Click the triangles by the headers to view the information in each section.
- Lake Geneva / Lac Léman is a beautiful area in the west point of Switzerland. The lake is partly in Switzerland and partly in France. This area of Switzerland is mainly French-speaking. There are many castles and medieval towns around the lake and in the surrounding areas. Access to the Alps is to the east. The area is great for local sightseeing, museum touring, relaxing in parks, cruising on the lakes, walking through vineyards and flower promenades; but, also can access many other close attractions.
Areas plotted on Google Maps: You don’t want to walk this trail; however, just view it as a reference for where all these villages are located.
Around Lake Geneva / Lac Lèman
- Montreux – on the east side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman. The town has great views and great access to both local attractions and outside excursions.
- Lausanne – on the north side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman.
- Geneva – on the southwest side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman. The Rhole river flows out of the lake here. This is the second most populous city in Switzerland; it is a finance center and a hive of global activity. Many international organizations are based here. Geneva is the European HQ for the United Nations and the HQ for the Red Cross. This is an expensive city and is also full of history. The city is famous for watchmaking and chocolate.
- Vevey – town on the northeast side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman
- Nyon – town on the northwest side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman
- Yvoire, France – medieval village in France on south side of Lake Geneva / Lac Léman
Day (or partial day) trips
- Gruyères (Cheesemaking and castles) – a medieval town east of Lake Geneva, about 1 hour and 20 minutes by train from Montreux.
- Zermatt (Matterhorn) – southeast of Lake Geneva, about 2 hours and 40 minutes by train from Montreux. German speaking town at the base of the Matterhorn. Lots of hiking.
- Neuchâtel – medieval town on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. Northeast of Lake Geneva, about 1 hour and 10 minutes by train from Montreux. Or you can connect to Yverdon-les-Bains in 50 minutes then take a boat ride to Neuchâtel.
- Estavayer-le-Lac – medieval town on the south side of Lake Neuchâtel. Northeast of Lake Geneva, about 1 hour and 20 minutes by train from Montreux.
- Murten – medieval town on Lake Murten (Murtensee). Northeast of Lake Geneva, about 2 hours by train from Montreux.
- Yverdon les Bains Region – group of towns on west side of Lake Neuchâtel. Northeast of Lake Geneva, about 50 minutes by train from Montreux.
Three Lakes Region – to the northeast of Lake Geneva. The three lakes are: Lac de Neuchâtel, Murtensee, Bielersee
Things to Do/Visit
- Boat rides on Lake Geneva – even a few paddle wheel boats are in the fleet
- Visit some of the many castles and medieval towns around the lakes
- Walk around Geneva
- Visit the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
- Walk around Old Town (Vieille-Ville) Geneva
- Visit St Peter’s (St. Pierre) Cathedral in Old Town Geneva and climb to the top for magnificent views
- The official site is in French. Open in Chrome so it translates to your language.
- Walk around Place du Bourg-de-Four, the oldest square in the city
- Have a crazy adrenaline adventure at Parc Adventure Geneve (not free) – ziplines and treetop courses
- Rent and ride a bike through Geneva and nearby areas. Certain bikes can be used for free for the first 4 hours. Check out the link for more details, specifications, and locations.
- Walk along the lakeside path. This is gorgeous.
- Have a picnic in a park or along the walkway around the lake
- Try one or more of these activities (lessons are available – Tropical Corner) on the lake: pedal boating, paddleboarding, canoe, kayak, windsurfing, swim
- Relax at Bains des Pâquis with Turkish baths, sauna, hammam, massage, swimming, food
- Hang out at Le Reposoir beach and playground
- More activities on the water at Genève Plage: wave station, stand-up paddle, inflatable tube games, massages, pools, beach, ping pong, beach volleyball, playground, and much more.
- Relax at Eaux-Vives park (Parc des Eaux-Vives) or Parc de la Grange
- Visit Bastions Park to play on the playground, relax, or play a game of chess on the giant chessboards
- Watch, on the hour, the fabulous intricate Clock in the Passage Malbuisson
- Go to the beach: Baby Plage
- Visit the English Garden by Lake Geneva and check out the amazing clock made of flowers -Horloge Fleuri- and the National Monument
- Ride the boat to Yvoire, France. Explore the medieval town, see the castle and the church of St Pancras
- Visit Vevey and walk through famous Lavaux Vineyards
- See Château de Chillon from the Lake Geneva cruises and tour inside the castle
- Visit Nyon and tour the Prangins Castle and National Museum, the Nyon Castle, visit the Nyon Roman Museum
- Visit Parc Jura Vaudois
- Visit Morges
- Visit Lausanne
- Lausanne Cathedral
- Olympic Museum, Lausanne
- AQUATIS Aquarium-Vivarium Lausanne
- The Rolex Learning Center
- Visit the Ouchy promenade for a nice stroll along Lake Geneva (from Vevey to Montreux)
- Visit Palud Square and see the town’s oldest fountain, statue for justice, and a fun clock
- La Cité: Cathedral of Lausanne, the Château Saint-Maire, the Old academy, cobblestone streets, and more
- Flon – the heart of Lausanne
- Take a longer trip from Montreux to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn (4,478 m), ride the cable car up the matterhorn for spectacular views, go hiking, ride the cog railway up Gornergrat (3,089 m), ride the cable car up to https://www.zermatt.ch/en/Media/Attractions/Rothorn(3,103 m), visit the Gorner GorgeFindeln, walk the 5 Lakes Trail, watch the open air theatre
- Take a trip from Montreux to Glacier des Diablerets
- Explore the Old Town of Montreaux (this is uphill)
- Ride the cog railway from Montreux to the summit of Rochers-de-Naye and take in the breathtaking views
- Walk around the Quays of Montreux while viewing the lake and flowers
- Walk around villages and trails
- Listen to local swiss music at stations
- Attend street fairs
- Visit local chocolate shops and factories
- Many local shops you will see while walking around
- Visit local grocery stores (Coop, Migros, etc.) and view their chocolate sections
- Stettler Chocolate Workshop
- Visit the Callier Factory (Maison Cailler) for a tour and sampling or a workshop.
- Note: the tour and sampling room is not amazing as it once was.
- Also note: there is a chocolate shop by the train station where the chocolate prices are far lower than the prices in the factory gift shop.
- Take the train to Broc-Fabrique or book a special trip on the Chocolate Train (Montreux to Broc with an excursion in Gruyere to watch cheese made and see the castle)
- View some cheesemaking:
- Tour the Gruyère Cheese Factory (La Maison du Gruyère) and see cheese made
- View cheesemaking at Restaurant Le Chalet. Le Chalet Bio Cheese is their own cheese.
- Tour the Château de Gruyères (Gruyere Castle), for children, there is a treasure hunt and an animal hunt
- From Gruyeres, ride the bus, then the funicular, then the cable car to the Moléson summit
- Visit the Lake Neuchatel Area
- Cruise on Lake Neuchatel (timetable)
- Visit Neuchatel and Old Town
- Ride the funicular up from Neuchatel to Chaumont for amazing views. Either take the funicular back or hike down the “Sentier du Temps” to Neuchatel
- Visit Estavayer-le-Lac and castles/churches, natural architecture, frog museum, ride the tiny train in the medieval City of the Rose
- Visit the Yverdon les Bains region on Lake Neuchatel
- Cruise on Bielersee
- Visit Solothurn and take a lovely cruise on the River Aare, visit the Cathedral of St. Ursus (climb to the top for great views), vicit the old town, hike from Solothurn to Grenchen, visit the ancient , visit the local farmer’s market
- Visit the medieval town of Murten on Murtensee and discover the cultural heritage, ride the tour train, cruise on the lake, visit medieval old town, walk through the tropical gardens of the Papiliorama in Kerzers or the Vegetable Path on th Grosse Moos
- Visit Avenchesthe Avenches Roman Amphitheatre
- Top 10 places to visit in Geneva according to Geneva Tourism: (click the link to read brief interesting facts about each and find directions)
- Jet d’Eau – fountain on Lake Geneva
- Flower clock in the English Garden in Geneva by the lake
- Reformation Wall, a historic site
- The old town, St Peter’s Cathedral, and the secret passageways: little secrets and medieval atmosphere
- Lots of Museums
- CERN, World Wide Web, European Nuclear Research Organization
- Palais des Nations – International Geneva
- The Quartier des Bains
- Salève getaway, go high up! Hike up a mountain.
- Here are some more lists put together by Geneva Tourism
- Events: Check if events will coincide with your visit. Might be interesting but might also be really crowded.
- Best Free Things
- Most Beautiful Views
- Top 10 Must Visit
- Best Picnic Spots
- Some Mini Guides
- Geneva ‘Good To Know’ Info
- Geneva Highlights from mySwitzerland
- CERN – European Organisation for Nuclear Research / Globe of Science and Innovation
- Jet d’Eau (Water Jet)
- MAMCO and the Nuit des Bains
- The Reformation Wall
- Carouge – Italian Royal City
- Salève – 1,380m mountain in France
- Palais des Nations – HQ of UN in Europe
- Geneva Watch Tour through Old Town
- International Red Cross Museum
- Old Town and Cathedral of Saint Pierre
- mySwitzerland’s City Guide for Geneve – pdf
- Some info put together by GenevaInfo (an Unofficial Tourist Guide) – since this is unofficial, check official site to verify times, fares, and such; however, this has some good info
- Some Day Trips from Geneva: Annecy, Lausanne, Montreux, Gruyeres, Annemasse, Pays de Gex, Chillon, Chamonix, Nyon, Champéry, Haut Jura, Vallee de Joux, Mont
- Salève, Verbier
- Sights and Parks
- Another list of Geneva Highlights
Take the Wine train to take a ride by the vineyards. Some trains are: Lavaux Panoramic and Lavaux Express
Take the cog wheel train to St-Légier, Blonay or Les Pléiades for some views and hiking
Ride the oldest museum railway and visit the museum of Blonay-Chamby railway line
Hikes and Links for Hiking Ideas
- Hiking Trails
- Estavayer-le-Lac Walking
- Hike from Chaumont down to Neuchatel
- Hiking around Murtensee area
- Walk through Lavaux Vineyards
- Lake Geneva Area Hiking
- Les Pléiades Hiking
- Parc Jura Vaudois Hiking
- Solothurn Hiking
- Vevey and Montreux Area Hiking
- Zermatt/Matterhorn hiking
- Yverdes-les-Bains Hiking
Places to Eat
A few we have have frequented…
Places to Stay
A few we have visited…
- Area Pass: If it is offered/applies, make use of the local pass instead of the Swiss Pass
Information Links (Other sites)
- SBB site for train tickets
- CGN – timetables, tickets, fleet for Lake Geneva cruising
- Golden Pass Train Rides
- Railaway Tickets
- Yverdon les Bains Area
- Vaud/Lac Leman/Lake Geneva Area
- Lake Neuchatel Areas
- Estavayer-le-Lac Webcams
- Lake Neuchatel Timetable
- Murtensee Area
- Murtensee Timetable
- Bielersee Timetables
- Yvoire Webcam
- Zermatt Webcams
- Some info from Rick Steves