The other day travelling by train, SUISSEPIC was told a joke: “London is the best place to be when you are young; Geneva is a great place to live with family”. It’s not a secret that Europeans love Geneva for its great location among the Alps, fresh air and pure water, comfort and calmness. Today more than 40% of Geneva’s population are foreign citizens.

We decided to ask young expats what they do in Geneva and where they spend their free time. Geneva offers a great selection of places to meet people and make new friends, practice foreign languages and learn about different cultures such as bars & restaurants, parks & ski-resorts, museums, movies, etc.  Every year the city hosts a great variety of festivals and exhibitions, symposiums and forums, sailing regattas and sport competitions. Here are some tips.

FOOD

Geneva hosts more than 1,000 restaurants. All of them carefully keep ethnic traditions and offer specials from all over the world. The bar-hopping areas are located around Lake Geneva, Paquis, Eaux Vives in the Old Town and Carouge. There everyone can taste authentic Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Italian, French cuisine, or just enjoy local fondue like SUISSEPIC already did.

  • Les Armures, a stylish hotel eatery with three dining rooms that serves authentic Swiss cuisine.
  • La Perle du Lac, a restaurant beside the Lake which offers sublime French cuisine with breathtaking terrace views of the Alps.
  • Café du Soleil, one of the oldest Swiss restaurants in Geneva, which serves fantastic fondue in a picturesque outdoor setting.

NIGHTLIFE

Geneva is not well-known for its lively night life, however there are still plenty of opportunities to grab a drink, meet new people and enjoy a night out.

Normally the day to hang out in Geneva is Thursday. But you can also do it on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Place de l’Ile and Rue de l’Ecole de Médicine are considered to be the best for students. These streets are full of bars and pubs which are not too expensive.
  • Carouge’s Place du Marché and Rue Vautier are also popular hangout areas.

SKI

Geneva is a beloved place for snowboarders, skiiers and hikers. There are more than 200 winter sport and mountain resorts in the Swiss and French Alps. Most of them are located within 60 miles (100km) of the city.

The closest ski resorts to Geneva are Chamonix, Morzine, Avoriaz and Les-Gets in France, and Verbier, Gstaad, Champery in Switzerland.

OPEN AIR

Other activities include wakeboarding and sailing on Lake Geneva and rafting on the rivers that flow through surrounding forests. For those who don’t wish to travel far, Geneva offers more than 20 parks in the city center.

  • The Jardin Botanique, an alpine garden, a little zoo, greenhouses, and exhibitions.
  • The Parc des Bastions, a park well-known for its enormous outdoor chessboards, where locals regularly come for a game, often watched by crowds of spectators.
  • The Parc la Grange containing the most extravagant rose garden with over 100 different kinds of roses, which is the largest one its kind in Switzerland.

To start your tour around the city we recommend climbing to the top of St. Pierre’s Cathedral to enjoy a panoramic view of the city an choose the area to explore.

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