Geneva, the second most populous city in Switzerland, after Zurich, is located south west of Lake Geneva. The city covers each side of the Rhône, surrounded by mountains, which are all located on the French territory. Walking around the lake in summer or skiing in the mountains in winter: this location makes the city particularly attractive. So let’s go for a weekend getaway to Lake Geneva!
Geneva: main touristic sights
The Reformation Wall, or International Monument to the Reformation. This wall of about a hundred meters in length is located in Parc des Bastions or Bastions Park. Made of stone, it is decorated with engravings and bas-reliefs. In the middle of the wall, stand four statues representing the leading figures of the Protestant reform movement.
The Flower Clock. Located in the English Garden, it is an iconic element of the city of Geneva. Created in 1955, the Flower Clock has undergone many changes over time. Composed of 8 concentric circles, it is the largest flower clock in the world. It combines several kind of plants, creating a colourful place; and is considered as a reel representation of both, botanical and watchmaking know-how.
The Brunswick Monument. Classified as a historic monument, this neo gothic mausoleum was built at the request of the Duke of Brunswick. This Duke, after making a fortune in the French capital, moved to Geneva. After his death, in 1873, he left his fortune to the city of Geneva in exchange for an impressive funeral and the construction of a monument to his name.
The Palace of Nations. Built between 1929 and 1936, the Palace of Nations is the European headquarters of the United Nations and it is also the home of the United Nations Office. It houses and shows many works of art and also offers guided tours of the building to those who wish to.
The Jet d’Eau, symbol of the city of Geneva, is one of the largest fountains in the world. You can admire the main touristic attraction of the city, day and night, and from many places: the Bains des Pâquis, the English Garden and the St Pierre Cathedral are all offering an ideal position to appreciate the dimension of the Jet d’Eau.
The St Pierre Cathedral, or St Peter’s Cathedral, is located at the top of the Geneva Old Town. Built for the first time in 1160, it has undergone several period of rebuilding and restoration over time; mixing roman, gothic and neoclassic styles. From the north tower, it offers an impressive view of the city and Lake Geneva. If the weather is nice, the Mont Blanc can be seen as well.
Geneva and cultural development
The Geneva cultural life is quite rich. This can be explained by the important number of museums that are everywhere in the city. Starting with the Art and History Museum, one of the largest museum in the country. Considered as an “institution of reference”, it includes many works of art such as paintings, prints, sculptures and objects of all kinds. There are also the Ethnography Museum of Geneva, the Geneva Natural History Museum and the Ariana Museum about Ceramic and Glass Art.
The city is also well known for the Bibliothèque de Genève, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the Grand Théatre. Moreover, there are many cultural urban centres flourishing in the city such as les Halles de l’île, l’Usine ou Artamis.
What to absolutely do in Geneva:
- To rend a pedal boat and explore Geneva Lake
- To have a bath in the Bains des Pâquis
- To visit the Swatch Exposition of the Patek Philip Museum
- To have a walk in the narrow streets of Geneva Old Town
- To have a drink in the Place du Bourg de Four
- To do some shopping in the Plainpalais Market
- To Visit the United Nations Office