Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The municipality (ville de Genève) has a population (as of December 2015) of 198,072.

Geneva is a global city, a financial center, and worldwide center for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross.Geneva is the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world.

Geneva was ranked as the world's ninth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt, and third in Europe behind London and Zürich.

United Nations Office at Geneva


Housed at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General at Geneva. A focal point for multilateral diplomacy, UNOG services more than 8,000 meetings every year, making it one of the busiest conference centres in the world. With more than 1,600 staff, it is the biggest duty stations outside of United Nations headquarters in New York.

Providing key infrastructure and support, UNOG contributes significantly to the Organization’s efforts to maintain international peace and security, to advance disarmament, to protect and promote human rights, to eradicate poverty, to implement sustainable development practices and to provide fast, effective humanitarian relief in emergencies – to mention just a few of the tasks. A large number of dignitaries and high-level delegations come to UNOG every year to participate in bilateral exchanges, intergovernmental meetings, conferences and other events, making UNOG a centre for information sharing and exchange.

  1. There are four official languages: Italian, French, German and Rhaeto-Romance.
  2. Lake Geneva or Leman is the largest lake in the Alps and the second largest freshwater lake in Central Europe (after Lake Balaton).
  3. The United Nations European Office is located in the Geneva Palace of Nations since 1966, but Switzerland itself joined this organization only in 2002.
  4. Switzerland is the only confederation in the world.
  5. Swiss children enroll in schools at the age of 4. They study 4 days a week, because Wednesday is a day off, as well as Saturday and Sunday.
  6. In Switzerland, shops close at 7 pm, and on Sundays they are closed at all. Exceptions: on Thursdays they are opened till 9 pm, and small shops have flexible working hours.
  7. You have to live in Switzerland for at least 12 years to become a citizen.
  8. The best and the most expensive watches in the world are made in Switzerland.
  9. The best chocolate in the world is made in Switzerland.
  10. The Swiss army knife is the most famous pocket knife in the world.
  11. The most famous dish of Swiss cuisine is fondue.
  12. Switzerland is located in the center of Europe, but it is not a member of the EU.
  13. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world.
  14. There is no official capital in Switzerland as far as it is a confederation. In fact, Bern has this function, but nominally it is just a “federal city”.
  15. There is an old chestnut tree in Geneva’s old town that is the official harbinger of spring. For more than 200 years the first leaf on this tree is followed by an official governmental decree that states the beginning of the spring.
  16. В Швейцарии процент жителей старше 100 лет больше, чем в других европейских государствах.
  17. Switzerland has more 100+ year old citizens than other European countries.
  18. 2/3 of Switzerland are hills that makes it the most mountainous country in Europe.
  19. Swiss currency is franc.
  20. The time difference is -2 hours comparing with Moscow.
  1. Lake Geneva

    The largest lake in Europe, located in the mountain system of the Alps. It is the boundary between Switzerland and France. Many artists of the 20th century settled in this picturesque area, and now this tradition continues to exist. Geneva lake's area is famous for its national parks, vineyards, prestigious resorts with Michelin restaurants, archaeological sites of Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

  2. The Jet d'Eau fountain

    Nowadays, the city fountain of Jé Deau is a landmark and a symbol of Geneva, but in the 18th century it was built with a purely practical purpose as a part of the factory hydraulic system. When this system was no longer needed, the city authorities decided to turn the fountain into a decoration. Now the Jé Deau is a stream of water that spurts from Lake Geneva. The system is well illuminated at night.

  3. Broken Chair

    It depicts a giant chair with a broken leg and stands opposite to the Palace of Nations, in Geneva. It symbolises opposition to landmines and cluster bombs, and serves as a reminder to everyone visiting Geneva. It is constructed of 5.5 tons of wood and is 12 metres high. The sculpture was erected by Handicap International on the 18th of August, 1997. From the very beginning, the idea received a broad public support.

  4. Square de la Bourse de Four

    The square is located on the left bank of the Rhône River in the historic part of Geneva. In its center there is a small XVIII century fountain. In antiquity there was a market, in the Middle Ages exiled French Protestants gathered there. There are several cozy cafes and historical districts and architectural monuments around the square.

  5. Palace of Nations

    This building was established in 1928-1938 for the League of Nations that was a predecessor organization of the modern UN. Until 1966 the UNESCO was located here, then the building was transferred to the UN, despite the fact that Switzerland was not a member of the organization (the country entered the UN only in 2002). The palace is built in Neoclassical style.

  6. Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

    In the second half of the XIX century, A. Durand, a native of Geneva, founded the international charitable organization "Red Cross". By the 100th anniversary of this event, it was decided to open a museum dedicated to the activities of the association. Due to a long process of agreement the museum was opened only in 1988. The exposition consists of documents, films, photographs, posters about the activities of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

  7. The International Monument to the Reformation (known as the Reformation Wall)

    It honours countless individuals, events, and documents of the Protestant Reformation. The Wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva, which was founded by John Calvin, and was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Calvin's birth and the 350th anniversary of the university's establishment. The construction of the wall was completed by 1917.

  8. St. Pierre Cathedral

    It is the main cathedral in Geneva and was built in the 13th century on the site of the early Christian churches. It was originally built in Romanesque style and was renovated in Gothic style. A Neoclassical main facade was added in the 18th century. Since 1535 the St. Pierre Cathedral is a Calvinist church. It was the first cathedral in Europe that adopted the ideas of the Reformation.

  9. Mont Blanc Bridge

    It is the bridge over the Rhône River, from where you can see a beautiful view of the Jé Deau fountain and of Mount Mont Blanc, the highest point in Western Europe, and the island of Rousseau. The bridge was built in 1862. Flags of all Swiss cantons are fluttering along the edges of the bridge parapets. The place is very attractive for tourists, as there are a lot of attractions and famous shops nearby.

  10. Flower Clock

    The clock is located in the English Park, on the shores of Lake Geneva. The first clock was created in 1903 by the Swiss scientist K. Linnaeus, followed by the second one in 1955 in honor of the recognition of Geneva as the world center for production of chronometers. The diameter of the dial of the Flower clock is 5 meters high. The plants are chosen in such a way that the composition could blossom during the summer.

It is thanks to Geneva Switzerland is known as the "country of watches". The majority of factories for the production of the world's most sensitive mechanisms are located right there. What is more, the famous Swiss chocolate is also produced in Geneva, so you definitely should buy it there.

The largest number of shops is located on the left bank of the Rhône. There are lots of art galleries, jewelry and antique shops on the Grand Rue street. There is the shopping district next to it. Boutiques and bookstores are located on Rue de Rhône, Rue de Rive and Rue de Confédération. On the Plenpale Square, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, there is a flea market where you can buy antique furniture, books and many other interesting things.

  1. Swiss cheeses

    Such as gruyere, emmental, appenzeller or vacherin des Bauges (it is better to transport it in vacuum packing. Cheese can be packed at your request in the cheese departments of large stores.

  2. Chocolate

    Of any size, shape and flavour. Toblerone is the most famous chocolate that reminds the Swiss Alps.

  3. The symbol of the country is a cow

    Grazing in beautiful alpine meadows. Because of that the main Swiss souvenir is a bell.

  4. There is a huge variety of wrist watches of excellent quality.
  5. Another popular Swiss product is army knives. The most famous brands are Victorinox and Wenger.
  6. Music boxes in the form of a house-chalet.
  7. Fondue sets.
  8. T-shirts and caps with a typical prints of the Swiss cross or cow.
  9. Fairy-edelweiss is a small porcelain doll in a flower shaped skirt.
  10. Dolls in national clothes.


  1. Fondue

    Fondue is already a cliche for Switzerland. It is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot over a portable stove heated with a candle or spirit lamp, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks.

  2. Mashed potatoes with onions and sausages / Papet Vaudois

    It is better to describe this dish as mashed potatoes with leeks, which are stewed for several hours. As a result, the onion gets a dark golden color and merges with the fatty sausage, unique to Canton Vaud (sausage Vaudois).

  3. Rosti

    It is one of the most important national dishes of Switzerland, which is prepared from grated potatoes and fried until a crispy golden crust. Nobody knows when rosti was made for the first time. Today you mind find that rosti is eaten all over the country at lunch time.

  4. Basel-style roasted flour soup

    According to legend, one girl from Basel could not get married until she knew how to cook soup from toasted flour. Although there are countless ways to prepare this soup, it is essentially made from flour, butter, onions and broth with beef. Then it is sprinkled with grated cheese gruyere.

    The legend says that the soup was invented by the scattered cook, who was distracted by a chat and left the flour in the pot, and it accidentally burnt out. The cook did not lose his head and decided that this would be a new dish, which then took root. This soup is an integral part of the festival in Basel, officially it is eaten at three o'clock in the afternoon.

  5. Raclette

    One who wander around the Swiss countryside will surely feel the smell of pine trees, fires and melted Raclette cheese. Raclette, a local cheese from Canton of Valais, is usually grilled for a long time and scraped off layer by layer. It is usually served with boiled potatoes, pickled cucumbers and onions.

  6. Polenta and braised beef

    Polenta, a dish made of cornmeal flour, is a traditional meal of the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. Traditionally it is slowly cooked in a copper pot and served with a satureja, stewed beef. Polenta is an example of best village traditions.

  7. Tartiflette

    Today Tartiflette is one of the main dishes of Swiss ski resorts, especially in Romandy. It is a village casserole made of finely chopped potatoes, slices of smoked bacon, sweet onion and creamy nut creamy reblochon cheese.

  8. Bern-style lekerlis biscuits with hazelnut

    This dish has a long and rich history and is associated with Christmas. Although their ancestors were German sweets, these spicy biscuits resemble gingerbread. You can easily find them served with a delicate hazelnut in the Swiss capital of Bern.

    Spicy sweet leckerlis spices are definitely should be in anybodies “Should try” list. Do not forget to dunk them into your tea!

  9. Movenpick

    Movenpick is an ice cream made of natural and organic ingredients without adding food supplements, sweeteners, flavors and preservatives. The classic recipe is kept in secret and remains a mystery to many cooks. The company annually pleases its fans with new flavours of famous cold dessert.

  10. Flauder

    Flaunder is a mineral water with a taste of elderflower and melissa from Canton of Appenzeller. The drink was accidentally created quite recently - in April 2002 – after a mixing mistake.

    Without any advertising, the drink quickly became a bestseller. It is sold primarily in the eastern part of Switzerland. The name Flauder itself derives from the word Flickflauder, that means "butterfly" in the local dialect.