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Geneva is one of the world's most global cities. Home to the United Nations and the Red Cross, Geneva is a great place to take in unique international culture. The city is, however, a financial mecca, and is not surprisingly ranked the fourth most expensive city in the world. Not only will travelers spend loads on food, transportation, and souvenirs, but even Geneva hostels can also be quite costly.
There are very few hostels in Geneva and they are usually priced on the high end. These hostels are primarily located in what's called the Rive Droite. Geneva surrounds the beautiful Lake Geneva and borders the Rhone River, providing the entire city with gorgeous views of the water. The Rive Droite (right bank) is the newest part of the city located to the north of Lake Geneva. This part of the city is connected over the Rhone River by several bridges making it easy to access the Old Town on the left bank, known as the Rive Gauche. Public transportation is very convenient in this highly-modernized metropolis, and can easily get you within walking distance of most of the sights. However, Geneva is a great walking city, especially the Old Town, so save your money for fondue and forget the tram.
Can't miss attractions include Cathedral St. Pierre, and it's amazing archaeological crypt, Parc des Bastions, the Jet d'eau, and the Museum of the International Red Cross. Geneva is also a great place to enjoy the water. The city has a number of beaches and many boat tours offering the most remarkable views of Geneva, the lake, and the surrounding Alps.
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Geneva Youth Hostel
"A hostel located 10 minutes from the main train station of Geneva. A couple minutes more will bring you to Lake Geneva. The hostel has a feeling of institutionalism; it is abnormally clean and very concrete (literally). Other then being rather souless, you surely must encounter some strange folk given the 350 beds available. The hostel offers a plethora of services including; a TV room receiving cable, arcade game, pool table, kitchen,...
"A very strange place. - Very unprofessional, I acknowledge that it's a new gig but almost as if owners have never stayed in hostels themselves. Note, RECEPTION ONLY OPEN FROM 2-9PM. Someone who arrived later had to organise getting in and his own bed and everything with other guests, the owner just giving phone directions. Was made to wait with no explanation of acknowledgement if my presence in their 'office', an almost school principal type...
City Hostel Geneva
"City Hostel Geneva is a reasonable hostel, but due to its size, it can seem quite impersonal. It is also used by large groups who can be noisy. Equipment is old but functional and the place is quite institutional in ambiance. The Location The hostel is situated just a couple of minutes' walk from the main train station, Cornavin, and within easy walking distance of the Old Town, the lake, and other main areas of interest to tourists in...
Geneva Airport Bed & Breakfast
"… with: -Separate entrance, -TV, -Individual telephone lines with local charges, -Mobile Phone, -Separate equipped kitchen, -24h tea & coffee -Dining and Recreational area, -Laundry facilities, -Fax and E-Mail upon request, -Laptop -Free wireless internet connection, -Safe. (please note that you need prepare your own breakfast – cook eggs, prepare tea and coffee) Please note: Cancellation Policy: 2 days...
Hotel & Résidence Saint-James
"Nice! - Hotel-Residence St James provides nice, clean accommodations in the center of Geneva's left-bank (Rive Gauche/Vieille Ville) neighborhood. It is centrally located near several banks and restaurants, fine shopping, and the waterfront. It's location on a main street makes it sometimes rather noisy, but by night, all is quiet. Safe, secure, and a bit pricey, but worth it." … "… with charges DVD CHF 6.-/daily Continental...
"… in a warm family atmosphere. An Italian and a Japanese restaurant welcome you 7 days per week. Hotel offers you a "Free access Card" to use bus and train in Geneva, during the whole stay in our property. Moreover, our staff will be delighted to inform you about the best restaurants in downtown, which are all close to the hotel. There are two under parking at your disposal, close to the hotel. Rent could be done per hour or per...
"I would stay here again - Hotel St. Gervais is very well located. Easy walking distance from all the downtown sights. Rooms are well maintained and clean. The staff are all friendly. Only complaint would be it can be noisy in the mornings. You can hear doors banging and footsteps easily through the door. Overall very happy though." … "… morning from 6h30am till 9h00am you will enjoy our delicious continental breakfast with a...
Ramada Encore Geneva
"… lake visitors will find the whole of the city easily accessible. The hotel has been designed in a contemporary style with space and colour very much in mind. All of the hotels 130 decently sized bedrooms are well equipped with air conditioning, safe, television with satellite and hairdryer. The bar and restaurant follow the same colourful style giving them a warm and welcoming atmosphere. And when it comes to dining, guests will...
Hotel Residence City Zen.
"… end of Lake Geneva, where the lake meets the Rhone River. It is surrounded by two mountain chains, the Alps and the Jura. The city of Geneva has an area of 15.86 km², while the area of the Canton of Geneva is 282 km², including the two small enclaves of Celigny in Vaud. The part of the lake that is attached to Geneva has an area of 38 km² and is sometimes referred to as Petit lac (small lake). The Canton has only a 4.5 km...
Median Genève Aéroport
"… ." … "Airport: Genève Cointrin (800m).Car: Motorway A40, exit Bellegarde, follow directions for Genève via pays de Gex, or, exit Genève Airport then Ferney (Compulsory Swiss Road Tax applies).Train: Gare TGV Genève Cornavin (3 km).Bus: From the Cornavin Station, take line F" … Chemin de Colovrex
Hotel La Colombière
"Situated next to the Geneva International Airport and the Palexpo, the La Colombière hotel offers you Italian charm in a renovated 170 year-old former farm house. Taste delicious Italian cuisine including pizza accompanied by selected Italian and French wines and spend restful nights in the tastefully furnished rooms. Wireless internet is available in all rooms of the La Colombière hotel. Weekly flat rates are available at attractive...
La Cour des Augustins - Boutique Gallery Design Ho
"Tucked away in Geneva’s Latin Quarter, La Cour des Augustins is an innovatively designed hotel with a distinctly urban style. It modernises the boutique hotel concept, combining architectural heritage with contemporary interior design." … "… continue down Rue Jean Violette. The hotel is located in the pedestrianised part of the street. - From the airport: Take the train to Cornavin train station (6-minute trip), then Tram...
"A warm, welcoming, and lovely stay -- highly recommended! - A warm, welcoming, and lovely stay -- highly recommended!" … "… style and are equipped with facilities such as air conditioning, mini bar, television with satellite channels, safe, hairdryer and many more. In the morning, a full continental buffet breakfast is served in the bright breakfast room and in the evening many restaurants are easily reachable offering all...
"… cuisine to more exotic kinds. It is also only a quick couple of steps away from the lake and its water jet and a few more steps from the old town and its lively shopping area. The 35 bedrooms are equipped with the usual facilities of a 3-star hotel such as telephone, minibar, radio, television with cable and satellite, trouser press and hairdryer in each bathroom. The hotel's bar is a lively place to be where guests will get a young...
Geneva Travel Tips & Suggestions
Geneva is depressing.
This is the best place that I've been.
Geneva is a place to chill out. You need to have money to enjoy this little jewel and therefore it's for the older crowd. It's very clean and quite safe and can be boring over a long stay.
The streets are almost startlingly clean, the lines are straight and crisp, mocking the wave-like undulations of Rome's Via Nazionale, where I live. Windows are crystal clear and close completely (if you've ever been to Italy, you know what a change that is). The trams slip along the street smoothly and silently, smirking with Swiss superiority at the rumbling roaring buses of Rome. And not a hint of graffiti in sight. I almost wanted to throw some litter on the ground to make myself feel more at home. I didn't. I first chose Geneva for this expedition based on a description in a Robert Ludlum novel. The image he created of the Swiss sun shining off Lake Geneva against the backdrop of Mont Blanc and the Alps has stuck with me. "Glittering" was I think the word he used. Upon further research, I've seen that other Swiss cities like Zurich or Bern are considered more appealing to the tourist, yet I can't regret my decision, as capricious as it was -- Geneva does indeed glitter. Unlike some European cities that are best showcased at night (see Madrid), Geneva loves the sun, and the sun loves Geneva. Situated on both sides of a long fingerlike harbor on Lake Geneva, it's a city based around water, as all great cities should be. Something about the human soul needs the peace that water brings, and Geneva's lake is happy to provide it. Surrounded by mountains that reflect as beautiful snow-bottomed stalactites, colored by a clean light emanating from the crisp unpolluted skies, the lake provides an ever-changing visual appeal. When you think Geneva, think of the lake. Also working in the city's favor is its international character. I began a project of photographing each ethnically representative restaurant or shop along the main street, but I gave up after about fifteen, somewhere between the Egyptian kebab palace and the Neapolitan trattoria. The place seems almost American in its multinational feel. Then of course there are the people, the most important factor in judging any city. Polite, reserved, yet seemingly genuinely happy. In contrast to the passionate tortured souls of Italy, Genevans give the impression that they are pretty much content to be alive. Very pleasant people. Nothing to stir the fires of the heart, but refreshingly pleasant. No description of Geneva would be complete, however, without mentioning money. The prices are shocking, astronomical. A Big Mac value meal at McDonald's runs about $10 US. (It may or may not have been super-sized. I have a bad habit of saying "oui" to anything a cashier asks me.). And that's the cheapest food you can get. Some day I would like to try a real Swiss fondue, but I just couldn't bring myself to shell out twenty bucks for a blob of cheese. We can only hope that the exchange rate for the Swiss Franc calms down a bit in the future, because I would like to return. I would like to return, which means Geneva accomplished all that can be expected of a place in a two-day trip. It made me want to come back to Switzerland. Next time, I'll bring more money.
— Eddy Boston
Geneva is not a big tourist city. You can see most of its attractions in one or two days. For nightlife, try the area around the train station or in the Paquis section.
— Robert S.
I have been living in Geneva for 7 months, and it feels like forever! Expensive, difficult housing, absolutely no night-life, And the most depressive thing is you always feel like an alien. People come and go makes you always meet new people, but always loose some in the same time. Its not even a city, its a giant airport.
I visted Geneva to see some friends I had met while travelling. And yet, Geneva left me cold. The locals I met were very very hospitable, but I think the town as a whole is very austere. My travels in the rest of Switzerland were fantastic, but I'd have to say, give Geneva a miss if you're looking for atmosphere or are on any kind of budget. I stayed there, yes, but I sure as hell could not afford to. I have done pretty extensive travels in Europe, and Geneva was by far the most expensive city I have ever been to. Switzerland was my favorite contry. Go figure. Perhaps the Genevans can be thought as having a more French mentality than a Swiss one.
I never knew depression until I stayed in Geneva. It looks beautiful but it is so sterile and the local mentality is austere and exclusive. Calvin made the locals believe that they constantly live in purgatory. My advice: visit it - because it is beautiful - but don't let it effect you.
Geneva is small, but friendly, clean, and pretty. I'm staying there for the summer, and I can tell you that it can be difficult to find fun places to party at!! Try Chat Noir in Carouge (but it's far from the hostel) or the club SYP or the Alhambar. Every year at the beginning of August there is an 8 day festival thats pretty cool, but really there aren't that many things to see other than an incredible number of parks, the UN, and a few random museums. Also in summer there are free outdoor concerts about twice a week.
Geneva is nice but very upscale. Definitely take the train around the lake to nearby Leysin and stay at the Hiking Sheep. If you get there for a summer celebration, you can watch the fireworks from a cliff looking over the lake.
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