From 1887, a steam-powered tram ran directly from Geneva to the foot of the Salève; in 1894, passengers first boarded the romantic carriages of the electric cog railway – with a somewhat dangerous current collector on the side – to ride along the rockface to the ridge as far as Treize Arbres. Today's visitors can take the cable car from Le Pas de l'Echelle (Veyrier) to Treize Arbres, just below the observatory.
Numerous hiking paths lead to the 150 meter-high observatory from the mountain station. Famous are the many rocky paths on the Salève, partly official hiking trails - and some paths are really only for those with a head for heights. "Grande Varappe" originates from the French word for climbing.
From the Geneva city center by public bus (Nos. 8, 34, 41, 44) to Veyrier-Ecole, Veyrier-Douane, Croix-de-Rozon douane, on foot or with the call-bus Proxi'Phérique to the valley station, cable car to
View: Over the city of Geneva and Geneva lake basin, the airport, Jura, Dents du Midi, Aiguille Verte and Mont Blanc
Attractions: Salève ridge hikes, steep descents through the Grotte d'Orjobet (SAC maintained), path along the "Balmes" for non vertigo sufferers (secured and overhanging rocks)
Culinary aspects: Restaurant L'Horizon du Salève (by the mountain station) with specialities from Geneva and Savoyen
Overnight stays: Geneva and environs
Groups: L'Horizon: 135 places, conference hall 70 people
Winter: In operation, Winter hikes, some cross-country tracks on the Salève
Special comments: Evening trips Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
At every turn you’ll find attractive galleries, original boutiques and friendly restaurants – such as the carefully renovated Café des Bains, with its elegant grey panelling, warm welcome and delicious cuisine. The city is also home to Switzerland’s largest and most innovative museum for contemporary art: the Mamco (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), which enjoys a superb reputation well beyond the country’s borders. Several times a year, the Geneva district of Quartier des Bains devotes a night entirely to art. During each "Nuit des Bains", the Mamco stays open until late in the evening, while exhibition openings in the surrounding galleries welcome art enthusiasts in a festive atmosphere.
The architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Pierre has undergone more than one change during the course of its history. Its first phase of construction dates back to 1160 and lasted nearly a century. Under the Reformation, it became a Protestant place of worship from 1535.
The effort to climb the 157 steps to the top of the towers is rewarded with an amazing 360° panorama of the city and the lake. It also has the largest collection of Gothic and Romanesque capitals in Switzerland. Do not miss the archaeological site located underneath the Cathedral where you will discover treasures dating back to antiquity.
Geneva's Old Town is one of the largest in Europe and catalogues the town's 2,000 years of history in its many art galleries, antique shops, museums, fountains and other sights.
The small town of Carouge, only a few minutes from Geneva, is a jewel worth discovering! There are green grocers’ markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, small boutiques, arts and crafts shops, and artists to turn any shopping spree into a delightful adventure.
Set in the middle of the Rade, the Bains des Pâquis attracts the local inhabitants throughout the year. Soak up the sun in summer and enjoy refreshing daily specials from the bar. In winter, relax in the sauna while admiring the magnificent view. Fondue lovers come here to relax and admire the lights of Geneva shining on the water. The hamam and Turkish baths are the ideal place to unwind throughout the year. Both a socialising and cultural venue, the Bains des Pâquis is suited to a range of activities. More than just a beach, it is a must-see during your stay in Geneva.
Shopping addicts will find all their dreams come true at the Rue du Rhône! Here, the major retailers are dedicated to fulfilling all your longings for luxury. Featuring watches, fashion and jewellery, and visits to the boutiques of the master chocolatiers, this tour lets you discover (or rediscover) the brands that have given Geneva its reputation. Nowhere else will you find such a concentration of prestige.
In the lively Les Grottes quarter, behind the station, there is a strange residential complex with curved walls and surprising colors. Built between 1982 and 1984 by three inspired architects, these buildings recall the work of Spanish artist Gaudi: Balconies in relief, wrought iron railings and, above all, no straight lines. The resemblance between these dwellings and the multi-faceted and colorful mushroom houses in which the little characters in the comic live is the reason why they are called "Smurfs".
In winter guests relax in the sauna with a wonderful view of the lake. Fondue aficionados come here to enjoy their cheese speciality while admiring Geneva’s sea of lights reflected in the water. The hamam and Turkish bath offer relaxation all year round.
The Bains des Pâquis cultural meeting point offers a wide range of activities. It’s much more than purely a swimming pool and has really become a must-visit venue when staying in Geneva.
Located in the extension of the eastern entrance of the Palais des Nations, the Place des Nations is a decidedly contemporary work. On the ground, there is the contrast between the granite of various colours representing the diversity of nations, and the concrete strips that are the traditional building material of Geneva. A dozen water jets of varying heights shoot up directly from the ground. The square is also home to the gigantic "Broken Chair", symbol of the fight against landmines and the fresco of peace, a huge ceramic mosaic created by Swiss artist Hans Erni at the age of 100.