Live Better with Bonviva Discover Geneva with Bonviva
As home to the European headquarters of the United Nations and 20 other global organizations, Geneva exudes international flair – but even on its own, it has plenty to offer: impressive sights, beautiful old-town alleys, peaceful parks, and a wide variety of restaurants. Bonviva will take you on a tour through Geneva and show you the most attractive and fascinating locations.
Jet d’Eau – the Symbol of Geneva
Our tour begins with the most famous landmark in Geneva: the Jet d’Eau. This fountain of water, 140 meters high, is impressive even from a distance. Yet, when you are standing right in front of it, it becomes overwhelming. A narrow jetty leads from the shore to the fountain, where you can walk directly through the spray. But watch out: You are going to get wet! On especially hot days, it provides welcome relief. Just remember to wear sturdy shoes. The jetty is uneven and slippery in some places.
Geneva's Charming Old Town
After seeing the Jet d’Eau, it's time for a short detour through the Jardin Anglais (English Garden). There, you can rest awhile on one of the many park benches, or take a ride the Ferris wheel. Those who get hungry will find some tasty delicacies at the Restaurant La Potinière. Directly behind it is another one of Geneva's attractions: L’Horloge Fleurie, the Flower Clock. From there, our tour takes us further into the Old Town of Geneva. The narrow streets have their very own special charm. You will find something new around every corner: store signs from a by-gone age, tiny cafés, and a wondrous diversity of restaurants. So, if you get hungry, you are sure to find a bite to suit your taste.
Bonviva Tip: Baroush offers a Middle Eastern experience every evening. Besides delicious food, you can also smoke shisha – prepared by a genuine shisha master. Belly dancers and the sounds of a traditional orchestra complement the special ambiance.
Enjoy the View of Geneva from the Cathedral of St. Pierre
Passing through Old Town, we come to the Cathedral of St. Pierre. Geneva's main church, now part of the Reformed Protestant Church, is an impressive building situated at the top of the hill on which the Old Town is located. Construction of the church in Romanesque style began as early as 1160. A hundred years later, it was completed in Gothic style. You should not miss out on the chance to climb the church tower. After 157 steps through the vaulted attic, you reach the viewing platform. All that effort is rewarded with a fantastic view of the city of Geneva.
Hustle and Bustle on the Plaine de Plainpalais
After going up and down all those stairs, it's time to catch our breath. Just a few blocks from the cathedral, we find what is probably the longest wooden bench in the world: La Treille. The 120-meter-long bench provides room to have a seat beneath the chestnut trees and take in the scenery of the French Alps. Following that brief rest, we leave the Old Town behind and continue to the Plaine de Plainpalais. There is almost always something happening in this huge, red open space: markets, festivals, public screenings. Even the Circus Knie regularly pitches its tents here.
Shopping along the Rue du Marché
Our journey continues down the hill. After all the sightseeing and activity on the Plaine, it's time to do a little shopping. The Rue du Marché is the ideal place for that. There you will find almost anything your heart desires: clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses, and much more. Anyone who missed the market at the Plaine de Plainpalais will enjoy themselves here. At the end of the street, on the Place de la Fusterie, there are market stands with unusual items.
Bonviva Tip: All the way at the end of the Rue du Marché, after the Confédération Centre, chocolate lovers will come to the shop of Du Rhône Chocolatier – a true master of this art. There, you will find chocolates of every variety. American Express cardholders can take advantage of special offers from time to time – watch out for them.
Geneva is home to over 20 global organizations, making it the most international city in Switzerland. Our last two stops are situated in the "international" quarter and are true highlights: the European headquarters of the United Nations and the headquarters of the Red Cross. After we cross the Rue du Marché, we return to the train station. From there, we can walk half an hour or ride bus number 5 or 8 to the "National" station. Once we arrive, the many flags in front of the Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations) will point the way. Those who are interested are advised to book a tour of the building. There is a wide variety of options available in over 15 different languages.
Only a few meters away from the offices of the United Nations, we come to the headquarters of another important international organization: the International Committee of the Red Cross. Those who are interested will find a visit to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum worthwhile.
At Le Grill restaurant, you can finish the day with some delectable meat and fish specialties. From this beautiful locale, you can eat while enjoying a view of Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau, which is lit up in color at night.