said in the title I will be a solo female traveller who likes to walk around and explore a city, try restaurants, and enjoys amateur photography. I have never been to Switzerland or anywhere in France besides Paris. I am hoping to get some good views of the Alps and cute villages and castles.

I also have a second part of this post. I don’t arrive in Geneva until almost 9pm. I see that I could still catch a train/bus to Lausanne from the airport at 10:30pm. Will that be safe by myself?

Any itineraey suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

Posted by
30 posts

I opened this because I’ll be in this region this summer and have done some pre-work too. It appears you’re planning spending 1/2 day in each city (ex- travel time) and no time in Geneva. You probably already know this, but my guess is you’ll be able to see a few things in each place but not time to dig deep and/or see the “second sites”. I likely would try to bite all this off, and if I over-estimated i would pass on the last stop.

I guess a suggestion (without me ever being there) would be to bunch Lausanne-Vevey-Montreux together and stay in either Vevey or Montreux. Hit Gruyere and then stay in Chamonix: long travel day but a night and morning in Chamonix is not to be missed (as I understand...); then to Annecy for the last night.

PS - and, because this will come up later: buy the three day Swiss Travel Pass.

Posted by
13290 posts

The full fare tickets for the trip you describe will come to 124.80 CHF (Geneva airport to Chamonix). A 3-day Swiss Travel Pass will cost 232 CHF. So you will be paying a steep price for the convenience of not having to buy tickets for each trip if you get the pass.

The late night train from Geneva airport to Lausanne should be as safe as any Swiss train, meaning completely safe.

Posted by
6220 posts

Yes,STP is expensive but it also has other benefits of free entrance to museums. The cheese tour in Gruyere is included as is the castle so you’ve saved a few francs with the STP.

Posted by
2019 posts

I broke about even on the Swiss Travel Pass. You really have to do the math looking at what you plan to do as well as transportation. When you are doing your calculations, keep in mind that local transportation is typically free with your hotel stay.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your responses. It seems that I will need to look more into the travel pass and if it makes sense for me.

Am I correct in the understanding that I can fairly easily buy tickets at the station prior to departure? For no/minimal extra cost? My only other experience with trains in Europe is leaving from Paris and that ticket I had to buy well in advance to save money. Seems like it works a little differently in Switzerland.

Posted by
13290 posts

As Chris F says, "It is a turn-up-and-go system". If the ticket window is not open, there are easy to use vending machines with an English language option. They take cash or credit cards. Lastly, if you have a smartphone with data service in Switzerland, you can just buy them with your phone.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable/mobile-apps/sbb-mobile.html