From the colourful spring blooms that are guaranteed to take your breath away to its lake surrounded by a spectacular backdrop, Geneva’s natural attractions make it a truly picturesque holiday destination. The city in the far southwestern corner of Switzerland also makes for a fantastic family jaunt thanks to the various cultural yet fun experiences it offers. And, of course, whether the foodies in your family lean towards sweet or savoury, Switzerland has both boxes ticked, and Geneva is one of the best cities for munching on the country’s delicious, world-renowned chocolate and cheese. Plus, being home to the headquarters of Europe’s Red Cross and United Nations, there’s the multi-cultural city’s welcoming atmosphere to soak in. Visitors from the GCC can also take advantage of the bespoke services at the hotels, the fine dining experiences and wide range of Halal foods, as well as the frequent, direct flights from the region.
Here are four of the city’s highlights to experience with your family:
1- Take a boat tour around Lake Geneva
Falling in love with Lake Geneva is easy. The crescent-shaped lake shared between France and Switzerland is Europe’s largest fresh water surface, with the scenery of the Alps and the glistening, snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc to one side, and Jura Mountains on the other. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a boat tour and taking in some of the dramatic scenery around Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman.
2- Visit the Botanical Gardens and Conservatory
Geneva’s first Botanical Gardens seem like a living museum, boasting over 16,000 species of plants, trees and shrubs. Created in 1817 as an expression of the then prevailing naturalist trend, the Botanical Gardens and Conservatory now occupy roughly 28 hectares. The garden’s herbarium - one of the world’s largest - has a collection of six million plants and fungi. Children will also enjoy the various playgrounds and trees to climb, making it perfect for a family outing.
3- Fit in some educational experiences
Geneva's Natural History Museum is the perfect indoor activity. As well as providing entertainment for the children, the museum will enrich their knowledge with many interesting facts about the planet and the different species living on it. Plus, of course, even grown-ups can profit from learning new things. For more mental stimulation, visitors should head to Exploracentre, a new interactive museum. For children from the age of five, it’s a fantastic place where the little adventurers can enjoy many interactive experiments, thematic workshops and animations. All the while, they will take in scientific, digital and environmental concepts.
4- Indulge the foodies
A trip to Geneva, the capital of chocolate, isn’t complete without attending a chocolate workshop. It’s an interesting way to spend an afternoon together with the family, learning about the secrets of chocolate making. You also get to treat yourselves by tasting the best of what everyone likes. Another option is to take a tour of a chocolate factory to see how chocolate bars, as well many other delicacies, are made. And the cherry on top is getting the chance to savour them.
For cheese aficionados, there’s nothing that tops going to a traditional fondue restaurant to experience Swiss culture and conviviality. This will also be a great family bonding experience. There’s a lot to talk about while everyone is reaching out to that delicious pot of melted cheese.