Exploring Geneva Beyond Watches and Wonders

Cultural Perspectives • 05 Apr 2024

Exploring Geneva Beyond Watches and Wonders

To accompany you on your travels to Watches and Wonders 2024, we’ve assembled an itinerary of iconic locations to explore while in Geneva. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the city or a veteran of SIHH, the spots below give a glimpse into the heritage and beauty of the home of watchmaking. 

Follow the Google Maps Route

Walking Distance: 5km


There’s no better remedy for jet-lag-weary travellers than fresh air, sunshine, and caffeine. Lake Geneva, with its iconic Jet d’Eau fountain—a signature of the city’s skyline—is the perfect starting point to take in the surrounding panorama of historic buildings peppered with watch logos on their rooftops. Depending on the weather, the lakefront is also an excellent spot to take a dip, sunbathe, or rent a boat and take in the scenery while out on the water.



The Jardin Anglais, or English Garden, is a tranquil spot by Lake Geneva. It is home to the famous Flower Clock, a living timepiece crafted from thousands of flowers. This timepiece represents Geneva’s connection to both nature and the world of watchmaking. The garden is a peaceful retreat with beautiful lake views and a space for leisurely enjoyment.



Next, navigate up the winding streets of Old Town Geneva to St Pierre Cathedral, the historic home of Protestant reformer John Calvin. The cathedral, which combines Gothic and Neoclassical architecture, offers an ideal vantage point to survey the city. The surrounding cobblestone streets of Old Town are lined with bookshops and cafes, adding to the Town’s historic ambience.



From Old Town Geneva, it’s only a stone’s throw to The Reformation Wall set within the grounds of the Parc des Bastions. Commemorating Geneva’s role in the Protestant Reformation, the wall features bas-reliefs of four 5-metre-tall statues of Calvinism’s leading proponents: William Farel (1489–1565), John Calvin (1509–1564), Theodore Beza (1519–1605), and John Knox (c.1513–1572) alongside other smaller statues of prominent individuals. The park is a welcome respite with tree-lined paths for visitors to relax and soak in the greenery, plus an old bandstand-turned-café with enthusiastic locals battling it out on oversized chess boards.  



The Patek Philippe Museum is a treasure trove for watch enthusiasts in the heart of Geneva. Built in 2001, this museum showcased an extraordinary collection of timepieces crafted by Patek Philippe and was a project close to Philippe Stern’s heart. Fun fact: The building housing the museum was once used as a production unit for cases, bracelets and chains. Visitors can admire rare pocket watches, intricate complications, and historical artifacts that narrate the brand’s illustrious legacy spanning over 180 years. The collection of watches alone totals almost 2,500 pieces. The museum also houses a library dedicated to horology, making it a must-visit destination for fans seeking a deeper understanding of watchmaking.



The Hans Wilsdorf Bridge, linking the two riverbanks and crossing the Arve River, is our next stop on our journey to the Carouge neighbourhood. Reinterpreting a traditional truss bridge, this 85-meter-long structure is comprised of interlaced elliptic rings and linear elements. The bridge’s structural and aesthetic elements earned it a nomination for the ‘European Steel Construction Award 2013’.



Carouge, known as “Little Italy,” brings a touch of the Mediterranean vibe to Geneva with its colourful buildings and lively market squares. The neighbourhood is a hub for artists and offers a variety of shops, cafes, and galleries, showcasing a more bohemian side of Geneva.


Image Credits:

  1. https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/experiences/the-reformation-wall/
    2. https://www.geneve.com/en/attractions/a-botanical-timekeeper-the-flower-clock
    3. https://www.geneve.com/en/attractions/cathedrale-saint-pierre
    4. https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/experiences/the-reformation-wall/
    5. https://www.patek.com/en/company/patek-philippe-museum/plan-your-visit
    6. https://marks.gr/project/hans-wilsdorf-bridge/
Tags: watches and wonders 2024

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