10 Awesome Activities In Geneva

by Rachael VanDerWerff

Geneva is a city meant to be explored. Below are a list of are 10 activities (in no particular order) that are well suited for nearly anyone that decides to study abroad in Geneva.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

1. Lake Geneva

One of the largest and most exquisite lakes in Europe, composed by the Rhone river, is Lake Geneva. This amazing crescent-shaped wonder has charmed locals and visitors for centuries. While visiting, enjoy some of the attractions along the shore which include wineries, castles, and sandy beaches. Surrounded by the Alps, this exquisite lake is a study in beauty.

2. Victoria Hall

The Victoria Hall, located in downtown Geneva, is known worldwide for the acoustic qualities of its concert auditorium.  The Hall was built as dedication to the queen of England between the years of 1891-1894. It is owned by the city of Geneva and still used for classical musical performances. Catching a concert here can really be one of the highlights of study abroad in Geneva.

3. St. Pierre’s Cathedral

In the heart of Geneva’s old town, perched at the top of the hill, is the incredible Cathedral of St. Pierre’s. Built in the 12th century, the Cathedral has seen many centuries, and mythologies, come and go. If you are interested in history or architecture, take some time to visit this key to the past.

Jet dEau Geneva

Jet d’Eau Geneva

4. Jet d’Eau

The most famous landmark in Geneva is the Jet d’Eau fountain. Shooting water 459 feet upwards, this fountain can be seen almost anywhere in the city, including from the air. Around 500 liters of water are pumped out of the nozzle each second. Be sure to get a ride on the public boats that take passengers up close to the fountain. At night, is illuminated with lights and is quite the visual spectacle.

5. Bain de Paquis

While visiting the Jet d’Eau you will also find Bains des Paquis: a lakeside beach with a café, restaurant, and spa. This is a wonderful, locally beloved spot to soak in the sun and the scenery. In the summer you can enjoy swimming and water sport here, while in the winter you will be able to partake in saunas and tai chi.

6. The United Nations Building

Business or International Relations majors in Geneva for study abroad will probably have a visit to this storied place built into their courses. Other students should make the time to check it out. The United Nations Building, finished at the end of the 1920s, is the second largest U.N. office in the world. This structure not only holds the United Nations’ European offices but is the largest center for multicultural diplomacy, meaning it is an incredibly valuable institution to learn about and further understand. Those interested in visiting this historical landmark need to reserve a spot on one of their very informative guided tours.

7. International Red Cross & Red Crescent Museum

After your trip to The United Nations Building, take a stroll across the street to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. There you will be able to explore exhibits that tell the story of progression of the world-renowned Red Cross, spanning from the mid-19th century to today, shown through audio, visual and video displays.

Laconnex village, Geneva

Laconnex village, Geneva

8. Eglise Russe

Constructed between 1863 and 1866, this magnificent Russian Orthodox church broke ground in 1863. The Grand Duchess Anna Fyodorovna, the aunt of England’s Queen Victoria, helped fund its creation. The designer, Grimm, created the structure to be reminiscent of a Byzantine Moscovite style. It boasts gleaming golden onion domes on the top and an exquisite interior filled with treasures.

9. Reformation Wall

In the heart of Old Town stands a 300-foot wall that celebrates the reformation fought by Protestants during the 17th century. This reformation was a movement to decree Protestantism as an acknowledged branch of Christianity, and Geneva was the central city for it. The Reformation Wall is made up from statues of leaders of the Reformation; some of which are Jean Calvin, Theodore de Beze, Guillaum Farel, and John Knows.

10. Jardin Anglais

Anchored just below the old town of Geneva, and on the south shore of the lake, is the famously beautiful park Jardi Anglais. Its many features include gardens filled with flowers, statues, a charming gazebo and fountain, and a renowned floral clock.