Situated between the Geneva lake and the Swiss-French mountains, the French-speaking city of Geneva is home to the headquarters of numerous international organisations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the International Labour Office, the International Red Cross and the World Trade Center, among others. Geneva has all the advantages of a small city combined with the facilities and services usually only found in much larger cities.
Geneva’s multicultural population offers a platform for frank and constructive communication, and exchange of experiences, allowing the city to be a facilitator of multi- cultural dialogue. The city offers many leisure activities and cultural entertainment, which guarantee a pleasant and relaxing visit (European style) during the congress. Geneva is a great city with a perfect setting, exquisite food and magnificent facilities.
Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian and Rumantsch. French is the predominant language spoken in Geneva, but most citizens speak at least one other language. English is spoken by about a quarter of the local population and by the majority of foreigners. Of course you can hear just about every other language in Geneva if you listen hard enough, from Albanian to Zimbabwean. When dealing with locals it is recommended that you start off in French, even if it is only a greeting, before transitioning to English.
The local currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). One Swiss Franc equals approximately 0,92 Euro and 1.00 Dollar (as of November 2015).
Banking hours are from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.
The weather in August can be changing. Temperatures range from 15 °C to 25 °C. Evenings can be breezy, in particular outdoors at the lake-side and we suggest taking some light wind proof jackets. It may still be possible to swim in the lake, so you may want to bring your bathing suit! On the average you can expect 7 hours of daylight each day.
Information on the town of Geneva and the surrounding area with suggestions for activities and excursions can be obtained through the Geneva Tourism website: www.geneve-tourisme.ch.
The Geneva Pass allows you to truly discover Geneva! With more than 47 tourist attractions and activities, free or at preferential rates, including a few gifts.
There are also many parks and free trekking/hiking tours around Geneva, especially in the Salève.