Switzerland’s second city is tidy, charming and low-key. At the same time, it is the consummate global center, a cosmopolitan, French-speaking enclave of wealth and power, home to international organizations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations, as well as a gateway to a splendid Alpine playground. On the city’s lakefront, the Jet d’Eau, a famous 450-foot fountain, is the focal point. Snowcapped Mont Blanc can be glimpsed in the distance. The quays and jetties, plus magnificent public gardens such as the Jardin Anglais, make for picturesque strolling. The Place Neuve is a cultural hub, home to the Grand Théâtre opera, the Conservatory of Music and the renowned Musée Rath.
Paradise of Watches
The sumptuous Patek Philippe salon provides perhaps the quintessential watch-shopping experience, but a constellation of elegant neighbors lines the Rue du Rhône, including Chopard, Cartier, Piaget and Bucherer.
Those interested in Swiss wines should visit Le Rouge et le Blanc, a bar with fine Rhône views from its terrace.
Geneva’s atmospheric Old Town was home to two of the city’s most famous inhabitants: the theologian Jean Calvin and the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Musée International de la Réforme explores Calvin’s influence on the Protestant Reformation, but Rousseau’s house is closed until spring of 2021.