The city is defined by Lake Geneva, whose western end it wraps around. The Jet d'Eau is an icon for the city. The 140-metre fountain is more than a tourist sight – it began as an imaginative way to relieve excess pressure in the city's water-management system. Seven tonnes of water are airborne at a time.
Just 400 metres to the west, the replenished Rhône flows out of the lake on its way to the Mediterranean, and is crossed by six bridges – starting with the busy Pont du Mont-Blanc, then a pedestrian link to Ile Rousseau, with its statue of the philosopher, and the Pont de la Machine. The main tourist office is north of the river (on the right bank) at 18 Rue du Mont-Blanc (www.geneve-tourisme.ch; 9am-6pm daily, Monday from 10am, Sunday 10am-4pm). It sells the Geneva Pass, granting access to sightseeing tours, museums and other attractions (24 hours is Sfr25/£19; 48hrs, Sfr35/£25; or 72hrs, Sfr45/£32).