The big small city of Geneva offers a green, international, vibrant, and peaceful atmosphere, which is rich in culture and outdoor activities that can fuel both your mind and body.
Yet, if you really want to make the most of your experience, we suggest you settle in a smart, fully furnished apartment and then start visiting some key places where locals usually meet.
Let’s see them together!
Living in Geneva (Like a Local): Top Things To See
1. Mouette Boat Shuttle
First, you should try one of the most loved activities by locals: crossing Lake Geneva on the Mouette boat shuttle!
We’re talking of public transport boats that provide a convenient way to cross the lake and see the city from a different perspective.
2. The Botanical Garden
Another common hotspot in Geneva is the Botanical Garden – built in 1817, – where you can:
- Wander along the pathways;
- Visit the tropical greenhouses;
- Discover the ‘living museum’ – and its collection of over 12k species.
3. The Pâquis Bath
In addition, you can’t miss the Pâquis Bath, the ‘city beach’ that offers a marvelous view of the lake and acts as a vibrant meeting place.
Locals enjoy it either in summer – for sunbathing – or in winter to:
- Admire the view;
- Eat the legendary fondue;
- Try Hammam and Turkish baths.
4. The Flea Market of Plainpalais
Since 1970, the flea market of Plainpalais takes place each Wednesday and Saturday – as well as every first Sunday of the month.
This is one of the largest flea markets in Switzerland and attracts hundreds of bargain hunters or collectors looking for books, clothes, jewelry, and vintage items.
5. Eaux-Vives Park
Another unmissable hotspot is one of Geneva’s oldest parks, the Parc des Eaux-Vives, which features:
- A fantastic view of the lake;
- Green lawns and several old trees;
- The manor house hotel;
- A gourmet restaurant.
6. Le Chat Noir
While, if you’re a music lover, Le Chat Noir is the place for you!
This is a truly popular venue among locals and has been housing emerging artists since 1985, while serving delicious cocktails.
7. Le Grand Théâtre
Still talking about art, Geneva’s Opera House – with its wonderful building inspired by the Parisian Palais Garnier – offers an international and entertaining program of:
Then, behind the River Arve, you can discover the bohemian and Mediterranean atmosphere of Carouge, a wonderful hamlet designed two centuries ago by Italian architects.
Also known as the ‘Greenwich Village of Geneva’, it houses numerous artisan shops, studios, and trendy bars.
9. Café Papon
Café Papon – opened in 1808 – is a mythical café that offers:
- A wonderful terrace;
- Gourmet meals;
- A great passion for quality.
10. Geneva Running Club
Finally, if you love sports, we suggest you join a local running club, such as Geneva Runners. In fact, Geneva is the perfect runnable city and offers several:
- Tracks or trails;
- Races of all lengths.