Lausanne is the Olympic Capital located along the shore of Lake Geneva. The center of Switzerland’s most attractive city is perched on the hillside overlooking the lake. In the center be sure to visit the Lausanne Cathedral and its beautiful stained-glass windows. Explore the boutique shops, browse the markets, and stop for a drink in one of the quiet cafes that line the streets of the city center.
Afterward, head down towards the lake to the Ouchy district and stroll along the promenade. The Olympic Museum is also located in this area so don’t miss out on this one of a kind exhibits open year-round and join the locals in strolling along the lakeside promenade. A day trip to Lausanne can easily be the best day of your trip to Switzerland.
On the opposite end of Lake Geneva is the equally stunning Montreux; which is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in the Alps. This Swiss city is best known for the Château du Chillon. The castle is open year-round and the exhibits inside tell of the castle’s rich history. Montreux is also a starting and finishing location of the famous Golden Pass train ride that winds and climbs through the mountains on its way to Lucerne. There are many activities and festivals that take place along the lakefront throughout the year including the Montreux Jazz Festival in June/July and the Christmas Markets which begin at the end of November.
Music lovers will enjoy the Queen Experience at the Mountain Studios, formerly owned by the rock group Queen, and the statue of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band, along the lakeside. Stoll along one of the most beautiful lakeside promenades in the world and enjoy the panoramic views of the Alps before retuning to Geneva.
The small French city of Annecy is located about an hour south if Geneva. The beautiful city is a great place to enjoy mountain scenery while enjoying a typical French croissant and coffee at one of the many cozy cafes that can be found amongst the romantic winding streets of Old Town, Vieille Ville in French. The city is filled with canals and bridges, whose beauty rivals those of Venice, that set the perfect backdrop for amazing photos.
There is even a 13th century castle perched high on a hill overlooks the city and the lake was once home to the Counts of Geneva but has since been converted into a museum that offers visitors insight to the lifestyle of the rulers of Savoy. Don’t forget to take a stroll through Jardins del’Europe, a park on the shore of Lake Annecy, that boasts some of the most beautiful panoramic views in the world.
Chamonix is one of the most popular resorts in the Alps because it the home of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the alps and also the highest point in Europe. Mont Blanc reaches a height of 4810m (15,781ft) and towers over the city below. Visitors can take the cable car to Aiguille du Midi where they will come face to face with the enormous beauty.
While at the summit be sure to “Step into the Void” on the fully glass viewing platform. After you pull yourself out of the clouds, explore the Chamonix city center that is filled with outdoor shops, souvenir stands, and many great restaurants and pubs. Don’t miss out on this beautiful day trip during your stay in Geneva.