Palace of Nations (Palais des Nations)

#9 in Best Things To Do in Geneva
Palace of Nations (Palais des Nations) picture
United States Mission Geneva/Flickr

Key Info

Details

Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Occupying an impressive amount of land near the Conservatory and Botanical Garden Geneva, the Palace of Nations was constructed at the end of the 1920s as the headquarters for the now defunct League of Nations. Today, this massive complex (one of the largest in Europe) is home to the U.N.'s European office.

You'll have to join a guided tour if you want to go inside; then you'll see such points of interest as the Assembly Hall (where the U.N. General Assembly gathers) and the Council Chamber (home to the Conference on Disarmament). Previous travelers were especially impressed with the sight's architecture, manicured gardens and informative tour guides.

To get to the Palace of Nations, drive and park for free on the attraction's surrounding streets or take the No. 15 tram to the Nations stop. On-site facilities include restrooms and a gift shop. Two-hour-long tours are offered on weekdays between September and March at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; from April to August, tours are also available on Saturdays. Admission is 12 Swiss francs ($13) for adults; 10 Swiss francs ($11) for seniors; and 7 Swiss francs (less than $7.50) for children ages 6 to 18. For more information, visit The Palais des Nations section of The United Nations Office at Geneva website.

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#1 Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

Straddling the Franco-Swiss border is Lake Geneva, a 224-square-mile lake formed by the Rhône River. It has been a popular vacation spot for years, drawing such memorable names as Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and Sophia Loren. In fact, many of Lake Geneva's visitors (including Hepburn and Chaplin) were so smitten with the area that they became permanent residents.

If you're looking to spend some time away from the city, there are plenty of attractions located along the lake's shores. Explore the vineyards and wineries in Lausanne on the lake's northern shore, or head to Montreux for belle epoque architecture. Back in Geneva (at the lake's southernmost shore), you can go swimming at the Pâquis Baths and watch the Jet d'Eau.

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