Switzerland's second largest city, and capital of Romandy, the French-speaking region that makes up a quarter of the country, is a handsome, elegant, and affair with a gorgeous lake- and riverside setting, cosmopolitan cultural and dining scene, and majestic views of the soaring French Alps (more or less three hours away, if you love skiing or snowboarding) and just an hour from another wonderful Francophone Swiss city, Lausanne.

Geneva has plenty of great places to visit, including the cobblestone Vielle Ville (Old Town), the Botanical Garden and Conservatory, and Paquis Baths, a riverside spot especially popular in the summer for its beaches and restaurants. Here I'd like to tell you about three of my other favorites (and since two of them are out of town, I recommend you rent a car or SUV to make traveling there as flexible and easy as possible; otherwise, getting around within the city is fairly easy with public transport and taxis):

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