Geneva is best known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and superb international flavor that lingers here. It’s been an important city for the Red Cross as well as the United Nations; it’s almost completely surrounded by France and only connected to the rest of Switzerland by the lake and a narrow strip of land along the northwest shore. Geneva is undeniably a different world altogether.
Top Attractions in Geneva
Temple de Saint-Pierre
The Gothic church at the highest point of Geneva’s old town is a great historic site. Although the two principal towers that date back to the 13th century were never completed, you can still climb to the one’s top for some breathtaking views over the city. It’s a truly iconic landmark in Geneva and well worth visiting.
If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing a jet of water soaring up into the air, you can feast your eyes on Geneva’s most famous landmark. You’ll find the Water Jet beside the Jetée des Eaux-Vives, the breakwater enclosing Geneva's harbor as it shoots up 145 meters into the air. A seriously powerful pump propels water at the rate of roughly 500 liters per second. For the best views of the man-made marvel, head to Bains des Pâquis.
Place du Bourg-de-Four
Near the Temple de Saint-Pierre in Old Town Geneva lies the Place du Bourg-de-Four. It’s the oldest square in the city and has the most charming atmosphere. Best known for its great cafés and restaurants that usually spill out onto the pavement, weather permitting, and the square also boasts an 18th century fountain and the Clementine statue that stands in the middle of it.
Geneva’s English Garden flanks the Promenade du Lac. It’s a sight best known for its flower clock. The clock is set on a slope and changes with the seasonal blooming plants that form its colorful face. The park is also home to the Monument National, the landscaped Parc de la Grange and the Parc des Eaux-Vives to name but a few.
Musee d'Art et d'Histoire
Switzerland has 3 massive museums, and Geneva’s Musee d'Art et d'Histoire is one of them. It specializes in the fields of applied and fine arts and archeology boasting a collection of weapons, Greek and Roman art treasures, Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean antiquities, Roman and Etruscan pottery and Egyptian funerary art.
Geneva’s Botanical Garden date back to 1902 and can be found southeast of the Ariana, between the Avenue de la Paix and the Chemin de l'Impératrice. Covering 28 hectares of land, the garden boasts greenhouses, gardens and a conservatory that houses more than 12,000 plant species.
Palais de Nations
The complex of marble buildings found at Palais de Nations is the European headquarters of the United Nations, and as such has become a center of world diplomacy. A guided tour will help you understand the UN’s work and you’ll also get to see the artworks and interiors donated by countries from all over the world. Some of the most popular sight includes the Assembly Hall, the Library, the spacious terrace of Cour d'Honneur and the bronze armillary sphere with its gilded signs of the Zodiac.