When to fly
July and August have the best weather and the biggest crowds. The beginning of August marks Swiss National day with two weeks of festivities. Cheap flights to Geneva are not likely to be found during the summer as the city is packed with events, especially music festivals.
Every year in June, the Societe Nautique de Geneve welcomes Bol d’Or participants’ friends, families, supporters and fans from all over the world to come and enjoy the popular and exciting event. With over 500 boats racing across Lake Geneva, the annual Bol d’Or Mirabaud Regatta is home to Europe’s Largest regatta in enclosed waters. Spectacular scenes see participants travel the length of the lake to a turning point at the half way mark, Le Bouveret, before making the return sprint back to Geneva. Following the thrill of the event is a huge celebrations at several different after parties.
Tourism peaks again during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The celebration of l'Escalade in December with its costumed and torch-lit processions brings throngs of visitors to the city.
The shoulder months of June and September are pleasant times to visit and slightly lower hotel rates and cheaper Geneva flights can be found.
October, November, April, and May have fewer crowds, and possibly the lowest rates, although some hotels are closed during the low season.
Geneva is Switzerland's second-largest city, located at the southwestern end of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman in French) where the Rhone river flows out of the lake. It is almost completely encircled by France and therefore French-speaking, although English is spoken widely.
It is known as the "capital of peace" due to its tradition of humanitarianism. Several international organisations are based in Geneva including the European headquarters of the UN, the Red Cross (with a museum beneath the offices) and the World Trade Organisation. It is also one of Switzerland's business cities.
Geneva's defining symbol is the Jet d'eau, the 459ft-high fountain at the edge of Lake Geneva. On the right side of the lake are many of the city's hotels and restaurants; on the left is the Old Town. Lively promenades with cafes, markets and shops line the lake.
There are two monuments that pay tribute to Switzerland's watch-making industry. The enormous Flower Clock is in the English Garden on the left bank; the "monumental solar and laser clock" is on the right.