It’s hard to match Geneva for sheer style. Switzerland’s second city is a place for the wealthy and well connected. Its lakeside location makes Geneva the perfect choice for a city break. It is assertively international in character, yet amazingly still has a homely feel. Geneva is within spitting distance of the French border and striking distance of some fine Alpine scenery. Fine food, boat trips on the lake and some of Europe’s classiest shopping combine to give Geneva five-star appeal. Yet there is another side to Geneva too. The city has a radical edge not always associated with Switzerland. Geneva has welcomed Calvinist reformers and Russian revolutionaries. Over the centuries, the lakeshore city has opened its doors to refugees of many different political and religious persuasions.
The main railway station is the Gare de Cornavin from where you’ll find regular trains to Lausanne, Berne, Zurich and other cities across Switzerland. There are direct EuroCity services to Milan, Verona and Venice. The city has excellent connections to France with TGVs leaving the Gare de Cornavin for Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Nice and Paris. The journey to the French capital takes little more than three hours.
Note that the experimental Lille to Geneva service was discontinued in December 2015. It was popular with passengers heading from London to Geneva. Excellent connections from London to Geneva are still possible, routed via Paris or Lyon.
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Image credits: Werner Kratz