GENEVA – A WORLD OF ITS OWN
Geneva is a rare breed of city, a world of its own. Situated in the heart of Europe, it appeals to both the cosmopolitan traveller and lovers of the great outdoors. This small city, with the feel and facilities of a metropolis, sits at the tip of Western Europe’s largest lake, overlooking Mont Blanc. The iconic city offers a unique range of experiences from sightseeing, to high-end luxury shopping, gourmet wining and dining and some of Switzerland’s best festivals. Home to an unrivalled selection of 5* waterfront hotels and palaces, Michelin starred restaurants and sumptuous spas, it also offers in its many exclusive boutiques a unique array of leading watch brands manufactured in the city itself. Regarded as the birthplace of the highly regarded Swiss watch, Geneva has always been synonymous with design excellence and unparalleled craftsmanship. The Patek Philippe Museum and a plethora of fine jewellery houses, master chocolatiers and leading auction houses speak for themselves. As for entertainment, the city’s busy calendar of attractions includes such festivals and events as the prestigious International Motor Show, the Geneva Festival and the spectacular Montgolfiades Hot Air Balloon Festival. And where else in the world can you ski in the morning and shop or do business in the afternoon? Beyond the city, the dizzy peaks of the Alps and outstanding ski resorts beckon. Geneva remains a compelling choice for both business and pleasure.
An Outstanding Setting
Geneva’s idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, nestled between two rivers and the Jura and the Alps, makes for one of Europe’s most attractive lakeside cities. The lakefront is breathtaking with its many parks and stunning views of the iconic Jet d’Eau or Water Fountain. For a bird’s eye view, climb to the top of the South Tower at St Peter’s Cathedral, in the heart of the Old Town. Another highlight is the Bains des Pâquis, the city’s very own downtown beach where the whole of Geneva comes to relax and swim in the middle of the lake. In the summer, many of the city’s activities are based around the water. A beautiful cruise on the lake with Mont Blanc for backdrop is a popular choice, as is a sail down the Rhône with its verdant banks. For the more adventurous, water rafting down the Arve river is always fun. The city also boasts over 50 parks and gardens and the surrounding countryside is never far away, with its charming villages, acres of vineyards and untouched woodland.
The City of Peace and Freedom
The smallest of the world’s global cities, multicultural Geneva is truly international in its outlook and approach to world affairs and business. It is home to the UN’s European Headquarters, CERN, UNHCR, ICRC, WHO, ILO, WTO, a host of international organisations and NGOs, and over 150 multinationals. Geneva is also the birthplace of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Moreover, its world-renowned role in diplomatic meditation has led it to being called ‘The World Capital of Peace’, underlying its leading role in humanitarian affairs. This openness on the world has made Geneva a melting pot of nationalities, a mosaic of world cultures where everyone feels welcome.
The Cradle of High-End Watch Manufacturing
For 300 years now, Geneva has been manufacturing many of the world’s finest watch brands. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Franck Müller, and many more master watchmakers have their headquarters in Geneva. The city’s timepieces are celebrated for their exquisite exteriors and state-of-the-art technology. A visit to the Patek Philippe Museum, home to the prestigious creations of the Geneva-based firm of master watchmakers founded in 1839, illustrates this to perfection. This unique museum with a passion for horology has brought together an extraordinary display of watches, musical automata and portrait miniatures from the 16th to the 19th century. The watch culture is so embedded in Geneva’s identity that it has the only Watch & Clock Itinerary in the world, taking in many of Geneva’s world class outdoor clocks and museums. The itinerary includes the world’s tallest clock, certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1999, with its interior mechanics fully exposed; the Flower Clock created in 1955 with its 6,500 seasonal flowers; the Musical Clock dating back to 1962 that chimes every hour on the hour while 42 bronze figures and 13 horse-drawn carriages parade past commemorating L’Escalade; the Piaget Time Gallery which offers glimpses into Piaget’s rich jewellery and watchmaking heritage; the Cité du Temps and its unique collection of all the Swatch watches ever made; and the monumental Solar & Laser clock on the Quai Wilson designed by Hungarian artist Klara Kutcha and built in 1997 by Piaget, which combines ancestral tradition with the latest technology.
A Shopper’s Paradise
With its mix of flagship stores, fine jewellery houses, exclusive designer boutiques and iconic watch brands in their waterfront boutiques, Geneva is the undisputed destination for lovers of luxury. Design excellence and unparalleled craftsmanship are the city’s trademarks, the world famous Rue du Rhône their showcase. In the Old Town, which overlooks the city and the lake, antiques dealers and trendy design boutiques meet. And on the other side of the river in Carouge, craftsmanship and design flourish in the Italian style buildings and market square.
The Capital of Excellence
Voted year after year one of the best places to live in the world in terms of quality of life, Geneva likes to think of itself as the world’s smallest and most diverse international city, catering for all manner of visitors, interests, events and conventions in its inimitable fashion. The capital of excellence, in other words. In terms of cuisine, it offers Switzerland’s best gastronomic experience with its 8 Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants and 45 distinguished by Gault Millau. The many terraces and squares throughout the city afford visitors time to unwind and enjoy life. Geneva’s highly regarded luxury hotel tradition has been recognised and appreciated for hundreds of years by the most demanding of visitors alongside its outstanding personal concierge services. And its first-class private international schools, high-quality medical care and first-rate private clinics enhance its appeal. Indeed, unrivalled professionalism coupled with the warmest of welcomes typify Geneva.