Geneva has plenty to offer – whatever the season. Which is something that Maître de Cabine Guillaume, who has lived in this city in the west of Switzerland for almost 10 years, knows better than most. In summer there is Lake Geneva with numerous options for water sports, while in winter the nearby skiing regions of the Jura and the Alpine foothills are perfect for winter sports.
For years, the second-biggest city in Switzerland has been voted among the top 10 best cities for quality of life. SWISS has a route network of 42 European destinations to Europe and North America, as well as Marrakesh, Cairo and Tel Aviv. SWISS also flies to Geneva (GVA) several times a day from Zurich (ZRH).
The city's first highlight can be seen on the flight shortly before arrival on the flight from Geneva: the breathtaking views of the Alps.
Along with New York, Geneva is the second home of the United Nations (UNO - United Nations Office). The Palais des Nations, which is also home to the Human Rights Council, is open to visitors during the day. Guillaume is particularly fascinated by the atmosphere inside the building and the stories that you can feel in there. "It's where the world leaders meet for the G20 or climate summits. I'm in the room where the world's most powerful presidents have been." The palatial building contains 34 conference rooms and around 2800 offices. Visitors are welcome to visit the lavishly decorated conference and meeting rooms. Guided tours can be booked on enquiry in any of twelve languages.
After visiting this historic place, Guillaume finds his stomach is rumbling. Fortunately, the Restaurant de la Fontaine is only a five-minute bus ride away. "Weather permitting, be sure to choose a table on the garden terrace!" Guillaume recommends. The artistically presented dishes will transform any lunch break into a deluxe culinary experience.
For Guillaume, there is no doubt that the only place to spend the afternoon is on Lake Geneva. A boat is a very special way to enjoy the beauty of the lake. And it provides an opportunity to admire Geneva's main landmark, the approximately 140-metre-high Jet d’eau, up close. "But be sure to check the timetable first," he adds. "Depending on the season and the weather, the fountain might not be on, and it would be a shame to miss this landmark in action!"
After a gentle ride, Guillaume heads for the bustle of the city. The Rue du Rhône is a luxury shoppers' paradise with exclusive boutiques and all the prestigious brands. "After shopping, a drink on the Place du Molard is an absolute must!" is Guillaume's opinion.
In the evening, you can hear the most diverse languages on the streets of the Old Town. Tourists mix with locals, and the result is a cheerful multi-cultural atmosphere. Guillaume is also drawn back here, and he follows the crowds through the streets until he finds himself back at the Place du Bourg-de-Four. He ends the day on the terrace of the Cafe du Bourg-de-four, where he loves watching the people pass by – ideally over a plate of the home-made rösti for which the restaurant is famous. "The day just passed so quickly," he says with regret. "But fortunately, I live here – and I've got all summer to explore the city's terraces!"