We might have just got over that recent heatwave (top tip: pop your pillow covers in the fridge, so you are not sweltered in bed) but that hasn’t put me off researching places to visit in the Autumn, Oh I love a little trip away when the weather is a little more calm, especially if it’s a city trip.
My top picks for a nice early Autumn trip, around September and October, would include Belfast, Edinburgh, Hamburg and Milan. This year there are a few destinations I’ve been keeping my eye on, and one, in particular, is piquing my interest; the lovely city of Geneva.
It might be famous for chocolate, fondue and the Large Hadron Collider, but I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get there and do it on the cheap. Here are some of my thoughts and tips on how to jet off to Geneva in the Autumn and have a lovely little city break.
How should I get to Geneva?
CHEAP FLIGHTS! I was surprised to see that flights to Geneva were much cheaper than I expected. I am writing this in the middle of July and looking up some example route on Google Flights, I have seen direct flights for the middle of September (12th-15th) at prices like this:
- EasyJet from London Luton for £59 return
- EasyJet from London Gatwick for £64 return
- Swiss Air from Manchester for £134 return
- EasyJet from Edinburgh for £119 return
I honestly thought it was going to be really dear for flights but was surprised that just two months out return prices were so good.
Where should I stay in Geneva?
The city is quite compact and has a river running through the middle. Because it sits at the bottom of a lake, I’ve found that hotels tend to be dearest the closer to water you get. Rue du Marché and Rue du Rhône are two of the main streets in the city centre and staying on them can be dear, so I’d recommend having a good look at hotels in the surrounding streets to see how cheap they can go.
Airbnb prices vary wildly too. I prefer to look at entire flats when searching on the site, and £100-£120 per night seems to be the average rate for an apartment in the city, so if four people were splitting the bill for the likes of a two-bed apartment, it would be cheaper than a hotel.
The majority of hotels on Booking.com are £170+ per night, so if you were factoring in self-catering over a bit of hotel luxury, I’d veer towards having your own place or go for serviced accommodation; at least that way you’ll be dining out all the time. There are cheap hotel options, but Geneva is a bit of a luxury city.
What should I eat in Geneva?
The amount of chocolate photos I’ve been drooling over on Instagram is practically shameful. The city has some of the best chocolate shops in the world, and you can even take a chocolate walking tour that will perfectly balance eating chocolate with burning calories.
And cheese lovers, there’s something even more magical than fondue you have to seek out. Malakoff is like a cheesy puffy ball that is fried (if you’ve ever had a beignet it’s quite similar) so the cheese gets all gooey inside. Café du Soleil is regarded as the spot to get them – it’s a 400-year-old café that serves them in small portions as a snack.
What should I see in Geneva?
I am a big fan of doing a lot of research for things to see in cities, especially if you’re travelling at a certain time of year. For example, in this handy September event guide, I found from Fraser Suites Geneva, there’s a Saturday morning market in a neighbourhood south of the city called Carouge Market.
I find that local markets are where you’ll always get the best sense of local cuisine rather than humming and harring over every café in town before panicking and settling on McDonald’s. Although, if you do end up at the golden arches, the Big Mac Index points out that Switzerland has the dearest McDonalds in the world.
Science nerds should know that you can go and visit CERN, but it is outside of the city and takes about half an hour. If high-end shopping is more your thing, Place du Bourg-de-Four is the place to go.
Are you planning a trip across the pond soon?
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