W ith one million followers, Nataly Osmann is one of the chicest travel influencers on Instagram. Along with her photographer husband, Murad, Nataly created the social media phenomenon #FollowMeTo after Murad snapped a photo of her leading him by the hand through the streets of Barcelona in 2011.
Here, she offers up her top tips for exploring the stunning city of Geneva - and chooses her highlights from Sotheby's Luxury Week.
" Geneva embodies many things - breathtaking scenery, quality wines, wonderful chocolates and cheeses and of course, a long history of watchmaking. But to this, I can add that not only does Geneva pride itself as being one of the most beautiful, cultured and business-focused cities in the world, but it is also fashionable. There is an elegance to Geneva, it's a cosmopolitan and stylish city. Luxury shops and fine-dining restaurants exist within an oasis of tranquility and natural beauty, a perfect home for Sotheby’s Luxury Week. I like that here you can buy items from different categories, for example, a limited model of Hermes bags, exclusive products from Cartier or luxury jewelry from Bulgari - explore the sales and who knows, you might just find some really rare treasure!
So, to get us into the mood for Luxury Week, I'm going to share with you a few of my insider tips on how best to experience this magical and wonderful city for yourself...
For the best shopping in Geneva, I go to Rue du Rhône street. It's a real paradise for lovers of luxury shopping. (I never can resist the temptations to be found here!)
For something from local designers, you need to visit the La Teinturerie store, in the Place des Augustins. I accidentally came across it, and it turned out to be a real discovery. This shop is known for its selection of unique pieces by Swiss and international independent designers and you can find very interesting and authentic pieces here.
Now, personally, I like to wear a watch. I know we can all see the time on our phones these days, but I still love beautiful watches, especially from brands with a strong history. Traditionally, Swiss watches are known to be the best when it comes to quality and accuracy, and so I am very attracted to Tag Heuer, designed and created in Geneva. So, when I want to get a gift to myself or Murad, I will always visit their Geneva stores.
In Switzerland, French, German and Italian cultures are intertwined. This trio of nationalities is reflected in the local cuisine and so when you visit the city's best restaurants, you really will appreciate the spirit of experimentation! One of my absolute go-to restaurants that reflects the unique synergy of city is the Michelin-starred Côté Square restaurant, where one can savour dishes that delight all the senses.
As for lunch, I know a fantastic spot - the superlative Cafe des Negociants. Tasty, fresh and flavourful dishes on the menu, simple but beautifully prepared and paired with delicious wines from a vast cellar. If you visit, I really do urge you to try the squid ink risotto - it is divine.
And as we all know, cheese and chocolates are the best Swiss souvenirs! I really like La Fromagerie – lots of varieties are on offer, and to help you make your choices, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so you can be sure you'll find exactly what you want. As for delicious, rich authentic Swiss chocolate, you must go to Chocolates Favarger. I've tried a few places and seriously, no one else comes close to their massive range of varieties.
Nataly's Picks from Magnificent Jewels
After a long day evening, I love rounding off the night with a nightcap with a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Rooftop 42 bar offers scenic views, great music, cheerful atmosphere and tantalising cocktails – any evening there will definitely be a success.
Also, I can definitely recommend you visit Le Verre à Monique! It's super cool, and I always feel like I'm hidden in the heart of a big city ,with its hidden speakeasy vibe. The drinks are super tasty.
If you want to listen to live music, you can drop by The Leopard Room Bar & Lounge – a very cozy place. I want to come back here again.
There is something magical about wandering aimlessly around Geneva. The Old Town is especially charming – the winding, cobbled streets and historic 16th century stone buildings are enchanting. One of my favourite things to do is have a stroll around the old square of Place du Bourg-de-Four, stopping off for a snack or a coffee. Or if you're feeling energetic, a climb to the top floor of the St. Peter’s Cathedral for the most spectacular view of the city is definitely worth the effort!
Personally, I think that the best museum in the city - and there are many - is the Museum of Art and History. There are so many beautiful paintings and sculptures, and I can never believe you can savour these treasures for nothing - as admission is completely free! My secret tip is to make sure you round off your tour of the gorgeous art by heading to the central patio, where I have a secret spot, place to relax and have a cup of coffee and reflect on how Geneva always thrills and delights me, every time.