Vieille Ville (Old Town) was a pleasant surprise as the only image I had from Geneva was the lake and the International Organizations. Walking up into the Old Town was full of small surprise and made my day (which was grey due to dark clouds most of the time). There are some big attractions like the Saint Pierre’s Cathedral, many museums, the city hall with the cannons but what I liked most was the architecture, the small narrow alleys, the wooden doors, a small bistro in the corner among (expensive) art galleries and antique shops. I wish there were no cars there so the time travel to be almost perfect back to the era when Rousseau was walking around (by the way you also visit his birth house here).
Geneva is an expensive city so the stores here had a big stop for me but I didn’t care, just walking around the cobblestone streets was great, have in mind that Old Town is on a hill which means many steep streets. Most visitors stop at place de Bourg-de-Four (plenty of outdoor café there) or go down to parc des Bastions.
If you walk around the Old Town don’t miss a turn into promenade de la Treille, a long terrace over parc des Bastions.
It was created during 16th century as observatory for the army but the promenade we see today was created in early 18th century with a double row of trees in front of the mansions you can see at the back (one of them is Hotel-de Ville) (pic 2). Not much to do here except enjoying the view over Bastions park (pic 3) or relaxing at the loooong bench, it’s 120 meters long, probably the longest bench in the world…
If you lucky you may catch an event here, music concerts etc
There’s also a statue (pic 4) of Charles Pictet de Rochemont(1755-1824), a local diplomat from an aristocratic family who prepared the declaration of Switzerland’s permanent neutrality.
With a pleasant combination of art galleries, bistros, bric-a-brac and antique shops, the Vielle Ville area is popular with tourists and Geneva's younger crowd. You can easily mix shopping with a bit of sightseeing in the area. Art galleries show a surprising range of styles from ancient Chinese and Japanese pots, primitive to impressionism in attractive, bright spaces. While the medley of tiny shops makes the Old City particularly appealing for impulse purchases, a large department store in this area provides a good selection of necessities. Less hectic than other parts of the city, it is the perfect place to browse at a leisurely pace and then enjoy a cheese fondue or other regional cuisine. Pause to view the splendid Hôtel de Ville and Maison Tavel along the way. Shoppers can also admire the beautiful architecture and charming ancient streets that beg to be explored.
A small and compact Old town in Geneva can be seen in a matter of an hour .... cobblestone streets and small shops lined this area .... walk around and enjoy that your in Geneva .... be careful with prices in this area ... they seemed to be even higher in a already expensive city !!!!
The old quarter of the city is very worth the visit. Beautiful buildings, narrow streets, impressive wooden made doors and windows, that´s what catched my eyes firstly. I didn´t learn too much about the cities history, but one famous person to mention is Jean Calvin, who made Geneve to a "protestantic Rome".
Geneva's Old Town has some interesting landmarks which are situated within walking distance from each other. Walking around the Old Town is very pleasant and be sure not to miss:
. St Pierre's Cathedral, which is free of charge unless you want to climb the tower and see some panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.
. Place du Bourg-de-Four, while enjoying one of its nice open door cafes (weather permiting ...)
. Town Hall and the free of charge Maison Tavel Museum
. Promenade de la Treille and the Parc des Bastions
1. Entrance to the Old Town from Promenade de la Treille
2. Taking photos in the Old Town
3. Fountain in Rue Jean-Calvin
4. Rue de la Cité
The Old Town is Geneva's historic district on the left bank of the Rhône River, with narrow streets and picturesque stone buildings from various centuries.
Theoretically the Old Town is a pedestrian zone, but as an exception residents are allowed to drive and park here. They make ample use of this privilege, so that parts of the Old Town have degenerated into a parking lot for residents' cars.
We had about an hour to walk through the old town before our boat cruise, Frommer's had a nice walking tour that said it took about 2 hours. Geneva's old town wasn't as visual as Lucerne or Bern, I was surprised to find when I got home that I only took two picture besides the murals at the Arsenal.
Photo #1 is Place Neuve, the cultural heart of Geneva
Photo #2 is a statue of General DuFour, the founder of the Red Cross
Well, Geneva is much more than the Jet d'Eau fountain and the Flower Clock!
Discover the Old Town's narrow passages, hidden courtyards and fountains, admire the famous Cathedral, the Town Hall and picturesque squares Molard, Madeleine.
This is a picture taken in a inside patio inside the Town Hall of Geneva.On our first day in the city,we had a walking guided tour with a local guide to see some of best places in the old town,including a visit to the Cathedral of Saint Peter and also a short visit to the town hall and rest of old town.Geneva is not a very big city and you can see mostly of best places in a nice walking tour.
This is where I had my fondue, in a hotel where Elton John sometimes stays (too french a name to remember)
I loved the area, it was so old and artistic that you feel you're walking in a 19th century painting
It is such a joy to just take a walk in the old town passing by the cathedral or sit in its peaceful surroundings and watch the people go by. I loved the narrow streets and old buildings, so much character.
Just a walk in the old town on a calm saturday afternoon....... can put you in a serene mood. Just walk by the cathedral or sit in its peaceful surroundings...... walk on the cobblestone streets, or visit the Tavel house (17th century) which is a free museum....
Old town is a real heart of Geneva. Walking trough narrow cobblestone passages and see lots of hidden courtyards and fountains and interesting buildings that took back us in the past.
The old town of Geneva is very nice and can be visited by foot. It was amazing to see how quiet the town is.