Car Hire in Geneva
Car hire in Geneva
A chic and cosmopolitan city at the foot of the Alps
Home to a number of international organisations, this is Switzerland’s sleekest and plushest city. Everything about it spells luxury, from the hotels and cuisine to the watch and chocolate shops. It is located on the shores of sparkling Lake Geneva, and makes a perfect base for exploring the Alps.
We have two car hire locations in the city centre, and two at the airport. You’ll find us in the arrivals halls of the French and Swiss terminal buildings. Either way, you’re perfectly placed to explore the surrounding Alpine countryside.
Things to see and do in Geneva
The city’s most famous monument is the Jet d'Eau, the world's tallest water fountain. Wander through the hilly old town and discover the city hall, Rousseau's birth house and various boutiques. The high point has to be the St Pierre Cathedral. The top of the north tower offers magnificent views over the city and lake. Underneath the cathedral is an archaeological site waiting to be explored. It reveals a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire.
For a perfectly lazy afternoon, take a boat cruise on Europe’s largest lake and enjoy fabulous vistas of the surrounding Alps. There are also some wonderfully tendered parks, many of which used to be grand estates. The English Garden is not far from the Jet d’Eau and home to the famous flower clock and a magnificent sculpted bronze water fountain. Tree-lined Bastions Park is a former botanical garden and also the site of the city’s first university. It’s a haven of cool in the summer, and also home to the Reformation Wall memorial.
While you’re here, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Palais des Nations. Tours are available in English and include a visit to the Assembly Hall and the Council Chamber, where many historical negotiations have taken place.
In the summer, swim in style in the institution that is the Bains des Pâquis. The baths themselves originally date back to 1872, but were revamped in art deco style in the 1930s. They are situated on the northern tip of Lake Geneva, and offer views of the Jet d’Eau and stunning waterfront hotels. The space comprises swimming pools, sunbathing decks, a cafe and a small beach for lake swimming.
March brings the Geneva Auto Show. This annual event lasts for ten days and displays all the latest models, accessories and new concept cars. But it’s the luxury vehicles that steal the show. Join the other 700,000 visitors admiring some of the most exotic and beautiful cars in the world.
Explore the surrounding Alps with Avis car hire
Whatever the season, a drive up into the Alps is an absolute must.
Just 90 minutes' drive through the picturesque Arve Valley lies Chamonix. This famous village lies at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. Take the Montenvers rack railway to access one of the biggest glaciers in continental Europe, the Mer de Glace. Or jump in the Aiguille du Midi cable car for a thrilling ride over snow-capped mountains and close views of Mont Blanc. If you’ve caught the skiing bug, then you’ve come to the right place. From glacier skiing in the White Valley to the more gentle slopes of la Flégère, there’s something for everyone.
For quieter skiing head to the Jura mountains, less than an hour’s drive away. If you’re coming from the airport pick up your ride at our car hire location on the French side. This largely forested national park has some great mountain fields covered in snow. The mountains don’t reach Alpine heights, but the cooler temperatures mean that you don’t have to go as far up to get the good snow. The resorts are great for families with children, but there are also plenty of steep, challenging slopes for advanced skiers.
The Alps and the Jura mountains also make great hiking ground in the summer. Take a picnic lunch, or enjoy a meal in an authentic wooden chalet. The hiking routes are well signposted and very well looked after. Alternatively, drive eastwards to the lower Valais for some excellent walks. For something a little bit different, hike to the monastery situated on top of the St Bernard Pass. You can eat with the monks and even stay the night.