Things to do in Geneva/Zurich - close to airport

I haven’t booked yet so I’m not sure where I’ll be stopping over but its either Geneva or Zurich for up to 15 hours, possibly overnight. So I’d like to have a look around the city, explore, or see the major landmarks. What is there to see? And whats the night life like? If I could choose which should I stop at? This will be in late July if that makes a difference.

Before you leave baggage claim in Geneva, there is a machine to get a free train ticket into town. It’s only about 5 minutes on the train and puts you close to everything. There is CERN (book a tour on their site), the UN offices (no need to pre-book most of the time) and the old town and lake are nice.

Expensive to eat out tho. The best street food is at 22 rue de Berne. Al Amir’s Lebanese shawarma shop. 8 CHF for a great chicken or lamb meal.

Make sure its not Sunday. I had a long Zurich layover on a Sunday and practically the entire friggen city was closed. Walked around for a while (and it is beautiful) then went back to the airport where there was food and internet and waited for my connection.

Excellent public transport in Geneva. I echo the position that it closes on Sunday! In fact a lot of workers in Geneva actually commute daily across the border to France. The reason? Geneva is expensive.

Decent Hotels are expensive too. Using the hotel laundry service even moreso. ( $10 to wash a pair of socks and upto $25 for a shirt or tee)

Its about $12 for a beer.

Never been to Zurich.

If it’s Geneva, definitely CERN, if you’re a science geek. I went there last year, and it was fabulous. Very easy to get to by tram (about 30 mins) and they have a nice visitors centre. You don’t need to book to just go visit, but you do need to book for a tour of the surface buildings.

Go for a walk by the lake, and have a drink at one of the lakeside bars.

Also, I happen to know a really fantastic Ethiopian restaurant called Mosaique, on the Rue de Mole, near the main train station. Well worth a visit, even if the owner is somewhat flustered most of the time, with having to manage and serve all the tables.

I’ve been to Zurich briefly, and it struck me as… pleasant. Very beautiful, but a bit bland. Geneva has more energy; more life, and I like it a lot more.

Thanks guys, I think generally Geneva seems like a better choice, I think the ticket I will be booking will be a Monday night. How long does it take to see Cern? the tour lasts 3 hours which would mean a high likelihood of missing my plane. I’m actually thinking of extending the stopover period so I can see more of Geneva :dubious: (ok I’ll be honest, I just want the full tour of CERN!), if I do I’ll couch surf to avoid the expensive hotel prices (which would basically be half of my holiday spending money!).

The Geneva Fountain is beautiful… and when I was there the cruise around it was fun. For gambling there’s Casino du Lac.
FTR- they frown on you humming “Duloc is the Perfect Place”, especially while you’re winning.:wink:

PS- Maybe it was my imagination, it seemed like the temperatures dropped like a Stone once the sun went over the alps (it felt like a 15-20 degree drop). You’ll want to turn off your room A/C before or at sunset.
YMMV, packing space is at a premium, but you might consider possibly packing (1) Fall-weight coat if you are planning to go outside at night, even in Summer.