Palais Des Nations Overview

Also known as the Palace of Nations, Palais des Nations Geneva is the current home of the United Nations Office. Coated with grey heat resistant titanium, the modern architecture is set against the mesmerising backdrop of snow capped mountains.

The building stands in the middle of 46 hectares of untarnished land transformed into a well-manicured garden, a serene addition to your Switzerland trip. The landscape boasts century-old trees, where vibrant and colourful peacocks gracefully flock, adding a touch of natural splendour to the surroundings.

Hosting around 1 lakh tourists every year, the second largest United Nations Office is an architectural masterpiece. One can witness various different rooms inside the building complex which includes the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilization Room which is elegantly decorated by the famous artist Miquel Barcelò.

You will also visit the Salle des Pas Perdus which will present you with the views of the rustic Celestial Sphere. Also, you will get the chance to witness the largest room in the Palais des Nations which is it Assembly Hall. Decorated with murals by José Maria Sert, the Council Chamber is also a major attraction of the building where numerous vital negotiations have been conducted.

Besides this you will also go through the artefacts and the gifts presented to the United Nations Office at Geneva by various other countries without which your visit to the office remains incomplete.

How To Reach

Are you a first-time traveller? Do not know how to reach Palais des Nations from Geneva Airport? Well, relax! It is not much of a hassle to reach there. You may take a bus, taxi or car, train or even walk to reach there. But buses are a more convenient option as it will take just 16 minutes to reach your destination. If you have less time on your side, then you can avail of a taxi or car.

Best Time To Visit

You may wonder, what is the perfect time to visit Palais des Nations? Well, the answer is simple! You can visit any time of the year based on your plan and choice. Ideally, summers from June to August will be more suitable to visit as you know Switzerland gets real cold during winters between January and February. 

September and October are the rainiest months, so simply avoid travelling then. During summers and autumn, the temperature is perfect for visiting. But again, if you are fond of snow, then you may choose winters for a visit. Other than that, there is no definite timeline or period to visit it.

Other Essential Information

Location – Palais des Nations is located in Ariana Park and is just 4.1 KM away from the Geneva airport. 

Entry Fee – Well, nothing comes at free, right! It will pinch you 15 CHF if you are an adult, but for students and senior citizens, it is 10 CHF. For children under 6 years, entry is free, and for children above 6 years, it is 4 CHF. If you are touring with a group, then it will cost 13 CHF.

Distance from Zurich Airport – Palais des Nations and the Zurich Airport are 280 km apart. It will take 2-3 hours to reach Palais from Zurich by bus or car.

History of Palais des Nations

The building has a very interesting and intriguing history. Well, let’s enlighten you on this! The history of this building dates back to 1919 after the League of Nations was founded. Right after that, a competition took place to finalize the design of the Palais before its construction.

An astonishing number of 377 proposals came, and the jury could not decide on one. Finally, the panel shortlisted five architects from five different countries for the project. Carlo Broggi from Italy, Julien Flegenheimer from Switzerland, Camille Lefèvre, and Henri Paul Nénot from France and Joseph Vago from Hungary collaborated to complete the project.

After laying the foundation stone on 7th September 1929, the work continued and lasted till 1938. In the interim, the Secretariat of the League and the many other staff got settled in various parts of the building. The interior design of the Palais was possible due to the large amount of donations from the Member States.

But the League was politically inactive and ceased to exist in 1945. With the formation of the United Nations in 1945, the Palais became the second largest United Nations Office.

Tips for visiting Palais des Nations

Whenever you are planning for a trip, there are certain things that you must consider so that your trip goes smoothe. So, let’s share few points below which may help you while travelling to Geneva:

- First, you must have your pockets full while you are travelling. You may desire to shop or visit some extra spots, so keeping adequate cash is always helpful.

Geneva is a well-connected city with buses, trains, and taxis, which will make your journey easy and comfortable. You can easily reach the Palais from any point of the city.

As hotels are costly here, and if you are tight on budget, then you must go for hostels. Hostels are a bit cheaper compared to hotels. But if you have a budget, then you can stay and enjoy the luxurious suites.

Bring lighter clothes during summer and warm clothes in winter. Lake Geneva is known for swimming during summer and spring, so if you like swimming, don't forget to carry a swimsuit. 

The place is generally safe to move around even at night. But you know prevention is always better than cure! So a little alertness is recommended.

Take a tour guide if you want to explore the Palais both outside and inside.
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