Home to the WHO, the Red Cross and a host of other global organisations, Geneva harbours a reputation as the “Capital of Peace”. Its scenic lakeside setting complements this charm with sparkling views found around every corner. Whether you want to get lost in the cobblestone Old Town, stroll along the lakeside promenade or relax in the myriad of leafy parks, Geneva is one of Europe’s most elegant destinations.
Things to do in Geneva
Most travellers drift towards Vieille Ville, Geneva's beautiful Old Town. Grand-Rue serves as the main thoroughfare and is lined with luxury watchmakers, artisan chocolatiers and chic cafes. History buffs can gaze up at the Gothic spires of Cathédrale St-Pierre or descend to the cavernous Site Archéologique, which conceals ancient mosaics and scripture.
Interested in science? Don’t miss the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. Also known as CERN, the particle physics research lab accelerates protons down the 27-kilometre-long Large Hadron Collider. Come and check out the fascinating permanent exhibitions or join one of the two-hour guided tours.
Spouting 140 metres high, it’s impossible to miss the impressive Jet d'Eau. Geneva’s iconic lakeside fountain shoots seven tonnes of water into the air, which cascade down and engulf spectators in a sea of mist.
For a glimpse at Geneva’s flourishing counterculture scene, venture to trendy neighbourhoods like Les Grottes and the Quartier des Pâquis. Both districts hum with personality and serve up a colourful mix of quirky boutiques, late-night bars and live music venues.
Getting around Geneva
Geneva is powered by an efficient network of buses, trolleys and trams. Vieille Ville is compact and walkable, with plenty of narrow laneways and hidden staircases to explore. If you want to cross the lake, you can jump aboard the yellow “Les Mouettes” shuttle boat.