Diana Orduna began her love affair with Geneva—a place she describes as “a huge melting pot of cultures, people, and international organizations”—three years ago. Soon after relocating from Mexico to the capital of Switzerland’s Romandy, or French-speaking, region, she started sharing her discoveries with fellow residents and visitors alike for Spotted by Locals and on her own blog, LivinGeneva. Here are a few of Diana’s favorite things about her hometown of choice.
Geneva Is My City
When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to walk around beautiful Lake Léman (also known as Lake Geneva) to see our greatest landmark: the Geneva Water Fountain.
Summer is the best time to visit my city because you can avail yourself of the many terraces and rooftop bars (Rooftop 42 is a favorite) around the city. During the Fêtes de Genève in August, everyone is out eating street food and drinking caipirinhas; it’s a great way to see Geneva in celebration mode!
You can see my city best from St. Peter’s Cathedral in Geneva’s Old Town. Climb to the top floor of the tower for the most spectacular view of the city.
Locals know to skip the Jardin Anglais and check out Perle-du-Lac Park instead.
In the past, notable people like French theologist John Calvin and Nobel Peace Prize winner (for his role in establishing the International Red Cross and initiating the Geneva Convention) Henry Dunant have called my city home.
My city’s best museum is the Museum of Art and History because it houses so many beautiful paintings and sculptures, it’s free, and there is a secret place to grab coffee in the center patio.
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s to check out TPG, Geneva’s public transportation system, and the great app they offer. You can even take the yellow boats that cross the lake without paying an additional fee.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is anywhere with a view of the lake—especially La Grange Park, my favorite spot.
You can tell if someone is (not) from my city if they’re getting their picture taken in front of the flower clock.
For a fancy night out, I head directly to the Les Voiles—if the weather is nice.
Just outside my city, you can visit the magical medieval town of Nernier.
The best outdoor market in my city is the Flea Market of Plainpalais. You can find many cool things and on Sundays there are many food trucks and stands to explore.
Café Remor is my favorite place to grab breakfast and late-night eats. I love this place!
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read My Big Geneva.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to the Bains des Paquis, an inexpensive public pool that’s incredibly fun (especially in the summer).
To escape the crowds, I take a swim in Lake Geneva or go skiing.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
La Course de L’Escalade, a five-kilometer race that takes place during the winter, could only happen in my city. Everyone dresses up and loves participating in what has become an important part of Geneva’s history since its inception in 1978.
In the spring you should experience the Open House Wine in Geneva, when the city’s wineries present the best of the previous year’s harvest.
In the summer you should grab a cocktail at La Reserve by way of their private boat.
In the fall you should take a day-trip to trek Salève, a nearby mountain in the French Prealps.
In the winter you should grab a tea or coffee at the Grand Kempinski Hotel and take in one of the best views of the city from the comfort of your chair.
If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the CinéTransat, an open-air film series that happens each summer.
The best book about my city is Secret Geneva by Christian Vellas because it helps you discover the hidden treasures of the city!