By Garance Hacker
If you are travelling to Switzerland, whether for business or pleasure, don’t miss the city of Geneva. Situated at the bottom of the Alps and at the south-western end of Lake Geneva, this city can satisfy both mountain lovers and those who prefer aquatic activities. Considered one of the most important cities in the world for finance, other sectors well known, such as watchmaking, pharmaceuticals, etc. In addition, the city is the headquarter for many international organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). But what to visit in Geneva? In this blog we have listed the best places to see to make your visit unforgettable.
Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau
Impossible to miss the 140 meters high water jet! It is currently one of the symbols of the city. It was originally created in 1886 to control the excess pressure of water of a hydraulic factory. By letting the water escape into the air, the pressure was decreased. Since 1951, however, it has only served as a tourist attraction. Depending on the different events or celebrations, the jet can change colour. For example, on 31 October 2021 it was purple for the occasion of the Peace Week.
The Place de Neuve
Famous square where the Grand Théâtre of Genève, the Rath Museum and the Music Conservatory are located. This square can be found near the ramparts of the old town and was originally used as a gate, called the Porte Neuve, to enter the city. In the centre of the square is the statue of General Guillaume-Henri Dufour, a famous Swiss cartographer, military man and engineer, whose offices were located in this square.
To continue our visit of Geneva, we now stop in the Parc des Bastions to admire the International Monument of the Reformation. Inaugurated in 1917, this monument is a tribute to the statesmen, pioneers, and protectors of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. The monument is about 100 metres long and consists of an engraved rampart decorated with bas-reliefs. In the centre are the four founders of the Reformation: Guillaume Farel, John Calvin, Theodore de Bèze and John Knox. The reason this monument is so important for the city of Geneva, is that the city was the European headquarters of Calvinism in the 16th century.
The Museum of Art and History
It is housed in a magnificent neoclassical building designed by the architect Marc Camoletti and inaugurated in 1910. It gathers collections from different fields such as Fine Arts, Archaeology, Applied Arts, Watchmaking, etc.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm with a nighttime opening on Thursdays until 9 pm.
To make your visit more enjoyable, the museum has a restaurant, Le Barocco, which serves local dishes and delicious home-made pastries.
The Flower Clock
We also suggest you visit the English Garden, to admire the flower clock. Created in 1955 by Armand Auberson, a landscape architect, this clock is currently the largest in the world and tells the time thanks to an electronic setting by satellite. The dial is composed of a total of 12,000 plants and flowers which are regularly changed.
The Palace of Nations
Now let’s stop in the Ariana Park, which has a surface of 45 hectares. It gives a view on the Lake of Geneva and the Alps. In this park you can see the Palace of Nations, where the United Nations Office is located.
It is possible to visit this monument, which offers guided tours, but reservations are required.
Prepare your visit to Geneva
Geneva International Airport (GVA) is located four kilometres from the centre of Geneva. It is easily accessible by taxi, in about 15 minutes. It is located between France and Switzerland, making it accessible from both countries.
In order to avoid the crowds, the airport has an FBO which is open every day from 6 am to 10 pm. FBOs are terminals specially dedicated to private jets. They offer a personalized welcome to each customer.
Geneva is a very popular destination and the airport is very busy with commercial airlines, but also with private flights. This is especially true during the winter months, when so many people go there for skiing. To cope with this high demand, the airport has set up a system of slots. These slots represent a specific period of time granted to the operator to land and/or take off. We advise you to book your trip in advance to get the time slot of your choice.
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