Tavel House (Maison Tavel)
Walking the historic streets of Geneva's Old Town, visitors come upon Maison Tavel—a museum documenting the city's past, while showcasing Swiss arts and culture. Because of its accessible, Old Town location, visitors can easily stop by on a self-paced tour. But to see more in less time, many travelers opt for a Geneva city tour—or regional tour that includes nearby cities—both of which typically pass the Maison Tavel.
Things to know before you go
- A great choice with limited time, visitors pack in the history with a visit to the Maison Tavel.
- History enthusiasts shouldn't miss the ancient wood carvings on the lower floors, and the centuries-old living quarters, armor, and period artwork upstairs.
- Admission to the permanent collection is free, but it's worth paying the small fee to check out the temporary exhibitions.
- The museum is accessible for patrons with reduced mobility—ring the doorbell and staff will unlock the nearby ramp.
How to get there
The Maison Tavel is centrally-located in Geneva's Old Town, two blocks from the Cathédrale de St-Pierre. You can walk, or arrive by tram from Geneva's Gare de Cornavin. Your best bet is to take the 12 tram to the Rive stop and walk up the hill to 6 rue du Puits-Saint-Pierre. The museum has a line of cannons out front, so it's hard to miss.
When to get there
The Maison Tavel is open daily from Tuesday to Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays. The busiest days are Saturday and Sunday, so plan to arrive on a weekday to avoid peak weekend crowds. To make a day of it, pair your visit with a trip to the Cathédrale de St-Pierre, which is just around the corner.
Where to Find an 1850 Model of Geneva
On the top floor of Maison Tavel, visitors find a model of Geneva from the year 1850. This must-see installation is ideal for getting a bird's eye view on the city, and spotting historic, Old Town buildings. Check out archival images of the city, discover where the city fortifications were situated, and get a firsthand perspective on how Geneva has changed.
- Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)
- Maison de Rousseau & de la Littérature (MRL)
- Barbier-Mueller Museum (Musée Barbier-Mueller)
- International Museum of the Reformation (Musée International de la Réforme)
- St. Peter's Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Pierre)
- Bastions Park (Parc des Bastions)
- Geneva Museum of Art and History (Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève)
- Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art
- Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie)
- English Garden (Jardin Anglais)
- Rath Museum (Musée Rath)
- Rousseau Island (Ile Rousseau)
- Patek Philippe Museum
- Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO)
- Geneva Contemporary Art Centre (Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève)