Geneva is one of those cities that seldom agree to the norms of metropolises around the world. As they are always bustling with activities and have a chaotic lifestyle, Geneva, in contrast to them, is calm, collected, and professional. In the morning you’d see working men and women hurrying down the streets to get to their offices while in the evening you’d experience an unusual quite that transitions into the night.
This is what I experienced in a day in Geneva. Yes, a day! But the same day taught me that I was slightly wrong about the place. Beneath the skin of all that calmness, there lay a bustling cosmopolitan city with wild music, vintage exhibits, and captivating artisans. I was there during the weekend when they had a music festival! Lucky me!
Following are the places that led me to this discovery.
Probably what gave me an insight into the way Geneva has evolved was the Old Town lying peacefully on the hill near Cathedrale Saint-Pierre. As I treaded around the Place du Bourg de Four, I saw the architectural exuberance of the town with its indigenous boutiques like Septieme Etage, La Muse and Jill Wolf Jewels, its restaurants and cafes that give you a chance to watch people (I did that over my cup of coffee at La Clemence), and the ruins just around the corner of the cathedral.
And if you down further, you’ll find a quiet park where you’ll find the statues of 4 men called “The Reformation Wall.”
It’s kinda unusual to have a fountain as an icon of the city. But Jet d’ Eau isn’t your ordinary fountain where you can frolic around it in summer or throw a coin for your innermost wishes. This fountain jets 500 liters of water in the air daily.
Being the center of Europe and the world politics, Geneva has many international organizations established in its squares. For example, the United Nations. Two of the best reasons to visit UN are the guided tour of the Palais des Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. If you can’t get in because of time constraints, stay at the square in front of the UN Building and admire the Broken Chair sculpture.
This museum is housed by a 20th century watchmaking factory that was formed as a joint venture between seasoned and renowned watchmakers Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe. Besides the myriads of immaculate displays of the watches, automate (musical), and miniature portraits from the early 1400s to 1910s, I got a revered chance of seeing watch-makers in live action on the ground floor.
And oh, don’t leave Geneva (or Switzerland) without having a fondue. I heard about fondue but never tried it. What is it? Well, it’s a melted cheese where you can dip tiny bits of food before savouring them. Then for dinner, I had raclette. And again, it’s made of cheese – lots of it. I had a full and heavy, heavy, heavy stomach after! 😀
Well, these were only 5 of the best spots to see or things to do in Geneva. The city cradles many attractions that can not only give you a glimpse into the way things work here, but also let you delve into a whole new experience.
I stayed at City Hostel Geneva. You have the choice to be in a dormitory-type room or get a small room for yourself but shared bathroom. I chose the later because I was tired after three weeks in Italy. I don’t wanna be disturbed by drunk roommates. ? The hostel is 200 meters to restaurants, cafes and other shops. Lake Geneva can also be reached on foot from here. Walk for 10 minutes and you will be at the train station.