Flights to Geneva
Geneva is Switzerland’s second largest city and is situated in the west of the country on Lake Geneva.
Flights to Geneva from South Africa are available with a good variety of airlines, though none offer direct flights. Lufthansa, Air France, Swiss Air, South African Airways, British Airways and Iberia fly via Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Munich, London Heathrow or Madrid from OR Tambo in Johannesburg.
You can also fly from Cape Town with one stop in Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Heathrow with South African Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, British Airways or BMI. Flights from all other cities in South Africa would need to via Johannesburg.
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The Tourist Attractions of Geneva:
Geneva is a very important ‘global city’ as it is the headquarters for many important worldwide organisations. For this reason, many of the tourists visiting Geneva will be here for business purposes, but this is still a beautiful city and has much to see and do whether you come for business or pleasure.
One of Geneva’s best known ‘attractions’ is the Jet d’Eau. This 140 metre high water fountain is pumped upwards continually between the hours of 10am and 11pm and looks most impressive at night when it’s lit up. The waterfront also has a variety of other attractions too: on the left bank within the Jardin Anglais (English Garden) you’ll find the famous flower clock, which is actually a clock with the face made out of flowers! Also here is the National Monument which was built to commemorate Geneva joining the rest of Switzerland in 1815.
The Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations) is a large building built originally for the League of Nations and now home to the United Nations. You can take a tour of the building, the highlight of which is said to be the Assembly Hall. The Palace also has beautifully landscaped grounds which are open to the public too.
If gardens are your thing, Geneva has many parks to enjoy a walk in plus you’ll find a variety of other things to do too. The Parc des Bastions has giant chessboards for example, whilst the Bois de la Batie has a small zoo.
Cathedrale St-Pierre (St. Peter’s Cathedral) is one of Geneva’s landmarks and a visit to this important ‘Reformation’ cathedral can be combined with a visit to the new International Museum of the Reformation which you can access via an underground passage linking the two buildings. The highlight is the views of the city from the cathedral tower and exploring the archaeological site underneath the cathedral.
Geneva’s Old Town is very picturesque and at the centre of it is Place du Bourg-de-Four. This is like a town square and has always been a popular meeting place. Now you can enjoy the fountain, dating from the 18th century, or sit and have a coffee whilst watching the world go by! The buildings here are an interesting mix from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and are very typical of old Geneva.
Every March, Geneva becomes the centre of the motor trade with the Geneva Motor Show which is said to be the best in Europe, so if you’re interested in cars combine a visit to the city with a visit to the motor show.
When Should You Visit?:
Geneva has quite cold winters, though from March onwards the temperatures start rising and by May it often feels like summer already; the only downside with May is the common storms and rainfall.
In high summer, it can get quite hot in the city and does tend to be humid too, and though temperatures are already cooling by September, this is a nice time of year to visit.