If you live in Geneva you might have asked yourself once or twice what can you do in Geneva in winter. Therefore I’m here to give you some ideas! Few of them are obvious, Several are original and some you might be reading and thinking: “True, There is that as well!”. So let’s start, shall we?
Explore The Magic of Carouge
Carouge is the stunning city within the city of Geneva. It holds an inexplicable Sardinian charm and history. Especially during the holiday season there are plenty of activities in the area! Besides the enchanting walk you can take within the Christmas decorations that has been completely redesigned to reduce energy consumption by 90% you can:
- Go Ice Skating on the stunning Place de Sardaigne– Kids under 6 years old can enter for FREE. Above 6 years old there is a 2 CHF fee (an absolute catch if you ask me). The rink is also wheelchair friendly and there is a charming restaurant there called Ice Bar offering local delicatessen such as incredible Cheese fondue and delicious crêpes.
- Visit the Christmas market between the 16th and the 18th of December or enjoy Gift Shopping (open also on Sundays in December) in one of the lovely artisanal shops- which are what makes Carouge so special! Here you can find unique things that you won’t find anywhere else.
- Hang your wish on the Wishing Tree– Yes! there is a magical wishing tree in Carouge. Send a letter to Santa– You can find his charming mailbox at Place de Sardaigne right by the fabulous huge tree. Enjoy yourself a concert or a visit from Santa (21.12 between 15:00-17:00 by the Ice Skating Rink).
You can find more Info and fun at the website of Ville de Carouge– Its in French by don’t worry you can simply translate it with Google Chrome.
Take a Chocolate Class
Here is a fun activity for all chocolate lovers out there! a chocolate atelier in La Bonbonnière at their boutique in Rive. Undoubtedly, This is the perfect combo of a delicious and funny experience as the two Chocolate Masters Cedric and Yvan are absolutely hilarious. They will make sure to teach you all you wanted to know about chocolate with humor and great ambience.
It should be noted that there are different types of workshops you can do, for kids and for adults! the minimum amount of participants is 4 and the price varies depending on the activity you do.
Explore a museum
Geneva has a great amount of museums and many of them are free! This could be the perfect activity for a cold rainy day in the city. Here are some of them:
Maison Tavel– the oldest private house in Geneva featuring Urban History and Daily Life. There is also a huge impressive Relief Magnin showing Geneva before its fortifications were demolished in 1850. Free entrance.
Museum of Natural History– The largest one of its kind in Switzerland and especially loved by children. its collections present the fascinating world of animals and minerals. Entrance: Free.
The Patek Philippe Museum– Considered one of the world’s foremost horology museums. It houses over five centuries of watchmaking history. Addmission Fee: 10 CHF, Children under 18 y.o.: Free.
Chill on a rooftop
Geneva’s rooftop bars are the perfect way to enjoy view to the lake and the city while staying warm and cozy. My recommendation to you is the MET Rooftop Bar. Which, in winter it turns into a real winter wonderland with magical lights and decorations, delicious snacks and killing cocktails!
Another one that I heard good things about is the Floortwo Bar at the Fairmont Grand Hotel. I haven’t been there yet though I heard it’s beautiful as well! Therefore, I’m planning to visit soon and update you guys!
Locals’ Favorite Fondue place
That’s right! if you live here in Geneva I bet you know that by now, Bains des Pâquis is the locals’ fav spot for a delicious traditional fondue. In particular, the super friendly ambience, prices are fair and the view is great! It’s actually also a lovely place for lunch or even breakfast on budget!
Choco Pass Geneva
Additional exciting way to explore the city is the Choco Pass! Since unique pass gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself into Geneva’s chocolate world. You can do it in your own pace and each one of the participating Chocolateries will offer you a delicious tasting experience. Price: 30 CHF per person, Kids: 6 CHF.
Good to know, you can do is simply visit different Chocolateries by yourself and buy one piece of chocolate or praline. The difference is usually that in the Choco Pass you’ll eat more chocolate and discover things you might have not picked up yourself while doing a “Self Tour” you can choose the amount and pralines you like.
Worth visiting chocolate stores:
Läderach – Well known for Fresh chocolate and there are 3 stores in Geneva.
Favarger – Chocolaterie since 1826 in Geneva, Famous for their Avelines with a 100 years old recipe.
Confiserie Sprüngli– Over 180 years of Swiss chocolate history. Along with their wonderful mini macaroons.
Sweetzerland– An organic handcrafted chocolate with divine pralines.
La Bonbonnière– Magical chocolaterie, The boutique store in Rive has a tea room with delicious desserts.
Go on a Fondue Cruise
Oh Yes, a Fondue Cruise is one of the most amazing things to do in winter in Geneva. Getting cozy on a boat while stuffing yourself with delicious Swiss cheese and watching the city lights passing by. In addition, enjoying the famous Jet d’Eau at night. That’s the life.
The luxurious ride is in the 1st Class. Price: 49 CHF per person including the fondue. (Half Fare: 39 CHF) This price includes the traditional fondue or the tomato fondue. But you can always add few bucks for the other options.
The cruise board every Friday till the 9th of December. There is a short break through January and on the 3rd of February they resume again.
Have a tour in the CERN
Last but not least, This one is not to be missed: The CERN has a rich educational and cultural program. As an integral part of this program, tours of the Laboratory are free of charge! Unfortunately, nowadays you cannot reserve online. But there is a mandatory registration at the main desk upon availability maximum 1 hour in advance. Openings time: Monday to Saturday: 8:00 – 18:00.
Visit a Christmas market
The magical Christmas Market at the Jardin Anglais is waiting for you! With magical decorations, delicious food stands and a great amount of wonderful warm mulled wine. The Market will open already on the 17th of November at 17:00-22:00. However, the rest of the days have slightly different hours so you can check them in the link attached.
Another warmly recommended thing you can do is explore the Christmas Markets near Geneva! Like the famous one in Montreux with its flying Santa Sleigh, The Christmas Market in Lausanne or even the one in Annecy.