Wednesday, 25 December 2013 3:09 PM
Geneva is deservedly famous for sites like its glorious lake, the UN headquarters and its contributions to the world of science – but alongside these international attractions is a lot of local colour. It's these unique, fascinating areas we will be focusing on today.
As a quick note, if you are keen to visit lots of different places, it's worth hiring a car at Geneva International Airport (which you can find out more about on this website). This way, you can have the freedom to visit these whenever you please, without having to worry about working out public transport. Our suggestions below are all easy to reach and among the most characterful parts of the city, so hopefully they will give you a little inspiration for your trip.
The first destination on our list is historic Carouge, which was once an old market town – and part of Sardinia! Its heritage can be seen today in the Mediterranean style of much of its architecture and leafy squares.
Located across the River Arve, Carouge has a village-like feel and a charming Bohemian atmosphere that makes it easy to fall in love with. Come here and you can relax, take a stroll and browse everything from quirky boutiques to fantastic food shops at your leisure.
This is also a great place to soak up a little art and culture; for example, the Musee de Carouge is dedicated to hosting temporary exhibitions, usually staging three to four every year. It also houses artefacts relating to Carouge's history, including earthenware and artworks.
Next up is the melting pot that is the Paquis district. The place to come if you want to experience Geneva's multicultural side, Paquis has an authentic ambience and is a real joy to explore.
One particular highlight is the Bains des Paquis, which is essentially a beach in the heart of the city. As if this isn't enough, it's also a public bath – come here and you can steam in the sauna, relax in a hammam or just sunbathe (provided it's summer, of course!).
What's more, it's located just across the water from the Jet d'Eau – one of the world's largest fountains – which means you can enjoy some absolutely spectacular views while you unwind.
Last on our list is the wonderful Mont Saleve, which is the place to go if you want to escape the hubbub of the city streets for a while and immerse yourself in nature. The mountain can be reached in as little as five minutes from the city by cable car – though both the cable car station and mountain are technically across the French border!
Don't worry, though, as they still take no time at all to reach. Once you're there, you'll experience a different world, with things like skiing and snowshoeing available in the winter and mountain biking and rock climbing on offer in the summer. It's also worth bearing in mind there are some fantastic walking routes here, so it's a great place to pop to even if all you fancy doing is taking a quiet stroll.
Another advantage of Mont Saleve is that, unsurprisingly, it offers you great views of the city and the Lake Geneva area. From the south side, meanwhile, you can enjoy spectacular vistas across the Alps, including the vast Mont Blanc, so don't forget to bring your camera.