Nestled on the shore of Switzerland's most famous lake and surrounded by mountains, Geneva is a true global city. As it's an important financial centre, business travellers return there time and time again but this compact metropolis is also perfect for a weekend break, 24 hours is all you need…

Check in
If you want to blow the budget, the Mandarin Oriental, on the banks of the Rhône, serves up the kind of opulent luxury you'd expect from this hotel group. The restaurants reflect the city's international outlook, with Rasoi serving gastronomic Indian and Le Sud focused on Mediterranean dishes. The elegant rooms and deluxe suites won't disappoint. History buffs will love the Hotel Beau Rivage, which might be 145 years old but has everything a modern traveller could wish for. This lakeside hotel has seen politicians, royalty and celebrities come and go, and it still oozes charm. Budget travellers need not despair; there are plenty of cheaper options such as the Hotel Tor, which is conveniently located close to both the lake and the train station. Clean and surprisingly spacious, the rooms are functional and are ideal for a no-frills weekend break.

Breakfast like kings
There is no need to linger in your hotel, get your teeth stuck into Geneva's restaurant scene and head to Brasserie des Halles de L'ile on Place de L'Ile for brunch. This cool brasserie is a hot spot for people watching. Or grab some mouthwatering patisserie from Wolfisberg Carouge on Place du Temple and sit at one of the communal tables whilst you plan the rest of your day.

Culture vulture
For a modern art hit head to the Bains District in the city centre which has become a hub for the avant-garde art scene. There you will find the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which has established itself as one of the most important museums in Europe. The Eternal Detour Cycle exhibition brings together over eight artists and runs until mid September. Nearby is the Centre d'Art Contemporain where you'll find all aspects of modern art represented including architecture, dance, design, new media, installation, music and performance. Do check their website for performance and exhibition times (centre.ch). Opening in September is an exhibition by British based artist, Pablo Bronstein, which combines drawing, performance and film.

Lunch break
Stop for lunch at L'Adresse on rue du 31 décembre - a unique combination of fashion and food that is sure to please trendconscious travellers. Browse labels such as Isabel Marant, APC, Acne and Diane von Furstenberg before slipping into your seat and trying something from their eclectic menu. If the weather's nice, try to grab a table on the terrace. For authentic Swiss raclette or fondue head over Les Armures in the old town. Airdried meats, traditional sausage and rosti are all on the menu.

Window-shopping
Work off lunch with a stroll around Geneva's shops. For vintage clothing boutiques head to Rue des Paquis, but if designer labels are your weakness start your search on Rue de la Confederation. Wander through the nearby streets and do take in Rue du Mont Blanc for shops selling traditional Swiss goods and delicious chocolates. Geneva's largest department store - Manor - is on Rue Cornavin with everything you'd expect under one roof.

Pamper
Make time for a little relaxation. The spa at La Réserve has just won a prestigious Condé Nast Traveller World's Best Spa award. After a 50-minute De-Stressing Massage you'll float back to your hotel in time to change for drinks and dinner

Sip an aperitif
For pre-dinner drinks, head to the banks of the Rhône. The bar at Arthur's is a Geneva institution not to be missed. Sip a Bellini and watch tous-Genève wander by. Or for incredible views of the city, head to FloorTwo at the Grand Hotel Kempinski. Watching the Jet D'Eau is as mesmerising as their cocktail menu.

Wine and dine
There is so much gastronomic variety in Geneva it's hard to choose what to eat. Lovers of modern Italian will enjoy Senso on Rue du Rhône; the chic interior reflects the contemporary menu. For nose-to-tail eating, book a table at Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge where the boudin noir, rillettes, foie gras, andouillettes and pistachio-filled sausage are restaurant made.

Late night vibe
If you are into jazz, then delay bedtime for a few more hours to visit Doctor Gabs - considered to be one of Europe's finest jazz musicians. Gabs Music Lounge is open until 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Check out who's performing and you could be lucky enough to listen to Doctor Gabs himself.