In winter, the city is adorned with its most beautiful lights thanks to the Geneva Lux festival which presents original creations by artists. Disco on ice evenings and the many ephemeral skating rinks, especially in Bastions Park, enhance your moments of relaxation. Make way for traditions in December thanks to the Fête de l’Escalade, with its historic processions, and indulgence by tasting a delicious fondue in an idyllic setting like that of a boat.
Elegance, tradition and magic take hold of the city for a season to the delight of all. It’s time for Geneva to put on its winter coat to offer you wonderful experiences, warm by the fireside, or on the slopes as soon as the snow first snows.
Flower clock, Magic under the snow
In Geneva, it’s hard to forget the passing time. On the contrary, looking at the time is a very popular activity thanks to the houses of fine watchmaking and the beauty of the flower clock. Located at the entrance to the English Garden, it has a 2.5 m needle and a Patek Philippe mechanism. But what makes it unique is that it is adorned with 6,500 flowers and plants that change with the seasons. Come and admire it under the snow: the show is even more magical in winter.
In Geneva, there are many restaurants that offer a true gastronomic cooking experience. The splendid Domaine de Châteauvieux of Chef Philippe Chevrier is located in a magnificent setting, in the rolling countryside, about 20 minutes from the city of Geneva. By eating in this restaurant, you will be delighted. Another restaurant cited in Gault and Millau: Pachacamac, a Peruvian restaurant, excellent and very modern. His simply exquisite octopus recipe is a must in the selection of main dishes. The moment you lift the glass lid of your plate to reveal the still steaming dish is one you will cherish for a long time.
A dinner by the fireside
All you need when it’s freezing outside is to warm up a bit while enjoying a tasty meal and good company. Winter is the perfect opportunity for indulging in fun-filled evenings as a couple, with family or among friends. And… You don’t need to dress for the cold to enjoy a delicious meal by the fireside. From retro-style eateries to gourmet restaurants, geneva is the perfect place for a mouthwatering dining experience.
Take care of yourself before or after your flight: discover one of the luxury spas of the city of Geneva. Treat your skin to a special youthful treatment after the dry mountain air or a strenuous flight. The La Réserve complex in Geneva is the perfect place to combine a visit to the spa with a gastronomic experience.
Winter is the perfect time to relax and rejuvenate. Geneva is famous for its special blend of natural beauty and luxury, which makes it the ideal city for a wellness break in winter. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains on the shores of Lake Geneva, it offers nature, shopping, but also pure pleasure and relaxation.
If you feel the urge to take care of yourself, you will be spoiled for choice in Geneva. Luxurious facial massage or relaxing massage, a day in one of the luxury spas of the city of Geneva will make the winter blues disappear.
The real asset of a shopping trip in Geneva: all the exclusive brands are represented in a small space. No need to take the car to go from one place to another, all the shops offering famous Swiss watches as well as quality brands of leather goods and clothing are located close to each other: you can get there walk.
Of course, the city of Geneva is also famous for luxury watchmaking. Distributors of Rolex, Chopard and Hublot watches are all centrally located, as is the exclusive brand Patek Philippe, which even has its own museum, with an impressive collection of pieces, such as watches that once belonged to royal families..
The city of Geneva has a lot to offer, but it is also the ideal starting point for exploring the mountains. Thus, one day is enough to get you from the city center to the ski slopes, then to find the city atmosphere in the evening. It couldn’t be simpler: get on the bus, collect your ski pass, hit the slopes, rest on the return trip, and be in good shape to have a good time in one of our countless restaurants. When you land in Geneva on your next ski vacation, consider booking a day or two in our international city, well known for its luxury shopping and relaxation offer.
The quality of the “Swiss-made” label could easily be applied to all the services offered in Geneva. The city is home to more than 30 restaurants listed in the prestigious Gault and Millau guide, as well as many Michelin-starred establishments. A treat for your taste buds. Pamper yourself in one of the many luxury spas, whether you visit one of the five star hotels or one of the city’s spas.
The highest excursion point in the Lake Geneva Region, Glacier 3000 is located between Gstaad and Les Diablerets. The cable car climb takes only 15 minutes and the viewpoint offers a breathtaking view of the 3 most famous peaks of the Alps: Mont-Blanc, Matterhorn and Jungfrau.
Chamonix – Mont-Blanc
Chamonix is a small mountain town located an hour’s drive from Geneva, in the heart of the French Alps. It is dominated by Mont Blanc to the south – the highest peak in Western Europe – and by the Aiguilles Rouges massif to the north. Its rich history, its spectacular nature, its passionate and cosmopolitan atmosphere make it an ideal destination for an excursion, in summer as in winter.
Discover a magical natural setting, and navigate easily on the snow, snowshoes on your feet. A sporting activity accessible to all, hours of fun and well-being on snowshoes. We pick up students and their teachers from school and groups at the address indicated. Together, we energize the team spirit within your class, your company, your club or among friends. An activity to plan for a whole day, an afternoon or an evening. We also organize outings in the form of challenges or team building.
Transport to ski resorts
From Geneva you can easily reach all the famous ski resorts. Courchevel, Megève, Zermatt, Chamonix and Gstaad are all a short drive away. The easiest way to get to the resorts is to pre-order a private car with driver.
Companies like MBC Limousine Services offer luxury cars with driver, to accompany you to your station or in the shopping streets of Geneva. The company Ski Lifts also offers a large range of services: transfer in a Mercedes S-Class with chauffeur for larger groups transfers in Mercedes Viano luxurious, with leather interior and a DVD player. It even offers a Hummer stretch limousine, with a dance floor.
Courchevel has long been considered the go-to resort for wealthy people and celebrities. So it’s no surprise that Beyoncé and the Beckham family wanted to stay at this resort, which has many 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Travel time by car from Geneva: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Megève “retains an old-fashioned charm and a status of hidden treasure”, according to an article in the British daily “The Guardian” – and we completely agree. Megève is the place to go if you want to benefit from top quality services in a city whose streets do not seem crowded.
Travel time by car from Geneva: 1 hour 30 minutes.
Zermatt is a luxury resort, which has managed to retain its Swiss authenticity. The Matterhorn is one of the most famous mountains in Switzerland, and the best view of this natural gem is in Zermatt, making it one of the most ‘instragrammable’ places in Switzerland: you might already have saw this photograph of the triangular packaging of Swiss chocolate Toblerone, where the real Matterhorn summit has been pictured again since 2000.
Travel time by car from Geneva: 3 hours.
Chamonix is where ski instructors and mountain guides come to get their qualifications. It is one of the most famous resorts, thanks to its geographical location: it is located at the foot of Mont-Blanc. If you are an excellent skier, you can enjoy one of the most exclusive activities that Chamonix offers: heliskiing. A helicopter drops you off on the Swiss or Italian side of the border, and you can ski off-piste and enjoy stunning views and great outdoors.
Travel time by car from Geneva: 1 hour 30 minutes.
The stars have always traveled to Gstaad, from royal families to Madonna. Thanks to its on and off piste complex, there is something for everyone in the resort, which has a nice center with a pedestrianized main street, excellent facilities for families, delicious restaurants, and places to go. exception to go out after skiing.
Festivals and events in winter
From the Geneva Lux festival to the Escalade or New Year’s Eve festivities, Geneva is adorned with its most beautiful lights and is in a festive mood despite the cold. Discover a selection of outdoor or indoor activities, unusual events or convivial festivals that are organized throughout the winter in the city of Geneva.
From January 24 to February 2, Geneva shines with all its lights thanks to the Geneva Lux which invites artists to create light installations specially designed for the occasion. Colorful or monochrome, figurative or abstract, minimalist or opulent, these works of art trace a new route through the city.
The month of December is also dedicated to traditions thanks to the Fête de l’Escalade, the events of which are organized around the historic date of December 12, commemorating the Geneva victory against a Savoy attack in 1602. On this occasion, we can taste soups and mulled wine in the four corners of the city and admire all kinds of processions: those in period costumes but also those of children in fancy dress singing the Geneva hymn “Cé queè lainô”. This weekend of festivities is preceded by the Escalade Race, which brings together residents of all ages who brave the cold and take to the streets to run or to support the participants.
Unmissable events to immerse yourself in the magical and colorful universe of Advent, the Christmas markets flourish in Geneva with their stands or their wooden huts offering a thousand handicrafts, their light garlands, their mulled wine or their scent of cinnamon.. Some markets pines allow you to find your perfect tree nursery installed from producers all over the city.
On the night of December 31, free entertainment is inevitably offered by the Municipality. If the program is renewed each year, the common thread of this convivial festival remains the eclecticism of the musical offer thanks to several musical stages as well as the fireworks which illuminate the sky at the stroke of midnight. The same night, the town hall of Plainpalais welcomes the poor or isolated by offering them a raffle, a festive meal and musical entertainment on the occasion of the Solidarity New Year ‘s Eve.
In Geneva’s dense cultural calendar, January marks the opening of two festivals as prestigious as they are atypical. Black Movie offers a spotlight on international auteur cinema and makes it possible to view films that most often escape the net of mass distribution. As for the Antigel festival, it brings together music, dance and performance while taking care of the unusual character of its proposals, in particular in terms of the places occupied by the event.
To get out of the winter temperatures and temporarily change latitude, all you need is a visit inside the conservatory and botanical garden greenhouses. Under these elegant glass shelter visitors and visitors can admire the plants with unexpected shapes, feel the heavy tropical humidity and, on prior request, discover also carnivorous plants. Various exhibitions, temporary and permanent, as well as interactive tours available via smartphone extend the pleasure of botanical discovery.
For snow sports enthusiasts, the City offers several skating rinks during the winter season. The seasonal rinks are installed in the Bastions Park and the Charmilles and offer access and free entertainment, apart from the rental of skates for CHF 2. The indoor ice rink at Les Vernets also welcomes the public, in particular with extended hours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., except in the event of exceptional events. Once a month from November to February, the ice discos make you jiggle from 7:30 p.m. to midnight with music and a bar at the edge of the track.
Alongside those who come to taste the fondue with a view of the lake, more and more winter bathers come to swim at the Bains des Pâquis in all weathers.
In December, courageous and courageous people also brave the freezing cold of Lake Geneva on the occasion of the Christmas Cup, the world’s largest cold water race, and swim a distance of 120 meters along the promenade du Jardin Anglais, in water whose temperature usually fluctuates between 5° and 10° C. The public is welcome to support this extraordinary event in an end-of-year holiday atmosphere.
In Geneva there is something for everyone, gourmets will be delighted to enjoy the delicacies of the city and all the activities at hand. Visit the factories of the most famous chocolate makers and step into the history of Swiss watch brands.
You go skiing with family and friends, and among you, there are not only snow-covered slopes enthusiasts. No problem, Geneva offers you a lot of enjoyable and fun activities, even if you are not a big fan of skiing. Whether you want to take care of yourself, play sports or learn something new, you are bound to find what suits your desires the best.
Everyone appreciates a good massage, and Geneva is famous for its luxurious hotels, nestled all around the lake, all of which offer high-end spa services.
Fondue in the sky
A different and unique experience – we recommend that you enjoy a fondue with your head in the stars, aboard the Roc d’Orsay Villars cable car, at an altitude of 2,000 meters. For around two hours, enjoy a traditional fondue, while admiring the breathtaking view of Mont Blanc and the Rhone valley below. Dinner, consisting of three courses of local Swiss delicacies, includes a charcuterie platter, fondue, dessert, wine and soft drinks. The cable car has 40 cabins, each accommodating 6 people.
Fly over the Lake Geneva
Depart directly from Geneva and contemplate the famous Jet d’Eau, before flying east for 20 minutes, over Lake Geneva and towards Montreux. The Col de Jaman will be the next highlight of your excursion. On your right, you will see the little train that winds its way to the top of Rochers-de-Naye, a mountain range culminating at 2,042 meters, at the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. Land on Glacier 3000 and admire the breathtaking views of the Northern Alps, while enjoying a glass of chilled champagne. Then fly to Saanen airfield, where a vehicle will be waiting for you in the afternoon to drive you to Gstaad for a two-hour shopping spree. The return to Geneva airport will be an opportunity to fly over the south shore of Lake Geneva and the Lavaux region, with its terraced vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2007.
Cheese fondue course, fondue tasting as a starter, choice of dish (Burgundy fondue, complete roesti, perch fillets), dessert and 1 drink of your choice: CHF 85.- per person Duration: 30 to 45 minutes for the course and 30 minutes of tasting.
Another great way to discover our magnificent region, even if you don’t like skiing: hop aboard a balloon for a romantic getaway. The Ballons du Léman company specializes in balloon flights around Lake Geneva. An original way to admire the Alps and the Lake Geneva region from a different perspective. During the winter, the company offers flights from Gstaad to Gruyère. You climb up to 3000 meters in altitude to enjoy a view of the highest peaks.
Better yet: you can enjoy a fondue, installed in the balloon basket, which can accommodate up to nine people. A unique experience, which includes a pre-flight champagne aperitif, cheese fondue in the air, and a typical Swiss dessert, which you will enjoy back on the ground: a meringue with double Gruyère cream, served with a glass of Champagne.
To discover the city in a completely unique way and without putting on skis, we recommend the private tours of Geneva Tourism, which will immerse you in 500 years of luxury and high precision history: the history of watch industry. You can also sign up to participate in a watchmaking workshop, where you will learn how to assemble a Swiss watch, which you will then take with you at the end of the course. A very special memory.
A very interesting way to occupy one of your afternoons: indulge yourself in a workshop dedicated to chocolate, where you will learn the secrets of its manufacture and taste delicious Swiss chocolates. We love the Du Rhône Chocolatier house, located at 3, rue de la Confédération. You can also visit the Stettler Chocolate Factory, and observe the making of chocolate bars and other delicacies, which you will then have the pleasure of tasting, of course. The house also organizes chocolate workshops for all ages.
Favarger Chocolate Factory
Another possibility is the Manufacture Favarger, founded in 1826. It is one of the oldest chocolate factories in Geneva, and undeniably one of the best local brands. It is a unique visit, most of the machines of the factory dating from the time when it was founded. Note: The tour should be booked in advance. The manufacture is located in Versoix, 20 minutes by train from Geneva.
It is with pleasure that guided tours of the factory are organized for groups of at least 10 people (from 10 years old) from Monday to Thursday and Friday morning, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
If you are looking for an activity that does not require skis or snowboard, and you still want to enjoy the magic of winter in the mountains, you can slide on the snow and enjoy the winter landscapes, driven by magnificent sled dogs. A very special winter adventure for the whole family. Dog sled driving is available in the neighboring ski resorts of Verbier and Chamonix.
Tobogganing Park in Leysin
This activity is perfect for winter sports enthusiasts and thrill seekers, who, after taking their place on an inner tube, will hurtle down the steep slopes.
Snowtubing in Leysin
What’s really great about snowshoes is that you can do them without any training: everyone can participate and have fun. You can also combine pleasure and training by participating in one of the “Gourmet Snowshoes” tours, where you will taste local delicacies while walking, equipped with your snowshoes.
More funny activity
A little more complicated: biathlon at the Swiss Ski School in Villars. Discover this fun activity, which combines sport and precision, and test your marksmanship on targets at 10 meters, with the help of an instructor. You can practice cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or running and rifle shooting.