Penthes Estate (Le Domaine du Château de Penthes)
Travelers looking for a jaunt outside of Geneva's bustling city center should visit Penthes Castle (Château de Penthes, in picturesque Pregny-Chambesy. Visitors enjoy the castle's two museums and Empress’ Park (Parc de l'Impératrice—an ideal place for a sunny stroll. On the chateau's grounds, take in views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
After a scenic ride into Pregny-Chambesy, visitors can explore the Penthes Castle's museums—the Museum of the Swiss Abroad, which uncovers Swiss history through its esteemed expatriots, and the Geneva Military Museum, featuring memorabilia, weapons, and historic documents. Though it's easy to visit by public transit, many travelers opt for one of Geneva's Segway tours, which typically stop at the castle. These tours are perfect for viewing the building and manicured grounds without exploring the museums.
Things to know before you go
- Guided tours of the Museum of the Swiss Abroad are available, but must be booked two weeks in advance.
- The museums hold seasonal hours, and may be closed for a brief period during the winter months.
- The Museum of the Swiss Abroad charges a small admission fee, but the Geneva Military Museum offers free entry.
- Penthes Castle is only a short trip from Geneva's main train station, and it's often included on Segway sightseeing tours.
How to get there
Though city tours are a great way to see Penthes Castle, the next best option is to travel by bus, from the Geneva train station (Genève-Cornavin). You should take the TGV V bus from toward La Becassiere, or the Z bus toward Bois-Chatton. Hop off at the Penthes stop. From there, it's a 5-minute walk down Chemin de l'Impératrice to the castle.
When to get there
The Museum of the Swiss Abroad permanent collection is generally open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 1:30pm to 5:30pm, though the museum's hours may vary seasonally. The Geneva Military Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 2pm to 5pm, and on Sunday, from 10am to 12pm, and 2pm to 5pm.
Where to Enjoy a Fine Dining Experience
Though Geneva is known for its haute cuisine and stylish cafés, a day to the Penthes Castle isn't complete without a meal at its lovely restaurant. Enjoy market fresh, seasonal food, an outdoor private terrace perfect for summer dining, and a tea room. Between the meal and the scenery, it's a distinctly Genevois experience.
- Palais des Nations
- International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum
- Ariana Museum (Musée Ariana)
- Brunswick Monument
- Rousseau Island (Ile Rousseau)
- Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau)
- English Garden (Jardin Anglais)
- Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie)
- Barbier-Mueller Museum (Musée Barbier-Mueller)
- Rath Museum (Musée Rath)
- Maison de Rousseau & de la Littérature (MRL)
- Tavel House (Maison Tavel)
- International Museum of the Reformation (Musée International de la Réforme)
- Geneva Old Town (Vieille Ville)
- Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art