Attractions in Geneva
Geneva is the city of parks, so if you like grass and green parks then Geneva is the city for you. And we add that the promenade along the big lake offers more than parks, here are also nice cafes and markets. The most important park is probably the English garden on the east side of the lake, especially known for its large flower bell (see image above). Considering that we are in Switzerland (the home country of the bells), it all seems pretty logical, right?
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Geneva, Switzerland. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
Jet the Eau Fountain
What is the biggest icon for Geneva? Well, it is the Jet d’Eau fountain that sprays the water highest into the air of all the fountains in the world. We talk 140 meters in the weather measured from Lake Geneva.
Saint Peter’s Cathedral
A simple reference point for navigation in Geneva in general, and the Old Town in particular, is the large cathedral of Cour Saint-Pierre (Saint Peter). Saint Peter’s Cathedral is the most important architectural building in Geneva. And probably the oldest. The cathedral was begun as early as 1160 and with subsequent work for approx. 400 years ago, it was fully completed in the mid-1500s.
Visit the Northern Tower of the Cathedral for magnificent views of Geneva.
A monument that will surely remind you is the Reformation Wall in Parc de Bastions. The wall is a kind of 100-meter look back at the Reformation that took place in the Protestant church, and with it an important cultural insight for us in the West. Huge statues of everything from Jean Calvi to John Knox.
A fun landmark is the Schtrumpfs (Smurfs) built in Rue Louis-Favre 23-29. The goal of the three architects behind the building was to create the most unconventional building that exists. The result has been something that can be described as a meeting between Gaudi and comics from Belgium.
International Red Cross Museum
Geneva is the main seat of the Red Cross and that is where the Red Cross was founded. And what is more natural than Geneva having a museum on the Red Cross?
The Red Cross Museum comes to a deep dive into humanistic action, and the museum offers thought and reflection. The address is Avenue de la Paix 17. Closed Mondays.
Natural History Museum
Whether you are with children on holiday or traveling alone, the Natural History Museum is often what you remember best from the trip. Geneva has a great historical museum where you can meet virtually all animals from all over the globe “corners”. Stuffed varieties naturally enough.
The address of the Natural History Museum in Geneva is the Route de Malagnou. Closed Mondays.
Tourist in Geneva
Geneva is an ancient city that traces its history back to Roman times. Geneva was an independent republic through the Middle Ages, and was incorporated as a Swiss canton in 1815.
Today, Geneva is the second largest (most populous) city in Switzerland with around 190000 inhabitants. In countless studies, Geneva has been named one of the cities in the world with the highest quality of life for its inhabitants, often in strong competition with Swiss big brother Zurich.
Geneva is in many ways the seat of diplomacy. Everyone has heard of the Geneva Convention, an international agreement of 1863 that safeguards the rights of civilians, prisoners and wounded in war situations, adopted by 194 nations. In Geneva you will also find the headquarters of the International Red Cross, and here are the UN’s European Headquarters, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Air Transport Association IATA and the European Atomic Research Organization. And many more.
The city’s foremost landmark is the fountain that springs 150 meters up Lake Geneva. You can walk quite close to the jetties. You will probably get soaked, as there is constantly seven tons of water in the air. Geneva’s most visited building is also the oldest, namely St. Peter’s Cathedral, completed in 1232, and is a mix of several architectural styles. You can also get an hour long guided tour of the UN building, but remember that you must bring your passport. Also bring with you the Red Cross Museum, and Geneva’s impressive Old Town Hall.
Geneva is basically French-speaking, but thanks to all the international organizations headquartered here, most of them speak or understand English as well.
Geneva’s hotel deals are mainly tailored to business travelers, trade shows and conferences, and for your part that means high standards with correspondingly high prices. Many hotels, on the other hand, have lower weekend rates. If you want a bit more holiday atmosphere where you live, try the hotels around the train station. It is recommended to book hotel rooms in advance, because if you arrive at one of Geneva’s frequent trade shows or conferences, it is very difficult to find a vacant room at a decent price.
There are an extraordinary number of restaurants in Geneva in terms of size, and you will find representatives of most countries’ cuisine here. But again, you’ll notice that Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in one of Europe’s most expensive countries. The liveliest nightlife area is naturally located just off the city university, around the Plaine de Plainpalais.