Geneva: A Nice Walk in A Bustling Town

Continuing with my short trip series, I will cover my experience in Geneva one summer. On my way to London, I had to do an 8-hour transit in Geneva, which is quite some long time considering the small size of both Geneva and its airport.

Map of Geneva by Nathalie Ragondet

First of all, make sure that your luggage is checked through until your last destination. If you only have hand luggage, try to find a place where you can store it. It’s quite unpleasant to walk around with an extra hand luggage in hand.

Secondly, be well-informed and curious at the same time. Inform yourself of the things you can do in Geneva and be curious of nearby spots that you can actually visit in your short transit. When I arrived, my first stop was a friend’s house to eat lunch. Switzerland is notorious as a very expensive country, so see if you have any friends.who can and will gladly offer you food. If you have none or refuse to dine in someone else’s place, there are plenty of fast food chains across town, so look out for it! If you prefer splurging on the food, you are welcome as well 😆 Just remember to inform yourself of the good places in your transit place.

The next stop was the United Nations headquarters. It is open for a public tour (group tours in 15 languages) that lasts for an hour. It’s very recommended that you take this tour to visit the spaces inside the headquarters. For more information on the tour, check out the United Nations Office at Geneva guided tours page.

The Assembly Hall

The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, decorated by Miquel Barcelò. The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, decorated by Miquel Barcelò. Assembly hall

The Council Chamber, with murals by José Maria Sert
The Council Chamber, with murals by José Maria Sert
The building
The building

After that, don’t forget to take a photo in front of the United Nations plaque, with the National Flags gallery at its background. In front of the National Flags gallery, you will encounter Place des Nations, an open square on which sits the infamous Broken Chair sculpture. It is the work of Swiss artist Daniel Berset and is a symbol of opposition to land mines and cluster bombs.

Broken chair sculpture
Broken chair sculpture

From there, you can take the tram number 15 from Place des Nations (the open square of the Broken Chair sculpture) to Cornavin, which is the city center. If you continue to follow my route, then I suggest that when you arrive at the city center, find your way to Rue du Mont Blanc. You’ll pass by various shops, so you might want to stop and buy some souvenirs. At Rue du Mont Blanc, you’ll find a Mövenpick cafe right in front of the post office. Treat yourself ice cream, because, I promise you, it tastes reaaaally good 😋

The post office
The post office

Keep on walking down the road until you find yourself in an open space. Or until you see the lake and a bridge. The Jet d’eau should be on your left. However, take note that sometimes the Jet d’eau might be turned off for some reasons (at least that was what happened to me), but don’t worry because the scenery around the lake is precious! Continue walking until you find bushes and souvenir stalls. If you see them, then you have arrived at Jardin Anglais. Continue walking by the side of the busy road and you should see L’horloge fleuriea, which is a working clock made of flowers. It was created in 1995 as a symbol of the city’s watchmakers and dedication to nature.

After L’horloge fleur, I returned to the airport. Transit might have been 8 hours, but it takes at least 2 hours to get out of the plane, navigate your way through the exit, go to the town, return to the airport, check in, and board the plane. So, make sure to plan your short trip well so you get the best of the town you visit.

My itinerary plan might have missed various sites, but as this is a short trip, it’s normal that I didn’t get all the best of the town. However, getting to know a new place is way better than waiting in the airport for 8 hours. I’ll see you in the next episode of short trips.



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