In my last article on how to enjoy Geneva without kids and (almost) for free, I promised to take you to Nyon, where my friend and I stopped on the way home. This city of 19,000 on the shores of Lake Geneva is only a 15-minute train ride from Geneva. Since our idea to go to Nyon was purely spontaneous, I did not study in advance what it is worth to see here. Moreover, we only knew Nyon as a place where we sailed a year ago across Lake Geneva to Yvoire, which boasts the title of “France’s most beautiful village”.
So at home I found out in retrospect what makes Nyon interesting and I wrote down 5 reasons why I have to visit Nyon and its surroundings again. What are they like?
1. Nyon Castle
If you approach Nyon by boat on Lake Geneva, you will definitely not miss the bright white towers of the local castle, which rise from the center of the town on top of the hill. The castle was built in the 12th century and now houses the Musée Historique et des Porcelaines (Museum of History and Porcelain). The porcelain workshop was opened in Nyon in 1781 by a French businessman. As local artisans produced exceptional quality goods here, Nyon soon became a renowned porcelain center. Search for the term “porcelain de Nyon” on the Internet.
In front of the castle you will find the Place du Château – a square occupied by the gardens of the cafés. And from the castle terrace (accessible free of charge) you have a beautiful view of the lake.
2. Roman monuments
Before we moved to Switzerland, I had no idea how many Roman monuments there were in this country. In Nyon is the Musée Romain – Roman Museum, which recalls the Roman roots of Nyon, when it was called Colonia Iulia Equestris. After Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in 52 BC, the veterans placed their rides in a settlement built on the site of the old Helvetic village of Noviodunum. The museum is housed in a Roman basilica that used to be part of the Nyon Forum.
Roman columns can be found on the Esplanade des Marroniers and on the Rue de la Porcelain you will find a Roman amphitheater that is currently being renovated. Its size is practically equal to its counterpart in Avenches, but its condition is significantly worse.
3. Château de Prangins
About 2 kilometers north of Nyon is the Château de Prangins, home to the Musée National Suisse, covering the history of Switzerland from 1730 to 1920.
In the week at the end of July, the Paléo takes place in Nyon – one of the most important open-air summer festivals in Europe, which lasts 6 days and fans of rock, pop, folk and jazz will enjoy themselves here.
5. Gelateria Venezia a La Yogourterie
I read about Nyon’s legendary ice cream and frozen yogurt shops in the guidebook. Frozen yogurt is transported to La Yogourterie from the Moléson cheese factory near Gruyères and then flavored in Nyon. For those who have kids who require ice cream on every trip are these shops an absolute must-visit 😉
I will be happy if you write me more tips on what interesting things you can see and experience in Nyon!