The north of Geneva city is littered with parks which makes for a great place to stay, although cheap hotels can be hard to come by in all areas. The Palace of Nations, home to the United Nations and the Ariana Museum of Ceramics and Glass Art are both situated in the lovely Ariana Park, which looks out over Lake Geneva. The Red Cross Museum is close by too, and documents the amazing work the Red Cross does in war torn and poverty-stricken areas. The Botanical Gardens and the History of Science Museum at The Villa Bartholini are also close by.
Geneva's small Old Town nestles at the mouth of the Rhône River and is full of character with quiet cobbled streets which open into small squares like the split-level Place du Bourg-de-Four which teems with cafes and restaurants. The Temple de la Madelaine and the St Pierre Cathedral are the highlights among the religious buildings in the city and you can learn more about non-European sculpture throughout history at the Museé Barbier Müller. The nearby Parc des Bastions offers some open space after the narrow streets.
Skirting the edge of the Old Town is the promenade, from where you can see the famous Jet d'Eau and the flower clock, if the season is right. To search out all the famous Geneva residents from history or just to marvel at the designs of some of the gravestones head to the Plainpalais Cemetery. And all manner of artefacts dating back many centuries can be found by seeing the collections of clocks at the Patek Phillipe Museum, and almost everything else you could hope for at the Museum of Art and History. This area is furthest away from the airport so there's the greatest chance of a good deal on a Geneva hotel here.