While Switzerland, and its financial heart of Geneva, is known for being a pretty costly destination, you can still find a good selection of things to do on a budget in Geneva to stretch your holiday funds further.
Whether visiting as part of a fun trip around Switzerland, a wider European vacation, or on a business trip, here are some of the best things to do if visiting Geneva on a budget:
Learn More in the Museums
Geneva is home to an abundance of museums, each offering plenty of insights into the local culture, history, and way of life. Many of Geneva’s museums offer free entry, providing a perfect way to enrich your trip without blowing your budget. Art lovers can embrace the works in the large Art and History Museum, you can step into the wild past at the Natural History Museum, and browse a large collection of books at the Voltaire Institute. Visiting with kids? They are sure to be enthralled at the Fire and Rescue Services Museum. The Arianna is home to a stunning collection of ceramics, and the MEG Ethnography Museum is great for feeling in touch with, and learning more about, people. For something that bit different, check out the Swatch Museum, home to a large collection of ticking timepieces!
Wander around the Old Town
Whilst Geneva may not be particularly well-known amongst Europe’s great historical cities, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a step back in time and journey to the past. Many of Switzerland’s old buildings escaped being damaged during the World Wars, largely because of the country’s neutrality, and you can wander along the cobbled streets, gazing upon buildings that still are as they were many years ago. Charming and atmospheric, a walk around the historic quarter also costs you absolutely nothing!
See the Cool Jet d’Eau
One of Geneva’s most iconic sights, the Jet d’Eau shoots water up to 140 metres into the air. Sitting in the stunning Lake Geneva, it’s one of those must-see spots that won’t cost a cent. Be sure to take lots of pretty action shots.
Relax in One of Geneva’s Lovely Parks
If seeing the beautiful Lake Geneva has left you craving more time in the great outdoors, Geneva has several nice parks that are perfect for a spending a few relaxing hours. Perle-du-Lac is a favourite hang-out spot of locals, sitting alongside the sparkling waters of Lake Geneva and providing great views of the majestic Mont Blanc. Parc des Bastions boasts a giant chess board, sure to bring hours of fun, as well as large open green spaces, the Reformation Wall, and walking trails. Filled with colourful flowers and plants, Geneva’s Botanical Garden is also free to enjoy. Stroll through the lovely English Garden and see the giant floral clock, get active with some jogging or waking in the wildlife-rich Batie Woods, and relish the fresh air and open space at Parc la Grange, the biggest city park of Geneva.
Admire St Pierre’s Cathedral
An impressive sight from outside, this magnificent cathedral dates back around 900 years! The interior is filled with religious art and symbols, and you are sure to love the windows and architecture. It is free to look around the main body of the cathedral, although donations are welcomed. The entrance ticket to go up the soaring tower is just 5 CHF, and you can soak up some marvellous views of Geneva from the top.
Other budget-friendly activities in Geneva include seeing the outside of the Palais des Nations, window shopping, strolling alongside the lake, and grabbing a cheap bite to eat from one of the many bakeries.