Week 1: Getting to Know Geneva


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We arrived in Geneva last Saturday, April 17, exhausted but ready to explore. Our move was intense, but after over a year of being pretty much stuck in one place due to Covid (and Quinn 🤣), it felt like a huge gift to be someplace new with so much to be explored.

I had never been to Geneva before moving here, and I have to admit that it is nothing like what I expected. If I’m being honest, based on things I had read, I expected Geneva to be a bit sterile and — I hate to say it — a little boring, too. But I’m happy to report that that couldn’t be farther from the truth! I literally feel like pinching myself that I’m going to be able to call this city home for the next couple years.

What I’ve seen in Geneva over this past week is anything but boring. First off, it’s gorgeous. The lake and mountains provide an epic natural beauty, and the architecture is ornate and exactly what you expect of a vibrant European city. There’s so much to do, and if you are someone who enjoys walking a lot, like me, then every walk is a feast for the eyes. It’s super clean and safe… yay! And the food options are wildly eclectic — everything from banh mi’s and bubble tea to tacos, Thai and vegan food. (Not to mention chocolate shops and pâtisseries on practically every corner.) That said, food is also wildly expensive… that will take some getting used to.

We have been staying in a hotel in Old Town Geneva (Vieille Ville) until we move into our apartment on May 1st. It’s been really nice staying someplace so central in these early days — getting to play tourist before we settle into everyday life. We’ve walked a LOT these first few days…12k-16k steps a day on average, which I think is pretty impressive considering we have a stroller and a preschooler, and facing nap times and jet lag, too! So it’s really nice to be situated to be close to many of Geneva’s most beautiful spots.

Scott started his new job last Monday, so I’ve really been focusing on making this a fun time for the girls. I think it’s mission: accomplished so far!

Here are some highlights from the past week. Enjoy!

1. Lakeside Wanderings

Soon after we checked into our hotel, we realized that the girls weren’t going to nap, despite being exhausted. So we figured we’d help them stay up by heading out to see the lake right away.

Much in Geneva revolves around the lake, and there are pedestrian walkways all along it, as well as parks, promenades, cafes, bridges and more. The Jet d’Eau fountain is an iconic feature and can be seen from all over the city.

I can already tell we’ll be spending a lot of time around and on the lake in the months to come.

2. A Ride on a Mouette

For weeks, I’ve been telling Evie that we’d be able to take boat rides when we arrived in Geneva as a way to get her excited about the move. And one day, Evie and I took advantage of Quinn’s nap time to take the water taxi out on Lake Geneva, just us. 

These water taxis are called “Mouettes” — “seagulls” in French — and they’re constantly seen zipping across the lake. Fares are cheap, 2 CHF for a one way trip (or free if you have a transport card provided by all Geneva hotels), and most of the 4 routes drive right by the Jet d’Eau – perfect for snapping an iconic photo (or twenty… 😂)

We had a blast enjoying a sunny spring afternoon out on the water, and took 3 boat rides before walking across the Mont Blanc bridge back to our hotel. She’s already talking about the next time we can go on another mouette.

A Mouette and the Jet d’Eau

3. Old Town Wanderings

Staying in the Old Town, we’ve really taken advantage of our prime location. We have a lot left to see, but I think it will be hard to get enough of the charming cobblestone streets of old Geneva. 

4. Luna Park

Okay, so going to a fair isn’t exactly what I thought I’d be doing my first full day in Geneva, but when we heard that last Sunday was Luna Park’s last day in Geneva, we hustled over to Plaine de Plainpalais.

Even having the opportunity to do something like this after Covid seemed like a total luxury, and this video of Evie walking into the park says it all…

Evie’s happy dance… I mean, this is everything.

5. Playground-Hopping

As I mentioned earlier, keeping the kiddos entertained, happy and comfortable with our move is my number 1 priority right now. So that means – playgrounds! We’ve been to a bunch but a few favorites have started to form.

We even found one with an epic view… at the Park at the Promenade de la Treille:

Miscellaneous Musings + Observations:

  • Old Town Geneva isn’t always stroller friendly… and walking directions don’t show when there are stairs and no ramp. Luckily Scott is strong. Me? So when I’m alone with the girls, I have to turn around and keep walking til I find a better route!

  • Outdoor dining has been closed for some time, but it opened on Monday. And Geneva was READY for it. Swipe below to see a before and after of the same spot taken 1 day apart.

  • There are cherry blossoms here, too! I missed peak bloom, but was happy to see these late bloomers still going strong.

  • Public transportation is easy to use — hooray!

  • Geneva likes a good pop of color sometimes, too.

So that’s it… our first week in Geneva. I hope you enjoyed the photos. Looking forward to sharing more in the weeks to come.

5 thoughts on “Week 1: Getting to Know Geneva

  1. Looks like it was a great first week! So happy Evie was able to get her Cotton Candy she’s been talking about for a month. She looked so happy with that huge stick of it!

  2. Awesome! Love it all! So happy you’re sharing your adventure! Please let everyone know we miss and love them, you too😍

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