Grand-Saconnex



Technically a separate "commune," or village, Grand-Saconnex blends with Geneva as the neighborhoods north of the UN sprawl slowly and charmingly toward France. (It seems a logical progression, considering one of the region's finest farmer's markets is just across the French border that direction, in Divonne.) Grand Saconnex is home for the lucky UN workers who wish to look out of their balconies over cow fields (and the international airport) and be a 5 minute bike-ride from their offices. Visit Grand Saconnex and you'll find what feels like a sleepy cow village despite its UN-working inhabitants and the Dubai-bound jets flying overhead. Oriented around a grassy village square, the local gas station and supermarket betray the fact that Geneva up until recently was a conglomeration of small villages. Visit Bernex or Petit-Saconnex (listed in the Nations neighborhood) for a similar feel, and you get a sense of the gradual flow this city has very recently experienced, from farm fields to high-rise apartment buildings. Grand-Saconnex is also the location of the Palexpo, Geneva's main expo center -- accessible by public bus or by train from the central station. Here Geneva holds its famous annual Geneva Auto Show -- two weeks when you will want to avoid driving through Grand Saconnex.

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