Geneva Attractions

Geneva attractions include Jet d’Eau, Palace of Nations, Cathédrale St-Pierre, Salève cable car, and Lake Geneva cruise.

Jet d’Eau fountain is the most famous of all the landmarks in Geneva.

The fountain is located centrally within port of Lake Geneva (Quai du Général-Guisan), where it has been since 1891.

However, the fountain got its current, massive proportions in 1951, when the rebuilt fountain started sprouting water at a rate of…

  • 500 liters (132 US gallons) per second,
  • 140 meters (459 ft) into the air, and
  • at a velocity of 200 km (124 miles) per hour.

A good time to visit the fountain for photographs is at dusk, when the eight 9000-watt projectors illuminate the majestic water column.

Palace of Nations (unog.ch), meanwhile, was originally (in 1938) built as the headquarters for the League of Nations.

Since 1966, however, it has been an UN Office in Europe (the League of Nations was discontinued in 1946).

You can participate in a guided tour to the Palace of Nations.

These tours have become one of the most popular attractions in Geneva, with over 100,000 visitors participating in these tours every year.

The tour, which starts from the “Pregny” entrance, at address 14, avenue de la Paix, takes about an hour, with guidance available in 15 languages.

Highlights during the tour include:

  • UN conference hall, and
  • a film about the aims of and activities at the UN Geneva Office.

Geneva attractions also include Cathédrale St-Pierre (saintpierre-geneve.ch), the most famous of the many churches in Geneva.

The church is famous as the home church of John Calvin, the founder ofCalvinism, a protestant reformation theological system, whose doctrine is largely based on teachings by Martin Luther.

Construction work on the church commenced during the 12th century, with many architecture styles being applied to its structures over the centuries.

Highlights at the church include, in addition to the beautiful architectural details, the historic chair of John Calvin.

Salève cable car (telepheriquedusaleve.com) is located about 5 minutes walk from the border with France (on the French side).

This cable car, open to visitors since 1932, will take you up a mountain, to the height of 1,097 meters (3,599 ft), in 5 minutes.

From the top, you’ll have stunning panoramic views of…

  • Geneva,
  • Mont Blanc mountain, and
  • Lake Geneva.

In addition to the views from the top, you can also hike on the mountain trails, and if you take a bicycle up to the top, you can also bike the way down, using a driveway…

…and for the more adventurous, there is also an opportunity to tandem-paraglide down to the valley with a guide.

Of the Geneva attractions, a cruise on Lake Geneva is a sightseeing cruise on Central Europe’s second largest lake (after Lake Balaton).

This lake cruise allows you to have unique views to the regions natural attractions, as the massive lake is located on a valley surrounded byChablais Alps (from the south) and Bernese Alps (from the west).

From certain places in the lake, you’ll also be able to see the legendaryMont Blanc mountain.

During the summertime, locals and tourists alike like to spend time on the lake:

  • sailing, windsurfing,
  • water-skiing, rowing,
  • scuba diving, and swimming.

The boats making these cruises is operated by a company called “Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman” (www.cgn.ch/eng).

In addition to the short-range cruises, you can also participate in cruises to destinations further away, including lakeside towns such as Lausanne,Montreux, and Evian-les-Bains.