6 reasons to stop by Geneva on your next ski trip

Winter is coming and if you are planning a trip to one of the luxury ski resorts in the Swiss or French Alps, consider stopping over in Geneva for a day or two to enjoy high-end shopping, fabulous dining and a fun evening out in a glamorous nightclub!

Surrounded by the Alps and the Jura mountains with dramatic views of the majestic Mont Blanc, Geneva boasts stunning nature scenes and offers lakeside sophistication, luxury and Swiss tradition – not to be missed!



For a very unique way of discovering the city, follow one of Geneva Tourism’s private watch tours, which will immerse you in 500 years history of luxury watch-making.

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You can also learn to assemble your own Swiss watch and keep it as a special Swiss souvenir during a watch workshop.

Where: Initium, 17 Grand-Rue
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initium workshop

Everyone knows Swiss chocolate is considered to be among the best! An interesting way of spending an afternoon, as a break from skiing, is to become a chocolate master during an indulging and tasty workshop learning the secrets of Swiss chocolate-making. 

We recommend: Du Rhône Chocolatier located on 3 Rue de la Confédération
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At the Chocolaterie Stettler you can observe the making of chocolate bars and many other delicacies, which you will also be invited to taste afterwards. They also offer chocolate workshops for all ages.

Where: Rue de Berne 10 and 49 Avenue Blanc
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Another delicious option is the Favarger factory, founded in 1826. It is one of the oldest chocolate factories in Geneva and one of the best local chocolate brands. It is a unique tour as most of their machines date back to the days when they first opened. Be sure to book the tour in advance. Note that it is not in the city centre, but a 20-minute train-ride to Versoix. 

Where: Chemin de la Chocolaterie 2
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Du Rhone chocolate
Stettler chocolate

Geneva offers countless luxury designer boutiques. Head to the Place Longemalle, where you can admire beautiful watches at Vacheron Constantin or buy a beautiful evening gown at Hervé Léger.

Next, make your way down the Rue du Rhône, where all the luxury fashion, watch and jewellery boutiques are concentrated, rivaling the luxury shopping streets of Paris and London.

It combines the Champs-Elysées and Place Vendome of Paris in one street and could be the Regent Street (London) of Geneva. Around Christmas, the window displays are especially beautifully decorated.

Rue du Rhône truly is a shopping paradise.

shopping, women
shopping women
Arthur's bar

Arthur’s Rive Gauche

For a break from shopping, pop in for a drink at Arthur’s Rive Gauche.

It is a lively jazz bar functioning both as a lounge and restaurant with a stylish and eclectic design.

They have an amazing terrace overlooking the Rhône River. It is a great place to hang out, if you are looking for a venue with plenty of character.

Where: 7-9 Rue du Rhône
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BonGenie shop

Bongénie Grieder

For a luxurious shopping experience, try the high-end department store Bongénie. Treat yourself to a little luxury item or an elegant new outfit.

On the 4Th floor, you can also enjoy the cozy and elegant atmosphere of their café. For lunch, enjoy their light, wholesome and fresh dishes.

Admire the floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic view of the street.

Where: 34 Rue du Marché
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old town

Old Town

For more offbeat, stylish and independent shops, visit the old town, which has a few interesting fashion, jewellery and art stores, amid good restaurants and historical sights.

La Muse

La Muse selects the best of international names such Vivienne Westwood as well as local fashion brands and is always on the lookout for the latest fashion trends. They have unique items that will make an amazing addition to your wardrobe.

Where: 7 Rue du Vieux-Collège
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Septième Etage

Fashion Editor Katharina Sand started this store in 2000 and savvy fashion lovers from all over Europe visit this store for its exclusive mix of high-end brands. Note that visits to the shop are by appointment only.

Where: 10 Rue du Perron
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Tucked away in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood, on the first-floor of a big warehouse, it is half bistro and half-boutique concept store.

The dining room is airy and comfortable, offering great food. You can find brands such as Isabel Marant and Antik Batik.

They also have a small selection of candles, organic cosmetics, accessories and jewellery.

Where: 32 Rue du 31 Décembre
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l'adresse terrace
l'adresse shop

Spend a night in Geneva and treat yourself to delicious cocktails in the city’s exclusive bars.

Here are some of our favourites:

Hotel d'angleterre (leopard room bar and lounge)

The Leopard Room Bar & Lounge at Hotel d’Angleterre

Perfectly situated on the lakefront of Lake Geneva, the Leopard Room is the place to be seen in Geneva.

It is tastefully decorated with vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases and accents of leopard print; it looks like the library of an elegant safari club.

A live jazz band is on hand to entertain you and there is a cigar lounge offering the finest cigars.

Where: Hotel d’Angleterre, 17 Quai du Mont-Blanc
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Timothy Oulton Lounge

For another great bar with a British colonial touch, we love Timothy Oulton Lounge.

A restaurant, furniture shop and bar, where you can enjoy a good a cup of tea or champagne while listening to some great live jazz music.

Like the look? Buy any of the furniture and decorative items displayed in the bar and take them home!

Where: 42 rue du Rhône
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Le Baroque Restaurant and Club

Le Baroque has been the backbone of Geneva’s elite nightlife since 1993. They have a nightclub, of course.

However, their most recent addition is a restaurant where beautiful design and good food are mixed with a live DJ. It is a popular venue where fun and trendy events are hosted on a regular basis.

The post dinner parties, which start around 10pm, are surreal. If you want something more exclusive, thy their members-only lounge bar, Cosette, below the restaurant.

Where: 4 Rue du Rhône for the restaurant and 12 Place de la Fusterie for the nightclub
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Baroque restaurant
Baroque restaurant

Grand Théatre Geneva

Looking for some serious culture?

The Grand Théatre is for you. It was inaugurated in 1897 and completely refurbished in 1962 after a fire. It is also the largest opera house in French-speaking Switzerland and hosts a vast array of concerts, operas, recitals and plays.

It was recently renovated and reopened its doors in its original venue in the majestic building towering over Place Neuve. Carmen and the Beggar’s opera are being performed here during the 2018 – 2019 season and in January 2019, the Peking Opera.

Where: 11, Boulevard du Théatre
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Victoria Hall 

For world-class classical music performances with international performers, visit the nearby Victoria Hall, with its magnificent auditorium complemented by nearly incomparable acoustic qualities. 

14 Rue du General Dufour
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Grand Théâtre
Victoria Hall
Geneva is well known for its luxurious hotels nested around the lake. Skiing can be exhausting and tough on your muscles. The best remedy is a night in one of the city’s beautiful palaces and enjoying a luxury massage in one of their outstanding spa and wellness centers.

Hotel President Wilson and Spa La Mer

Indulge yourself with La Mer products at the exclusive Spa La Mer in the iconic Hotel President Wilson.

They offer a great couple’s massage package. Escape for two hours with your loved one and enjoy a memorable relaxing massage, access to the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, a complimentary bottle of Champagne and some sweets.

They also offer a wellness weekend package including one night in a Prestige Room with a lake view, American breakfast, massage, Sunday brunch and unlimited access to their outdoor heated pool.

Where: 47 Quai Wilson
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Nescens Spa

 La Réserve and Nescens Spa

La Réserve is located in a beautifully landscaped park of 10 acres on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is a private luxury hotel far from prying eyes, offering a luxury spa and 5 restaurants. It has a warm and relaxed atmosphere with magical views over the lake. You will feel at home in front of their monumental fireplace. Nescens Spa offers a wide range of health and anti-aging techniques in an elegant and lush environment.

They even have a private ice-skating rink during the winter in the Winter Lodge restaurant and a Christmas village displaying high-end brands and other exclusive products, perfect for Christmas shopping. Enjoy dinner in the Tsé Fung, Chinese restaurant, which was awarded a Michelin star and which elevated Cantonese cuisine to the status of haute gastronomy. The atmosphere of the Tsé Fung restaurant is reminiscent of the 1930s Shanghai grand palace hotel.

Where: 301, Route de Lausanne
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Article by Thingstodoingeneva

Things to do in Geneva  - the grapevine guide to the city.

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