Lake Geneva - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Lake Geneva for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Welcome to one of the largest lakes in Europe which is, in fact, the largest lake in Western Europe, as well. It is situated on the border between Switzerland and France, created by the Glacier Movement from the Rhone River. You can find it by many exciting names, such as Le Leman, which means lake in literal translation, Lac de Geneve, and Lac de Lausanne.

Believe it or not, as much as 580 square metres. There is even an artificial beach in the form of a peninsula called Bains des Paquis. So, this leaves you no other choice than to start searching for where to stay in Lake Geneva.

Question: Where to stay in Lake Geneva for a first-time visit?

Several Swiss and French cities surround the lake, so your accommodation options are diverse. All towns are beautiful in their own way, and the complete list of cities you can choose to stay in looks like this:

  • Geneva (Switzerland),
  • Lausanne (Switzerland),
  • Montreux (Switzerland),
  • Vevey (Switzerland),
  • Nyon (Switzerland),
  • Morges (Switzerland),
  • Thonon-les-Bains (France),
  • Évian-les-Bains (France),
  • Yvoire (France)

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Lake Geneva.

Looking for more travel destinations? We got you! Take a look at 7 days in France and 7 days in Switzerland.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Lake Geneva for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Geneva

Still, interestingly, the most significant part of the lake is not located in the town of the same name. Otherwise, the location is perhaps ideal for exploring the rest of the Lake Geneva area, and the proximity to the Alps and Mont Blanc is within reach. The city is located only 4 kilometres from the main airport, and hides many activities and over 30 museums and art galleries. I recommend visiting it in mid-spring or late summer, especially if you come with children. Here are some locations that you mustn’t miss:

  • Jet d’Eau
  • St. Pierre Cathedral
  • United Nations Office in Geneva
  • International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Why do we recommend these areas?

Jet d’Eau – The tallest fountain in the world with a jet of up to 140 metres and lights in all the colours that mark the territory. If you want to get close to it, you can do it only during the lake cruise.

St. Pierre Cathedral – An imposing cathedral from the 15th century that is famous for its excellent panoramic view and exactly 157 steps that separate you from it.

United Nations Office at Geneva – A symbol of peace, which has stood here since 1946 and proudly speaks of history. In addition, it offers an excellent panorama, and you can see the interior through a guided tour that costs 16.5 euros.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum – The epicentre of the humanist movement is here. It works from 10 am to 5 pm, except on Sundays, and the entrance fee is about 10 euros.

And now, let’s delve deeper into exploring the best places to stay in Lake Geneva.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Montreux
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Base Vevey
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Studio Au Centre de Montreux
💎 Best Luxury HotelMandarin Oriental
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
😎 Best for Groups:Montreux IX
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Hotel Splendid
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Tiffany Hotel
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Lac et Mont-Blanc
👌 Safest Area: Lausanne

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Lake Geneva

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Treat your family to this escape near the Alps, where you’ll find some of the most idyllic places to stay in Lake Geneva. To explore the area, you can go on a lake cruise or hike in the surrounding regions. An enjoyable adrenaline experience for the whole family can be the Mont Saleve cable car or the available water activities.

The Lake Geneva region offers year-round events. When it comes to cultural ones, don’t miss the Charlie Chaplin Museum, the Swiss Museum of Games (your children will love it) and the exciting chocolate workshops.

Montreux (Switzerland)

The town resembles a scene from children’s stories, and the most iconic landmark is Chillon Castle, which dates back to the 12th century. Its image is reflected in Lake Geneva. There are flowers and perfect views in all seasons, just like in a postcard..

Vevey (Switzerland)

If you want to avoid the crowds and immerse yourself in history, Vevey is the place for you. If you are a gourmet searching for where to stay in Lake Geneva, you must attend the Alimentarium, the gastronomic dream. The famous food company Nestle was also founded in this city.

In case you want to learn more about food, go to local markets such as Folk Markets. You can enjoy the local vineyards in the afternoon while your children run around the meadows.

Handpicked accommodations for families

13 Family Central Modern Apartment with Lake View, Montreux (Switzerland)

13 Family Central Modern Apartment is well-equipped and even has a furnished balcony with a fantastic city view. In the apartment, you have a kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and a swimming pool. It can accommodate 8 guests. The central train station is 1 km away.

Book 13 Family Central Modern Apartment here

Relax and unwind at 13 Family central modern app with Lake View

Have a great time at 13 Family central modern app with Lake View

Base Vevey, Vevey (Switzerland)

Base Vevey is right in the centre, and you have a well-stocked supermarket nearby. It is only 250 metres from the central station and can accommodate 7 guests and also has fami

Book Base Vevey here

Private room at Base Vevey

Have a pleasant stay at Base Vevey

 1.2 Couples

magine the romantic setting of the sunset by Lake Geneva. Wine and dine by the lake is also a great option. If you want a bit of history, add a glimmer of magic to your romantic trip and visit Chillon Castle, and after that, go on a hot air balloon tour. Some of the best hotels in Lake Geneva offer a spa retreat, and some wineries offer private vineyard tours.

Montreux (Switzerland)

I’m sure you’ve seen this place a million times on Instagram pictures. Suppose those pictures haven’t made you want to visit this place. In that case, I hope the imposing Lavaux vineyards and excellent resorts with private intimate suites will inspire you to witness the beauty by yourself.

Yvoire (France)

Yvoire is a charming mediaeval village on the southern side of Lake Geneva, only 25 kilometres from Geneva. If you ask me, this is the most beautiful village in all of France, with its romantic gardens and magnificent forest.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Studio Au Centre de Montreux, Montreux (Switzerland)

Looking for where to stay in Lake Geneva? Studio Au Centre de Montreux is a large and comfortable apartment with kitchen and everything you need. There is also a private bathroom and a tremendous secluded balcony. This place is designed for 2 people to stay, providing comfort and tranquility.

Book Studio Au Centre de Montreux here

Make yourself at home at Studio au centre de Montreux

Enjoy your time at Studio au centre de Montreux

Hôtel Restaurant Du Port, Yvoire (France)

The beachfront location of the resort overlooks the lake from all sides. Hôtel Restaurant Du Port has private parking and a fenced yard that provides for an enhanced feeling of intimacy and calmness. The Junior Suite with lake view has 1 bedroom, private toilet and excellent room service.

Book Hôtel Restaurant Du Port here

Experience comfort at Hôtel Restaurant Du Port

Enjoy your time at Hôtel Restaurant Du Port

1.3 Luxury traveler

If you are looking for some of the best hotels in Lake Geneva, your search may finally end. Enjoy the private chalets and villas or one of Europe’s best Michelin-starred restaurants. Here are some restaurant suggestions: l’Hôtel de Ville- Crissier, Lausanne Anne-Sophie au Beau Le Pont de Brent- Manteaux

Geneva (Switzerland)

Geneva is an international hub that is often frequented by luxury travellers, diplomats, etc., so it stands out for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. The old town is reserved for a luxury experience with a glass of Chardonnay in one of the high-end spas. Here, you can also enjoy winter sports. And if you are a fan of upscale shopping, go to Rue du Rhone.

Montreux (Switzerland)

This place is famous for the Jazz Festival, but if you want to attend it, make sure to book your ticket in time. If you like wine, visit the local LAvaux winery or take a day tour of Chillon Castle. If you pay for the upper-class ticket on the train, you can also enjoy the Train du Fromage and eat high-class cheese while enjoying the scenic drive.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Mandarin Oriental, Geneva (Switzerland)

Still haven’t decided where to stay in Lake Geneva? Check out this excellently designed luxury accommodation, spacious and bathed in lots of light. Decorated with very stylish yellow details from premium furniture.

Mandarin Oriental is intended for a maximum of 3 people and has a balcony for additional enjoyment. I recommend the Junior Suite.

Book Mandarin Oriental here

Enjoy your stay at Mandarin Oriental

Have fun at Mandarin Oriental

Montreux Lake View Apartments and Spa , Montreux (Switzerland)

Clean and big luxurious apartment with 1 or 2 bedrooms for 4-6 guests. Montreux Lake View Apartments and Spa – Swiss Hotel Apartments offers a lake view, an indoor pool, fitness facilities, and a spa. It is located 2.3 km from the luxurious Chillon Castle.

Book Montreux Lake View Apartments and Spa here

Relax and unwind at Montreux Lake View Apartments and Spa

Have a great time at Montreux Lake View Apartments and Spa

1.4 Design-lovers

If you ask me which region I have visited has the most museums and galleries, I will tell you about the cities around Lake Geneva. Here is also the Fondation de l’Hermitage and Musee d’Art, under whose hat many artistic spots exist. One of the places whose designer interior left a memorable impression on me is L’ Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. And what is Vavey hiding? An excellent mix of food and design in Alimentarium.

Montreux (Switzerland)

This city presents Freddy Mercury and Queen Museum in honour of 6 albums created here and one of the last tours. Also, here you can visit the Caplin Museum, a popular spot for artists, musicians, and fans of this famous man’s work.

Lausanne (Switzerland)

Want to enhance your stay in Lake Geneva? This colourful old town is full of cosy design, hidden gems, and great museums. I would single out the Gothic cathedral and all the details that are skillfully and carefully crafted. And all these beauties are just a 45-minute train ride from Geneva.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux (Switzerland)

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is a place where art is instilled at every step, even on the top floor setting area with a beautiful lake view. There is also a garden that design lovers will adore. Otherwise, all rooms are decorated with sumptuous details and an elegant touch.

Book Fairmont Le Montreux Palace here

Private room at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace

Have a pleasant stay at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace

Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa, Lausanne (Switzerland)

Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa is one of the best hotels in Lake Geneva, with 3 restaurants, a spa, wellness and an outdoor pool. I recommend the Exclusive room with spa access. Visit the sky bar, decorated with a lot of taste and style, just like the rest of the hotel, especially the rooms designed for 1, 2 or 4 guests.

Book Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa here

Make yourself at home at Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa

Enjoy your time at Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa

1.5 Groups

If you and your friends are looking for where to stay in Lake Geneva I can make you happy that this area will perfectly suit your requirements. You can relax by the lake, enjoy some water activities and Swiss cuisine flavours, and enjoy frequent festivals and events in the surrounding towns. Take a walk at the local markets and equip yourself with unique souvenirs and the most delicious Swiss chocolate.

Montreux (Switzerland)

This place is ideally situated to base yourself here and from here to be the starting point for investigating the rest of the region. In addition, you will encounter a welcoming atmosphere and a famous Jazz Festival. You must visit Chillon Castle and the short but scenic train ride.

Lausanne (Switzerland)

The capital of the canton of Vaud, but it is also known as the Olympic City and has the Olympic Museum. It offers elegant resorts as well as affordable Airbnb accommodations.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Montreux IX, Montreux (Switzerland)

Montreux IX has a garden view and a great balcony for hanging out, making for a great stay in Lake Geneva. It has an excellent WIFI connection and perfect heating in the winter months. There is one bedroom for 3 guests and one private bath. The host also offers airport transport and free parking.

Book Montreux IX here

Experience comfort at Montreux IX

Have a wonderful stay at Montreux IX

Elite, Lausanne (Switzerland)

Elite has 1 bedroom for 1-3 people and one bath. What you’ll like about the warm and supportive staff and the incredibly peaceful garden. For a stay for more people, I recommend the family suite. Parking is free, but unfortunately, you cannot reserve a space in advance.

Book Elite here

Enjoy your stay at Elite

Have fun at Elite

1.6 Solo-travelers

The entire Lake Geneva region is considered exceptionally safe and with excellent accessibility. I would do a solo walk on the Monteaux promenade every day. If you are coming solo, explore the cultural diversity, connect with the locals and go on free guided hiking tours.

Montreux (Switzerland)

If you want a good picture, know that this region offers a true photogenic experience. Explore the city, rest in one of the many parks or green spaces, and don’t miss the lively promenade. If you are coming in July, buy a ticket for the Jazz Festival in advance.

Lausanne (Switzerland)

Wondering where to stay in Lake Geneva? Lausanne is well connected with other places between Mounteaux and the East side of Geneva. There are many gorgeous vineyards, and one exciting activity is a visit to the Collection de L’art Brut, whose inspiration is inmates and psychopaths. Check this out.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Hotel Splendid, Montreux (Switzerland)

Located just 450 metres from the centre, Hotel Splendid has been standing here since 1904 and adorns the entire street with its splendour and architecture. The offer includes an excellent breakfast, and the rooms have a private bathroom. The hotel fully justified all three stars. Otherwise, 300 metres away is the Freddie Mercury Museum.

Book Hotel Splendid here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Splendid

Have a great time at Hotel Splendid

Swiss Wine by Fassbind, Lausanne (Switzerland)

Face to face with the beautiful Gothic cathedral, Swiss Wine by Fassbind has an excellent location, 450 metres from the city centre. All rooms are decorated with style, and I recommend the single rooms with a cathedral view. This hotel also offers you a free public transport ticket. You have a gym within the hotel, and the friendly staff is always there to help you.

Book Swiss Wine by Fassbind here

Private room at Swiss Wine by Fassbind

Have a pleasant stay at Swiss Wine by Fassbind

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

Looking for the best places to stay in Lake Geneva? The place offers cosmopolitan energy and vibrant nightlife. He singled out Funky Claude’s Bar, which is connected to the renowned Jazz Festival in Montreux. If you are staying in Lausanne, the Fion district awaits you.

The entire region offers lakefront bars and panoramic views from the renowned rooftop bars to remember. If you are in Geneva and looking for a budget-friendly bar, go to L’Usine or Clemence. Le Nomade or Le Boug vo Lausanne or Bar Central in Monteaux.

Geneva (Switzerland)

Some suggestions for nightlife venues here are MAD Club, Java Club near Jet d’Eau, and Le Baroque Club. And for bars: The cosy and relaxed atmosphere in Les Enfants, the best cocktails at L’ Adresse Bar or A barbershop that is a barber shop during the day and becomes a speakeasy experience at night.

Lausanne (Switzerland)

The MAD club of the same name is also present here, which once again confirms the quality. You can also go to D! Club or to one of the following bars: Le Romandie, indie venue White Horse Pub- British style La Jetee Bar- lake setting Bar Tabac-

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Tiffany Hotel, Geneva (Switzerland)

Stylish interior accommodation is only 8000m from the centre. It features stylishly decorated rooms and an English Pub in the hotel itself. Tiffany Hotel is located in the Bohemian quarter and offers a peaceful rest after a stormy night.

Book Tiffany Hotel here

Make yourself at home at Tiffany Hotel Enjoy your time at Tiffany Hotel

Hôtel des Voyageurs Boutique, Lausanne (Switzerland)

Hôtel des Voyageurs Boutique was renovated in 2015, and special attention was paid to the panoramic terrace, making it one of the best hotels in Lake Geneva. It is 10 minutes from the metro station and has the best service, such as free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, and helpful laundry. At 150 metres, restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs are a little further down. The airport is 50 kilometres from the accommodation.

Book Hôtel des Voyageurs Boutique here

Experience comfort at Hôtel des Voyageurs Boutique

Have a wonderful stay at Hôtel des Voyageurs Boutique

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

All towns, especially smaller ones, offer reasonably priced hostels and guesthouses. But you have to plan everything in advance. Use the train and buy the tickets from the machine, not the driver for transportation. Explore the Lake Geneva promenade utterly free of charge, enjoy public parks without spending money and enjoy a picnic or street food at your own pace.

You also have low-cost gardens and beaches. Check out student discount opportunities or buy a City Card suitable for each city. With this card, you can often use public transport and visit some museums and galleries with a discount or for free. And now, more about where to stay in Lake Geneva!

Nyon (Switzerland)

Your stay here will be more budget-friendly than other cities. Being a smaller town, it offers a more relaxed energy and plenty of time to enjoy and explore Lake Geneva. On certain days, you can visit local markets and find traditional specialities and authentic souvenirs at reasonable prices without spending a fortune. This place is perfect for long walks and picnics.

Thonon-les-Bains (France)

This place is known as a French spa town. It is located 17 km from Yvoire and offers public beaches and excellent hiking routes. Some gardens don’t cost a cent to visit. There are also thermal springs here that are worth seeing.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Lac et Mont-Blanc, Nyon (Switzerland)

Lac et Mont-Blanc is a 90 square metre apartment with its own parking and an excellent view of the mountain. Bed and breakfast costs 100 euros. It is near the centre, 2 minutes on foot, offering great value for the money.

Book Lac et Mont-Blanc here

Enjoy your stay at Lac et Mont-Blanc

Have fun at Lac et Mont-Blanc

Hôtel Savoie Leman, Thonon-les-Bains (France)

Hôtel Savoie Leman is located 850 metres from the central train station, this place offers non-smoking rooms with a lake view. The nearest airport is 34 km away. The WIFI connection is evaluated as flawless, as well as the buffet breakfast and the treatment by the staff.

Book Hôtel Savoie Leman here

Relax and unwind at Hôtel Savoie Leman

Have a great time at Hôtel Savoie Leman

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Lake Geneva

I hope you find this guide helpful and prompt you to check out the rest of my easy-to-use travel guides covering almost all European destinations. To make sure, don’t wait to check. Until then, a little reminder of which cities around Lake Geneva you should consider:

  • Montreux (Switzerland)
  • Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Vevey (Switzerland)


What is the best neighborhood to stay in Lake Geneva?

The best neighborhood to stay in Lake Geneva depends on your preferences and interests. However, Montreux, Lausanne, and Geneva are popular choices for their scenic views, cultural attractions, and accessibility to the lake and surrounding areas.

Where should you not stay in Lake Geneva?

While Lake Geneva offers a range of beautiful towns and cities to stay in, some areas may not be as convenient or attractive for tourists. It's advisable to avoid areas that are far from the lake or lack amenities and attractions suitable for visitors.

What should I avoid in Lake Geneva?

While Lake Geneva is generally safe and welcoming for tourists, it's advisable to exercise caution in crowded tourist areas to prevent petty theft or pickpocketing. Additionally, be mindful of local customs and etiquette, especially when visiting religious sites or cultural landmarks.

Where should I stay in Lake Geneva for the first time?

For first-time visitors to Lake Geneva, Geneva itself is often recommended due to its central location, excellent transportation links, and abundance of attractions such as Jet d'Eau, St. Pierre Cathedral, and the United Nations Office. It provides a convenient base for exploring the wider region.

Map + All Sights

Summary of Where to stay in Lake Geneva

So let’s summarise my where to stay in Lake Geneva guide: If you want to travel solo, I recommend vibrant Geneva, full of cultural diversity. If you are a gourmet, make sure to check Vevey’s Alimentarium. For night birds, even if you are not located here.

Make time for Lausanne, but also if you want to see objects that catch the eye for designer interiors and exteriors. For group gatherings, consider Montreux, and for a budget stay, book Thon les-Bains.

Whichever city you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. And if you’re looking for more travel inspiration, don’t forget to check my other blogs!

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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