Exploring this cosmopolitan city in the stunning alpine beauty of Switzerland is both exciting and awe-inspiring. It is by far one of the most expensive cities to live in but it is also one of the most beautiful making it worth the high cost of many of its inhabitants. Here you will find some of the biggest international government organizations in the world including the United Nations, World Health Organization, and Red Cross. It is an international melting pot of languages, cultures, and cuisine. Geneva is located on the banks of Switzerland’s largest alpine lake, Lake Geneva. The city is clean, modern, and exudes a confidence that some find intimidating and other’s find fascinating. With a historical old city center and high-end boutiques, clubs, and restaurants. Geneva has much to see, do, and explore. Whether you walk it on foot, hop on a tram or subway, or drive out of the city to the mountainous countryside. You will have no shortage of places to go while in the city of Geneva. Here are some of the best spots to stop at while exploring Geneva.
This fountain is Geneva’s most popular attraction and a proud achievement for the city. Spurting 140 meters in to the air, this lakeside fountain is the largest in the world. It began as a pressure relief for the city’s hydroelectric power but after the people decided they liked it too much, the city decided to make it a permanent water feature. Certain times of year the fountain is tinged with colors marking the commemoration of an event such as breast cancer or AIDS awareness. In the summer it is a good way to cool off as you are sure to get drenched in water if you venture too close.
Much of the old town of Geneva dates back centuries. It is located on steep hillsides making some of the narrow streets slightly difficult to walk but the compact buildings means you won’t be walking far. This historic center of the city is postcard perfect with its cobblestone streets, old buildings and sidewalk cafes and shops.
The large Cathedrale St.-Pierre is located here and dates back to the 12th century. Here is where the city’s famed protestant John Calvin once preached. Climb the towers for stunning views of the roof tops and the Alps Mountains beyond. Don’t miss trekking down the basement where several ancient Roman structures have recently been unearthed, an archeological treasure. It is a unique look at Roman ruins and a glimpse into the long history of the city. You’ll also find the 14th century monument Brunswick or the 13th century fortification called L’lle.
Palais des Nations and Red Cross
Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, this impressive palace is not only grand in its scale but also a popular city attraction. Tours are given twice a day but don’t forget your passport as you will need it in order to enter. You walk among the grand gardens with century old oak trees and meandering peacocks. Head across the street and tour the internationally renowned Red Cross headquarters as well.
Whether or not you are a total science nerd or want to learn to be, no trip to the city of Geneva would be complete without at least taking a quick trip to one of the scientific communities most marvelous achievements. Engineers and physicists are seeking answers to unlock the secrets of the universe through their super high-speed particle colliders and detectors. They are not only grappling with the most fundamental and mind-bending concepts in astronomy and physics but this is also the place where the World Wide Web was invented in 1989. You can book your own passport to the Big Bang while touring the incredibly exciting and no less educational exhibitions on guided tours. You can view the jewel of CERN, the large hadron collider as well as possibly even getting to listen to scientific lectures.
The lake on which Geneva is settled draws tourists and locals alike. Along the lakefront are beautiful promenades to enjoy a sunrise, sunset, or anything in between. On the western shore you’ll enjoy the Bains des Paquis, which draws visitors to its saunas and hot bathing areas, certainly a Swiss luxury. Have a nice afternoon lunch with the local people at the flower filled English garden known appropriately as Jardin anglais with its famous flower shaped clock. As one of the greenest cities in Europe, if this part doesn’t suit your fancy sooner or later you will find that will. On the lake itself you can chances to swim, boat, even water ski. Perhaps jump a boat up the river to Rousseau Island, a romantic island named after the famous philosopher and is now a serene bird sanctuary.
Exploring Geneva now!
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