Geneva is one of the finest cities in the world, so if you’re thinking about holidaying there this year, let’s take a look at some of the attractions you simply can’t miss.
Place de Neuve
The Place de Neuve is home to the famous Rath Museum and Grand theatre, and is the best place to begin your cultural walking tour. The Grand Theatre is the city’s Opera House, a majestic building dating back to 1876, destroyed by a fire in 1951, and reopened after extensive refurbishment in 1962.
The Rath Museum was the first solely dedicated to Fine Arts in the whole of Switzerland and displays large temporary exhibitions, in conjunction with Geneva’s Art and History Museum. The square is dominated by the central statue honouring General Henri Dufour, Switzerland’s national hero, and is overlooked by picturesque aristocratic houses and the imposing high walls and buildings of the old town.
Whilst strolling along Geneva’s lakeside, you would have to try hard to miss the elegant and powerful 140-metre column of lake water named Jet D’Eau. Its unforeseen creation dates back to the late 19th Century, humbly originating from a pressure relief valve for the city’s hydraulic power station.
Prepare to get soaked whilst admiring this monument if the winds are blowing or you plan to walk along the Jet L’Eau Pier. A dry alternative would be the Lake Geneva water taxis, which provide the best close–up views to really appreciate its astonishing scale. Admiring the jet can also be made a more relaxing experience at the city centre’s beach, ‘Bain de Paquis’, frequented by a cross-section of locals providing a good atmosphere and cheap, delicious food!
Whilst some see it as just spraying water, the grand presence of the Jet D’Eau never allows you to get lost, performing as a spectacular backdrop to the city. It has truly earned its status as the most characteristic symbol of Geneva, so head to www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/Geneva/ and book your trip if you want to see it.
Ile Rousseau Island
Where the River Rhone meets Lake Geneva is the uniquely shaped arrowhead island “Ile Rousseau”, connected by bridge from the Pont des Bergues. Named after Jean Jacques Rousseau, the local boy and liberal philosopher is immortalised by a statue overlooking the green park, populated by weeping willows and Italian poplars. This is known as the tranquil heart of Geneva, where you can contemplate the beautiful views offered by the city.
The Flower Clock & The Jardin Anglais
The Flower Clock is a combination of real artistry and eccentricity. Created in 1955, it flamboyantly tells the time with the tradition of famous Swiss precision. The clock face design consists of thousands of perfectly manicured flowers that change to reflect the current season. It holds the claim to fame of having the largest second hand in the world at 2.5m long! It is popular as a photography destination, so try to avoid the many tourist buses and perhaps check it out on your way to the Jardin Anglais.
The Jardin Anglais holds a prime position on Geneva’s Lakeside and is arguably the most popular of the city’s many parks. It brightens the landscape of the wooden harbour, containing all the charms of an English-style park and housing stately fountains and sculptures of the city’s notable artists. Since 1854, the Jardin Anglais has remained a popular meeting point for locals and tourists alike, and in the peak summer season, it hosts concerts in the old style bandstands for a magical evening.