Embedded between nearby Alpine peaks and the hilly terrain of the Jura, the French-speaking city of Geneva lies in the bay where the Rhone leaves Lake Geneva. With its humanitarian tradition and cosmopolitan flair, the European seat of the UNO and headquarters of the Red Cross is known as the «capital of peace».
The symbol of the «world’s smallest metropolis» is the “Jet d’eau” – a fountain with a 140-metre-high water jet at the periphery of Lake Geneva. Most of the large hotels and many restaurants are situated on the right-hand shore of the lake. The old town, the heart of Geneva with the shopping and business quarter, holds sway over the left-hand shore. It is dominated by St. Peter’s Cathedral, however the actual centre of the old town is the Place du Bourg-de-Four, which is the oldest square in the city. Quays, lakeside promenades, countless parks, lively side streets in the old town and elegant shops invite guests to stroll. One of the best-maintained streets is the Grand-Rue, where Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born. The «mouettes», a type of water taxi, enable crossings to be made from one lakeshore to the other, while larger vessels invite visitors to enjoy cruises on Lake Geneva.
Geneva is Switzerland’s most international city, as it is where the European seat of the UNO is based. Even the International Red Cross directs its humanitarian campaigns from here. Besides being a congress city, Geneva is also a centre for culture and history, for trade fairs and exhibitions. The «Horloge Fleuri», the large flower clock in the “Jardin Anglais” (English Garden), is a world-renowned symbol of the Geneva watch industry.
Culturally, this city on the westernmost fringe of Switzerland has much to offer. International artists perform in the Grand Théâtre and Geneva Opera House, and an extremely diverse range of museums such as the “Musée international de l'horlogerie”, a watch museum with a collection of jewellery watches and musical clocks, and the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which provides an insight into the work of these humanitarian organisations, invite city guests to visit them.
A rewarding excursion destination is Mont Salève, which is situated in neighboring France. The cableway lifts visitors to an altitude of 1100 metres in less than five minutes, giving rise to outstanding vistas across the city of Geneva, Lake Geneva, the chain of Alps, the Jura and Montblanc.