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A Summer’s Day in Geneva

A Summer’s Day in Geneva

Come summer, Geneva dons its finest summer attire and offers a myriad of sun-filled activities. Whether you’re hoping to laze on a terrace or do yoga on a paddle board, cycle through the canton’s vineyards or take a tour of the city’s best ice cream parlours, Geneva caters to all tastes. So close your eyes and let yourself be inspired by the summer holiday spirit that is wafting through the city… 

Birds chirping, sunlight streaming through the shutters, summer wakes up over the city with gentle idleness. Last night’s storm blows aromas of cut grass, budding trees and asphalt. After a little stretch and eye rubbing, it’s time to slip on your most flowery outfit, shorts, shirt, dress or skirt, sunglasses and hat, sling a bag with your bathing gear and book over your shoulder, and face a day of summer bliss in Geneva.

The scent of coffee roasting first guides you to the Bains district, to Birdie, for a tantalising latte skilfully decorated with an unmistakable frothy motif, followed by a hearty “Birdie brekkie”, a soft-boiled egg, smoked salmon, avocado toast and Gruyère cheese. The Geneva arcade delights with its bright, pared-down design, its trendy classiness and beautiful moustachioed and tattooed hipsters of all kinds.

Once replete, a short stroll will take you to the flea market. Plainpalais’ open-air bric-a-brac market brings together the whole of Geneva in a colourful whirlwind. The fragrance of old furniture mixes with old-school second-hand clothes, the sound of old vinyl records and vendors’ hawking, in a warm and friendly atmosphere where acquaintances greet each other at the corner of every stall. Treat yourself to an old industrial lamp, a bedside book or vintage silver cutlery, the market is full of treasures!

But the sun is insistent, and the temperature is rising… Before dipping your nascent tan into the refreshing waters of the lake or the river, why not sip on a little bubble tea with tapioca pearls at Mon Tea, a 100% Asian address at Place du Cirque. South-East Asian backpackers will rejoice at the opportunity of grabbing an “ice roll” or “fried ice”, i.e. a Thai delicacy made of ice cream rolled with a spatula before being generously sprinkled with toppings of all kinds and fresh fruit. An alternative to the traditional Italian gelato that will fill you with exoticism without the pain of jetlag!

Time to head for the banks of the Rhone, an idyllic setting surrounded by trees overlooking the deceptively lazy river, where summer displays its most shimmering colours in shades of green, turquoise and blue. Between the Pont de Sous-Terre and the Pointe de la Jonction – a magical place where the green waters of the Rhône and the grey swirls of the Arve come together – almost one kilometre of banks fitted out with wooden pontoons runs along the river and welcomes all of Geneva in summer: families, students, long-haired hippies, white-collar workers and sun worshippers all come together in a warm, multicultural atmosphere.

Spread out your towel and watch revellers drift along the river on clusters of extravagantly shaped inflatable toys. Cool off in the emerald waters and float a few hundred metres before returning to your spot on foot. Chat with your pontoon neighbours, share a barbecue or an improvised picnic. Grab a chilled beer at the famous À la Pointe bar, a cultural hotspot where Geneva’s best alternative DJs perform in a relaxed and ultra-friendly atmosphere. Do nothing except watch the sun shimmer in prisms of light through the drops of water that run down your skin…

With your sun-kissed skin, walk to Molard to catch a mouette genevoise, Geneva’s famed shuttle boats, and cross over to the Pâquis. The short but enchanting crossing passes under the Mont Blanc Bridge and reveals the splendour of the harbour, sitting between noble buildings and snow-capped Alps.

The arrival point is just a stone’s throw from one of Geneva’s most popular spots: the Bains des Pâquis. With its lighthouse, lively beach with calm water, dizzying diving boards, and an unobstructed view of the Jet d’Eau, the cultural melting pot that is the Bains offers a wide range of activities. Projecting like an architectural incursion into the harbour, the place radiates with its 360-degree view over the whole of Geneva. The Buvette des Bains serves its traditional fondue crémante all year round in addition to seasonal dishes with rustic delights. With a cocktail in hand, enjoy the late afternoon summer light reflected on the thousand waves of the harbour before enjoying the delicious daily special.

A beautiful walk along the shore will take you to the Mon Repos park where the most outdoor of film festivals takes place throughout the summer: CineTransat. Great classics, short films, themed nights, the free screenings take place right on the lake under the pastel colours of the setting sun, in a playful and welcoming atmosphere. Sit comfortably in your deckchair with a blanket on your lap and let yourself be carried away by the film and the wonderful setting until the credits pull you out of your reverie and imprint in your memories all the beauty of Geneva’s summer… 

Special summer offer

From July 1 to August 31. As of your first night stay in Geneva, receive your Geneva Resort Pass for free and enjoy more than 100 activities which are free or at a reduced price. In addition, you will receive a free public transportation card for your stay.

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