Ville de Genève


Cultural Trails: from Museum to Museum
Sentiers culturels - Ville de Genève
© Trivialmass
Mise à jour: 08.02.2018

Cultural Trails: from Museum to Museum

Geneva prides itself on the quantity and quality of the museums within the city. These pages propose walks from one museum to another by district, withnumerous attractions along the way: monuments, public works of art and historical anecdotes. So follow one of these heritage trails and discover cultural Geneva from a new angle!

It might not be obvious, but one museum can hide another! There is an abundance of diverse and varied museums in the Geneva area, covering all fields of expertise and knowledge. The Cultural Trails devised by the City of Geneva allow you to immerse yourself in the history of the growth of a district, to discover the famous people who have left their mark on these places, or simply take a stroll or a bike ride in the fresh air, since the Cultural Trails promote soft mobility.

Interpretive Tools

User-friendly interpretive tools, in French and English, allow people to enhance their knowledge and organise their walk:

  • An illustrated map, with a wealth of precise and original insights into Geneva’s cultural and historical heritage, as well as practical information to make the walk pleasurable (restaurants, toilets, Wi-Fi hotspots, car parks, public transport). The suggested itinerary is timed and can be followed on foot or on bicycle. The map is available in the museums described along the trail, at the Geneva tourist office, at the Information Centre on the Pont de la Machine and at the Maison des arts du Grütli.
  • An audio guide that describes each museum along the trail in a user-friendly manner, with the added bonus of an interview with a representative from each institution that takes listeners to the heart of the collections. Available for downloading or listening at:
  • Web pages that allow users to download the map and access the audio guide, as well as to relive the past through photos of the period, poignant reminders that complement the descriptions of the routes:
  • A mobile application and signposts will supplement these interpretive tools in October 2013.

Guided Tours

Several times a year, you can follow guided tours of the Cultural Trails in the company of professional guides. Details of forthcoming tours are available on our events page.

The Trail in Times Past

In cooperation with the Geneva Centre for Iconography, all the trails have been retraced through photographs of the period. Relive earlier days through these touching memories that supplement the descriptions of the routes.

Trail 1, Nations:

© R. Gindroz

Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – Museum of the Swiss Abroad – International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum – Ariana Museum – The League of Nations Museum – History of Science Museum.

Through parks and gardens, walkers can immerse themselves in the splendour of a district that still evokes the grandeur of times past. Impressive mansions, century-old trees and evidence of the growth of International Geneva line the trail. In the background resonate the voices of those who built the monuments incuded on the tour and those of famous people, like the Empress Josephine or Casanova, who graced them with their presence.


Trail 2, Tranchées:

© R. Gindroz

Museum of Art and History – Cabinet d’arts graphiques (prints and drawings) – Baur Foundation, the Museum of Far Eastern Art – Natural History Museum.

It was James Fazy, the father of modern Geneva, who freed the city of the fortified walls that contained it until the mid-19th century. New districts were formed along the ceinture Fazyiste (Fazyist Belt), of which the Tranchées district was the most residential and most distinguished. In this part of town, the Cultural Trail from museum to museum includes quite a few remarkable late 19th and early 20th century buildings. This affluent district not only attracted many famous residents but also became a cultural nucleus featuring several important museums within a small radius: the Museum of Art and History, the Gallery of Graphic Art, the Baur Foundation, the Natural History Museum, as well as the Petit Palais and the Museum of Watchmaking, both now closed.



Trail 3, Plainpalais:

Sentier culturel 3 - Plainpalais - Ville de Genève
© B. Glauser

Geneva Library - Rath Museum - Museum of the Fire and Rescue Service - The BAC – Contemporary Arts Building (MAMCO; CAC; CPEG; FMAC) - Patek Philippe Museum - MEG-Museum of Ethnography Geneva.

Originally a suburban district used for military purposes and afterwards for market gardening and industry, functioning as an independent municipality from 1800 to 1930, Plainpalais is now a dynamic and bustling working-class district with a high concentration of museums, cultural sites, university institutions and bars and restaurants of all kinds. This Cultural Trail takes you on a walk through the history of one of modern Geneva’s neighbourhoods, which has played, and still plays, a key role in the development of the cultural and intellectual life of the city. The trail begins with a visit to the Rath Museum or the MEG (Museum of Ethnography Geneva), takes you for a stroll among the great and good who are buried in the elegant gardens of the Cimetière des Rois, Geneva’s most prestigious graveyard, and meanders among the market stalls around the Plaine de Plainpalais to end with a treasure trove of contemporary art in the MAMCO complex or along the trail itself in the form of public art


Direction et secrétariat du département de la culture et du sport

Route de Malagnou 19
1208 Genève

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