Are you planning a trip to Geneva? You’re so lucky! Welcome to the land of chocolate, beautiful nature, and the super fun Red Light District!
Although these are some of the things that characterize Geneva, many people forget the important history of this city in Switzerland. The known story of Geneva began around 500 BC and in the Middle Ages, this place was the most important trading town in Europe.
A lot has changed since then, but one thing remained the same, the importance of this city on the map. Here you can now find the headquarters of the United Nations in the Palais des Nations. With its beautiful architecture where the old world charm meets the modern side, to be honest, I could go on but we’ve got to find where to stay in Geneva!
I’ve looked through many luxury hotels lists and searched for all the budget places to stay to find the very best! But now you’ve got to do your part and book them in advance, so you can get the best deals. Geneva is one of the most popular towns, so you should definitely look for hotels now and book early!
So let’s go, Geneva’s largest flea market is waiting for us!
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Old Town and Plainpalais – where to stay in Geneva for the first time
- 2. Eaux Vives – best place to stay in Geneva for families
- 3. Quai du Mont-Blanc – where to stay in Geneva for the best views
- 4. Paquis – best place to stay in Geneva for budget travelers
- 5. Carouge – where to stay in Geneva for shopping
- Frequently asked questions about Geneva
If you are in a hurry
If you want to book now then wait no more, check out the best hotels where to stay in Geneva, all located in the Old Town
Hôtel de la Cigogne
Best luxury hotel
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Best value for money
Best affordable accommodation in the center
1. Old Town and Plainpalais – where to stay in Geneva for the first time
The story of Geneva’s ancient jewel started almost 2000 years ago! These neighborhoods are one next to another and they make up one of the largest old towns in Europe with a charming atmosphere.
Local people riding their bikes early in the morning on the romantic, narrow streets. The smell of fresh goods and coffee from the bakery early in the morning, when everyone starts opening their cute boutique shops. This is just a glimpse of Geneva’s Old Town and the Plainpalais area next door.
You can explore the whole neighbourhood on foot and walk around while admiring the incredible architecture. The Old Town is filled with stunning art galleries, museums, antique shops, and the vibe is so amazing here that I’m sure you won’t feel a bit tired! The St-Pierre Cathedral is one of the most famous historic landmarks in the whole city, dating back to the fourth century when it was built as a Roman Catholic Church.
Plainpalais is famous for hosting the biggest flea and farmers markets in Geneva, and who doesn’t love a good market? You simply have to visit the area during your time in the city as it has an unbeatable atmosphere and some super unique finds!
But as I always say, don’t get too caught up in all the attractions, take a moment to enjoy the friendly atmosphere either on a restaurant terrace or just sitting in the Place du Bourg-de-Four, the oldest town square in Geneva that used to be a marketplace in the Roman times! If medieval architecture and history are your favorite things, you should also visit Lucerne, a beautiful town with some of the most picturesque spots in the country!
All I want to do is get a glass of wine and sit by the fireplace of this luxury hotel at night after a full day of sightseeing! With a modern yet classic design, this place has comfortable rooms that also have fireplaces, one of the best restaurants, and a lovely view of the city!
Other options in Old Town and Plainpalais
Things to do in Old Town and Plainpalais
- Admire the stunning architecture of the St-Pierre Cathedral
- Enjoy the atmosphere in the Place du Bourg-de-Four square
- Walk around the English Garden Park in the Old Town
- Go shopping for local souvenirs in the Plainpalais flea market
- Learn new things at the Geneva Museum of Art and History
- Explore the restaurants in the Old Town and Plainpalais
- Catch a sunset with panoramic views of the city on the Promenade de la Treille
- Admire the historic Reformation Wall in the center of the city
2. Eaux Vives – best place to stay in Geneva for families
Located east of the Old Town and Plainpalais, this neighborhood is a little more tranquil than the city center, making it a perfect spot for families looking for some peace and quiet during their stay in Geneva with the kids. Although Eaux Vives served as Geneva’s harbor many years ago, a lot has changed since then and now the residential Lake area has been compared to the old twentieth-century European cities.
Although the neighborhood is not as touristy as the other areas, you will get to experience a more authentic local atmosphere and I’m sure the kids will be happy that the streets of Eaux Vives aren’t filled with tons of people. The urban vibe of the city mixes perfectly with the garden sights and green spaces of Eaux Vives, you can even pack some food and have a family picnic in the Parc de la Grange or Parc des Eaux Vives.
But don’t forget to visit all the vintage theatres, boutique coffee spots, and shops. Of course, I’ve left the “pièce de résistance” like the French say, to the end. The 140-meter-high Jet d’Eau Fountain on the Lake is one of Geneva’s most famous attractions and one of the highest fountains in the world! The view here is quite spectacular, from afar you would say that the splash of water is coming out of the Lake!
Since you’re in Switzerland, why not take advantage and visit some other amazing natural spots, Interlaken is famous for its beautiful scenery and amazing hotels and I highly recommend you take a trip there too!
Let’s look at the best hotels for families in Eaux Vives:
Offering a lovely rooftop terrace where you can drink a glass of wine and admire the lake views, this luxurious hotel has elegant family rooms, a restaurant, and a bar. After a day of sightseeing, this hotel is the perfect place to relax and have a delicious dinner!
Other accommodation options in Eaux Vives
Things to do in Eaux Vives
- Visit Geneva’s largest rose gardens in Parc de la Grange
- Take the kids to the Baby-Plage during those hot summer days
- Remain in awe of the Jet d’Eau Fountain in Eaux Vives
- Teach the kids new things at the Museum of Natural History
- Relax with a family walk in the Parc des Eaux Vives
- Check out the restaurants in Eaux Vives and try Geneva’s delicious cuisine
3. Quai du Mont-Blanc – where to stay in Geneva for the best views
Located north of the Old Town and Plainpalais, this area is famous for the amazing view of the Swiss Alps on clear days! The Lakeside Promenade is one of the most romantic spots in Quai du Mont-Blanc, especially at night when the lights turn on and the whole atmosphere changes!
It’s so magical here that you definitely have to stop and just enjoy the feeling!
Here you’ll also find the Bains des Pâquis, one of the most famous attractions in Geneva and the local hot spot during the summer days since 1872. The artificial peninsula is located on the Lake, and the views here are legendary as well due to the lighthouse at the end. It looks like one of the cool spots that you see in the Old French movies!
Conveniently located on the shore of Lake Geneva, this luxury modern hotel has the most elegant design and comfortable rooms! Wake up in the morning and drink a cup of coffee on the balcony of your room and enjoy the beautiful views! The hotel also has a restaurant and a bar to cover all your needs.
Other accommodation options in Quai du Mont Blanc
Things to do in Quai du Mont Blanc
- Cool off during a hot summer day or try the sauna at Bains des Pâquis
- Admire the architecture of the Brunswick Monument
- Enjoy a relaxing night walk at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc Lake Promenade
- Walk around the beautiful Basilica Notre-Dame
- Catch a sunset at the Phare des Pâquis lighthouse
- Dance the night away at Mambo Club
4. Paquis – best place to stay in Geneva for budget travelers
This neighborhood is located north of Plainpalais and it’s filled with affordable hostels perfect for those who are looking for where to stay in Geneva on a budget. The friendly area is also home to the Red Light District so you’ll find tons of clubs that are open until late and filled with friendly people, so mingle away!
What I love about Paquis is that it’s so diverse, there are things to do here for any type of traveler no matter what time of the year you’re visiting. The main train station is also located here so you can easily venture outside the city if you’re in the mood! All the foodie enthusiasts, including myself, of course, will be happy to know that there are tons of food outlets too, so make sure you check them all during your stay in Geneva.
You’ll also find a few attractions located in Paquis like the Palais des Nations, which is the home of the United Nations offices in Geneva and is set in a beautiful 1936 historic building. The International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is also a big landmark that has tons of interesting exhibitions.
Did anyone order a room with the best view of Lake Geneva? Because I’ve got the perfect spot for you! Relax in the spa of this Paquis five-star hotel and enjoy a cocktail by the pool as you watch the sunset. Even the dining area comes with a lake view!
Other accommodation options in Paquis
Things to do in Paquis
- Visit the historic Palais des Nations, home to the United Nations offices
- Mingle with the friendly people in the Paquis clubs
- Admire the architecture of the Ariana Museum in Paquis
- Taste the international flavors in all the restaurants in the neighborhood
- Learn new things at the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
- Go shopping in Geneva’s best stores in Paquis
- Walk around the Botanical Garden of Geneva
5. Carouge – where to stay in Geneva for shopping
Located south of the Old Town and Plainpalais, Carouge is one of the areas in Geneva city with a super interesting story reflected in the architecture of the buildings. The area used to belong to the Italian and French people and has that classic Mediterranean style found in Nice and a seaside village atmosphere.
The best way to enjoy Carouge is to walk around the area and discover all the artisans, craftsmen, and antique shops that sell amazing souvenirs! Rue St-Joseph is where you’ll find them, plus some cool second-hand bookstores, which I consider to be the perfect places to find hidden gems and unique manuscripts!
Carouge is also known as the shopping district of Geneva, and it makes sense since the Shopping Center is located here! If you’re like me and can’t leave a country you’ve just visited empty-handed, then definitely stop by and check out all the cool stores.
As the sun goes down, Carouge starts shifting into this cute, almost Italian village, with a romantic atmosphere, small cocktail bars, and nice restaurants just waiting to offer you a fantastic experience during your stay in Geneva, Switzerland!
There aren’t any amazing luxury hotels in Carouge and you know I only want to recommend the best places to stay. So if you’re only looking for luxury I suggest choosing something in the Quai du Mont-Blanc instead. For mid-range and budget travelers, here are your best hotels in Geneva in the Carouge area.
Other accommodation options in Carouge
Things to do in Carouge
- Visit the Carouge Museum in Geneva Switzerland
- Go shopping for local products in the Carouge flea market
- Drink, eat and listen to some live music at Chat Noir Club
- Go for a swim at the Carouge Fontenette Pool
- Treat yourself with a visit to the Carouge Shopping Center
- Spend a fun night in the high-end Bar du Nord Carouge
|👑 Luxury price:||€480|
|💵 Mid Range hotel:||€180|
|📍Best Area:||Old Town|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Hôtel de la Cigogne|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Hotel Central|
Frequently asked questions about Geneva
🤔 What should I visit in Geneva?
The Old Town and Plainpalais are the first places you should visit while you stay in Geneva Switzerland, also the Palais des Nations, St Pierre Cathedral, and the Jet D’Eau.
🛑 Is Geneva safe for tourists?
Yes, Geneva is one of the safest places in Europe and in the world in general, however, you should always avoid walking alone at night in secluded places.
🛫 Where to stay in Geneva near the airport?
💯 What is the best area to stay in Geneva?
Well, I hope you enjoy waking up to a view of the Alps in the morning! I’m already jealous! I hope this article helped you decide where to stay in Geneva, find the best hotels and decide which part you should hit first!
You’ve got tons of amazing hotels here. Whether you want to experience Geneva on a budget or go all out and find a luxurious hotel, you should consider that booking in advance will secure you the best deal. Here are my top two favorite hotels, both located in the Old Town:
- Hôtel de la Cigogne – An elegant hotel with indoor fireplaces
- citizenM Geneva – A modern hotel that has a trendy design
I hope you have fun learning new things about the United Nations, shopping in the Plainpalais Flea Market, and seeing the spectacular Jet D’Eau in Eaux Vives! I want to hear all about it so leave a comment below or if you want to ask any questions about Geneva, I’ll be happy to help!
Have a fantastic holiday,