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Situated at the western tip of Lake Geneva and very near the French border lies the unique city of Geneva. Considered by some to be the land of precision watches, and by others as a leading centre of diplomacy – the seat of the UNO is located here – Geneva has a number of surprises in store which make an escape there worthwhile. Here, then, is a selection of not-to-be-missed venues on your visit to the “capital of peace”.

1. An Enormous Water Jet As a Symbol
The “Jet d’eau” (Jet of Water) is the symbol of Geneva par excellence. It spurts 140 metres into the air and is located at the point where Lake Geneva empties into the river Rhone. You cannot possibly leave the city without having at least caught a glimpse of what is one of the largest fountains in the world.

2.City of Peace
Geneva is known as the “city of peace” as it was there that the League of Nations was founded in 1920. Be sure to go inside the premises of what is the second most important headquarters of the UNO (the main one is in New York), as you will be amazed by the artworks and the history contained within its walls. Just opposite stands a building which houses another important institution also founded here – the Red Cross. Inside you will live out a unique experience as far as humanitarian activity is concerned.

3. Land of Master Watchmakers
Any clock buff knows that Geneva is a major centre of luxury watch production and it is extremely easy to find places associated with watchmaking in the city. First, there are all the shops selling the big brands. Then, there are the clocks in the guise of landmarks around town, notably the “Horloge Fleurie” (Flower Clock), sited in the Englischer Garten (English Garden), which reveals the passage of time through its floral adornment. Also worth seeing is the Passage Malbuisson Clock where figures come out and parade to the sound of music when the clock strikes the hour. Lastly, you can visit the Patek Philippe Museum which showcases the brand’s finest creations.

One option that features most of these elements is the Geneva Watch Tour, a different way of sightseeing the city. The tour highlights the link between watchmaking and the history of Geneva.

4. Calvin’s City
An alternative way of exploring Geneva’s huge historic city is by tracing the footsteps of one of the most illustrious figures of Protestantism, Calvin, who managed to transform the city into a “Protestant Rome” in his time. This exciting journey through history includes a visit to the Calvin Auditorium, St Pierre Cathedral and the Reformation Wall.

5. Lake Geneva – the Paramount Leisure Area
Like any lakeside city, this is one of Geneva’s main leisure precincts, particularly with the arrival of the good weather. You can have a pleasant e-bike ride along the lake shores or take a fun pedalo ride with family or friends on the lake itself. Other options on the lake waters include windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding or hanging out at les Bains des Pâquis, Geneva’s “city beach”, a meeting point in both summer and winter. Whatever you decide on, you’re sure to have fun!

6. A Stiff Shot of Culture
The Quartier des Bains, site of MAMCO (Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain), the Centre d’Art Contemporain and numerous art galleries is a must-visit spot for art lovers. The area also boasts a lively night-life for those seeking to round off their great day of sightseeing in the city.

7. Carouge – Bohemian Geneva
Located just a few kilometres from Geneva and separated from it by the river Arve, Carouge is a small city whose streets are uniquely evocative of the Mediterranean. Its singular appearance was provided by the Dukes of Savoy, who commissioned Italian architects to build the city. In addition to its remarkable architecture, Carouge is renowned for its numerous antique and craft shops and its charming café terraces, and all this just a tram ride from downtown Geneva!

8. Cocktails With a View
A great way to wrap up a long sightseeing day in Geneva is by dropping in on the city’s trendy locales, where the view plays an important role, as do their cocktails and culinary offerings. You could head for the Rooftop 42 terrace, with its highly sophisticated atmosphere, or La Potinière, located in the heart of the English Garden.

Text by Tourism Geneva


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