I was reminded of this by the "Why did Rick snub Hamburg?" thread. We enjoyed Hamburg and also hope to enjoy Geneva for a short stay. Any recommendations would be welcome.
We actually found the best thing about Geneva is that it is relatively close to Lausanne and we spent most of our time there. We are faced with another overnight there next month and were discussing last night how maybe we would go over to the Jet d'Eau - the fountain - or maybe not.
Janet, pay no attention to the above. Geneva is a lovely city to spend a couple of days. No, it is not Luzern or the Lauterbrunnen area, or even Lausanne. It is very expensive. We stayed at the Hotel Kipling and found it very nice and as reasonable as I could find. The main street is interesting. The old town on the cliff above is fascinating. And, the walk along the lake to the international area is beautiful. There is, in a large residence, a museum of old scientific models and instruments which is great. The most intriguing carousel I have ever seen is in the park near the conservatories. If you walk by the US consulate, don't try to take a picture; you may be shot by one of the middle eastern appearing guards outside carrying automatic weapons. So jarring compared to the exteriors of all other consulates in the city.
Janet - I've never been there but there is an article on bbc.co.uk about Geneva today. See Top Travel article.
Janet - David makes some good recommendations that I second. There are also many excellent places to eat both along the lake or in the Old Town which is just a few minutes walk away. Also, if you are considering a day trip, I would recommend Chateau Chillon outside Montreux - it is about an hour train and a 10 minute tram ride down the lake. In fact, depending on the time of year, you can even take a boat to Monteux, then the tram to the castle. It is an almost 1000 year old castle that you can tour. If you are interested, read Lord Byron's epic poem The Prisoner of Chillon before you go.
Apropos my answer above, I have found a way to avoid Geneva this trip and get another stop in Bern. Aaahh.
We just returned from 16 days in Geneva and found it lovely with lots to keep us entertained, even in November. I learned that the Geneva-based UN hosts nearly 10,000 meetings each year, which means quite a few folks (like us) may find themselves sent there (and not Lausanne) at some point. For this reason alone, it's unfortunate that Rick snubs Geneva.
We enjoyed Geneva; good for at least one full day, great before a flight out, close to Annecy, even Mt. blanc/Chamonix. Yes, a visit to Castle Chillion is a worthwhile trip.
I am disappointed that Rick wasn't crazy about Geneva. Anyone interested in science would find CERN especially interesting. There is a neat clock museum also. Worth a stop in my book for anyone with some interest in science. It's a very different experience from the typical art museum or historic ruin and fascinating change of pace!
Nope. "Love" is too strong a word. But I didn't "hate" it either. Walking through the old part of town was nice. The best part of our short stay was the lovely train ride to the small town of Gruyères - with its medieval castle, gorgeous panorama, and market square - and pretty good fondue. A very enjoyable day. Geneva, for me, is a pass-through city.