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Where to stay in Geneva: The best places

The best areas to stay in Geneva are the historical center Saint Gervais – Grottes, Plain Palais, Pâquis, Eaux-Vives.each for a number of reasons.

Geneva is the second most populated city in Switzerland after Zurich, but it is a long way ahead in terms of what matters most to the traveller who comes to see it.More important in history, in culture , by the showiness and importance of its monuments , outstanding in urban landscaping and striking for its more than evident touch of cosmopolitanism that gives the presence of numerous international bodies .Something that is also history.

Geneva inhabits the mouth of the Rhone River at the point where it drains into Lake Geneva, a point that is one of the natural gates to access the Alps that form its visual horizon when time permits.

The best areas to stay in Geneva

The historical center, Saint Gervais – Grottes, Plain Palais, Pâquis, Eaux-Vives and, for different reasons, the international airport area are the neighborhoods, districts and areas recommended to find accommodation in Geneva .For these reasons, we go by parts, we go from part to part of Geneva.

1.Cité – Old Town

The old town of Geneva is made up of a series of short streets that refer to a medieval past and around which are arranged charming squares where there is no lack of restaurants, cafes, museums, art galleries (such as those of Jacques de la Béraudière and Insolite) and some of the most outstanding historical sites of the Swiss capital.

For the uninitiated in Geneva , the high location of the centre, some 25 metres above the lake, is always a highlight, which is logical if you consider the necessary foresight about the lake’s flooding and a means of defending the city in other times.

In the centre, you should not miss the St. Peter’s Cathedral, the so-called Maison Tavel and the Ancien Arsenal.

The St. Peter’s Cathedral is one of the outstanding figures of the skyline in the centre of Geneva.the present building stands on a Roman temple from the 4th century and its walls saw the Protestant preachings of Calvin.the whole is today a very curious fusion of architectural styles starting with its neoclassical facade which is striking for its austerity.

The Maison Tavel houses the city’s museum, a landmark that makes it easy to understand the evolution of Geneva over time and the changes in the lifestyles of the people of Geneva.the Ancien Arsenal , the Old Arsenal, is a military building that was an artillery depot illustrating Geneva’s struggle to maintain its integrity and independence.

In the centre, you will pass by two squares with their own names, the Place du Bourg-de-Four and the Treille Promenade. The Place du Bourg-de-Four is the centre of the centre of Geneva, a place that coincides with the Roman market of two millennia ago.

Now the same place is full of luxury shops and top brands A perfect environment to have a coffee on any of the terraces of the cafes or restaurants surrounding the square Three restaurants are classics on the square, the Bourg-de-Four, La Clémence and au Carnivore.

At Christmas time, the square is decorated with rows of lights and a vintage decoration that is more than appropriate.In the centre of Geneva, there is a closed passage dating back to medieval times, a very narrow covered walkway that opens only two days a year, in December, during the Festival l’Escalade.

For shopping in the area, another recommendation, la rue du Marché , to rest, the gardens of the Parc des Bastions that preserves the famous Wall of the Reformation that represents the idealized and monumentalized images of the historical promoters of Protestantism.

The historical center, despite what it may seem, does not have many hotels and those that there are are not exactly cheap to stay in Geneva for several days.The bus 36 stops next to the cathedral, a short distance away, in the University area, has stops on lines 3, 5 and also 36 that facilitate mobility between districts.

– Accommodation in Cité – Old Town

2.Saint Gervais – Grottes

This district in the center of north Geneva is a residential district with a still very bohemian bourgeois air where only 10% of the city’s inhabitants live.They are few in number but their voice has been heard in a relentless struggle to defend the identity of their old buildings.

Even so, perhaps the most striking attraction of the district are the Schtroumpfs (‘Smurfs’) , sets of facades with a somewhat comical and colourful appearance that attract yes or no the cameras of the tourists who drop by this part of the city.

In the whole district you can see second hand shops, small cinemas, theatre s even smaller and places where you can learn to dance in also small academies.Saint Gervais – Grottes is a neighbourhood with a marked cultural accent .

Its nightlife atmosphere is famous.There are Parisian cafés like the Gervaise, the Gavroche or the Arts et Métiers that have a loyal audience on the weekends. The Nathan Café has a markedly homosexual atmosphere.

Saint Gervais – Grottes can be qualified as the area that offers the most comfort for to stay in Geneva , either because is close to the central station or because it has a greater offer and that, the competition, ends up balancing the prices when choosing where to sleep in Geneva.

– Accommodation in Saint Gervais – Grottes

3.Plain Palais

Plain Palais is a leisure and shopping area In fact Plain Palais is an open area with services in a square.

People come to Plain Palais attracted by its antique market and by the stalls of fresh local agricultural products .

In the agricultural market there are also producers who come from nearby France with high quality products: fruits, cheeses, vegetables, jams, mushrooms and many dairy products.

You can also find many international food stalls and a complete sweet shop to go around the world from cake to cake.the market is held on Saturdays from very early in the morning until five in the afternoon.

On Wednesdays another agricultural market is held although it is much smaller.

The circuses that arrive in Geneva, are accommodated in this area, and during some local festivals, there are roller coasters and merry-go-rounds for children.It is also a meeting place for young people who gather for going out on weekends and those who do it to skate on a nearby rink that has space for pedaling.

Plain Palais is full of bars, cafes and restaurants with its terraces that are a delight on summer days when the temperatures in Geneva are more pleasant.

The area of Rue de l’Ecole-de-Médecine and the part of Bains , which are next door, are the center of the nightlife of the place.the Café Remor, the Moulin Rouge and the Lady Godiva pub are the most recommended places in Plain Palais.

A curiosity, in Plain Palais there is a monument dedicated to the zombies , it is two meters high and it is actually a tribute to Mary Shelley, the author of ‘Frankenstein’.The sculpture is in the northeast area of the surface.

In the area, you should not miss the Patek Phillippe Museum , an exquisite exhibition dedicated to the clocks, and the local cemetery, where the remains of the writer Jorge Luis Borges are buried.

There are many ways to get to Plain Palais: Tram lines 12 and 15 stop in the area, bus lines 1, 27 and 32 also stop in Plain Palais, on the west side of the square there is a supermarket, also free public toilets and there is a bike park.

For accommodation in Geneva, the district is one of the most economical areas of the city, especially the apartments The reasons: the proximity of the university and the offer of accommodation for students.

– Accommodation in Plain Palais

4.Pâquis

Pâquis is the international quarter , of nightlife , red, for more signs, and objective for those who love to eat like the locals.the name comes from the French word equivalent to pasture.originally the area was formed by fields of cereal crops.

In Pâquis, we have to go to Bains de Pâquis, an extension of land gained from the water where people sunbathe and swim in beach mode (in summer).

The district has a long promenade by the lake which is a delight to walk on the days of better weather, with its gardens and its monuments to the Princess Sissi who lived and died in Geneva and of the Duke Charles II who donated his heritage to the city in exchange for a memorial.

Place des Alpes , a haven of peace and greenery, is also a must: breakfast at the Cottage Café to start the day in the Swiss style… and good.

Rue de Lausanne which borders Pâquis to the west is another of the city’s famous streets.Two churches of this part of the city are very significant, the to Church of the Nations which attends the services of the international community attached to the organizations of the UNO and the Catholic of the Holy Trinity , with its architecture difficult to classify.Pâquis is one of the cheapest zones of the center to stay in Geneva.

– Lodging in Pâquis

5.Eaux-Vives

The area is both a large urban park and a neighborhood , rather, the surrounding streets in the center south-east of Geneva.Next to the main promenade – the best in the area next to the park – you can see some stones emerging from the water of the lake , which say nothing if you don’t know what they are.

These are two natural rocks from the glaciation period which were used to officially measure heights in Switzerland.Nearby is the Jet d’Eau , the famous water jet from Lake Geneva which shoots up to the 140 meters high .

In the area, you can find the best ice cream parlors of the city (Gelatomania and Arlecchino).

The district is connected to the rest of the city by bus lines 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 21, 25, 33, 61, E, G and G+.

– Eaux-Vives Accommodation

6.Airport

Geneva International Airport is said to be one of the best on the European continent, it is very close to the city, just five kilometers from the center The movement of its tracks is incredible, a plane leaves or lands on them every minute and a half.

The excellence of this airport facility comes in part from its good connections to the city And is that the airport can be reached by bus, taxi, limousine and, of course, shuttle buses with which it is possible to approach the hotels in the area.

Travellers can get a free 80-minute ride on public transport by simply picking up a ticket at the baggage claim area, while the train usually takes about seven minutes to reach the centre of Geneva .

Geneva International Airport has its own shopping area next to the train station, on the east side of the premises.The duty free area of the terminal is, of course, in the departure area behind the baggage control area.

There are a number of hotels located within a short distance from the airport, about three kilometres away (a dozen accommodations).These hotels are well connected by road, and are cheaper than those in the centre of the city.

Choosing this area to stay in Geneva is a functional alternative , and can be an ideal option if you are looking for accommodation in Geneva and if you are going to be in the city for no more than two days.

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