A city which is integral to international business and diplomacy, Geneva has a vast amount of history and culture to offer tourists. It is a place of huge importance to finance and business and, as Switzerland’s second most populous city, offers visitors an opportunity to witness one of the most engrossing places in Europe. The country itself is technologically advanced as well as being extremely efficient, and a mere day spent in Geneva itself feels like an education. This city has so much to offer everyone.
The cultural impact of Switzerland on the rest of Europe isn’t perhaps as recognised as it should be. Amongst the sleek and sophisticated exterior, Geneva has a humble tradition which can be found in the more subtle of places, such as the art galleries and museums. And seeing as the city is one of the more expensive to visit in Europe, visitors may realise that the most enjoyable experience will be a relatively cheap day spent wandering through the city and enjoying the museums and historical landmarks.
A good place to get started is Musee International de la Croix Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge. Geneva has long been a place of diplomacy and has been important in making peace after both World Wars. Therefore war and genocide are documented in several of the historical museums in Geneva. The aforementioned is a gripping look at the conflicts of man and their effect of society. The various multimedia exhibitions are a fascinating look at the part Geneva has had to play in the politics and warfare of the 20th century.
There are also wonderful art galleries worth a visit while visiting this beautiful city, particularly Le Cite de Temps which displays mostly contemporary exhibitions within pleasant surroundings of a longue bar and restaurant. The Maison des Arts du Grutli displays mostly contemporary photography and theatre. In fact contemporary art is very keenly embraced by the Genevans: the Centre d’Art Contemporain and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art are well worth a visit for their vibrant and complex pieces. But the most comprehensive display of artwork has to be at the Musee d’Art et d’Histoire. It is the largest art museum in the city and boasts excellent works by artists of the Genevan schools. Book flights to Geneva here to save a little money that could be put towards some beautiful art!
The Swiss, and particularly the Genevans, are famed for their watch making. It is an industry which has always flourished in this city and brought great business to its workers. The Patek Philippe Museum covers 500 years of watch making history in Geneva and includes the oldest known watch and some extraordinary pendulum pieces. This is a really exciting place for people of all ages and interests. For another view of the history of this city, the Maison Tavel is worth a look. It is Geneva’s oldest house, or what is left of it at least, and it offers a look at what Genevan living would have been like in the 14th century.