Saturday, 1 March 2014

Visit These Essential Attractions in Geneva

If it's your first time in Geneva, you may be surprised at how easy it is to get around this lovely city. With public transport efficient, regular and easy to use, the locals put great emphasis on the accessibility of Geneva. Bus station locations within the city centre make it easy for even the most timid traveller to explore the major landmarks of which the locals are so rightly proud.

The Jet d’Eau

The Jet D’Eau (literally translated as "the water jet") is one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Located at the point where Lake Geneva meets the Rhone River, this awesome water fountain consumes up to a megawatt of electricity to shoot around 500 litres of water per second, 140 metres in the air. The Jet d'Eau was originally the result of a ruptured safety valve in the hydraulic power network, and has since become one of the most recognizable landmarks in Geneva. Bus station locations around the perimeter of the Lac Leman waterfront mean it's easy to view the water jet from any angle – although, in truth, it is best observed from afar and at night when it is beautifully illuminated. You can get a pretty close-up view by making your along the stone jetty that juts out in to the lake - but don’t be surprised if you're suddenly drenched with a shift in wind direction!

The International Museum of the Reformation

With many of the founding fathers of the Reformation movement based in the city, Geneva is renowned as the birthplace of modern Protestantism. It's little wonder, then, that the city proudly celebrates its contributions to the Protestant movement in the International Museum of the Reformation. Paintings, artefacts, films, demonstrations and exhibitions are housed in the museum, providing ample historical value for those interested in the history of Christianity. With easy-to-navigate public transport around the rue du Cloitre 4, where the museum is located, it makes for an excellent way to while away an afternoon.

Palais des Nations

Navigating your way to Geneva bus station 8 will put you at Avenue de la Paix, which is just a short distance from the former headquarters of the earliest global diplomatic body – the League of Nations. The League ultimately gave birth to the United Nations, as we know it today; the Palais des Nations still stands as a testament to the importance of diplomacy all over the world. The site includes a library coupled with a miniature museum of art, whose collections enable visitors to appreciate Geneva’s role in global diplomacy. This may be the only museum in the world where you require your passport for entry!

The Old Town

The storied history of the city is kept alive thanks to the Vielle Ville, or Old Town, and attractions range from the deceptively humble birth house of Jean-Jacques Rousseau to the ancient cannons situated opposite the city hall. While it's a simple task to navigate your way to the Old Town by bus, once there, the very best way to explore is on foot. (The steps leading up to the Old Town are quite steep, however.)

These are but a handful of the many attractions located around this lovely Swiss city. These sites, and so many more, are all easily accessed by the excellent public transport system of Geneva; bus stations, tram stops and even taxi-boats make this one of the best-facilitated cities in Europe for tourists – so make the most of it!

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