Planning a day trip from Geneva? You’ve come to the right place! Taking the train from Geneva, you can discover the best destinations in and around this gorgeous corner of Europe. Here are the best day trips from Geneva you can reach by train:
When you head to Lausanne, you'll arrive at the other end of Lake Geneva, a perfect place to snap photos of this stunning natural wonder. The Lausanne Sauvabelin Tower is a superb spot to get panoramic views of these magnificent surroundings.
Also in town, be sure to check out Lausanne Cathedral. Dating from the 12th century, it's one of the city's most eye-catching buildings. You'll find it right in the town centre, a short walk from Lausanne History Museum. This museum is the ideal place to learn about the past of one of Switzerland's most visited cities.
Bern is closely associated with bears and these majestic creatures are the symbol of the city. See them in the city centre at the BearPark. Here, bears roam in this large outdoor enclosure on the banks of the River Aare.
Day trips from Geneva to Bern are also an excellent opportunity to visit the Swiss Parliament Building. Discover wonderful views across this beautiful city from the viewing gallery, and get guided tours of the building itself. Bern's Old Town features a number of historic buildings, including the medieval Clock Tower (Zytglogge).
Trains to Zurich bring day-trippers to Switzerland's major German-speaking city. This is one of the best destinations for unique visitor attractions in the country – you'll find a wealth of excellent museums, including the Clock and Watch Museum. Come here to discover magnificent examples of one of Switzerland's most famous crafts.
The FIFA World Football Museum is a must for soccer fans, featuring famous memorabilia along with an excellent on-site sports bar. You can enjoy the gorgeous Botanical Garden in any weather – it features splendid grounds to stroll around in the sunshine, as well as covered domes with a host of exotic plants from around the world.
Yverdon is located on the shores of the mighty Lake Neuchâtel. This town's full name is Yverdon-les-Bains, or “Yverdon the Baths”, and is one of Switzerland's greatest spa towns. The natural Thermal Baths are a magnificent place to unwind on a day trip, surrounded by the country's famously attractive landscape.
Lakeshore Park is an excellent place for a sightseeing stroll, taking in the glorious expanse of the water. In summer, the lakeside beach is a popular spot to go swimming or simply relax and play by the water. Why not check out the local boat tours, too? These include innovative solar-powered boat trips for ideal eco-tourism in Switzerland.
Trains from Geneva to Yverdon take only 50 minutes. Depart from Genève Cornavin and you'll arrive at Yverdon-les-Bains station, just a couple of minutes' walk from the city centre.
Why not hop over into France with a train trip to Lyon? The city features a superb Old Town, with traditional southern French red-roofed buildings, and the medieval Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral. Be sure to seek out traditional restaurants in this neighbourhood, serving traditional local dishes made with delicious Andouillette sausages.
You could easily spend a whole afternoon at the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts. The building itself dates from the 17th century and brings together an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and even Egyptian antiquities. In the evening, head to the chic La Croix-Rousse quarter and check out the local wine bars. The nearby region is famous for its production of fine Beaujolais wines.
Another calm, scenic town over the border in France, Annemasse is ideal for reconnecting with nature and discovering the crossroads of culture between Switzerland and its neighbour. Hikes up the Les Voirons mountain range are a fantastic way for super active travellers to make the most of the great outdoors here.
If you don't fancy heights, then hiking along the trail following the Menoge River is another superb option. For something a little gentler, take a trip to the Parc des Écureuils, or “Park of Squirrels”. A waterway weaves through the landscaped grounds, with a high-up pagoda for taking a rest and enjoying the views.
Trains from Geneva to Annemasse take only around 1h 10m. Depart from Genève Cornavin and arrive at Annemasse station. It's just a 10-minute walk down Avenue de la Gare to the middle of town.
Another Swiss town, Nyon, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a fascinating excursion destination, bringing you out of the city to experience traditional Switzerland. From atop Nyon Castle, you'll get magnificent views down to Lake Geneva, and can discover local history in the Nyon Castle Museum.
Lake Geneva Museum (otherwise known as Musée du Léman) sits right on the edge of the lake, looking at the heritage of one of Europe's best-known bodies of water. Also be sure to visit Nyon Roman Museum, which delves into the town and region's ancient past. It includes treasures dug up in the local area, as well as exhibitions on life in Ancient Roman times.
Trains from Geneva to Nyon only take around 15 minutes. Leave from Genève Cornavin and you'll arrive at Nyon station. This is right in the town centre, and just a 10-minute walk or so to the shores of the lake.
When taking trains in Switzerland, most services are offered by SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, meaning Swiss Federal Railways). These super-efficient trains offer excellent reliability for all your travel needs in the region. Soak up history and culture at Zurich and Bern, or take the chance to visit nearby France. Either way, day trips from Geneva offer unforgettable experiences, so check out our Switzerland train map for train times and tickets to start planning your journey around Switzerland.