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The United Nations Building: a Fascinating Family Experience

Give the kids an insight into the UN at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on an interesting and enjoyable tour for all the family.

We are living in a time when politics is not just a stuffy subject for grown ups – Brexit, the US Presidential Election and the war in Syria are topics that are frequently discussed around the family dinner table in 2016. This is the perfect time to encourage your teenagers to get interested in politics and the world around them – and what better place to do that than on a trip to Geneva, home of the United Nations Building?

What You’ll See

With over 115,000 people from around the world visit the Palais des Nations every year, it is clear that it’s a very popular site. Tours are given in over 15 different languages!

What’s important to remember is that this is a working United Nations building and hosts many meetings, conferences and other activities. This means that tour schedules can change, so it’s worthwhile contacting them before you go,

The guides are very knowledgeable about the UN and the Palais des Nations (formerly the headquarters of the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations). As they take you through the building you get a comprehensive overview of the things going on, the history of the building and its various rooms. No matter how many questions your kids ask, the guide will always have an answer.

Tour Stops

The regular tour of this spectacular United Nations building takes you through:

  • The 747 Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, renovated as a gift from the Spanish government in 2008 at a cost of €20,000,000 and decorated by Miquel BarcelÚ, a Spanish artist.
  • The Salle des Pas Perdus, a huge entrance hall, often used for exhibitions. It offers a spectacular view of the Armillary Sphere and the monument commemorating the conquest of space.
  • The Assembly Hall, the largest room in the Palais des Nations which seats almost 2000 people. It is undergoing a massive reconstruction and restoration but still offers visitors a lot to see.
  • The richly decorated and ornate Council Chamber with murals by Josť Maria Sert isn’t always open to the public as it’s a central part of the building’s operation. However, you may be lucky enough to see this spectacular room.

Thematic Tours

You can also take one of the three themed tours:

  1. The Ariana Park – the beautiful park which surrounds the Palais des Nations. This is the only way to get a close-up view of the park as it is generally closed to the public.
  2. Architecture and History – this tour takes an in-depth look at the building’s history, architecture and artwork.
  3. Museum Plus – this tour combines elements of the regular tour with a visit to the building’s library and museum.

Theme tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance; they are for a minimum of 5 people and maximum of 20. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and costs just 10 Swiss francs.

Getting There

Entry is only via the Palais des Nations Pregny Gate at 14, Avenue de la Paix. You must have some form of identification (passport) to enter.

Public transport:

  • Lines 8, 28, F, V and Z stop at "Appia"
  • Lines 5 and 11 stop at "Nations"
  • Tram 15 terminus is "Nations"

If you’re going to Geneva to visit the United Nations BuildingFree Web Content, make sure to book a shuttle service with Shuttle Direct in advance of your flight to pick you up from the airport. Our fast and efficient service is used by satisfied customers all over Europe.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re heading off to Geneva to visit the United Nations Building†and other city attractions, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.



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