The fountain of Geneva
The Jet d'Eau is the landmark of Geneva. You can make an almost 360° stroll around it, while enjoying the lake, the promenades and the parks.
The forum allows you to post your questions and discuss your plans.
What exactly is the Jet d'Eau?
The Jet d'Eau ('water stream') is the 140 m (459 ft) high fountain in Lake Geneva. It's located just in front of the promenades of Geneva, and is the key part of the city's skyline. The fountain dates back to 1886, but actually it wasn't meant to be a fountain from the beginning. It was a technical necessity, only created to release pressure from a water station. When it started attracting visitors, it was moved to a better location and a powerful pump was installed. Today, the water emerges from the nozzle with a speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).
Just by itself, the fountain is not worth a day trip. It's a wonderful fountain, but it's the combination of the lake promenades, a boat trip, strolling in the parks and in town, plus the fountain that makes it worth visiting this part of Geneva.
How to watch the Jet d'Eau to the fullest
You can walk around the lake in order to watch the fountain from all sides and enjoy the city. The map shows the route. Here's how to walk:
The suggested route starts on the Quai du Mont Blanc, where a 300 m long quay stretches out into the lake and offers an up close view of the fountain. The Quai du Mont Blanc can be reached on foot from the main rail station in about 15 minutes.
Next, follow the Quai du Mont Blanc along the lake until you reach the bridge 'Pont du Mont Blanc'. Cross the bridge.
Continue your walk along the lake, with the fountain on your left and the small park 'Jardin Anglais' on your right.
Turn left at the end of the park. Keep walking along the lake, following the street called 'Quai Gustave Ador'. A narrow quay on the left leads to a point very close to the fountain, for those not afraid to get wet.
Furtheron, turn right and cross the street to reach the largest park of Geneva, the 'Parc La Grange'.
This route takes about 30 minutes without stops. This does not include walking time from and to the rail station. Assuming a round trip on foot from the rail station, you realistically need at least 2.5 hours to enjoy the fountain, the parks and the boulevards. If you add a boat trip and a walk in the historical town center, this can easily be a full day trip.
This is an all year round attraction, but there are no guarantees the fountain is operational. Normally it's only shut off in the late evening, but it can also be shut off in day time because of maintenance or extraordinary weather conditions. In winter it will shut down in the late afternoon. Take along waterproof clothing if you plan to get very close to the fountain.