Easter in Geneva Switzerland

Geneva Switzerland oozes with opulence and grandeur and yet such history is visible from it's monuments, architectural treasures and cobble stoned streets.  We decided what better way to spend Easter than to visit this vibrant city.  We took the train from Aix-les-Bains, it took us just over an hour and 30 euros, for all three of us.  Amazing, and such a pleasure to have these options footsteps away.  When we got off the train we had to go through a small customs area which was quick and simple.  My husband was so excited to see English signs but soon after realized that most of the population spoke French (128,622 or 72.3%), with English being second most common (7,853 or 4.4%) and Spanish third (7,462 or 4.2%).   The city of Geneva truly is a melting pot of culture and French stands out primarily as the first language but luckily they understand his English better than they do here in France!

Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland and from any street corner you can see why it's ranked the world's ninth most important financial centre , a number of billboards light up the sky with just over 300 private banks from countries all around the world.  A large city of just under 500,000 including suburbs located in the south western corner of Switzerland the most prevalent and undeniable Lake Geneva. (Lac Léman) - at the mouth of the Rhone River glows with teal crystal clear water, is bordered by the Jura Mountains to the west and the French Alps in the east peek out slightly and is so picturesque.

We walked all over town exploring and coming upon so many green areas, parks and play structures, this city is very organized with tons of spaces for families to get outside and explore. Unavoidably Lake Geneva's Jet d'eau de Geneve water fountain is striking in the city's background, it is one of the city's most famous landmark and shoots out water at an altitude of 10 km (33,000 ft), it can be seen from the city's St. Pierre's Cathedral north tower along with the rest of the city's landscape.  We stayed at the Ibis Geneve Centre Gare, wonderful little hotel and they gave us passes for the city's public transit system for the duration of our stay that included buses, trams, trains, and yellow taxi-boats - Mouettes, such a bonus, after walking for 2 days straight we gave our legs a break and took a tram and discovered the city's core and then suburban areas.  The number 18 tram takes you to CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the biggest, most sophisticated physical research centers in the world, of high significance for physics research concentrated on understanding the inside of the atom but most commonly known as the birthplace of the World Wide Web.  Invented at CERN in 1989 by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee, has grown to revolutionize communications worldwide.

The city was bustling on Saturday, students, tourists and locals alike, moving about - with amazing weather everyone was out exploring.    With many non-governmental organizations headquartered in Geneva such as the Red Cross and the United Nations, it is interesting to see the capital of peace display such luxury that is obvious with boutique brands such as Dior, Cartier and Louis Vuitton.  This city is pricey, stepping into a regular cafe or restaurant you scan the menu to find things you know should not be expensive such as burgers, pastas but in Geneva you can expect a plate to cost at minimum 25-30 CHF francs which is closely on par with the Euro.  You can just imagine that the locals are bankers, financiers and international diplomats.  Beautiful stunning city but I unless we win the lottery we cannot even think of living in a place such as Geneva Switzerland.

The good news is the city has so many free amenities and so much history to see that costs nothing there is plenty of activities to keep you exprong.  Entry to permanent collections in all of the municipal museums (14 in total) is free of charge, all year round.  Entry to temporary exhibitions is free of charge on the first Sunday of the month in all 14 municipal museums, or about CHF5-CHF10 other days.  I found this great site with a list and links to all of those museums, have a look and enjoy!  Free Museums List

We plan to return in June when all of the flowers are out and taking a boat cruise along Lake Geneva with grandma!  Stay tuned.

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