Cheap flights to Geneva, Switzerland
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Go on holiday in Geneva to:
- climb the 157 steps of the Cathedral of St. Pierre
- spend a day lounging by the lake
- splurge on an elegant Swiss timepiece
Flights to Geneva
airBaltic will begin operations to Geneva on May 4, 2017 on a thrice-weekly basis with fares starting at 69 EUR one way. The direct Riga – Geneva flight takes less than three hours, with very convenient connection times available to those flying from other airBaltic destinations.
Geneva's physical location is, to say the least, very fortunate. As if being embraced by the Jura mountains and the Alps (the snowy peaks of Mont Blanc adorn its horizon) weren't enough, Geneva has le lac Léman (Lake Geneva) at its disposal, so it's safe to say that it is a picture-perfect place.
Geneva is the second most populous city of Switzerland, and is often mistaken for being the Swiss capital, which it isn't. It houses the European headquarters of UNO and is a city of diplomats and business. It also has a fascinating past of sheltering freethinkers from across Europe, and is the cradle of the Geneva Convention.
There is only one drawback to this otherwise fairytale-like city: it is one of the most expensive places in the world. The good news is, the city's guests who stay at hotels or hostels are entitled to a Geneva Transport card that allows the use of the public transport free of charge; even the ride from Geneva Airport to the city centre is covered.
Salut! Hallo! Ciao! Allegra! A trip to Switzerland is a veritable treat language wise, for there are four official languages in this country: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Geneva is that part of Switzerland where French rules everyday life (in other parts of Switzerland, German is the dominant Sprache); luckily, the differences between the French spoken in France and the one spoken in Geneva are rather minor, which is great for anyone who can speak the language of Voltaire and Rousseau. If, however, you're not well versed in any of the four, a plain old English Hello! will do: Geneva is home to a plethora of international organizations and businesses, so most passers-by will understand the lingua franca.
See and Do
One of Geneva's landmarks is the colossal Jet d'Eau: a pencil fountain that shoots water up to 140 m high in the air, and can be spotted from the sky, so make sure to look out the window as the plane approaches Geneva Airport. Those unafraid of the risk of getting drenched can take a walk straight up to the fountain, but do not say we did not warn you.
Dive deep into the history of luxury watchmaking by visiting the Patek Philippe museum. It is an impressive tribute to horology, and will take its visitors on a fascinating journey that begins in the 16th century and follows the evolution of the clock up to the present times. Physics buffs must line up a tour at CERN, European Council for Nuclear Research, which is where the Large Hadron Collider is located. Although vistors are not allowed near the collider itself, seeing the lab's facilities will be quite an adventure anyway.
Spend some time at Place des Nations, a large square that celebrates the diversity of nations. It also displays the Broken Chair, a huge wooden sculpture that symbolizes the fight against landmines and serves as a reminder of the lives shattered by these explosives.
Parc des Bastions is a green paradise amidst the city concrete. Chess lovers will particularly enjoy the giant chessboards available for anyone to use for a game or two, and it's a superb location for an afternoon picnic. The Reformation Wall that overlooks the park honours the most famous figures linked with the Protestant Reformation, and is also one of the main symbols of Geneva.
If you're after spectacular landscapes, set aside a portion of your trip to spend by Lake Geneva whose crystal clear and unusually blue waters will take your breath away. Taking a swim while being surrounded by urban architecture is unconventional indeed, but perhaps that's the point. Besides that, an hour-long fireworks show over lac Léman takes place every August as part of the Fêtes de Genève, and they say it's not to be missed.
Which food item would you most readily pair with the word Swiss? For the majority, it would definitely be chocolate. Switzerland is one of the key players in the delicious business of chocolate-making. From bars to truffles, bonbons and pralines, any of these divine creations are worth (over)indulging in if you're in Geneva. Another Swiss classic is the raclette, which is basically melted cheese that's served with a couple of pickled onions and cucumbers, and some boiled potatoes. Instead of hot chocolate, go for Ovomaltine, a drink of Swiss origin that contains malt extract, whey and some cocoa powder, mixed into a glass of cold milk.