If you’ve spent any time at all traveling in Switzerland, there’s a good chance you may have already seen the sights of Geneva. This truly stunning city is the home base of the United Nations, a genuine physics hub, and home to watchmakers the world flocks to from all corners. But there’s plenty more to know about this Swiss metropolis – here are some fun facts about Geneva worth diving into.
1. Where is Geneva, anyway?
Geneva is located in Switzerland, in the southwest of the country. To be more specific, you can find it where the river Rhone exits Lake Geneva. And, while many assume that Geneva is Switzerland’s capital based on its size and importance, it isn’t. The capital of Switzerland is actually Bern!
2. Hundreds of thousands of people call Geneva home.
As of 2022, there were around 627,000 people living in Geneva. And, just so you know, people from Geneva are known as Genevan, Genevese, or even Genevois(e).
3. Take a seat!
Believe it or not, Geneva holds the world record for the world’s longest wooden bench. This curiosity, known as the Marronnier de la Treille, is around 120 meters long! It’s been a staple in the city since at least 1767, and you can rest here and observe the Saleve, a local mountain range.
4. A fairly young city!
As bizarre as it sounds, the lengthy bench mentioned above might actually be older than Geneva itself. As cities go, Geneva is not that old! The city was founded back in 1815. However, it is believed that the area was inhabited by the Romans in the past.
5. It’s a city of many languages.
If you are looking to visit Geneva, then it is best to learn at least some of the main three languages spoken! The main languages spoken widely across the city include French, Italian, and German. French is the main language spoken, but many of the residents speak at least two languages!
6. Hot or cold?
Although we tend to think of snow and the cold when we think of Switzerland, Geneva has a moderately continental climate. This means that while it does indeed have cold winters, it also has warm summers.
7. It’s the home of intensive scientific research.
CERN, or to give its full name, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, was founded in Geneva back in 1954. Although, today, the organization is better known as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.
If you are interested in physics, then there really is no better city in the world to visit! Geneva’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the biggest particle accelerator in the world. In fact, it’s also the biggest machine in the world, period. One of its many applications is research into what generates dark matter, and how said matter reacts.
8. Let’s get climbing!
9. It’s where nations come to unite.
Of course, Geneva is primarily known for being the headquarters of the European United Nations. Interestingly, Switzerland was the 190th country to join the UN, despite the fact they’ve always acted as hosts!
10. The heart of the Red Cross is here, too.
FAQs about Geneva
What’s Geneva famous for?
Geneva is famous for a great many things, including hosting the UN headquarters, its stunning mountain landscapes, rich history, fascinating cultural diversity, and, of course, its place in the luxury watch and general jewelry-making industries.
Is it expensive to live in Geneva?
Yes, Geneva is known for being an expensive city to live in and visit, though Swiss locales tend to all carry high costs of living. However, the quality of life here is reportedly incredible – which is why many people feel the cost is certainly worth it.
Is it worth visiting Geneva?
Yes, there are many great reasons for visiting Geneva. Whether you are interested in history, politics, nature, or science, the city really does have it all!
Do you know any fun facts about Switzerland? Share them in the comments below!