The city of Geneva stands the test of time

City guide: Geneva, Switzerland

Eliza Shaw is an American girl from Washington D.C. living the dream in Amsterdam. She works at Flipit, a promo code website startup in central Amsterdam. Flipit is expanding globally and now active in 22 countries.


Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

When I'm not not clicking away on my keyboard at work, you’ll probably find me gliding on my bicycle around Amsterdam or the surrounding towns and countryside. I’m also an avid squash player – it’s a great way to let out stress and gain relationships with new people in the city.

What type of traveler are you?

I would say that I am a generally easy-going traveler. I can rough it up and go on camping, hiking or long cycling trips, but I also don’t mind staying in more comfortable places and being pampered a little bit.

I like exploring it all - the rural, urban and suburban to see all walks of life and different forms of architecture.

I try to explore places that are outside of classic tourist areas, but I also don’t mind visiting some of the more popular attractions… because, well, they are popular for a reason! I also try to engage as much as I can with the local population – either through sport, music festivals, or chatting up random people at bars or on the street. Getting local information on where to go and what to do is key to a successful trip. You can’t find everything on the internet, even if it may seem that way.

What are the 5 items we will find in your carry-on luggage?

  1. Canon rebel camera
  2. Toothbrush
  3. A book of some sort
  4. An extra pair of underwear (just in case!)
  5. A pen

Which is your favorite city to travel to? Tell us why.

One of my favourite cities to travel to is Geneva, Switzerland. People often say it is a boring and expensive city, but there’s a lot of exploring to be done! The city itself is situated on Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman in French) directly where the Rhone river exits the lake The city is surrounded by the Jura mountain range in the West and the Alps in the East – beautiful scenery offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, skiing, wine tasting and other excursions, both rural and urban.

Eliza's recommendations in Geneva

La Petite Reine

Artisanal beer at Cafe La Petite Reine

This is a small Café Bar located right behind Geneva’s Cornavin train station, offering artisanal beer and bar snacks. The bar itself is quite small but people generally congregate outside on the beautiful terrace. It is a very popular place, particularly over the summer, so be sure to get there early to grab a spot. It is a very friendly place, and the type of people there tend to be young but funky professionals. The mixologists certainly know what they are doing!

Cocktails at l'Atelier cocktail club geneve

This cozy and inviting bar serves the best cocktails in town.

Brasserie Des Halles de L’Ile

It is a modern and lively night club located on an island in the middle of the Rhone river. It is more of an upscale place than Usine, but always good fun!

Shop at Bongo Joe Record’s for good tunes

I love Bongo Joe Record’s - is a record shop and café combined, so you can sip on a nice latte whilst listening to some jammin' tunes!

Stroll along Rue de Pacquis

Rue de Pacquis is a great street if you’re looking for trendy vintage clothing and other sorts of unique boutiques.

Flea market shopping at Plaine de Planpalais

Geneva’s largest outdoor flea market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08:00 to 17:00. Cheaper prices than Geneva’s mainstream shopping. Definitely worth checking out.

Tapas and drinks at Ole-Ole

Ole-Ole in Pacquis has a wide variety of killer tapas and delicious drinks. Great for a casual, romantic meal over a bottle of nice wine. It’s not too expensive if you consider Geneva prices.

Fruits de la mer et vin at Brasserie Lipp

This fancy brasserie is (strangely) hidden away in a downtown shopping mall in Geneva, with a courtyard in the restaurant! It is one of my favourite spots for a special occasion dinner. Great ambience and particularly strong in their French wines and seafood.

Spectacular views of Lake Geneva from Restaurant Le Débarcadère in Nyon

You’ll have to take a train from Geneva to this smaller Swiss city, but it’s worth the trek and you’ll have great views of the Lake Geneva on your train ride there. This restaurant is very close to the water’s edge and has exquisite food.

Which famous celebrity's vacation home would you like to live in for a week? Why?

I don’t think I would like to stay in a celebrity’s vacation home, perhaps only if it were really modest. Not to sound pretentious, but I’m not sure I’d really enjoy barricading myself in an ostentatious, celebrity palace.

That being said, if I had to pick, I would probably choose Johnny Depp’s private island in Little Hall’s Pond Cay, Bahamas. Mainly because I love Johnny Depp, but also because there would be no local culture that I would be avoiding, and I could run around the island exploring all the strange species and cracking open coconuts.

Photos courtesy of Eliza Shaw.