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Geneva City

Geneva, city of peace and luxury watchmaking, is a vibrant place at the crossroads of cultures and nations. Discover the city’s unique heritage, history and modern culture at world-class museums and international institutions. Or visit the pristine parks, go window shopping and take a stroll along the shores of Lake Geneva. Whatever your interests, the cosmopolitan city of Geneva offers unique experiences for every taste.

Old Town

The old town of Geneva is the largest historic centre in Switzerland. Let yourself wander through its cobblestone streets, stop by the charming town hall plaza, and see the house where Rousseau was born. Here you will find several of the top sites in Geneva, including St Peter’s Cathedral and the Museum of Reformation.

Photo credit: © Genève Tourisme

St Peter’s Cathedral

St Peter’s Cathedral is a symbol of the Reformation at the heart of Geneva’s old town. In summer or winter, climb the cathedral tower’s 157 steps for magnificent views of the city and Lake Geneva. An archaeological tour beneath the cathedral gives visitors insights into Geneva’s history dating back to pre-Roman times.

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Museum of Reformation

Next to St Peter’s Cathedral, the Museum of Reformation provides an overview of the spiritual and cultural elements of the Reformation. It houses manuscripts, rare books, paintings and other unique objects illustrating the history between Geneva and the Reformation. Modern exhibitions and interactive technology make the museum a welcoming place for kids and adults.

Reformation Wall

The Reformation Wall stands on the grounds of the University of Geneva (founded by John Calvin), in the Parc des Bastions. Stretching for 100 metres, the wall features 5-metre statues of the four Genevan Reformers alongside smaller statues of major Protestant figures. Inaugurated in 1909, the wall commemorates the 400th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and the 350th anniversary of the university’s founding.

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International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

This unique museum invites visitors young and old to reflect on 150 years of humanitarian action and history. Explore the major challenges of defending human dignity, restoring family links and reducing natural risks, and learn more about the humanitarian operations led by the Red Cross and Red Crescent around the world today.

Palais des Nations

Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, the Palais des Nations is a symbol of world peace and diplomacy. Guided tours are available every weekday throughout the year. In front of the Palais des Nations, the ‘Broken Chair,’ a 12-metre sculpture by Swiss artist Daniel Berset, stands as a memorial to the victims of landmines.

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Globe of Science and Innovation (CERN)

The Globe of Science and Innovation at CERN is a remarkable landmark symbolising sustainable development for all. Reaching 27 metres high and 40 metres across, the globe is comparable in size to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Visitors can explore the ‘Universe of Particles’ exhibition on the ground floor and learn more about the world’s largest particle collider. For information on guided tours at CERN, please visit the Concierge desk.

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Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO)

The largest and youngest contemporary art museum in Switzerland, Geneva’s MAMCO is home to more than 4,000 works of art. Opened in 1994, the museum is located in a former industrial factory in the city centre. MAMCO features diverse exhibitions of Swiss and international art, as well as activities and educational programmes for adults and children.

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Geneva Water Fountain

The graceful Jet d’Eau, or Geneva Water Fountain, is a beloved star attraction of the city. On beautiful Lake Geneva, 500 litres of water per second are pumped to the soaring height of 140 metres. Take a boat cruise to see the Jet d’Eau from another angle, or head to the Bains des Pâquis, where locals swim and have fondue, for a great view.

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Flower Clock

A treasured symbol of Geneva, the Flower Clock is set in the idyllic English Garden on the lakeside promenade. Created in 1955 in homage to the city’s watchmakers and natural surroundings, the Flower Clock features a new design every season. The Flower Clock encompasses 6,500 plants and its 2.5-metre second hand is the longest in the world.

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Rue du Rhône

For fans of shopping, a stop at Geneva’s Rue du Rhône is a must. Just a stone’s throw from the Flower Clock, the Rue du Rhône features some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands. Take a stroll down this unique street for a glimpse of the finest watches, fashion, jewellery and Swiss chocolate boutiques.

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Across the Arve river lies Carouge, the sister town and ‘Greenwich Village’ of Geneva. Carouge owes its Mediterranean ambience to its Sardinian roots: construction of the town began under the king of Sardinia in 1786. Today, Carouge is home to bohemian cafes, lively bars, bookstores and art boutiques — a slice of la dolce vita just a short tram ride away.

Photo credit: © Genève Tourisme