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Exploring Geneva

21 August 2023


Five ways for delegates to spend their downtime in Geneva

In April this year, the Live Group team supported a new client’s event at the luxury Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva. Switzerland’s second largest city is one of contrasts: densely populated yet small in area, it combines historical charm with cosmopolitan streets and modern vibrancy everywhere you look.

Nestled amidst the Swiss Alps, Geneva might be best known as a global hub for diplomacy and decision-making. It also boasts plenty to interest and entertain delegates, from stunning natural landscapes, to rich cultural heritage and world-class dining.

In this blog, we share five things for delegates do in their downtime in the lakeside location of Geneva.

(Images used are copyright of their original owners.)

Lake Geneva

Impossible to ignore, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the drama and awe-inspiring natural beauty of the largest lake in Central Europe.

Delegates could simply walk along the promenade, take a boat trip, relax on the Bains des Paquis beach or try paddleboarding or windsurfing – the ways to enjoy this immense body of water are innumerable. One thing not to miss is the iconic ‘Jet d’eau’, which propels five hundred litres of water per second to an altitude of 140 metres. And the hip ‘Tropical Corner’ is a favourite with the locals as the perfect place to watch the sun go down.

Parc des Bastions

Located in the atmospheric Old Town, this large green space houses some of the most beautiful monuments in the city. On display is a 100 metre-long Reformation Wall, inaugurated in 1909 in honour of the men who worked for the Reformation and the creation of Protestantism.

Delegates could watch chess being played – or have a game themselves – on the free giant chess boards, before taking a seat on the world’s largest bench, situated on the Promenade de la Treille, overlooking the park.

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre

Staying in the Old Town, delegates could head to Geneva’s cathedral for panoramic views and archaeological insights. Behind its 18th-century neoclassical façade, lies a fascinating past and a blend of architectural styles, from the austere Protestant interior to the richly decorated Chapel of the Maccabees.

Visit the basement to discover Roman mosaics, several Early Christian churches and a medieval crypt, before climbing the 157 steps leading up to the towers to be rewarded with views across the city and Lake Geneva.

Palais de Nations

The United Nations headquarters in Geneva is the second most important United Nations office after New York. Its hour-long guided tour is an excellent way for delegates to discover more about the organisation’s activities and the history of this emblematic building.

Access depends on meeting schedules, but you’ll usually be able to visit the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, the immense Assembly Hall, the Salle des Pas Perdus and the Council Chamber, home of many historic negotiations. Don’t miss the giant Broken Chair sculpture, which was erected in 1997 next to the United Nations building to symbolise the fight against the use of anti-personnel mines.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Located opposite the UN headquarters, this outstanding museum charts the vital humanitarian work carried out by the organisation for the past 150 years, providing a moving reminder of the importance of international humanitarian efforts.

There are three sections: Defending human dignity, Reconstructing family links, and Reducing natural risks. In addition, there are three temporary exhibitions each year, all using unconventional ways to communicate information in a way which encourages interaction, discussion and debate.


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