Switzerland – Geneva and around on the cheap part 2

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Geneva is cool but there is more to see around if you have a day or two available. In the spirit of our previous post, we’ll try to point out things to do for free or for a reasonable price. This time we’ll expand the horizon from Geneva downtown.
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

Visit CERN (free, advance booking required)

This is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world! You don’t have to be a scientist to admire what an enormous complex is built there and how many scientists contribute to the future of science.
They have a really informative 2-hour tour for individuals. The tour guides are people who work at CERN and have a lot to tell about the history. Currently the museum part is being enhanced. A special stop is an old accelerator which was used for over 15 years and after the radiation vanished(hopefully) its 5-meter-thick door was open to visitors. They even take you through the Franco-Swiss border(border is a fuzzy concept here) to visit the magnet testing facility. After the lecture everyone from our group had understood how the acceleration of particles is actually happening. The access to the real experiments underground (like the Large Hadron Collider) is forbidden even for most of the CERN scientists and engineers. Only specially trained technical stuff can enter when it is necessary. So we still have to pass the Lyulin particle accelerator to get some speed:-). Bookings for CERN can be made here. Otherwise you can just show up and hope someone with reservation won’t. Guided visit lasts around two hours and is FREE!
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
To demonstrate this facility was stopped at 16.30, they even removed the battery from the clock
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Big machines require big tools

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

Lake experience

The only free lake experience is walking around it. If you want to sail, things get expensive. One cheap option for just a sample of sailing experience are the public transport boats which connect different parts of Geneva. The ride is short and costs 3 CHF. Most of the captains don’t even check your ticket.

Let the journey take you to  Camino de Santiago packing list
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Swans are always beautiful, in addition to the emerald water color

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Cute cozy public transport delight

Further lake experience

The Geneva lake is very big so a lot of towns and villages share the views to it. There are plenty of boats and ships (not cheap) and also trains from Geneva which can drop you at some spot and then you can choose to hike/hop on a train towards the mountains or walk along the lake shore until you reach another magical place. We did quite some walking from Montreux to Villeneuve and explored beautiful places along the lakeside promenade for free.

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Acrobatic water-jumping competition

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

 

 

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Long promenade connecting towns, villages and other attractions

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Chateau de Chillon in the background
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
It turned out not to be our final destination

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
The promenade is endless and it starts to rain. Where is the station?
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Clouds cannot cover the vineyards
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Villeneuve
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
It has something to offer but we need to get on a train
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Homemade lunch. It was over in the first 45 minutes of our day trip.

 

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
The charming city of Lausanne

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Almost 40-centimeter durum for 8 CHF only

View over Geneva

If you cross another fuzzy border and hike up the nearby mountain Saléve you will reach Balcony of Geneva . Technically it is part of French Prealps and for the amazing view of Geneva and the lake you have to hike 2-3 hours or do like us – sacrifice some (12 CHF pp return ticket) franks for the cable car. Up there when the car brings you start the real beautiful hiking routes to the highlights of Saléve. 15 minutes and you get to the view of Mont Blanc.
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
France, seen from Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
On our way up: weather’s getting worse
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
sad…
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
The best we could see from Mont Blanc
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Just before we go down – weather’s getting better of course

Fountains with drinking water and free public toilets

Even with the August heat, you can drink nice water from the many fountains in the city, the mountains, etc. Tap water in Geneva is tasty and drinkable. Most of the toilets we visited(plenty of them at crowded locations) were clean and free. The exception in terms of price was the restrooms at Cornavin (the main) station.

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland

explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
one of the very few non-drinkable fountains

 

Stay in an apartment rather than in a hotel

We booked an Airbnb place and we had the perfect location in a green neighborhood, stylish interior and the freedom to experience Swiss dining on a budget.
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
Our cozy atmospheric bedroom
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
How about a beer in the green courtyard?
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
The price of that dinner(big salad for two, two soups + bread and a bottle of wine) equals the price of a salad in a downtown restaurant
explore Geneva and around in Switzerland
French wine and Swiss surrounding
Even “expensive” countries and cities can be explored money-wise. This was our attempt to show you some tricks and tips for Switzerland. Are you willing to give it a shot?

2 Responses

  1. Horace Kesich
    | Reply

    good site)

  2. Nace Sapundjiev
    | Reply

    Thanks!

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