Guide to Geneva for newcomers A city for all seasons

Issue: 1/2017
Do you need inspiration for a day out in Geneva? Read these insider tips, spend some quality time in the beautiful lake city and uncover the eclectic aspects for the artistic, the art-fan, the foodie and for outdoor lovers. In other words, something for everyone.

Geneva newcomers may initially find this lakeside city to be small and sleepy. However, the eclectic francophone city is full of hidden gems that can appeal to myriad interests, from artists to athletes.

The lake is one of Geneva's best known landmarks, with its familiar Jet d'Eau, the restaurant at Bains des Paquis, and the early morning concerts on summer mornings. Looking further afield, various other cultural activities abound.


View of the water fountain Jet d'eau in Geneva


For those seeking artistic self-expression, aspiring actors can join the Geneva English Drama Society or Geneva Amateur Operatic Society, while music aficionados can hear artists at annual festivals like Fête de la Musique and the Antigel Festival, or year-round at Alhambra and AMR.


Geneva Amateur Operatic Society


For art fans, the Nuits des Bains gives free access to various galleries on select Thursdays. Geneva is home to several museums, while being a popular stop on the circus circuit, including the famed Circus Knie and Circus Nock.

For foodies, the dining scene is booming with the food truck movement and services such as Smood and La Fourchette. The city is surrounded by wine country, whose vineyards open their doors in May for the "caves ouvertes", with many also offering wine tasting year-round.


Hungry? The dining scene in Geneva is booming due to, for example, a food truck movement


Outdoor lovers can enjoy hiking the Saléve, along with the Jura and Alps. Cyclists can ride along well-marked local paths, while snow adventures can be had at resorts such as Chamonix and Verbier, along with locally at La Dôle.

With so many options on hand, accessing them all may seem daunting. Yet with Geneva's excellent public transport network, all these possibilities are within easy reach.


Interested in discovering more? Learn more about Geneva, Zurich, Basel and other cities with the Swiss City Guide tool through this link!




Author: Sofia Balino

Sofia Balino is a writer and editor who has lived in Geneva since 2011. She is originally from the United States, having grown up in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. She has also lived in Virginia and North Carolina. With an academic background in English literature, economics, and international public policy, Sofia currently works in the NGO sector as a writer on trade and sustainability issues. Outside of work, Sofia is an avid runner and cyclist, and is always on the lookout for new adventures and festivals.

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