Geneva – a city with many nicknames. It was named “the city of parks” for its many green areas. It earned its nicknames “the capital of peace” because of its long humanitarian tradition and cosmopolitan flair and “the world’s smallest metropolis” for its beauty and significance.
In French, the name Geneva comes from the word genevre, which means juniper tree. There are documents and Latin texts that testify the existence of the city of Geneva even in Roman times, during the reign of Caesar the Emperor. Back then it was spelled Genava, most probably originating from the Celtic word for a bending river or estuary, genawa. In Middle Latin, the medieval city of Geneva was known as Comitatus Genevensis (also Gebennensis)or pagus major Genevensis. In the 15th century, it became Genevois, a province of Savoy.
Anyway, regardless of the way you call it, you will surely fall in love with this unique cultural melting point.
1. Geneva’s significance
Geneva is the largest city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It is sometimes considered more significant than the capital itself. Being a diplomatic hub, it makes a perfect base for countless international missions, banks and non-governmental organizations.
The headquarters of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the headquarters of the World Health Organization were founded here.
It is the city in which Jean Jacques Rousseau was born, and the place where the reform movement of John Calving originated from. Many people may decry it for its lack of culture, but the city of Geneva is so internationalized and mixed that it actually is a quite unique place to visit. You will find the evidence for this in its streets, museums, and restaurants.
Geneva is the city of diversity. It combines the charm of alpine towns and the cosmopolitan spirit, nourishing them both successfully. Every tourist dreams about roaming its streets paved with gold, sleeping in its exclusive hotels, eating in its excellent restaurants and spending money in its refined shops. Y
ou will hear multiple languages being spoken while walking around the city. It is the seat of the world’s jet-set. International artists perform in the Grand Théâtre and Geneva Opera House. For some, it may not be the prettiest city in the world, but it has got a certain charm made up of the unique blend of mountains, countryside, and the lake. It is the perfect base to explore this part of Switzerland.
2. Arriving at Geneva
Geneva airport serves as a hub for Swiss International Air Lines and EasyJet Switzerland. The northern limit of the airport runs along the Swiss-French border, making it accessible from both countries.
With the frequency of more than 15 million passengers a year, it features a route network of flights mainly to European metropolitan and leisure destinations, as well as some long-haul routes to North America, China, and the Middle East.
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, the fact that the freight operations are accessible from both Switzerland and France, Geneva is considered a European Union freight hub.
Geneva is part of Romandie, the French-speaking region of Switzerland. It is the second biggest city and a popular gateway to the Alps. By car, it takes only 20 minutes from the airport to the city center. We recommend you to rent a limousine in Geneva before you arrive for the following reasons:
- You will be welcomed at the airport at the exact time of your arrival,
- If you have a lot of luggage, you won’t be able to take public transport, while a limousine driver will give you a hand with it,
- If you intend to visit remote areas,
- If your goal is to explore the pass road of Switzerland,
- You will see some of the most beautiful scenery in the foothills of the Alps,
- You won’t have to stress about finding a parking spot, as the centre of Geneva is very congested, especially during peak commute times,
- It offers more flexibility and is quicker.
3. Getting around Lake Geneva
Geneva is cradled between the Jura mountain range and the Alps. For this reason, it offers fantastic views year-round, without having to go too far. On top of that, the city lies on the shores of Lake Geneva, the biggest freshwater lake in the Alps.
Most visitors to Lake Geneva head to Montreaux too. The town of Montreaux offers a stunning view of the lake against the famed Chillon Castle, one of the jewels of the entire country. This spot is ideal for photography lovers.
While you are there by the shore of Lake Geneva, don’t miss a chance to experience something special. Take a look at the vineyards of Lavaux, one of the most spectacular spots around the Lake, stretching for nearly 30 kilometres. The illustrious history of vineyards has earned them recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the best Swiss wine is still produced in these vineyards.
Not far from Geneva or Montreaux, there is a small romantic French village almost nobody knows about. If you are there with your partner, visiting Yvoire is a must. Ask your limousine driver to include this hidden gem in your tour around Geneva.
The little fishing village will take you back in time. It offers gorgeous views of Lake Geneva. We would also recommend lingering in Yvoire over a meal. Most of the small villages around Lake Geneva host their own events, including traditional food stalls offering up dishes such as raclette.
4. Breathe in the spirit of the city
To hire a limousine in Geneva for an organized sightseeing tour is very practical. A tour of Geneva is a unique and fascinating experience as you will feel like you have traveled through several different countries.
Several districts of Geneva have got a strong independent feel to them, so you won’t be disappointed in exploring them. In the Place des Nations, the seat of the United Nations Office and the gateway to International Geneva, everything exudes business.
The small island known as Ile Rousseau stands next to Geneva city center and is considered to be one of the central neighborhoods. The city center itself is where much of the action takes place. There are several outdoor chessboards along the Promenade des Bastions.
Vieille Ville District will bring you back to the Middle Ages. It is intertwined with narrow streets and beautiful squares that create an ancient maze. Old Town of Geneva is a time machine of its sort. There you will find historical sights, museums and galleries, the Old Arsenal, and the Maison Tavel (history museum) on the Rue Puits-de-St-Pierre, the oldest private house in the whole of Geneva which dates back to the mid-14th century.
Something’s always happening in the Old Town, such as a performance at the Geneva Opera House at the Place des Volontaires, next to the River Rhône, or climbing up the steep North Tower of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
5. Rent a limousine in Geneva, but take a rest
Even though you have a private chauffeur when you rent a limousine in Geneva, visiting many places at once can be tiring and overwhelming. You might need a rest and the best places are exclusive boutiques in Rue de Marche, a famous shopping street, and some fancy restaurant with a terrace.
In the ancient Latin times, in the center of Geneva’s Old Town, once there was a marketplace where people used to trade goods. Decorated by the simple marble medieval fountains, it is known as the Bourg-de-Four Square. There are many souvenir shops, cafes, and Geneva restaurants in some of which you can enjoy Italian food and gelato.
At a short distance to the south of the Vieille Ville, there is the Carouge district, a leading shopping neighborhood. Here many designer outlets, department stores, and upmarket jewelers offer a good place for some serious window shopping. Its high-end fashion boutiques will make you feel more like you were in Italy than in Switzerland.
Another alluring part of Geneva is the vibrant and diverse district of Les Pâquis. It is one of the city’s most elegant districts, known for its bohemian atmosphere and diverse range of ethnic eateries. Here reside many of the city’s most exclusive hotels. Other highlights include the Grand Casino and Wilson Place.
To get a unique and unforgettable experience, we encourage you to rent a limousine in Geneva. Visit or call us before your trip and we will be glad to arrange a tour around the city specially designed to fulfill your wishes and expectations.
All our vehicles are well equipped and regularly checked so we guaranty your safety.
Our professional and highly skilled drivers are there to make your travel pleasant and comfortable. Regardless of the goal of your visit to Geneva, our limo service is looking forward to making you happy.