Located on the far end of the Lake Geneva and almost at the French Border, Geneva is a beautiful city you must visit. It has a perfect cosmopolitan atmosphere and international flavour as it is home to some of the big multinational corporations and associations. Geneva is almost surrounded by France from all the sides and connected to Switzerland only by a gorgeous lake and a narrow stripe. The old town of Geneva lies on a hillside above the Rhone River which is full of old streets, beautiful houses and cathedrals.
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While Geneva has more to offer if you explore on your own, Geneva Tourist Attractions are quite interesting to visit at least once. The business centers lies exactly below the old town to the north and also in the Saint- Gervais quarter. The lakefront lies among the many other Geneva’s tourist attractions. Taking a stroll through the lakefront which is full of elegant promenades, parks and gardens is something you must do. Let us now take a look at the best time to visit Geneva.
Best time to visit Geneva
Although Geneva is a year around destination to visit, summer is the best time to visit. It is during this time the weather is mild and breezy making it easy for you to explore Geneva tourist attractions. Also, do not forget that this will be the time when the crowds are in large numbers. But you will enjoy having a cruise along the Lake Geneva in Summers.
If you are someone who enjoys cold weather and love to spend time away from the crowds, then the winter is a perfect season to visit Geneva. Thus, depending on the time and your interest, summer is probably the best season to visit Geneva and explore its tourist attractions. Let us now take a look at the top Geneva tourist attractions that you must visit.
Top Geneva Tourist Attractions you must visit
1. Lake Geneva
This lake in Geneva is the undoubtedly among the best places to visit in Geneva. With the unmatching views of snow-covered Alps, Lake Geneva is a perfect backdrop to the beautiful city of Geneva. You can easily visit the one part of the city from another through the lake with the Mouettes Genevoises motorboats. The views are pretty splendid with the blue waters and the snow-clad peaks. You can spend an evening while boating in the lake or take a stroll around the lake while admiring the beauty of it. Also, Lake Geneva is included in most of the Geneva city tours.
While you can go for a normal boat ride in Lake, there is also an option for the cruise down the lake. You can book a cruise and sail down the beautiful lake slowly while taking it all in. Thus, Lake Geneva is easily among the best of Geneva’s tourist attractions.
2. Jet d’Eau (Water Jet)
Located besides the Jetee des Eaux-Vives, is a mighty jet of water that soars high up to 145-meter plume. It has literally become the symbol of Geneva. ALso, it is among the most popular landmarks here owing to its location. A powerful pump is located in the lake which propels the water at about 500 litres a second making it go really higher.
A good viewpoint to see this water jet is the Bains de Paquis which is quite a popular spot for locals to enjoy a swim, to enjoy a sauna bath or have a drink and bite in a cafe. Thus, Jet d’Eau is one of the Geneva’s best tourist attractions.
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3. Jardin Botanique ( Botanical Gardens)
Geneva’s botanical gardens are among the best tourist attractions of the city. Located to the southeast of Ariana, between the famous Avenue de la Paix and the Chemin de L’Imperatrice, the botanical gardens are home to some of the rare species of plants. The Garden has a number of greenhouses, gardens and conservatory which is about 28 hectares and features more than 12,000 species of plants and trees.
You can explore the different parts of the Botanical Gardens to know about different species of plants here. An Alpine Garden section shows the plants from Switzerland’s high elevation while the herbarium is the world’s largest collection of herbs with six million examples. The Gardens also have a small area that includes fallow deer and other wildlife to see. Botanical Gardens are mostly a part of Geneva city tour and among the best of Geneva’s tourist attractions.
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4. Temple de Saint-Pierre
Switzerland has a rich history and culture with the numerous temples and cathedrals. Located in the beautiful old town of geneva, is the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre. The Cathedral dates back to 1550 and has some of the most beautiful architecture and gothic elements to it. There are 2 towers in the cathedrals which remained incomplete during the construction. Today, you can climb up the tower and view the beautiful landscape of lake and the city.
And while you are here, be sure to notice the late Romanesque and early gothic capitals in the nave, aisles, choir and transepts for their different themes and workmanships. You can spend a good amount of time while exploring the cathedral of saint-pierre. Another must see thing here is the stained glass window which is a marvel of architecture. Thus, Temple de Saint-Pierre is among the Geneva’s point of interest.
5. Place du Bourg-de-Four
Located in the heart of the old town of Geneva, is the oldest square in the city. Place du Bourg-de-Four is right next to the Temple de Saint-Pierre in the old town full of charming atmosphere. The place is on the site of the Roman forum and and held as an important market from the ninth century till now.
Today, you can explore the place while strolling through the beautiful small streets full of shops and cafes. Along with the cafes and shop lies a 18th century fountain , a statue- Clementine by Heinz Schwarz right in the center. You must take a stroll down the place while witnessing the ol age architecture and history and also enjoy a good cup of coffee in one of the cafes here.
Thus, Place du Bourg-de-Four is easily one of the best Geneva’s tourist attractions.
6. Quai du Mont-Blanc
Quai du Mont-Blanc is a street along the north bank of the lake extending from the bridge to the view of the Mont-Blanc mountain chain. If you visit this site in the afternoon, it is the best place to be at. Beyond the Quai du Mont-Blanc is the popular Brunswick Monument.
While you can explore the streets of Quai du Mont-Blanc while admiring the beautiful views of the mountains and the monuments around, you must also visit the cafes here. The cafes here offer delicious food along with the splendid views of the Mont-Blanc mountain ranges making it even more worth. Thus, Quai du Mont-Blanc is certainly among the best Geneva’s point of interest.
7. Palais des Nations
Palais des Nations is certainly among the places you must visit while in Geneva. With the large complex full of marble buildings , it is the European headquarters of the United Nations. If you want to know more about the history of the palace, you can go for the guided tours here. This place is definitely included in the Geneva city tour. On a guided tour, you will learn more about the word carried on in the building along with the artwork and the interiors.
The Palace has the Assembly Hall which has a capacity of 2000 people. This hall is mainly used today for the meetings of United Nations and its associated organizations. Also, from it’s lobby is the view of the majestic Alps. The two heavily gilded bronze doors in the palace were brought from Italy by Napoleon. The wall and ceiling paintings here are also worth seeing while you are here.
If you are someone who loves to read and understand more about the history, then you must visit the library in the palace. The library contains more than a million print items along with the different electronic journals and books. Thus, Palais des Nations is one of the best Geneva’s tourist attractions.
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8. Art and History Museum
Regarded as one of the Switzerland’s three largest museums, Geneva’s Musee d’Art d’Histoire is truly a remarkable one you must visit. The museum is home to several pieces in the fields of applied and fine arts, archaeology, a large collection of weapons , Greek and Roman treasures,middle eastern and middle mediterranean antiques and Egyptian funerary art.Thus, it has a huge collection of different things from around the world for you to see. Also, it is one of the best among the Geneva’s tourist attractions.
The museum also holds archaeological finds and antiques from Paleolithic and stone age. Also, there are various arts from Roman and Gothic renaissance period. The fine art galleries includes Italian, Flemish and Swabian old masters and works by different masters from 16th to 18th century. You can also visit the painting gallery which consists of paintings by several artists from 19th century during Renaissance period. Thus, visiting the Art and History Museum is a must when you are in Geneva.
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Guide (if needed) – 5 CHF
In the end, Geneva has a lot to offer to its visitors. With the age old buildings and streets of old town along with the posh structures of city with museums and art galleries, Geneva is sure to make your trip a memorable one. With the list of above Geneva’s tourist attractions, you can make the most out of your trip to this wonderland.