Situated on Lake Léman and surrounded by the French Alps, Geneva is a city of breathtaking beauty. It’s also an important international destination with its own world of high-level policymaking institutions, including the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. From high-end shopping on the famous Rue du Rhône and picturesque lake front restaurants to boat tours past the famous Jet d’Eau fountain and quiet promenades in the mountains, Geneva really offers something for everyone.
Although the headquarters of the United Nations are in New York City, Geneva is where you’ll find the Palace of Nations, the second largest U.N. building and institution in the world. As such, the city is hugely international; people that hail from towns and cities all over the world either make Geneva their home or are in the city for numerous conferences throughout the year.
A cosmopolitan and international city in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, close to the French border. Known worldwide for its wealth, it is one of the 5 richest cities in the world. It also has quite much to offer to tourists!
Here everything exudes luxury, quality, elegance and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. The place is buzzing with people from all corners of the world. The city has excellent restaurants, exclusive shops, beautiful parks, a vibrant cultural life and interesting museums.
A practical aspect is that Geneva is geographically quite small. You can wander around the town in an hour, and it is easy to go on quick one-day excursions to the idyllic surroundings.
The best ways to get around Geneva are on foot and by tram – the city is a small 6 square miles and is easily navigated. In addition to covering tram services, the city’s free Geneva Transport Card for tourists can also be used on water taxis, trains and buses, but these services are often slower or less convenient than walking or taking the tram. Taxis can be hailed as well, though you’ll pay a premium to use them. Driving in the city center is not necessary and will generally be more of a nuisance than a convenience due to limited parking and rush hour traffic.
Geneva’s Jet d’Eau fountain (litteraly “water jet”) is the symbol of the city since the creation of its decorative version in 1891. You may not know it, but its first intent wasn’t to be aesthetic. It was in fact a solution to a technical problem! The first version, 30m high, acted as a safety valve for a water facility located in the city. The current version, dating from the 1950s, is 140m high. Every second, more than 500 litres of water are expelled at a speed of 200 km/h.
Located on the Jetée des Eaux Vives (Eaux Vives jetty), the water jet is nowadays a must-see tourist attraction in Geneva.
The late 19th-century pavilion offers some of the best breakfast in the city and is the perfect spot to kick off your short time in Geneva. There is a great indoor seating area or a beautiful outdoor terrace if you’re looking to soak up some sun.
Geneva is one of the world’s great watch-producing centers, and is home to luxury brands like Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Rolex. But the city is almost as famous for its jewelers, with elite boutiques like Bucherer and Chopard offering dazzling gemstones and gorgeous goldwork.
Geneva has one of Europe’s best preserved old city centers, having escaped damage in both World Wars, and the “Vieille Ville” is full of winding cobbled streets, historic landmarks like St. Peter’s Cathedral, or the 12th-century Maison Tavel.
Geneva is a great base for vacations that mix urban attractions with alpine skiing. You can visit galleries like on one day and be in nearby resorts like Les Gets or Chamonix the day after.
They speak a few languages in Geneva, but the main one is French! However, Geneva is a highly international destination, so many people understand and speak English.
Geneva is home to innovative wine-growers and is, in fact, the third-biggest wine-growing area of Switzerland. The best known is Mandement, with vineyards from Satigny to Peissy, presenting the most remarkable views over the lake.
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