8 Best Places on Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva is a crescent-shaped lake formed from the Rhone River and shared between Switzerland and Geneva. At its eastern end, the Rhone flows into the lake between Villeneuve and Le Bouveret. It empties into Geneva in the west.  On the southern shore of Lake Geneva are the Chablais Alps, on the western side the Swiss Jura, and on the eastern side the Bernese Alps.

Lake Geneva is divided into three parts – the Upper Lake (Haut Lac), the Large Lake (Grand Lac), and the Small Lake (Petit Lac). It is the largest body of water in Switzerland.

Many beautiful towns and cities surround Lake Geneva, both on the Swiss and French sides. In this article, we’ll highlight the 8 best Lake Geneva towns and cities located in Switzerland.

Montreux

Image by Tesa Robbins from Pixabay

Located in Vaud, Switzerland, Montreux is a charming town on the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva. Montreux is famous for its spa facilities, mild climate, and Montreux Jazz Festival. A stretch of eight kilometers runs from Clarens to Chillon Castle and up to Villeneuve.

Due to its ambiance, Montreux is one of the most charming spots on Lake Geneva to either stay in or visit. Montreux is a popular spa town that’s known for its mild climate, awesome views, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. A stretch of 8 kilometers connects Clarens, Chillon Castle, and Villeneuve.

From Montreux, you can also take the panoramic Golden Pass Train.

Don’t miss these attractions in Montreux
* Chillon Castle
* Queen Studio Experience
* Freddie Mercury Statue
* Rochers de Naye
* Golden Pass Railway

If you would like to read more about Montreux, check out our article Montreux: The Most Popular Spa Town in Lake Geneva.


Morges

Image of Morges Castle by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Morges is a beautiful municipality on Lake Geneva that used to be a regional economic, political, and cultural center in the 18th to 19th centuries. It is home to pre-historic pile-dwelling settlements.

The town itself has several heritage sites such as the Military Museum and Morges Castle. Château de Morges or Morges Castle, inspired by nearby Yverdon Castle, was built by Louis of Savoy to protect the city. Nowadays, it houses the following five museums:

  • Military Museum
  • Swiss Historic Figurine Museum
  • Artillery Museum
  • Police Museum
  • Paderewski Museum
Don’t miss these attractions in Morges
* Old city of Morges
* Morges Castle and the five museums
* De La Croix Blanche Inn
* City Hall
* Temple

Vevey

Image of Lake Geneva from Vevey by TouringSwitzerland.com

The town of Vevey is in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Despite being smaller than Lausanne and Geneva, there are lots of beautiful buildings and interesting museums to explore in this town on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Vevey features the Alimentarium – an interesting food museum designed by and presenting Nestlé. The company Nestlé is an international food and beverage company founded in 1867 and based in Vevey. In 1665, Jean-Pierre Zaug marked the Alimentarium’s tenth anniversary by installing a giant 8-meter-tall fork on Lake Geneva. You can see this in the picture above.

From 1952 to 1977, Charlie Chaplin lived in Vevey. If you are into his life or works, you can also drop by Chaplin’s World, a museum honoring Charline Chaplin located in Corsier-sur-Vevey.

Don’t miss these attractions in Vevey
* Alimentarium
* Fork of Vevey
* Chaplin’s World
* Musée Jenisch (Museum of Fine Arts and Prints)
* Vevey Photography Museum
* Swiss Museum of Games
* Vevey History Museum
* Eastern Orthodox Church
* Swiss Reformed Church of Saint-Martin
* City Hall
* Place du Marché
* Saint-Jean Tower and Fountain

Lausanne

Lausanne is an exciting city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It sits on Lake Geneva. Lausanne has this young energy and vibe, rich history, shopping, lake, swimming, and wonderful views of the Alps.

This exciting city of Lausanne has an attractive old town and cathedral, the Olympic Museum, the new arts district of Plateforme 10, and some nightlife. It also has a rich history. Back in the olden days, the Celts and Romans ruled it. They estimate the population to be between 1,500 and 2,000 during the Roman period. Nowadays, the city is the fifth-largest city in Switzerland. Not only does it have impressive, historic buildings. It also has an aquarium and access to the lake.

Lausanne hosts lots of universities and has a significant student population along with restaurants, bars, and hotels around the center.

Don’t miss these attractions in Lausanne
* Lausanne Cathedral
* Lausanne’s Old Town
* Olympic Museum and Park
* Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium
* Ouchy
* Plateforme 10

Geneva

Image of UN Geneva by Edwin Surbeck from Pixabay

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous in the French-speaking part. This lively city is located on the shores of Lake Geneva.  This global city is the base of many international organizations such as the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and many more.

Geneva truly is an important city for diplomacy, international cooperation, and humanitarian engagement. It is also a major financial center, ranking fifth in Europe after London, Zurich, Frankfurt, and Luxembourg.  The Pictet Group, Bank Lombard Odier & Co., Union Bancaire Privée, Mirabaud Group, Bordier & Cie, Edmond de Rothschild Group, and One Swiss Bank are just a few banks with headquarters in Geneva.

Don’t miss these attractions in Geneva
* Ariana Museum
* Palace of Nations
* Maison Tavel
* Jet d’Eau
* Bains des Paquis

Nyon

Image of Nyon by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

On the banks of Lake Geneva, near the border with France, is a charming town with a relaxed vibe called Nyon. This lovely lakeside town is about 25 kilometers northeast of Geneva; it’s actually part of the bigger Geneva metro area. The whole old town of Nyon is on the Swiss Heritage Inventory.

A notable Swiss heritage site of national significance is Nyon Castle. Also worth checking out are the following: the Museum of the History of Porcelain, the Roman Colonia Iulia Equestris, the Roman Museum, and the Swiss Reformed Church of Notre Dame.

Nyon is also the headquarters of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Headquarters.

Don’t miss these attractions in Nyon
* Nyon Castle
* Museum of the History of Porcelain
* Colonia Iulia Equestris
* Swiss Reformed Church of Notre-Dame
* Manoir at Rue Maupertuis 2 & 4
* Nyon Roman Museum
* Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Headquarters

Prangins

Image of Prangins Castle from wikimedia

The town of Prangins is on the shores of Lake Geneva, next to Nyon. It has a well-preserved architectural heritage. As a reward for this feat, Prangins received the Wakker Prize in 2020.

A majestic château built in the 1730s in the classical French style, Prangins Castle (Château de Prangins) houses the Swiss National Museum. Château de Prangins is also a great place to learn about the history of the country and its heritage. It shows historical places in Western Switzerland and a trip back to the past with the Baron of Prangins, Voltaire, and Napoleon.

On the ground floor, the reception rooms have been lavishly decorated, and have been restored to their former glory.

Don’t miss these attractions in Prangins
* Prangins Castle and the National Museum
* Entire Village of Prangins

Lutry

Image of the Lavaux Wine Region SofieLayla Thal from Pixabay

Switzerland’s Lutry is in the district of Lavaux-Oron, canton of Vaud. Aside from wine, the town also has beautiful architecture and historical sites.  It is located on the terraces between Lake Geneva and the Jorat region.

Swiss heritage sites include Lutry Castle or Rôdeurs Castle, the Roman Catholic Church of Saint-Martin, the Swiss Reformed Church of Saint-Martin, and a Gothic-style house. The vineyard terraces of Lavaux are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Don’t miss these attractions in Lutry
* Lavaux Vineyard Terraces – UNESCO World Heritage Site
* Lutry Castle
* Catholic Church of Saint-Martin
* Reformed Church of Saint-Martin
* Gothic Facade House
* Entire Town of Lutry

If you would like to read more about the different wine regions in Switzerland, check out our article 7 Best Idyllic Swiss Wine Regions Explained.