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Shot of the "Jet d'Eau"
A simmering melting pot of nationalities in a super-slick lakeside city, Geneva has something of the future about it, though you only need to wander into the labyrinth of the Old Town to be transported back to early Switzerland. Spend a few days in lovely Geneva and see the different faces of the city for yourself.


Known for chocolate, diamonds, cheese and international diplomacy (it is home to a number of global organisations), you'll get to spend, dine and explore while listening to a variety of languages, with English coming a close second to French.

Geneva is a great city break destination, and hotels in Geneva area used to welcoming international stars and diplomats, so you'll findSwiss tulips at sunset a plethora of four- and five-star hotels offering absolutely top-notch service. There are many budget hotels too, plus a good choice of mid-range accommodation.

As well as a plethora of locally-run and managed hotels, there are many from the well-known chains. Look out for properties from Intercontinental, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, Swissotel, NH Hoteles, Ramada, Mandarin Oriental, Novotel, Crowne Plaza, Moevenpick and Manotel.

Geneva's tourist attractions, such as the Old Town (Vieille Ville), Jet d'Eau on Lake Geneva, and St Pierre Cathedral, are concentrated around the area just south of the Rhone, which runs off the lake. This central area is the perfect place to book Geneva hotels, as you'll find restaurants, bars, cafés, shops and plenty to see and do within yards of your front door.

Just east of this area is Eaux Vives, which is also home to a good range of hotels, and features more open spaces and parkland than the centre.

Les Paquis, north of the river, has a distinctly more bohemian air and even more international flavour, and you'll find a greater diversity of cuisine, plus a number of cheaper accommodation options in what was once considered to be the grittier part of Geneva.

The finest five-star hotels are mostly located on the shores of Lake Geneva, or nestled up close to the mountains on the outskirts of the city, where acres of wonderful gardens are your reward for being located further from the action.

Top five attractions

Jet d'Eau

A huge fountain and Geneva landmark - watch out when the wind changes as visitors often get a soaking!

Old Town (Vieille Ville)

With St Pierre Cathedral at its heart, the Old Town is a warren of cobbled streets, lovely old buildings and pleasant cafés; there's plenty to keep you occupied for a few hours.

Palais des Nations

Built as the headquarters of the League of Nations before 1936, it is now the United Nations Office at Geneva and visitors can tour this important building.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

Find out more about the history and work of this organisation at the museum, which re-opens after a big overhaul in May 2013.

CERN

Science lovers will not want to miss the chance to visit CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, close to Geneva on the French border.

Events

Motor Show; March: This popular trade show attracts millions to the Geneva Palexpo, close to the airport. Expect high demand for hotels during this time.

Geneva Festival; July-August: This summer spectacular features competitions on the lake, fireworks, food stalls, live music and a giant funfair, among other highlights.

Escalade; December: A fantastic parade crowns these annual celebrations, which mark a battle victory in the 17th century and are held on the closest weekend to December 12.