This trip exceeded our expectation in many ways. Geneva was never high on our travel bucket list but we thought to ourselves, "hey, it’s a free vacation tagged along a work trip ... so no complaints". The city itself is clean and beautiful with a touchof culture and history as well. There are many interesting small towns along Lake Geneva so we did several road trips to visit a few. It’s worth noting that the city is very expensive, even to New York City standards, so expect to splurge on your meals.
Our visit was in March which is not the typical tourist season. Early buds could be spotted on trees but otherwise the streets felt a bit bare given the lack of greenery. The best season to visit this city is probably spring/early summer. A few things to note if you visit in low season: lunch hours are short ... restaurants might still be open serving drinks and desserts only (Europeans love their afternoon outside drinks/coffee breaks) but kitchens close at 2pm for most places and some even earlier. Tourist sites could be closed on Sun/Mon and some of them completely closed during winter season (ends at the end of march) ... and hours could be short too (11-5pm) ... make sure you check before you go.
Vevey was our favorite stop on our road trip around Lake Geneva. If you have never heard of Vevey, it is known as one of the Pearls if the Swiss Riviera which is no exaggeration of Vevey’s natural beauty. Its lakeside location with extraordinarily mild weather and breathtaking views of the Alpine panorama once attracted the comedian Charles Chaplin to spend the last 25 years of his life here. Today Chaplin’s country estate has been turned into a tourist attraction called Chaplin’s World. We didn’t have time to visit it on this trip because it was getting late and we still wanted to visit Chillom Castle.
The other major attraction in Vevey you shouldn’t miss is the giant fork sculpture protruding from the lake. It’s part of the nutrition museum Alimentarium. You won’t miss it if you take a nice walk along the lakeside promenade.
the famous Fork!
the flower clock
Geneva lies at the southern tip of the Lac Leman (also known as Lake Leman or Lame Geneva). Surrounded by the Alps, the city has picturesque views of the expansive lake with a backdrop of the dramatic Mont Blanc. Take a morning run around the lake and you are guaranteed to find a few nice spots for great photos.