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Affordable Geneva

Affordable Geneva 

Although wrapped in an aura of opulence, Geneva is much more than luxury boutiques and 5-star hotels!

The city features fun-filled activities, and accommodation, restaurants and cafés that cater to all budgets. So, if you’re looking for a nice city break, here’s a sample of Geneva’s many affordable gems! 

Where to stay?

For a moderately priced room, opt for the bustling Eaux-Vives district and the trendy Pax Hotel, where you’ll be surrounded by a host of classy and innovative bars and restaurants. The hotel also offers a range of spa and relaxation services. If you prefer a more natural setting but perfectly located in a lively urban district, the Meininger Hotel in Charmilles welcomes you in a friendly, contemporary atmosphere, with a table tennis table and family rooms. In the historic boho-chic district of Carouge, the Ibis Styles offers a unique and atypical design in rooms decorated by local graphic artists. And if you’re looking for some lakeside charm, try out the Ruby Hotel with its eclectic vintage decor and two rooftop terraces!

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Where to eat ?

For eating (local of course) on a budget but without compromising on quality, Chez ma Cousine is the place to be. Specialising in chicken, the establishment offers a succulent Thai chicken curry or Half a roast chicken with the famous Cousine sauce. An international city, you’ll also find the best Indian, Ethiopian and Italian restaurants in the Pâquis district. If your preference goes to Lebanese gastronomy, Parfums de Beyrouth is an absolute must. For real burger lovers, not of the junk food persuasion, Inglewood – in Eaux-Vives or Plainpalais – will have you drooling with its skillfully prepared local products. Finally, several restaurants feature typical local menus and picturesque settings, such as Café Vaudois or Cave Valaisanne, that allow you to discover Switzerland’s culinary specialities at reasonable prices!


Eat and drink in Geneva

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Bars et night life

Every district of Geneva has its own character, its own soul, and all have plenty of fun bars, but if you’ve only got time for one, go to Bateau Lavoir! The small 50-seat terrace with its 360-degree panorama overlooks the lake at the very spot where it becomes the Rhône again. And every Wednesday, at 7pm, an aperitif-concert takes you on a discovery of Geneva’s rich musical scene. Craft beer lovers should head to Plainpalais to the aptly named L’éléphant dans la canette, a den for all connoisseurs of the white, amber, blonde or brown beverage. The bar also offers eclectic theme nights.

Later in the evening, check out La Jonquille for a taste of their mouth-watering tapas, a stone’s throw from the legendary Geneva concert hall that is L’Usine, where you’ll be welcomed at the end of the week in an atmosphere of reasonably priced local beers, cocktails, DJ sets and live performances. Alternatively, on the right bank, set up your temporary HQ at the sublime Qafé Guidoline, in Pâquis, a district renowned for its colourful nightlife!

Geneva’s nights are lively, and the underground scene thrums all year round to the sounds of concerts, performances, parties and festivals of all kinds and for all budgets. For the latest events, browse the websites of Le Box, Cordes avides, La TeufLa Barje and of course Bars en Fête.

Strolling around Geneva's different neighbourhoods

Despite an efficient public transport network, Geneva is best discovered on foot or by bicycle – you’ll find bikes for hire or self-service throughout the city thanks to the Donkey Republic app. A small-scale city, it reveals the nuances of its districts, from the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to the animal park of Bois de la Bâtie, the countless museums in the Bains district (many of which feature free permanent exhibitions and free admission on the first Sunday of every month) and the diplomatic atmosphere of the Nations district.


Sail from one bank to the other for the price of a bus ticket (or for free with your Geneva Transport Card) on Geneva’s mouettes  – the iconic red and gold shuttle boats that take you across Geneva harbour under the shadow of the Jet d’eau. Walk to Jonction where the Alpine waters of the Arve meet the Rhône before the river eventually flows into the Mediterranean. Marvel at the parade of the Malbuisson clock and its chimes. Shop at the flea market on Plainpalais, one of the largest squares in Switzerland, or sip on an aperitif at the local farmers’ market in the Grottes district. In the Old Town, admire the view from the medieval square of Bourg-de-Four or, better still, from the top of the tower of St. Peter’s Cathedral, if you dare to tackle its 157 steps. Laze on the terraces of Geneva’s own Greenwich Village, the town of Carouge. Frolic on one of the city’s many beaches or dip your feet in one of the city’s numerous bathing spots.

On foot or by bike, discover nature in the city, from the ancient cedars of Parc de la Grange to the redwoods of the Parc Mon Repos and the 12,000 plant species of the Botanical Garden. The more adventurous will even go so far as to cross the Geneva countryside or hike up to Mont Salève. From the Jet d’Eau to the mountaintop, Geneva reveals a myriad of viewpoints, each more breathtaking than the last, and all this (almost) without spending a cent! Photo vue depuis Salève

Finally, there’s of course the Bains des Pâquis, an affordable, condensed version of Geneva’s lifestyle. Featuring a beach, a café, a restaurant from breakfast to dinner, a sauna, concerts, exhibitions, parties, a splendid view of both the lake and the city, this is the place to be, whatever the time of day! Photo bains des Pâquis
Above all, Geneva boasts a wealth of activities for all budgets!