Spring is the best time to get out of Geneva and explore Switzerland (it’d be even better if it stopped raining, enough is enough now).
We’ve still got a lot to go through on our bucket list but here’s some of the places we’ve visited so far, which the children have really enjoyed. We hope it will help if you’ve recently moved here and are looking for ideas for fun days-out.
Please don’t forget to share your tips with us, what are your children’s favourite days-out in Switzerland?
- Parc Pré Vert in Signal de Bougy 43km from Geneva (approx. 40 mins by car). First things first: entrance to this great park is free of charge and there’s enough to do to fill a whole day! You’ll find slides, climbing frames, farm animals, donkey rides, mini golf and music shows. The park is quite high up so the view of the lake and mountains is simply breathtaking.
- Morges 51km from Geneva (approx. 45 mins by car). This pretty lakeside town has a fantastic castle with a military museum that the boys absolutely loved (they just can’t get enough of knights, armours & swords!). Morges was also home to one of Hollywood’s most loved icons, so this year the town is paying tribute to Audrey Hepburn with an exhibition, theatre show and movie retrospective.
- Rolle, 38km from Geneva (around 35 mins by car). Here’s another picture-perfect Swiss town on the shores of Lake Léman with a great castle the kids will love. The view over the lake and mountains is priceless, for all those who say that everything in Switzerland is just too expensive!
- The Swiss National Museum at the Château de Prangins, 30km from Geneva (30 mins by car). The 18th century Castle of Prangins is just beautiful, with glorious gardens overlooking the lake AND it’s open on Sundays! The castle hosts the Swiss National Museum, very interesting, interactive and child-friendly. My boys loved to sit down at an old wooden desk and try their hand at writing with feather and ink, as children used to do a long time ago.
- Montreux and the famous Chillon Castle, 90km from Geneva (around 1 hour and a bit by car). Words are simply not enough, they’re a must-see! Read my previous posts about Montreux and Chillon here.
- Swiss Vapeur Parc and Aquaparc are both located in the resort village of Le Bouveret (approx. 1 hour and a half from Geneva). You’ll need a nice day to make the most of the Swiss miniature trains park, but the waterpark can be enjoyed with any weather (we were there in November). Both are just great fun for the kids, they get to ride on miniature replicas of Swiss trains or just have a blast in the tidal pool and on the water slides, the choice is yours!
- Basel, 260km from Geneva (around 3 hours by car) is a bit further away but, as Switzerland’s cultural capital, it makes a great weekend away. In Basel you’ll find some fantastic museums (the Fondation Beyeler, the Kunstmuseum, the Toy Museum and the Museum Tingueley, both great for children) and – of course – Basel’s Zoo, which is one of the best in Europe and the first zoological garden in Switzerland. An absolute treat for your little explorers.
- The Château de Grandson , 120km from Geneva (around 2hours by car), is absolutely one of our favourite castles in Switzerland: not only it’s extremely well-preserved but they also run many great activities for children like treasure hunts, medieval festivals etc. Inside you can visit the armours collection and a vintage car museum. Check the website for further details, this is a castle you and your budding knights&princesses won’t forget.
- Yverdon Les Bains, 100km from Geneva (around 2 hours by car) is also a great weekend destination. This charming Swiss town on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel has a lot to offer: Thermal baths for a bit of well-deserved relaxation, a museum dedicated to science fiction & the writer Jules Verne called Maison d’Ailleurs and the Swiss Fashion Museum. In the nearby town of Orbe you’ll also find a great indoor playcentre called Urba Kids. A weekend is barely enough!
- Servion Zoo, 82km from Geneva (a bit more than 1 hour by car) is an excellent zoo and a bit closer to home than the one in Basel, so you can visit on a day-trip. We stopped here on our way home from Yverdon and the children absolutely loved it. There are animals, of course, but also a great playarea. As it’s all outdoors, it’s best enjoyed on a dry day!
- The Swiss Transport Museum in Luzern, 280km from Geneva (around 3 hours by car). A visit to the city of Luzern, in the German-speaking canton, makes a great weekend getaway for the whole family. The scenery around Lake Luzern and the Luzern riviera is amazing, the city itself has a long history and is famous for its beautiful wooden chapel bridge, dating back to the 14th century. But this is not all: Luzern is also home to one of Switzerland’s most interactive and child-friendly museums: the Swiss Transport Museum. Our children were over the moon and spent hours happily playing with the fire engines, planes, flight simulators and the fantastic outdoor building site, where those restless little hands can get busy with real building equipment.