Geneva: More than just the home of classy watches

When I told most of my friends that I was to travel to Geneva in a week’s time, they each requested that I buy them a watch ranging from Swatch and Rolex to Rado. I also thought that since Geneva was known for having the greatest watch making industry it would be cheap, but I was wrong.  Later I discovered that it is the most expensive place I have been to in my life.
 Geneva’s Mount-Blanc ticket point.
Geneva’s Mount-Blanc ticket point.

When I told most of my friends that I was to travel to Geneva in a week’s time, they each requested that I buy them a watch ranging from Swatch and Rolex to Rado. I also thought that since Geneva was known for having the greatest watch making industry it would be cheap, but I was wrong.  Later I discovered that it is the most expensive place I have been to in my life.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s a home for most world known celebrities or maybe because it harbours the Palais des Nations which contains close to 200 international organisations.

Geneva is graced with a variety of several tourist attractions, one of them being the The Jet d’eau fountain which reaches a height of 140 metres and draws its water from Lake Geneva. The water from the fountain flows at 500 litres per second with a pumping power of 1000kilowatts. This fountain first went into service on July 18th, 1891. 

Besides Mount Blanc, The Jet d’eau is the most breathtaking scenery when landing in Geneva.

Geneva is very orderly, clean and the city has an efficient public transport. One is better off using public transport than private means. If you know the bus number to your destination you will not need to get a cab or taxi to go there. The bus, tram or train has maps and screens showing the next destination. Public transport is so efficient that one can know what time the next bus or tram will arrive based on the timetable that is set at each stop station. Even without a tour guide one can visit the tourist spots in Geneva without necessarily hiring a taxi.

The hotels in Geneva provide guests with tickets for public transport but for the boat cruise, you have to pay an additional CHF17 which is an equivalent of Rwf 10,540.

French is the most used language in Geneva. During a first time encounter, the people in Geneva will speak to you in French but if you can’t speak it, they will quickly speak to you in English, and perfectly, something that amazed me.

Since Geneva is a very expensive city, it would be wise that as a tourist, you save up enough money.  For instance McDonalds is considered the cheapest eating place in most cities in the world but a Big Mac burger in Geneva costs USD13 which is about Rwf 8,450.

If you have plans to travel to Geneva, its better to book way in advance. A round trip from Kigali to Geneva costs USD 2,380 with KLM which is almost the equivalent of Rwf 1,547,000. But if you book earlier, a return air ticket would cost you about USD 1,387 which is about Rwf 901, 550.

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