When was the last time you went to Geneva, and more to the point, why were you there? Business? To head up to the mountains to ski? Or as a stopover before departing off elsewhere? Such a shame, as this city has so much to offer.
Courtesy of a total re-brand by Tourism Genève, we were invited to the Swiss city for the launch of The Girls’ Guide To Geneva. The brainchild of Tourism Genève’s PR Manager Pascal Buchs, this package has been put together to encourage more weekend breaks in a city that gets its fair share of travellers during the week, but is essentially the domain of locals come Friday. Accordingly, Tourism Genève has undertaken the (somewhat unenviable) task of rebranding the city as the place for girls to go for a long weekend away. They’ve teamed up with several of the city’s leading hotels, as well as Geneva’s best-known female influencers, to create packages that mean you and your girls get to holiday in style for much less than you would do otherwise, but with insider’s tips as to what to do and where to go. So essentially, this is completely win-win.
Geneva really is a city to suit all tastes. For the ultra girly, you can enjoy massages, have your nails done, and make yourself at home in the city’s chic-est shops (we did!). Everyone from Burberry to Zenith sells here, not to mention backstreet boutique Septieme Etage – worth seeking out for red carpet glam guaranteed!For culture vultures, the beguiling beauty of the Old Town, not to mention what has been dubbed the Longest Bench In The World (I’m dubious as to whether 180 boards attached together really constitutes one bench, however!), but it is the perfect destination to while away the hours whilst soaking up the history, the serenity and the coffee from the many cosy cafes.
If you’d rather go in search of something more traditional, Geneva’s world-famous Jet d’Eau is definitely worth seeing, and the best way is by boat. Beautifully scenic, and also a brilliant way of getting from A to B, the lake boasts impossibly clear water, with umpteen opportunities for making your friends jealous with your social media posts. Oh, and stock up at chocolatier Auer before you sit back and set off across the water – well, when in Switzerland!
As day gives way to night, the city comes alive, and there are several establishments worth investigating. From the slightly quirky (Barbershop Bar) to “the best place to hunt for hot men” (that’s a direct quote from the Guide – and Brasserie Halles de L’Isle), to the achingly hip (nightclub Silencio), there is a bar or club to suit all tastes. For those who prefer dining to drinking, we recommend Café des Bains (their curry is delicious). Incidentally, they have the coolest clock inside, which is definitely worth a mention! But a word to the wise – whilst Geneva is ridiculously easy to navigate, just make sure you have your Guide when you go out, as the handy maps within make it a lot easier to work out where everything is, particularly after a late night out! On that note, another perk of purchasing the Guide means you also get a transport card, allowing for free rides for the duration of your trip. Perfect – as long as you remember not to leave it in the hotel!
Of course, we all love a bargain, and the Guide’s handy discounts are definitely a bonus. With discount meals and free gifts in certain shops, the Guide really is a one-stop-shop and all you could possibly hope for on a “girls’ retreat.”
Recently voted Europe’s Leading City Break Destination at the World Travel Awards, there is a reason why Geneva is becoming the place to go. So get your girls together, grab your passport and experience this city in all its many guises – this really is a weekend away you won’t forget.