Geneva, a capital of the canton of Geneva, is the second most populous city in Switzerland, with a population of more than 203,000 and 580,000 in the canton. The 40% population of foreigners from over 200 countries makes it one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The official language of the canton is French. Geneva is the world's leading private wealth management centre and the second largest financial centre in Switzerland after Zurich. The city is home to a number of international organisations, i.e. the European headquarters of the UN, ICRC, WTO, the WHO, CERN, etc. The economic dynamism, mild climate and beauty of the shores of Lake Geneva with its famous fountain, the city’s symbol, make Geneva a dream holiday destination.
The monuments of Geneva include the Reformation Wall, the Brunswick Monument, the Palace of Nations, St. Peter’s Cathedral, the town hall as well as numerous churches and state-owned (16) and private museums, such as the Patek Philippe Museum of Swiss watchmaking. The old town, with well-preserved 18th century architecture, is visited by masses of tourists following the footsteps of the city’s former residents such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Jorge Luis Borges.
Together with Zurich and Basel, Geneva is on the list of the world’s 10 metropolises offering the best quality of life. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. The population density is one of the highest in Switzerland; in fact, the city centre has more inhabitants per one square meter than Manhattan. All this makes real property prices very high. To live in Geneva, one needs a really thick wallet, not only because of the prices of accommodation. The city is very international and multicultural. Its public transport network (buses, trams, trains and ships) is dense and efficient. Even if there are traffic jams during peak hours, they are nothing compared to those in other big cities. Genève Cointrin is the second largest airport in Switzerland after Zurich. With the enchanting old town, magnificent green parks, museums, libraries, art galleries, restaurants serving local specialities (longeole, i.e. pork sausage with dill, white wine, pistachios and cumin; cardoon au gratin, traditional chocolate pot with marzipan vegetables; or the canton’s original wines), Geneva’s power of attraction is unrivalled. However, it is only from the shores of Lake Geneva that the city can be seen in all its glory, surrounded by high Alpine peaks, tempting sports enthusiasts with a decent dose of adrenaline.