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Geneva

Geneva may not be Switzerland's capital or largest city, but its importance transcends national borders. Hundreds of international organizations are based here, and the local atmosphere is better for it. Visitors enjoy one of the most diverse arts and entertainment scenes in the world. People with power and influence converge on Geneva, and it's definitely an exciting place to spend a few days.

Most of the major attractions are easy reach of accommodation in Geneva. The Jet d'Eau on the lakefront is an unbelievably powerful fountain jetting a plume of water more than 450 feet in the air. It joins more historic sites in the city center, where St Pierre Cathedral dominates the scene. An onsite excavation revealed a church on this spot dating to the early 5th century.

A favorite entertainment district in Geneva is Le Pâquis, which was once a thriving working-class neighborhood. Today it's known for its bohemian cafés, nightclubs and budget hotels. Geneva is a great place to be after sunset, with lively bars to match its performing arts scene. There's something to suit most budgets, but the best lineup of activities is for those who don't mind splurging.

With that in mind, the most exclusive hotels near Geneva are in the Lake District. Lake Geneva is central to daily life, hosting prominent harbors, boardwalks and lakefront restaurants. Visitors can charter their own yacht for a day on the lake or book passenger service to an outlying village across the lake.

While lake steamers account for some local transportation, most visitors arrive at Geneva Cointrin International Airport. It's a well-connected facility accustomed to receiving heads of state. There a many up-market hotels near the airport offering full business facilities and excellent service.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Geneva, click on the interactive Geneva map on the left-hand side of the page.