Cathedral in the Skyline Cathedral in the Skyline

Historical Sights To See In Geneva Featured

Top places you simply must see while in town.

World capital

Swiss cities are quite small in the grand scheme of things but Geneva has grown to become the de facto world capital, thanks to the international organisations that call it home. But it also has an appealing medieval heart and we’ve picked three of the top sights in the hilly old town.

The Cathedral

Crowning the whole city is the impressive cathedral of St Pierre, not the prettiest you’ll ever visit but a definite must-see. Its starkly plain interior is in keeping with the strict puritanism of its most famous preacher, Jean Calvin. Climb the 157 steps up the tower for a great view of the city, lake and Alps.

Cathedral by Olivier MicheThe Cathedral by Olivier Miche

Place du Bourg-de-Four

Geneva’s old town lacks sunny squares and places to linger but it makes up for that by having one truly splendid one. Place du Bourg-de-Four is a wonderfully atmospheric square with pavement cafés, chic boutiques and pretty buildings. All that’s missing are some old men playing boules by the fountain.

Place du Bourg-de-FourPlace du Bourg-de-Four

Maison Tavel

The oldest private residence in Geneva is imposing, with its fortified turrets and dark walls, but it welcomes guests as the city history museum. The re-created 17th-century apartment and vaulted cellars are beautiful but the star attraction is a vast 3D model of 1850 Geneva, before the city walls were torn down. Closed on Mondays.

Maison Tavel by Phil SchutzMaison Tavel by Phil Schutz

1 Geneva Tourism
2 Cathedral
3 Place du Bourg-de-Four
4 Maison Tavel