Activities in this city full of culture!

Leah Bronstein


1. Jet d’Eau: One of Geneva’s most famous landmarks, this fountain is one of the tallest in the world and sits on the shore of Lake Geneva. Originally built in 1886 it was built to release excess hydraulic pressure of a nearby plant. While originally located on the plant, it became so popular it was moved to the center of the lake. Today, it pumps around 500 liters of water per second and reaches the height of 140 meters.

2. Mont Salève: At the top of Mont Salève is one of the best panoramic views of Geneva. To get there you can either hike or use the cable car located at the base of the mountain. Once at the top, there are many trails for hiking or biking and for the more adventurous Salève is a hotspot for paragliding. And if you are hungry there is a café at the top or you can bring a picnic to take in the view.

3. The Palais des Nations: The Palais acts as the UN headquarters in Europe and allows visitors to tour the building and the surrounding park, where you might spot a peacock roaming around. Originally the League of Nations, the Palais became the home of the UN in 1966. Sitting on the Lake Geneva Shore, one can contemplate global governance while taking in the view of Geneva.

4. Bains des Pâquis: An artificial peninsula, Bains des Pâquis sits on the Lake and has many activities to participate in. In the summer you can lie down and sunbathe, swim, and take in morning concerts all with a beautiful view of the Jet d’Eau. When it gets a little colder, Bains des Pâquis is home to a bath house full with hammam, Turkish baths, and a sauna. There is also a café serving delicious fondue in the winter and fresh food through all the seasons.

5. Vieille Ville: This is Geneva’s old town, which is filled with small cafes, museums, historical buildings, and cobblestone streets. You can see St. Peter’s Cathedral, which was erected in the 12th century and the location where John Calvin preached in the 16th century. You can also find the museum of history of Geneva, Maison Tavel, and a series of canons, old arsenal. Vieille Ville will take you back through the history of Geneva.

6. Cern: Cern is the European Organization for Nuclear Research and one of the largest research institutions in the world. Sitting just outside the city, visitors can take day trips to tour the Globe of Science and Innovation, the cathedral shaped dome said to symbolize our planet. This dome is home to the permanent exhibition and has come to represent the cutting edge research occurring in Europe.

7. Parc des Bastions: A beautiful park in the heart of Geneva, it sits between Vieille Ville and one of the main buildings of the University of Geneva. On one side of the park is the Reformation Wall, with giant statues of major figures in the Protestant Reform. In the park there is a restaurant, a play ground, and other activities such as big chess boards.

8. International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum: This museum at the ICRC headquarters gives an interactive overview of humanitarian action. With a curated tour, visitors can interact with the three different sections of the museum: defending human dignity, restoring family links, and reducing natural risks. This museum will give you an insight into both the ICRC’s history as well as the history of humanitarian aid.

9. Plainpalais Market: Each Wednesday and Saturday, the large square in the heart of Geneva is filled with stalls. One of Switzerland’s largest flea markets you can find clothes, jewelry, and antiques. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, the square becomes a farmers’ market with fresh produce and food stalls bringing cuisine from all over the world such as falafel, chicken, and cakes.

10. Fondue: A traditional Swiss dish, Geneva is home to some of the best fondue in the world. Just a short drive away from Gruyere, Geneva has access to fresh Gruyere cheese to make delicious and extremely filling fondue. With so many restaurants serving it around the city you will be able to get your cheese fix.