12. Geneva

#12 Geneva



Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva

Geneva is one of the world’s major centers of international diplomacy, having served as the site of the initial headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Although the United Nations is now headquartered in New York, the organization still retains a large presence in Geneva at the Palais des Nations and many of its sister/child organizations, such as the World Health Organization and ILO. Geneva itself has only 188,000 citizens but 780,000 people live in the metropolitan region

Geneva airport is served by almost all European carriers as well as a few daily trans-Atlantic flights.

  • Jet d’Eau, the 10AM-11PM. One of the crowning symbols of Geneva is the monumental Jet d’Eau, a fountain of water pumped 140m into the air. The spectacular plume was once an occasional pressure release for hydro-power generation on the Rhône River, but people liked it so much that in 1891 the city created a permanent pumped fountain. It’s beautifully lit at night.
  • Best viewed from a distance — the surrounding half kilometer is soaked with water. However, the more adventurous might want to try the pathway leading right up to the Jet d’eau — prepare to get enjoyably wet!
  • Cathédrale St-Pierre, Saint Pierre pass includes entrance to all three sites of Cour Saint-Pierre, a noteworthy space of unique spiritual and cultural importance. The Cathedral and its towers, originally Catholic, both embody the high point of the Reformed tradition and explore the origins of Christianity with an extensive archaeological site and they are now complemented by the International Museum of the Reformation on the ground floor of the Maison Mallet.
  • Old Town Aside of the cathedral the Old town in general is worth walking around in for a hour or two. Among the highlights is the city hall with the cannons in the little square opposite to it, Rousseau’s birth house and various antique shops with all sorts of interesting stuff in the windows. A word of warning to people with physical disabilities: the Old town, is situated on a hill with quite steep streets leading up to it.
  • Palais des Nations, 14, Avenue de la Paix (10AM-noon and 2PM-4PM (except over the Christmas period). Originally built to house the League of Nations, the Palais is worth visiting just to take in the magnificent Assembly Hall, in addition to the large collection of public art, the library, and the landscaped grounds. under six years old). A Passport, National ID or Driver’s License is required for entry.
  • Quartier des Grottes, Place des Grottes, An area with interesting shops and most importantly, a series of residential buildings called “les Schtroumpfs” where the architects tried to avoid all straight lines, leading to an unconventional Gaudi-like appearance.
  • Monument Brunswick, Quai du Mont-Blanc. An impressive monument, constructed in 1873 as a Mausoleum for the Duke of Brunswick, as a replica of the tomb of the Scaligeri family in Verona (14th century).
  • Ile Rousseau, Pont des Bergues. Small island named after the famous philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
  • Jardin anglais. Small garden at the lake where people like to spend their lunch break. See the famous Flower Clock.
  • Place Neuve. See the impressive Grand Theatre (1879, renovated after a fire in 1951), the Conservatoire de musique, and the Musée Rath.
  • Eaux-Vives. While many of Geneva’s buildings are similar in style to what you would find in French cities, the Mairie of Eaux-Vives is a great example of the typical Swiss architecture you would find in cities like Zürich.
  • Carouge. A suburb of Geneva that once belonged to the Kingdom of Sardinia and hence retains a distinct Italian flavour.


Click here for a Ville de Geneva, the official local site for Geneva

And Click here for the Geneva tourist website.