This past May, we scored some super affordable tickets from Chicago to Geneva, Switzerland. Our first thought was how cool it would be to hop over to Amsterdam and then Belgium, to make the most of our overseas flight!
As I was building our itinerary and booking flights, I realized there was just no way around having a long, full-day layover on our way to Amsterdam, so we went with it!
I did my Geneva research and found out we could get from the airport to the Geneva city center in less than 10 minutes! We decided to use this opportunity as a great way to discover all Geneva had to offer.
Here’s a list of 8 things to do with a long layover in Geneva, Switzerland:
- Take a shower and get a storage locker!
Before arriving, I’d found out they have showers at the airport. I was thrilled! We had traveled a LOT that day. From Indy, we drove 3 hours to Chicago, had a layover in Washington D.C., and then another 8 hour red-eye flight to Switzerland. I knew I’d be desperate to freshen up.
First off, lemme just say how amazing and clean the shower was at the Geneva airport. It was around $20 USD for a key to a private shower room, and you can basically take as much time as you want. It’s a small space, but has a private sink with mirror as well. Totally worth the money!
Feeling so fresh and so clean, we found the area for bag storage. We definitely didn’t want to be carrying big backpacks around all day, so for a few bucks, we got a large suitcase storage locker, and took only the essentials.
- Take the tram downtown.
After I freshened up, we set out on our Geneva exploration. It took a bit of navigating and realizing we were going the wrong way, until we found the tram stops just outside the airport.
We chose the line that seemed to go downtown and hoped for the best. Not seeing much other than residential neighborhoods, we stayed on the tram until the final stop. We then got off and had no choice but to wander around.
- Stroll along the waterside and marvel at the Jet d’Eau.
Once we got off the tram, we had nothing to go by except to look for water. I knew the biggest attraction in Geneva is the Jet d’Eau, a large water fountain on Lake Geneva. And I knew I wanted to see it! After about ten minutes of walking, we came to a parkway along the water, with a perfect view of the jet. And it was the perfect weather for a stroll.
- Take in the architecture.
I immediately fell in love with how insanely clean everything is in Geneva, and the buildings and architecture were even better than I’d imagined! So quaint and beautiful.
- Check out the flags on Pont du Mont Blanc bridge, in the city center.
We made our way along the waterside, heading to where we saw what looked like the city center. We crossed the Pont du Mont Blanc bridge and sure enough, we were in old town.
- Visit Old Town Geneva
Old town was picturesque. It’s the epitome of European culture.
Switzerland in general is very expensive and you could see it. The immaculate shops, clothing and perfectly placed restaurants had us forgetting about all the travel stress and jet lag. We were here!!
- Eat! Sit outside like a local and have lunch or dinner.
We found an area where all the restaurants were and we were so excited to see all the super chic outdoor seating. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the temperature couldn’t have been better. Completely divine. We had an incredible lunch we talked about for weeks after.
- Indulge in Swiss Chocolate!
After lunch, we had to find the cure for a sweet tooth! Naturally, we headed into a little chocolate shop a few doors down. You can’t go to Switzerland and not get chocolate! We each got a truffle and enjoyed every second of it.
After all our fun adventures in Geneva, we decided it was time to head back to the airport. We were right at the central tram station and got back just in time to catch our flight to Amsterdam.
So there you have it! 8 things you can do with a long layover in Geneva. From the time we left the airport to the time we returned, we spent about 4 ½ hours exploring outside, leaving us plenty of time for arrival and departure from the airport.
Have you ever been to Geneva? What were your favorite things to do? I’d love to know!