Geneva: Main Sights
The Peace Capital
People often think that Geneva is just a city of global business and financial trade but the city is also full of history, culture, architecture, arts, and entertainment. The sights to be seen are endless and around every corner, something new is ready to be discovered.
Cathédrale St Pierre
Located in Cour Saint-Pierre, this historic and beautiful building towers over Old Town Geneva. Foundations were laid in 1160 and the building took 400 years to complete. Despite suffering a number of fires over the years, the cathedral has survived and the structure has an array of Gothic, neoclassic, and Romanesque influences. Underground is an archaeological site which is said to have artefacts dating back to 350 AD. If you have no fear for heights, take a trip up to the North Tower where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city, lake, and mountains.
Horloge Fleurie (Floral Clock)
To commemorate Geneva’s impeccable time-keeping and clock making skills, this beautiful floral clock is made up of over 6,500 brightly coloured flowers and plants, and can be found on display in the Jardin Anglais. Seasonal plants and blooms are carefully planted and arranged each spring and autumn around the giant working dial, brightening up the eastern bank.
Jet d’Eau (Water Fountain)
This spectacular fountain is hard to miss as you look out across Lake Geneva. At 140m high it is Europe’s tallest fountain and if you catch it on a sunny day you will see a rainbow effect on the spray. The 500 litres of water shoot up in to the sky at a speed of 200kmph providing an impressive display from across the city and up in the sky.
Mur des Réformateurs (Reformation Wall)
This 100m wall was built in 1909 to honour the 400th anniversary of the birth of Jean Calvin from the 16th century Reformation movement. Situated in the Parc des Bastions, the wall is cited near the monuments of four important statures within the Reformation movement; Jean Calvin, Guillaume Farel, Théodore de Bèze and John Knox.
Jardin Anglais (English Garden)
This elegant English park honours Geneva’s part in the Swiss Confederation in 1814 with the statue of two young women, the Republic of Geneva and Helvetia. The garden dates back to 1854 and is full of winding paths, beautiful fountains, unusual plants and flowers, statues, a bandstand, and the infamous giant L'Horloge Fleurie (flower clock). The park is situated in Quai Général Guisan and is open 24 hours a day, free of charge.
United Nations Building
This historical building is the European Headquarters of the United Nations and a guided tour offers an insight into the happenings of the international affairs of one of the world’s greatest organisations. The tour includes a viewing of the Council Chamber and the 2,000 seat Assembly Hall. A passport is required for entry.
This picturesque island is a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located on the Pont des Bergues, just a short ferry ride away from Geneva city, the island was named after the infamous Genevan philosopher, Jean-Jacques. The peaceful island has a restaurant with stunning city views and a bird sanctuary.
Gèneva-Plage (Geneva Beach)
During the spring and summer months Geneva’s beach is full of tourists, locals and numerous activities for all ages. Situated on the eastern bank of the city’s lake, the area has a full Olympic size swimming pool, a water ski launch, an open lawn area, a wading pool for children, and a volleyball area.
Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens)
Geneva’s Botanical Gardens are situated in the Chemin de l'Impératrice upon 69 acres of land. The park consists of a large pond full of aquatic plants, dazzling plants and flowers from six different continents, a library, a research laboratory, a park for rare animals, and greenhouses full of tropical delights. The park was originally created in 1817 in the Parc des Bastions but was relocated to its existing site in 1901.