Situated at the southern end of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, the city of Geneva is the second-largest city in the country after Zurich. The city itself has a population of just over 200,000 people. Geneva’s greater metropolitan area has a population of about 500,000 people. Geneva is located in the Romandy region of Switzerland, where the majority of residents speak French.
Geneva is a major global financial center and a popular destination for tourists, who come to the city to ski at nearby resorts, shop at its luxury boutiques, and enjoy views of Lake Geneva and its surrounding snow-capped Alps.
Business-class flights to Geneva arrive at Geneva Airport (GVA), located about two and a half miles from the city center. Passengers arriving on flights to Geneva Airport can easily travel into the city from the Geneva Airport Railway Station or by taxi. Geneva Airport serves more than 30 international airlines. About 15 million passengers pass through the airport each year. Some of the larger influxes of passengers are those who book flights from New York to Geneva.
In addition to being a European business and banking hub, Geneva also plays an important role in international diplomacy. The city is home to the international headquarters of several humanitarian organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, and the International Labour Organization. Several offices of the United Nations are also based in the city, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Many of the people who book plane tickets to Geneva, Switzerland, come to the city to visit one of these organizations.
In terms of international relations, Geneva is perhaps best known for the Geneva Conventions, a series of treaties that were signed in the city after the Second World War that established legal guidelines regarding the treatment of international prisoners of war.
Along with humanitarian organizations, the city of Geneva is today also home to several international organizations that work to protect the global environment and promote sustainable development. These include the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Geneva is home to a mix of old and new architecture. Many of the city’s historic buildings are located in the Old City, which is home to a number of Swiss Heritage Sites. Among Geneva’s significant historical buildings are the Bibliotheque de Geneve library, built in 1559; the College Calvin, the oldest secondary school in Switzerland, built in 1559; and the Institut et Musée Voltaire, a museum that was the home of the famous writer from 1755 until 1760.
International students often take advantage of cheap flights to Geneva to study in the city or to participate in an exchange program. The city’s oldest university, the University of Geneva, was founded in 1559 by the theologian John Calvin as a religious seminary. Today, the University of Geneva is a public institution with no religious affiliation. Approximately 16,500 students are enrolled in the university.
Graduate students who come to Geneva often come to the city to study international relations and diplomacy at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The school was one of the first of its kind in the world. Today, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies offers masters- and doctorate-level programs of study in anthropology and sociology, law, political science, history, economics, international relations and affairs, and developmental studies.
Perhaps the most famous academic institution in Geneva is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN. The institution is home to the largest and most powerful particle physics Large Hadron Collider in the world. It was built over a period of 10 years, between 1998 and 2008, with input from more than 10,000 international scientists and university laboratories. Today, physicists and other scientists from around the globe book flights to Geneva to visit the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Geneva has been known as a center for fine watchmaking for nearly two centuries. Today, the city is still a center for this industry. High-end watchmaking companies such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Piaget, and Roger Dubuis have their headquarters in the city.