One of the world’s richest cities, Geneva is home to more than 200 international organisations including the Red Cross, World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation and previously the UN. This international exposure has created a sophisticated and modern city, boasting one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan lifestyles.
A neighbour to Germany, France and Italy, Switzerland is strongly influenced by France in both its food and as the countries official language. Not yet a member of the European Union, Switzerland continues to utilise its own currency, the Swiss Franc.
Capital of the Swiss dining scene, Geneva is home to more than 1000 restaurants offering an impossible selection of restaurants and bars. Housed in a traditional Swiss chalet, Edelweiss restaurant can be found in the cellar of the Eidelweiss hotel. The traditional Swiss menu serving local favourites of raclette (melted cheese with roast potato, gherkins and pickled onion) and eminces (veal cooked with fresh mushrooms and cream). Lots of folksy paraphernalia like flugelhorns and cow bells line the walls and a nightly yodelling performance only adds to the kitsch Swiss atmosphere. The slightly cheesy tourist spot draws in the crowds and is a great place to share dinner with family and friends. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll find it at Place de la Navigation 2.
For the best fondue in Geneva head to local haunt, Café du Soleil. Located at 6 Place du Petit-Saconnex its French bistro styled interior, leafy courtyard and busy tables will win you over on atmosphere alone. A great place to sample traditional cheese fondue, it’s also serves tasty salads and decadent desserts (the crème brulee and meringues with double cream are every bit as good as they sound). The restaurant fills with locals quite early so it’s worth your while to make a reservation, especially if you plan on arriving after 7pm.
Faim café and restaurant located at 5 rue Chatelains, is a casual dining experience not to be missed. Along with their famed burgers, they also dish up hearty soups, tasty salads and a great selection of vegetarian meals too. A good spot to stop for a cocktail or local beer, the Scandinavian interior makes a great setting for a lazy weekend brunch. Their house-baked bread is a treat and the bircher muesli is especially popular with tourists eager to try the real deal. Located in the bottom of an apartment complex, the somewhat hidden gem is a real find for those looking for value.
When it comes to shopping, there’s more to Geneva than just chocolate and watches – although that’s a good place to start. For the cities most glamorous shopping head to Rue du Rhone and Rue du Marche. High-end international designers line the streets as do the worlds most famous watchmakers and chocolate purveyors.
For vintage clothing, crockery, records and even art head to Geneva’s largest open-air market the Plaine de Plainpalais. For antiques the Old Town is the place to go. Wonder through winding cobblestone streets and discover what the picturesque village has to offer.