The Palais des Nations was built between 1929 and 1938 to act as headquarters for the League of Nations. The design is a collaboration of five contest winners. It is built in the Neoclassical style. In 1946, the Palais des Nations became the European headquarters for the newly minted United Nations. Over the next thirty years, the palace expanded to its present shape.
The only way for visitors to get inside the United Nations is via tour. Some highlights include the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, which was decorated by famous artist Miquel Barcelo. The Assembly Hall is the largest room, where the delegates convene. The Council Chamber has been home to historic negotiations. If a treaty has Geneva in the title (e.g. the Geneva Accords), it was likely negotiated right here in this room. There are also gifts from around the world that have been donated, which are quite interesting.
The tours last an hour and are available in fifteen languages. It will also give you an in-depth overview of the history and duties of the United Nations. No trip to Geneva is complete without a visit here. Remember to check beforehand, as conferences and meetings often preempt tours. Also, keep in mind that security is very heavy. You'll need your passport to get in.
Location: 14 Avenue de la Paix, International Area
Telephone: +41 022 917 4896/4539
Hours: Vary throughout the year.
CHF7 Youths (6-18)