When+Where: Geneva Switzerland
When+Where is a series of posts that take you on a 24 hour escape to our favorite off the grid locales. Maybe these places won't be your destination of choice the next time the travel bug bites, but hopefully you find some inspiration for your next adventure binge.
Geneva is like no other European city we know of. It's full of international bankers and diplomats, but also charms us with its cobblestone streets and bubbling cheese. We like Geneva most for its watch-making history, in fact, several Nixon watches are produced in the same region. And it's the perfect place to spend 24 hours before shredding some Swiss alps.
3:00pm Check in. Finding an affordable hotel with modern design in Geneva isn't the easiest of tasks, this city is trés expensive and trés traditional. That said, we've found a really great boutique hotel we're into, the La Cour des Agustins tucked away in the Latin Quarter of the city. The starting rooms called "essential" rooms (how Swiss) are pretty bare bones when it comes to services, but let's get out and explore anyway.
4:30pm Geek out. Any watch lover from the novice to the full-on horologist can appreciate the antique and rarities on display at the Phillipe Patek Musuem. Timepieces date back to the 1500s and collections from all over the world are presented like eye candy. After a guided tour, you may think twice about how much work goes into that Nixon Kensington on your wrist.
6:30pm Wine on the water. Unwind with a view of the famous jet d'eau in the middle Lake Geneva and watch the sun set with a glass of Sancerre at Buvette Bains des Pâquis. In the summer there's often live music and people gathering after work. Just don't get tempted by their fondue (which is very good).
8:30pm Liquid Cheese. You're in Switzerland for 24 hours, you best be ordering up a red pot of simmering cheese for dinner. We tried a bunch and are convinced that the one most worth a mention is Les Amures. Even their most basic order of a pot of simple fondue with bread is enough for a meal, and it's a meal to remember. We recommend trying to save room for desert, although we know it won't be easy.
9:00am French fulfillment. Geneva is mostly French-speaking, which is good and bad, depending on how rusty your high school French is. Even if you took Latin (poor thing), we suggest going for it and ordering a chocolate croissant for breakfast in French. They will likely answer you in English, but you'll get kudos for trying (note: not necessarily true for Paris). If it's a struggle, just think, it's nothing a fresh-baked chocolate croissant can't cure.
11:30am Get on two wheels. Like most European cities, Geneva is pedestrian, bicycle and public-transport friendly. There's a great bike share program, so hop on one and head to the neighborhood of Carouge. It's what they call the East Village of Geneva (although…just remember it's still Switzerland), with great whole-in-the-wall restaurants and shops, a farmer's market that will make you question every strawberry you've ever had up until then, and people watching and car spotting along the river. Have a long lunch with wine and really get into the Euro vibe.
1:30pm Check out. Like we said, Geneva's great, but there are alps to be shredded (or hiked).