My name is Samira Hamdani
I was born in Geneva of a Swiss mother and an Algerian father. I have always lived in this cosmopolitan city. Curiosity and a thirst for discovery are part of my DNA, which is why I launched the web magazine “Color my Geneva” almost 10 years ago. Having travelled a little, I realised how lucky I was to have grown up in Switzerland, in a country that is so free in terms of human rights and cultural richness. It is this beautiful energy that I wanted to share with the people who live in this city.
What does Geneva mean to you?
Geneva is my hometown, my cosy nest. It is a symbol of peace, of Protestantism with its motto “Light after darkness” and internationalism. Coming from two different cultures, I have this ability to understand the Calvinist mentality that pervades the city and the way it works, and to emancipate myself from it thanks to my southern origins.
Musée international de la Réforme
Your favourite activities in Geneva?
Don’t they say that the simple things are the best? I like to walk for an hour, whether it is in the Geneva countryside or by the lake or the Rhône. The whole canton is fully signposted in terms of hiking (walking time & direction), it’s fantastic! I also like to wander in museums on Sundays which offer exhibitions worthy of a huge city! As a good epicurean, I also roam the streets to discover new culinary delights, and believe me, I’ve rarely seen such a dynamic city from this point of view! Finally, I also like to stroll along the lake shore. I take a book and sit on a rock or order a lemonade on one of the many terraces, like the Paradis.
Your secret places to enjoy Geneva?
Geneva’s vineyards offer many walks away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, beautiful viewpoints and places to eat and drink, such as Stéphane Gros’ little corner of paradise or the Dugerdil Estate. On a different note entirely, the Plage des Berges in Vessy is the ideal place for reading enthusiasts who are in search of peace and quiet.
If you had to describe Geneva in one sentence?
Geneva is like a love affair where all the charisma and potential is revealed through discovery.
Don’t they say that the simple things are the best?
All about wine in Geneva
Wine is an important industry on the shores of Lake Geneva and with their picturesque mountainous backdrop the winegrowing areas are well worth exploring, not to mention the wines. Swiss wines are light, easy to drink.
Friends visit you in Geneva, where do you take them?
This city has many assets in addition to its famous tourist monuments. I start the day by suggesting a stroll on the cobblestones of the Old Town and climbing the steps of the Cathedral. The view from above is splendid and the Jet d’eau appears as the city’s guardian. We then go down to the Bastions side to discover the Reformation Wall and share a few words about the history of Geneva. Afterwards, a break is called for with a hot chocolate from one of our excellent chocolate makers. Another must-see is a ride on the Mouettes boat shuttle to the right bank to end the day in the Botanical Garden, among peacocks, tropical plants and oases of serenity.
The Reformation Wall, a monumental homage
Meet other Geneva locals
Meet Emilie from Les Petits Genevois
"It’s is the city of my childhood, I have so many memories here! What I particularly appreciate are its different facets and contrasts."
Peaceful Geneva with Nadine Graves
"Geneva represents my home. I really like how international it is. It is such a beautiful and green city and I feel so blessed to live here!"
The Geneva story of Chris Black
"Originally from Canada, I’ve been lucky enough to live and work in the heart of Geneva for almost 30 years. About a decade ago I started running more seriously, largely motivated and inspired by a fantastic local running club: Geneva Runners."