Perched on the sparkling shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) against a backdrop of the Swiss and French Alps, Montreux is one of the many highlights of the Swiss Riviera. Here are your options for tours to the magical lakeside town from nearby Geneva.
Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)
Quai Gustave-Ador, Geneva, 1207
Originally built in 1886 to regulate water pressure, Geneva’s Jet d’Eau is a landmark of this modern Swiss city. Most bus tours, Lake Geneva cruises, and even Segway tours typically provide notable views of the fountains. The Jet d’Eau also is often included on small-group tours, private city tours, and regional tours that visit nearby cities, such as Chamonix and Annecy.
Travelers exploring independently will find views of the Jet d’Eau from numerous locations around Geneva, including the English Garden (Jardin Anglais) and the walkable Mont Blanc Bridge (Pont du Mont-Blanc). It’s a great choice for a stop on a self-paced walking tour, since it’s a short stroll from several central neighborhoods, including the Old Town.
Things to Know Before You Go
As the city's most widely-recognized symbol, the Jet d’Eau is a must-see for all visitors to Geneva.
History and urban engineering fans will enjoy checking out this piece of Geneva's past, originally built as a hydraulic system safety valve.
Take in the views at night: In spring and summer, the Jet d'Eau is lit until late in the evening.
How to Get There
Enjoy the best views of the Jet d’Eau from the Jetée des Eaux Vives—off of Quai Gustave Ador—or while strolling the Quai du Mont-Blanc. To find these waterfront promenades, most visitors take public transportation. Hop a bus or tram to the Rive stop on the left bank, or the Isaac-Mercier stop on the right bank.
When to Get There
The Jet d’Eau spouts during the day for most of the year, though hours vary by season. The fountain shuts off at about 4pm in fall and winter, and 11pm in spring and summer. In November, the fountain is typically turned off for maintenance, so plan accordingly. Waterfront walks, with views of the fountain, are ideal in Geneva’s warmest months—June, July, and August—but expect crowds, since these months are during the peak tourist season.
Enjoying the Bains des Paquis
For views of the Jet d’Eau and a meal, stop by the public bathhouse Bains des Pâquis. It’s a scenic spot to sip wine, enjoy a swim or sauna session, and try local fondue—a melted cheese dish typically served alongside bread and vegetables for dipping. In summer, wear a swimsuit to sunbathe with the locals.
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