Monday, June 9, 2008

Europe - Switzerland - Geneva

Hi, With this post I am starting a long series of posts on my Europe travel. I undertook this travel towards the end of 2006 (October to December). Three months of travel and stay in Europe, I covered almost 10-11 countries in Western Europe. I hope this series on Europe gives you insight into what to see in which countries, how to do low cost travel (Europe is damn expensive) and which places you can give a skip and others which you should not.

I have tried to include as many tips on cost saving which I experienced and practiced myself during this trip. In addition, I have tried to put in the latest prices, facts and figures wherever is possible as on day of publishing this post. Please bear with me and cross-check the prices before planning your trip.

We began with Switzerland - Geneva as this was the first place I visited. But before we delve into Geneva, here's a little how we planned our Switzerland travel:

  • Ours was a 4 day trip and hence we purchased a Swiss Eurail Pass (approx. $180 each) for 4 days which included all local travel. There were a couple of boat rides free on it as well.
  • We entered Switzerland from France through Geneva (the western most point) and reached Interlaken the same day. We based ourselves in Interlaken for the remaining days and utilized our train pass to the fullest.
  • The Eurail pass also entitles you to heavy discount (50-75%) on other special tickets, like that of travel to Jungfrau etc. I will tell you as we proceed with the series.

Geneva is truly a business center with a business type buzz associated with it. It is the second most populous city of Switzerland and is on the border of Switzerland and France. It's charm is lake Geneva but it also has HQs for two world agencies - UN and Red Cross. The main places to visit in Geneva:

  • Geneva Lake and a cruise in the same
  • Jet d'eau (fountain in the midst of the lake)
  • Reformation Wall
  • UN Building (If you are a common traveler like we were, you will not be allowed entry)
The pics of these places are given below:


Lake Geneva:

Jet d'eau:


We did not stay put in Geneva during our visit, but on our way back from Switzerland to Lyon, we did put up in one of the youth hostels, the Hostel Geneva close to Lake Leman. You can book the hostel here ( I would recommend the hostel, nice facility, good breakfast which is included in the price. The current price is 29.00 CHF per person. There is an extra charge of 6 CHF for non youth hostel members. You can even get the youth hostel membership over here. I would strongly recommend that you bring along youth hostel membership from your native country if you are traveling across Europe on your own.

Travel within Geneva
You can travel within Geneva using tram, trolleybus or bus servcie which is very frequent and very good though you might want to walk, as Europe is all about walking in the cities and soaking in the culture. You can reach center of the city by bus or tram and then walk around.

Cruise on Lake Geneva
A cruise on lake Geneva is a must though it's slightly expensive (approx. 20 CHF per person). Your Swiss Eurail pass though will entitle you to a free ticket on the cruise.

Geneva has more than 40 museums (like most of the European cities). But you can give them a skip as there are many other museums across Europe which should not be missed.

There are three Indian restaurants in the city which I know of :

  • JAIPUR: Tandoori food
  • SHAHI: Again tandoori food
  • ROYAL INDIA: This is more like a mixed version of Indian and European Cuisine.
I hope this is useful for your Geneva travel. If you want to know more, send me an email.

Lots to come on Europe... I will try and write about more European cities as frequently as possible.

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