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Overview to Geneva: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The Iconic Jet d'Eau

Not surprisingly for a city in the business of peace-keeping, Geneva is charmingly relaxed and tranquil. What’s more, while there is money here - and a lot of it - this lakeside city is actually surprisingly diverse and bohemian.

The Rhone plows through the center of Geneva, helpfully splitting the city in two. The south bank is where the many historic attractions of the Old Town can be found. North of the Rhone, things get a little more lively, cosmopolitan - and just a touch shady.

Visitors are likely to spend much of their time exploring the delights of the Old Town, which is cobbled, bookish and eminently romantic. Its heart is the Place du Bourg-de-Four; a chic, café-filled square flanked by the imposing Cathedrale St-Pierre and its wonderful frescos.

From here, the university complex and its Wall of the Reformation is a short stroll down winding alleys to the west. A little further on, the MAMCO is home to a mass of contemporary art whilst, in the opposite direction, there’s a more general vibe at the Musee d’Art et d’Histoire.

By crossing the river, you encounter the strange juxtaposition that is the north side of the city. The river bank is marked by cheap restaurants and the odd casino, yet a little to the north lies the heart of the UN, along with the pleasant Parc de l’Ariana and its historic Palais des Nations.

Between the north and south districts, Geneva’s symbol sits where the river meets the lake: a plume of water 140m high. Whether you’re gazing at it from afar or getting soaked in a boat close-up, the majestic Jet d‘Eau neatly sums up the city - colorful, exciting and elemental.

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