Switzerland has always been a place I have wanted to visit. But I never knew where to start.
Doing some research I decided Geneva was the first on my places to go, as there are flights direct from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and it is the French speaking part of Switzerland.
Flying into Geneva the view was one of the most picturesque views I have ever seen.
Everyone was shoving and nudging each other to look out the window, seeing the snowy mountains from the sky really is something special.
Geneva offers free public transport to all tourists. When you get to the baggage area in the airport there is a machine, and you receive a free 80 minute travel ticket. The train station is situated in the airport, and with regular trains and a train journey time of just 9 minutes, you are in the centre of Geneva in no time. You can then use this ticket to hop on the bus to get to your hotel.
(All has to be within the 80 minute time frame).
We was staying at the Eldeweiss Manhotel which was 2 stops on the bus.
This dropped us right outside our hotel.
The Eldeweiss Manhotel was a great choice, and I would so recommend it as a base. It had a Swiss Chalet feel, the staff were helpful and the rooms, beds and amenities were all top notch.
The outside was lit up with hanging solar light plant-pots which I really loved.
Plus you could spot the hotel a mile off, winner.
When checking into any hotel in Geneva tourists are given a travel pass each, you can use the trains, buses and boats all within the Geneva area for free. This was a great perk, and we used the passes a lot.
The first afternoon we stayed around Lake Geneva. We hopped on the boat at the lake and visited the Old Town which only took 5 minutes to get to. It had a real Parisian feel to it.
It reminded me a little of Montmartre in Paris, but on a much smaller scale.
Attached to the Hotel they have their own restaurant. I never tend to eat at hotel restaurants, just because I like to get a feel for local cuisine and culture. But with the locals queuing up to get in, and with glowing reviews on Trip Advisor – we had to visit.
The restaurant had traditional Swiss folk entertainment which was so much fun, plus the 2 entertainers were amazing, getting the diners involved at every chance. (As you will see below haha).
We ordered starters which consisted of a vegetarian platter and baked onion soup.
Everyone seemed to be ordering the Swiss national dish fondue, which is melted cheese served in a portable stove. You use a long stemmed fork to dip chunks of bread in it.
So we had to try, and yes it is as good as it sounds.
After a very early start travelling, and then exploring Geneva this restaurant was a real perk and was the perfect end to the day. No taxis, or commuting, just a lift up to our room.
(Guests also get 15% off their food bill).
Switzerland is renowned for being expenive. Prices varied across the board with some food (mainly meats & fish) being expensive, but it was easy to pick out affordable food and drinks in restaurants, and the supermarkets had lots of choice.
On the whole we only spent a little more compared to what we would in other European countries.
The second day we had planned a trip to Montreux, this is around an hour from Geneva.
The train cost 63 Swiss Francs, around £50 and this included return train, buses when in Montreux and entrance to Chateau de Chillon, which is a Medieval castle located on Lake Geneva. The records date back to 1005, so as you can imagine the castle is steeped in history.
The train ride is an experience in itself. With the rail line set on the cusp of Lake Geneva you are constantly looking out the windows soaking in the snowy Swiss alps, architecture and lake.
When we got to Montreux it had a laid back feel, it wasn’t as busy as Geneva and we found our way round with ease. The bus station again is situated outside the train station and we headed up to Chateau de Chillon. It took around 15 minutes.
The castle is truly beautiful. You receive a pamphlet that is numbered, and all the rooms are numbered. There is a description explaining what each room was used for throughout the ages.
You browse at your own leisure, and the whole experience was very informative, interesting and the views and architecture were stunning and very scenic.
What I loved about this trip was how laid back it was. The Swiss I found were very helpful, relaxed and had a great sense of humour. We didn’t even touch the surface, and I will be 100% returning.
I would like to visit Nyon and take the steam train up the mountains, and visit one of the most famous mountain villages Chamonix.
Have you been to Geneva or anywhere in Switzerland before?
I would love to hear all about it.
If not, as you can tell I highly recommend visiting.