GENEVA: THE IDEAL STOP-OVER THIS SUMMER

There are some things one expects from summer: warm weather, blue skies, good food, great drinks, and a place in the sun. 

All of this, and much more is waiting for you in Geneva. Easily accessible from other European destinations, this little gem brings together Swiss traditions and cosmopolitan sophistication against a gorgeous backdrop of snowcapped mountains and the majestic Lake Geneva. Why not come over, take in the scenery, and allow this city to sweep you off your feet?
Food & Wine

You will soon notice that this town takes its food seriously. The sheer variety on offer is set to make your mouth water. To indulge in a dish of filets de perche straight from the lake with a glass of fresh chasselas (a Swiss white wine and a source of national pride), look no further than the old-school Café du Centre, at the heart of Geneva’s shopping district.

Located in the bohemian Quartier des Bains and catering to the health-conscious among us, Ou Bien Encore was the first vegetarian restaurant in Geneva. Its lovely terrace appeals to visitors and locals in the summer, as does its Saturday brunch. If you’re on the lookout for some homemade granola and the ever-present avocado toast, this place has got you covered.

café du centre
ou bien encore restaurant

For a more exotic experience for both vegetarians and carnivores, Little India, a stone’s throw away from Geneva’s train station, is the answer. A cozy spot that serves delicious cocktails and dishes inspired by Indian street food, this unassuming restaurant is certain to win you over.

But of course, a visit to Geneva wouldn’t be complete without fine dining. There are many a Michelin-stared restaurant to choose from (the Bay View by chef Michel Roth at the Hotel President Wilson is absolutely superb), but a recent addition to our constellation is not to be missed: Le Bologne. The restaurant offers a modern take on Italian classics, with a retro décor, highly Instagrammable bar and delightful service.  

If you’d prefer a more traditional experience, you may like the Swiss wine route: the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards, for instance. Some say these vineyards go as far back as the Roman Empire! Have a walk, take a rest, and enjoy a glass of wine from one of the many cellars in the area.

 
Bayview restaurant
vineyard
The great outdoors
Geneva in the summer is all about being outdoors, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful weather. Romantics will be delighted to discover Geneva’s open-air cinemas, set up by the lake. Grab your picnic blanket and cozy up to watch a classic movie under the stars at Ciné Transat, or head to the opposite side of the lake for the bleachers of Allianz Cinema Genève for the latest releases. After the movie ended, take a little stroll next door, to Les Voiles, an open-air lounge bar by the lake.    

If you want more, you won’t have to go very far: our music festivals, such as the famous Montreux Jazz Festival and the increasingly popular Paléo Festival in Nyon, will rock your world, with internationally renowned artists paying us a visit every year. Come see for yourself and discover why we’ve inspired the likes of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
 
open air cinema couple
paleo festival
Come summer, there is indeed smoke on the water – because our lakeside bars and restaurants are on fire. Head to the charming Buvette by the Bains des Paquis and take a seat on the deck chairs facing Lake Geneva and the iconic jet d’eau, while sipping a glass of local wine. This is also the ideal location to people-watch, as most locals will pick a spot on the rocky beach in the nearby Bains des Paquis to work on their suntan and go for a swim in the lake’s clear waters.  

In fact, Lake Geneva is a popular hangout: the chic Genève Plage offers swimming pools for children and adults, as well as fun activities in the lake, such as stand-up paddling. Parks on both sides of the lake are the perfect setting for a picnic, and lake cruises will take you to quaint little towns further afield, such as the medieval village of Yvoire, just over the border with France.  
 
Bain de Paquis
Yvoire
For those wishing to go a little further outside Geneva for a full day’s adventure, our mountains are not just for skiing and pretty postcards. A hike starting in Noiraigue in the Canton of Neuchatel, for example, will take you up 725m, to a naturally carved amphitheater known as the Creux du Van – Switzerland’s answer to the Grand Canyon. If the hike doesn’t leave you breathless, then the spectacular views certainly will.

One of the most popular day trips and hiking trails in the region is up the Mont Salève, just 20km outside Geneva, boasting panoramic views of the city, the Jura mountains and the famous Mont Blanc – and there’s a lovely little restaurant at the top where you can take a seat and regain your strength. 

Take a chance on Geneva: our city, the lake and beautiful scenery are calling to you. Give in, and come see it with your own eyes – for a day, a weekend, a week... However long you decide to stay, we promise we will not disappoint.
 
creux du van
saleve view

WRITTEN BY

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Article by Thingstodoingeneva

Things to do in Geneva  - the grapevine guide to the city.

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