The international city of Geneva in Switzerland holds a prominent place on the world map for the presence of headquarters of several international organizations. When scouring for best places to visit in Switzerland Geneva does not usually makes to the top. Though United Nations easily falls on the radar of must see places of every tourist visiting Switzerland, the city of Geneva also has some of the remarkable landmarks and sights which should definitely make to everyone’s must-see list.
What to See in Geneva?
Here you go:
1. Place des Nations (Tram/Bus 15, 22, 11, Z, F, 5, 8)
The Place des Nations in Geneva is a popular square home to United Nations headquarters, the famous Broken Chair, and numerous other international organizations. The entrance to the UN office looks imposing lined with flags of its 192 member nations. Standing across the street of UN entrance in the public square is a wooden chair with a broken leg which was built to commemorate the victims of mine disasters. The UN also hosts several guided tours for its visitors on missions, activities, and history of UN in Geneva.
2. Basilica Notre-Dame of Geneva (All Tram/Bus to Gare)
The Basilica Notre-Dame of Geneva located in the heart of Geneva close to Gare Cornavin (main train station of Geneva) is a Roman Catholic church built between 1852 and 1857. The church built in sandstone is designed in neo-Gothic style and houses several interesting paintings, sculptures, and remarkable stained-glass windows.
3. Mont Blanc Bridge and the Brunswick Monument (Tram/Bus 25, 8, 6, 9)
The Mont Blanc Bridge or Pont du Mont Blanc is built over the River Rhone and is named after the famed Mont-Blanc located in France which can be sighted from the bridge. The bridge connecting the north and south part of Geneva is busiest and is surrounded by prominent hotels, cafes, and shops. Mont Blanc Bridge is the venue for the annual Geneva fireworks and also the passage for the famous Lake Parade. Close to the Mont Blanc Bridge is the outstanding Brunswick Monument, a mausoleum built to commemorate the contribution of Charles II, Duke of Brunswick. The monument is a replica of the Scaliger Tombs in Verona, Italy.
4. Jet d’Eau (Tram/Bus 25, 8, 6, 9)
The Jet d’Eau is an iconic landmark of the city of Geneva and the largest fountain in Switzerland. The fountain jetting water to an altitude of 140 m in air dominates the Geneva city skyline. Visitors can walk close to the fountain from a causeway connecting to the lake shore only to be drenched in the unexpected showers owing to change in wind direction. During the summer and spring, the fountain is illuminated by colorful lights.
5. Flower Clock and the National Monument (Tram/Bus 25, 8, 6, 9, 10)
Geneva Flower Clock or L’horloge Fleurie in French was created in 1955 is one of the popular attractions in the city. The flower clock is located in Jardin Anglais on the banks of the Lake Geneva. The colors and patterns of the floral arrangements change as per the season owing to the different flowers planted. Beyond the flower clock in the park is the national monument commemorating Geneva’s integration with Switzerland. The Jardin Anglais is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland.
6. Rue du Rhone and the Molard Tower (Tram/Bus 9, 6, 10,25, 2, 8)
Rue du Rhone in Geneva close to the Jardin Anglais is the most popular and expensive shopping street in Geneva. The street is home to some the high-end brand shops from Patek Philippe, Gucci Cartier, Hermes, and Dior. The Molard square on the same street was an important port until the beginning of the 19th century. On the same square stands the historical the 14th-century military tower built as a watchtower to guard the Geneva harbor.
7. Old Arsenal (Tram/Bus 7, 8, 3, 10, 25, 12, 6, 2)
The small open air building in the center of old town Geneva houses 17th-century cannons. On the walls of the building are three interesting mosaic work said to be created by Alexandre Cingria and illustrates the important scenes from the history of the city of Geneva. The Old Arsenal used as a military storehouse today houses the Geneva State Archives on the upper floors of the building.
8. Geneva Cathedral or the St. Pierre Cathedral (Tram/Bus 7, 8, 3, 10, 25, 12, 6, 2)
Few steps ahead of the Old Arsenal is the Geneva Cathedral or the St. Pierre Cathedral. The cathedral has a neoclassical facade and a simple interior is a prime landmark in the old town Geneva. The most impressive part of the cathedral is the Maccabee chapel with ornate embellishments. The cathedral holds an important archeological site underground open to the public and a climb up the tower offers remarkable vistas of the city.
Close to the cathedral is the ‘Place Bourg du Four’ one of the popular landmarks in the old town of Geneva. The square is surrounded by several fountains, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
9. Reformation Wall (Tram/Bus 3, 5, 12, 14, 18)
Reformation Wall is an important monument with statues of William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox built into the old city walls of Geneva. The wall located in the grounds of the University of Geneva and the large park of Parc des Bastions was built to honor the individuals and the events of the Protestant Reformation. Parc des Bastions is a large green park lined with trees popular for the giant chess boards.
10. Russian Church (Tram/Bus 1, 8)
The Russian Church is a historic Russian Orthodox church located in the beautiful Tranchees neighborhood of Geneva. The church was completed in 1866. The imposing church entrance has Byzantine striped arches and striking onion domes painted in golden colors. Several remarkable Icons from the 16th to the 20th century adorn the interior walls.
11. Mount Saleve (Bus 8)
Mont Saleve is called the “Balcony of Geneva” and offers stunning panoramic vistas over the city of Geneva and on a clear day of the Jura mountains and the Mont Blanc. The base of cable car can be reached by car or by Bus 8 to Veyrier-Douane or Veyrier-Tournettes. The cable car transports the visitors to an altitude of 1,100 m and is a great spot for numerous recreational activities like paragliding mountain biking and winter skiing. There are several trekking trails to the summit with well-marked paved paths.
Geneva generally does not easily fall on the list of places to visit in Switzerland but these landmarks and sights are definitely not to be missed. Have you added Geneva to your must-visit list yet? What is your favorite landmark?
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