An afternoon in Geneva, Switzerland

I’ve just got back from a lovely trip to Geneva, my first time flying there with Emirates. The flight departed early morning from Dubai, and with a full load in first class we were kept on our feet for the 6 hours and 40 minutes it took us to get there.

The sight of these gorgeous snowy mountains on the approach kept me going until after landing though!

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We were lucky enough to be greeted by a gorgeous sunny day, although the temperature was a rather chilly 3 degrees.

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Myself and a few of the other crew who were first-timers to Geneva arranged to meet shortly after checking in to explore the city. After a quick bus ride from outside the hotel we arrived in the city, right by the main train station.

Since most of us were feeling pretty festive, we’d inquired about a Christmas Market in the city, but unfortunately it was still a bit early in the month and the market was fairly small with just a few stalls. Not to mention extortionate Swiss prices for everything being sold!

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At least the decorations were pretty, and the surrounding buildings all exuded the typical European charm that is nowhere to be found in Dubai!

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We strolled on through the town, and before long arrived at Mont Blanc bridge across Lake Geneva.

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Of course we spotted the Jet d’Eau, the water fountain in the middle of the lake, straight away, which was surrounded by a beautiful rainbow. The fountain is one of Geneva’s most famous landmarks, and shoots water up to a height 140m. Quite impressive!

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The walk across the bridge took us to the old town, where we had a walk through the English Garden (rather bare this time of year!) and then on into the centre.

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Most of the shops and buildings were decorated for Christmas, so we stopped at a little cafe to have a glass of mulled wine. It helped us warm up as well, since the air was getting chillier as the sun was setting!

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Our walk continued uphill, where we had spotted a church spire. It turned out to be the St Pierre Cathedral, which was originally built in the year 1160. We wanted to catch the sunset from the top of the church tower but by the time we got up there it was a bit too late.

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Nevertheless the view out across Geneva and towards the lake was lovely, with the last of the evening light.

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The one guy in the group left us (I think he got fed up with all of us taking so many pictures!) so being the girls that we are, we couldn’t resist a quick trip to the shops! However with Switzerland on the pricey side, I resisted temptation and didn’t buy anything.

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By this time it was completely dark outside, and all of the lovely Christmas lights were lit up. We’d spotted a small, cozy-looking restaurant during our walk so decided to head back there for dinner.

Although I was tempted by the cheese fondue (when in Switzerland, after all!) in the end I went for rösti, another traditional Swiss dish made of potatoes, served with bacon and an egg. A lovely way to warm ourselves up after being outside for so long!

After dinner we slowly made our way back to the bus station, which was a bit of a trek but perfect for walking off the heavy dinner.

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All in all a lovely afternoon spent exploring the pretty city of Geneva. I’m heading back just before Christmas and would love to see Lausanne or Montreux – if anybody has tips for either city that would be most appreciated!

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P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world! 🙂 

18 Comments

  1. Waqar
    December 22, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Hi Rachel! first of all, I love your blog, I think its the best one out there!

    Quick question, your rosters are always very interesting, can you please do a post on the roster you were assigned and the destinations you actually went to? I see from your pictures you were in HK as well, but that wasn’t in the roster for December :). I think it’ll make for a very interesting post! 😀

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Hi Waqar! Thanks so much for reading, really glad you enjoy my blog 🙂 HK was in my roster for November if you check back, however it got extended from a 48 hour layover to a 72 hour layover 🙂 I’ll try and keep you updated with any swaps though!

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. Emily
    December 9, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Switzerland is such an elegant, wonderful, isn’t it? My Mum was born there, and I have Swiss Citizenship, but I live overseas. Whenever we travel there, I enjoy it so much. Gorgeous photos!

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      It’s a gorgeous country, and especially seen from above with all of the beautiful mountains! Glad you enjoyed the photos! 🙂

  3. December 9, 2016 / 1:00 am

    It seems you were really Lucky with the weather.
    I really like Montreux, It’s a beautiful place but I’ve only been there in summer time. The Xmas market is one of the biggest of the French-Speaking Switzerland. According to all my friends, it’s really good. Of course, it’s in Switzerland so it must be a little bit expensive. It’s quite easy to reach Montreux from Lausanne, there are at least 2 trains an hour! Have fun in my country!

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      Thanks for the tips Denis! It was actually fairly expensive to get from Geneva to Lausanne (56 Francs!) but it was a lovely afternoon and we enjoyed the mulled wine at the Christmas market! xx

  4. Apples83
    December 7, 2016 / 12:06 am

    Lausanne is a fantastic city, been there so many times. Very impressive cathedral and prettycity centre. It is quite hilly but very Christmassy and picturesque. However, the best thing about Lausanne is the view from the lakeside (Ouchy) which is a 20 min walk from the station or 5 min by metro. Absolutely stunning views of the mountains and Lake Leman (actual name of Lake Geneva) as well as a lakeside castle and a thousand more things to see. I would also recommend a not too expensive pizza place right by the lakeside called the Boccalino which is amazeballs. But then again just my opinion. 🙂 Hope this helps but Lausanne>Montreux.

    Also the train is dead easy to catch and quick.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks so much for the tips! I had a lovely afternoon strolling around the city but since it gets dark pretty early in winter we didn’t have time to walk to the lake which is a shame. I’ll have to try and get back in summer! However we found a lovely traditional restaurant and enjoyed a delicious fondue! 🙂 xx

  5. December 6, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    You were really Lucky with the weather 🙂 !
    Montreux has a nice Christmas market. i’ve never been there but I heard it’s the best market in the French speaking part of Switzerland. It’s quite easy to go there by train from Geneva.

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      You’re right, the weather was amazing! Chilly but really nice and sunny. I ended up going to Lausanne instead of Montreux but it was still lovely! xx

  6. Carlyn
    December 5, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    It looks absolutely gorgeous there! You’re one lucky lady to get to experience a variety of Christmas Markets in different countries Rachel 🙂

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Geneva is a lovely city, I really enjoyed it! I have to say the Christmas markets have nothing on the German ones though, haha! xx

  7. Francesca
    December 5, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I stayed in Geneva last year for a few days and decided on a day trip, with a quick train to Lausanne only takes about 30 minutes! I booked my ticket with the sbb website and got a really cheap deal (especially for Swiss standards!) Lausanne is lovely, really easy to walk around and see all the gorgeous buildings and shop streets. I recommend the Olympic museum (as Lausanne is the seat of the committee), it was very enjoyable and interesting

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      I perhaps should have booked my ticket in advance as it was 56 Francs return – rather pricey! However Lausanne was very pretty and I definitely enjoyed the trip! 🙂 xx

  8. Carrie
    December 5, 2016 / 8:04 am

    Lausanne is a much more beautiful town to walk around! You could go for a day trip on the Golden Pass and I think they have special day passes for tourists. We also love les bains de Lavey especially when it’s snowing. Enjoy!

    • thedubaidiaries
      December 23, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Thanks for the tips Carrie! I’ll have a post up soon with lots of pictures from Lausanne. I wish we had longer there as I would have loved to see more of it in the daylight! xx

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