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History & Culture

Geneva districts

Plaine de Plainpalais

From the gentle Mediterranean charm of Carouge to the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of Les Pâquis, Geneva encompasses a wide variety of neighbourhoods, each with its own atmosphere. From trendy boutiques to avant-garde galleries, majestic monuments to lush parks, each district has its own gems, unique history, and picturesque views. Here’s a closer look at 6 of Geneva’s best districts. 

Old Town

Switzerland’s largest historic city, the Old Town is criss-crossed by a maze of cobbled streets and narrow alleyways.


Everything here reflects the passage of time and bears witness to the events that have shaped the city, from the elevated houses of Place du Bourg-de-Four to the gleaming cannons of the Old Arsenal.

The district is home to St. Peter’s Cathedral and its formidable 157-step tower, which offers breathtaking views of the city, lake, and surrounding mountains; the Cathedral's Archaeological Site, which features the remains of earlier churches; the International Museum of the Reformation, which tells the fascinating story of the religious changes that swept Europe from 1535 onwards; and Maison Tavel, Geneva’s oldest private residence, whose museum traces daily life from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

And if you’re looking for an original way to discover the Old Town, Alea Escape organises fabulous outdoor escape games that will awaken the Sherlock Holmes in you!


Working-class, down-to-earth, and multi-ethnic, Les Pâquis stretches from the station to the lakefront.


It is home to a number of exotic restaurants and takeaways, including Dhaba, Hidmona, Kampai, Diwane, Les Amis Asia Dinner, Seoul and Dim Sum Gourmand.

The district is also known for its quintessential Geneva institution: Bains des Pâquis, which includes a sauna, a beach, an iconic diving platform, and a bar/restaurant on the water.

Last but not least, Les Pâquis maintains its sultry reputation with some fun-filled nightlife, from happy hour at La Terrasse to a cabaret themed-night at Palais Mascotte, and a karaoke session at Sketchiz.

Plainpalais/Quartier des Bains

The salt-of-the-earth neighbourhood of Plainpalais, on the left bank, is alive with the sounds of the weekly flea market, the student bars on nearby Rue de l’École-de-Médecine, and the massive skatepark, which happens to be one of the largest in Europe.

The district is also home to the Patek Philippe Museum, which tells the prestigious story of watchmaking from the 16th century to the present day, and the spellbinding MEG (Ethnography Museum), which holds the archives of human diversity.

Right next door, often described as Geneva’s Soho, the former Bains industrial estate has now become Geneva’s arty district. Trendy and cosmopolitan, the neighbourhood takes the city’s artistic pulse through fascinating incubators (Xippas, Andata Ritorno) and renowned contemporary art museums (MAMCO, Centre d’art contemporain).


Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Eaux-Vives is the perfect place to indulge in a little self-pampering.

The district includes one of Geneva’s oldest and most beautiful parks, Parc La Grange, dotted with century-old trees and lush green lawns, the brand-new Eaux-Vives beach, where wooden structures blend with vast green spaces, and exceptional views of the famous Jet d’Eau.

Outdoor yoga classes in Parc La Grange, a relaxing swim at Bain Bleu Hammam & Spa or pastry treats at Chou, the district is all about well-being, nature, and hedonism. Foodies will definitely rush towards this trendy district, which boasts some mouth-watering cuisine, including Asian dishes at Caiyun Tea, tapas at Hanae, and some fine dining at the aptly-named, Michelin-starred La Micheline.


On the banks of the Arve, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, lies Carouge, a once-independent hamlet of Sardinian architecture known as Geneva’s “Greenwich Village”.

The area is teeming with boutiques, artists, and craftspeople busy creating watches, jewellery, handbags, and clothes.

The old shopping town exudes Mediterranean charm with its shady terraces, hidden courtyards, and Italianate squares—a bohemian atmosphere that continues late into the night with a plethora of cafés, bars, and nightclubs, including the legendary Chat Noir.

A village apart in Geneva’s urban fabric, Carouge has its own cinema, Le Bio, with an eclectic programme, as well as the Théâtre de Carouge, which hosts top-quality performances.

Six districts with six unique atmospheres: discover them by bike, on foot, by boat or by public transport with the Geneva Transport Card. Geneva awaits with open arms!

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