What You Didn’t Know About Geneva


Known as the world’s most expensive city and home to the world’s priciest club sandwiches, Geneva has long been admired for its’ rich history, abundant cultural activities and as the guardian of the world-renowned CERN, Palais des Nations (UN Head Office), legendary watch and jewelry companies including Patek Philippe and Piaget. Hosting more than 30 museums and galleries and a whopping 13 Michelin-starred restaurants under its belt, the city is a destination most epicureans and culture vultures dream about. The city is also a haven for the adventurous traveller; with bountiful outdoor excursions like mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding or rushing down the river in a raft or kayak. However, Geneva proves it has many more tricks up its sleeve with these surprising new discoveries.

One of the most iconic historical hotels in Europe, the InterContinental Genève is nestled in the heart of the city. It has played host to noteworthy influencers of their time such as Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles, Kofi Annan, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan over the years. It is famed in its present day for the recently refurbished Residence suites designed by New York based Tony Chi. Today, it continues to cater to the likes of the Saudi Royal family and the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates.

  • Most expensive bottle of wine sold at an auction with a Guinness World Record was auctioned at Christie’s in Geneva for $304,375 by Michael Ganne for the 1947 French Chateau Cheval Blanc on November 16, 2010.
  • Most expensive residential neighbourhood in Geneva is the picturesque Billionaires district where you can glimpse Villa Diodati where authors Mary Shelley and Lord Byron challenged each other to a writing competition, the end resulting in the classic novel Frankenstein.
  • Most expensive diamond in the world sold was at a Sotheby’s auction for $83 million. The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval cut pink diamond and still holds the world record for the highest jewellery sale.
  • Most expensive diamond in the world per carat with a Guinness World Record is $1,375,938 for a 7.03-carat fancy vivid blue modified rectangular brilliant-cut diamond which was sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva on 12 May 2009.
  • Largest diamond in the world sold was the 100.09 carat Graff Vivid Yellow, the largest yellow cut precious stone in the world which- fetched a record $16.3 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.
  • Most number of Roses in Geneva can be found at the rose garden ‘La Roserarie’ in the Parc de la Grange on the south side of Lake Geneva holding over 10,000 fragrant roses.
  • Oldest monument in Geneva is St. Peter’s Cathedral built between 1160 – 1289.
  • Oldest pieces of history in Geneva are the Old Arsenal which is a series of canons decorated by mosaic portraying Caesar’s arrival in the city during 58 B.C and the Niton Rocks believed to have been used for sacrifices in the Bronze Age. They were baptized as Neiton and Neptune and were used by General Guillaume-Henri Dufour to establish the level of the lake in 1864.
  • Most secret passage in Geneva is opened only one day a year during the Escalade and situated nearby St. Peter’s Cathedral.
  • World’s largest seconds hand is found on the Flower Clock at the edge of the Jardin Anglais, measuring more than 2.5 metres. A symbol of Geneva, the floral timepiece comprises of eight concentric circles and the colours change each season.
  • World’s longest wooden bench spanning 120 metres is located on the romantic Treille Promenade and is made from 180 wooden boards.
  • Most cost-effective shopping in Geneva is at at Plainpalais Flea Market. A place where you can pick up antiques, records and vintage clothes while mingling with locals.
  • Most bohemian area in Geneva is Paquis and Les Grottes: Try one of the area’s many ethnic restaurants and abundant street shops. The Schtrumpfs Building defies description located at 23-29 Rue Louis-Favre in Les Grottes it is a fantastical architectural icon designed by three architects aiming for the most unconventional building possible.
  • Most fascinating car park in Geneva is the St. Antoine car park also known as L’Esplanade Saint Antoine which doubles as an archaeological site.
  • Most cost effective travel method in Geneva is offered by certain hotels, hostels and camping sites as they give away Geneva Transport Cards to their guests, enabling them to travel for free on buses, trains and boats for their entire stay.

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