Geneva city center is built up on the banks of Lake Geneva (which is also called Lake Léman), and widely praised as one of the sleekest cosmopolitan centers in Europe. It’s a city of UN diplomats, NGO workers and high-ranking business executives, the set of which enjoy excellent five-star accommodation in the city center.
Often overlooked by tourists in Switzerland, the Geneva Town Hall has played a central role in local government for more than 500 years and is easily one of the modern world’s most significant meeting halls. The Geneva Conventions were first conceived here in 1864, which led to the founding of the Red Cross. Decades later, the League of Nations assembled here, setting precedents that would later by adopted by the United Nations.
While there aren’t many outright tourist attractions in the city center, the mix of modern convenience and historic atmosphere is admittedly charming. American author Mark Twain spent countless hours later in his life wandering the medieval alleys, and today’s tourists unknowingly retrace his tracks. Along the way are myriad cafés serving a heady mix of Swiss, French and pan-international cuisine.
There are few hotels in the city center with fewer than three stars. The finest are on the lakefront with views of the Waterfountain (Jet d’Eau). The spout is so powerful that the plume stands 140 meters over the lake’s surface and an astonishing seven metric tons of water are aloft at any moment.