Discoveries beyond Geneva: Bern, Gruyères & Évian-les-Bains

Sunset over lake Léman
Sunset over lake Léman

I’m slowly adapting to my new life here in Geneva. Besides, it’s been great to have some of my best friends coming to pay a visit in order to start exploring a bit outside of Geneva.

Every August, Geneva hosts an annual summer event known as  Fêtes de Genève, including a grand fireworks display.

One Saturday we drove to the Swiss capital, Bern, after taking a swim by the lake Léman in St Prex. Upon arrival to Bern, we first headed to the Rosengarten, from where you’ll be able to shoot memorable pictures of the Old Town. Check out their cozy restaurant in case you’re thirsty or hungry.

A defining characteristic of Bern’s Old Town is its six kilometres of arcades hiding shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. The city center is full of Renaissance fountains dating from the 16th century and representing real personalities from the city’s past or allegorical figures like Lady Justice. Another must-sees in town include the Zytgloggeturm (a clock tower featuring some automatons) , the Rathaus (Towhall), the Cathedral and the Bundeshaus (Swiss Federal Assembly).

After visiting Bern the day before, we headed to Gruyères, which is located in the Swiss canton of Fribourg and gives its name to Gruyère cheese. We strolled around this cute medieval town whose main attractions include the Castle and the H. R. Giger Museum. Of course, you can’t go without enjoying a cheesy lunch at Le Chalet and tasting their delicious quiche, raclette and framboises avec crème double.

Lastly, we finished our day trip in Évian-les-Bains, located on the French side of lake Léman. This scenic spa town is famous for its mineral water. It is worth walking around this tranquil town to see the Source Cachat (the fountain from which the Évian water originates) and the belle époque Palais Lumière.

 

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