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Mise à jour: 29.06.2018
 

What’s on in Geneva this summer?

Do you want to spend an unforgettable summer in Geneva? From exploring nature to enjoying water sports, taking in musical evenings, creative workshops and popular festivals on the way: there is something to suit every taste! Discover a selection of activities to do alone, with the family or among friends to make the very most of summer in Geneva.

Cet article est également disponible en Français: Que faire à Genève cet été?

© Nicolas Olivert / Ville de Genève

Relax in the parks, between the loungers and the snack bars

The parks get into the summer spirit and there is nothing like the numerous loungers, set up free of charge by the City or one of the many associations, to let you take full advantage of the sun and these attractive green spaces!

Several summer snack bars will ensure you don’t go thirsty while also organising entertainment and music programmes throughout the holidays.

© E. Roset / Ville de Genève

Kick off the barbecue season

The barbecue evenings will offer you the chance to enjoy the fresh air with family or friends:

  • from 18 June to 24 August, every Thursday evening, on the terrace of the 99;
  • every Tuesday until 26 June, at the café-bar in the Parc des Acacias, run by the Acacias community centre;
  • Thursday evenings, starting 14 June, in the courtyard of the Eaux-Vives community centre: the volunteers light and clean the barbecue and you can also enjoy a game of a pétanque!
  • Sunday 1 July and Sunday 26 August, from midday, in the Parc Geisendorf, organised by Geis&Dorf, with a free syrup;
  • Wednesdays from 13 to 26 August at the Wils’ô summer snack bar;

You can also use the grills provided by the City in several parks and enjoy a barbecue while respecting nature.

© J. Revillard / Ville de Genève

Dive right in

Bathing and swimming

Whether you enjoy doing lengths in a pool or swimming in more natural surroundings, you will find what you’re looking for at one of the numerous bathing sites in Geneva.

On 28 July, the more athletic among you can give the Traversée du lac a try, a 1.6 km course between Genève Plage and les Bains des Pâquis.

If you have children under the age 7, why not let them splash around in one of the 11 paddling pools while making the most of the sung and the fresh air!

© T. Curic / Ville de Genève

Sports and water-based activities

If windsurfing is not really your thing, why not hire a pedalo, preferably with a slide at the back, to enjoy the waters of Lake Geneva.

Paddle surfing is another way to take to the water and, if you’re a beginner, to spend enough time in the lake to really cool off.

Finally, if you’re looking for thrills, then head for the River Arve! Descend the river by raft or canoe and discover the City from a different angle.

© R. Bowring / Ville de Genève

Feel the rhythm of the music 

Musiques en été

From 6 July to 22 August, the eclectic Musiques en été programme includes a series of free, open-air concerts on the Scène Ella Fitzgerald in the Parc La Grange as well as fee-paying concerts in the Victoria Hall and l’Alhambra. More than 30 concerts are organised, with styles including jazz, hip-hop, chamber opera, soul, classical recital, swing, reggae and variety.

© S. Rubio / Ville de Genève

Summer festival in the Parc Bertrand

On certain Sundays in the month of August, the Parc Bertrand hosts concerts and shows in the open air. In the event of rain, the shows can be held in the Champel Protestant Temple or in the “La Cité Bleue” theatre. Programme and info available on the Parc Bertrand summer website (in French only).

© M. Cuenoud / MEG

Musical travels with MEG

With the Guinguette du MEG, chill out on the loungers in the garden of the MEG and enjoy the music selected from the museum’s sound archives every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 28 July, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The “À la Pointe” snack bar also has a listening station enabling you to discover the MEG’s international archive of popular music in an idyllic setting overlooking the Rhone. On Sunday 19 August, don't miss the plastic art workshop linked to the “Africa. The Ecstatic Religions” exhibition (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and discover a diverse musical selection, mixed by Cyril Yeterian (5 p.m. - 7 p.m.), the founder of the Bongo Joe Records label.

© ADEM

Dances from around the world at the crossroads of culture

A major event combining traditional dance and world music, “La Croisée des Cultures” brings together amateurs and professionals, juniors and seniors during an intensive week of activity from 1 to 7 July. The numerous ports of call take you on a journey from Iran to India, via Brazil and Greece.

And from 2 to 6 July, La Croisée des Z'ethnos invites children aged 6 to 12 to discover Greece, India and Brazil through a wide range of creative activities. Information and registrations on 022 919 04 94 and via the ADEM website.

© DR

Dances at the Barje des Sciences

In the Parc de la Perle du Lac, enjoy the breath-taking view while strutting your stuff at one of the numerous free salsa, tango, forro or lindy hop evenings at the Barje des Sciences.

© DR

Reggae in the Parc des Franchises

A key player in the European reggae-dancehall movement, the duets bringing together Little Lion Sound and their guests can be heard in the Parc des Franchises every Saturday in July as part of the Mon quartier en été programme.

© ACMG

Music workshops

All the summer’s a stage with the Académie de Comédie Musicale de Genève, which offers, children, teenagers and adults five weeks of workshops combining song, dance and theatre: “The Little Mermaid”, “Mathilda”, “Résiste”, “Grease” and “Mamma Mia!”. The experience will culminate in a public performance in front of your families. For more info (in French only), visit the ACMGenève website.

© D. Baumann / Ville de Genève

Watch the World Cup in style

From 14 June to 15 July, football rules at the Footarena 2018, on the Plaine de Plainpalais. The largest fan zone in Switzerland will welcome fans wanting to enjoy the Football World Cup in an easy-going and festive atmosphere. Four giant screens surrounded by 33 stands serving food and drink from around the world will ensure supporters of every nation enjoy the event to the full! Access to the fan zone is free.

© R. Albertalli / Ville de Genève

Do some exercise… or support the athletes

The emphasis will be in sport this summer, and not only because of the Football World Cup!

Sport from the age of 4 to 99

You will have numerous opportunities to do some sport this summer, regardless of your age: the summer sport schools offer children aged 4-18 to try their hand at more than 50 original disciplines in a relaxed atmosphere throughout the summer holidays. Seniors can also enjoy dedicated zumba classes at Cité Seniors every Thursday from 21 June to 9 August, 11 a.m. to midday.

© P. Lopreno / Ville de Genève

A nine-hole course around the harbour

Take a break on the lake shore with a free round of urban golf from 2 July to 26 August. Open 7 days a week from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., the course – covering about 4 km – is the perfect means of combining a physical activity and a moment of relaxation by rediscovering the most attractive sites around the harbour.

© J. Fuchs / MEG

Active weeks for children

The MEG and the MAMCO have organised five days combining sport and culture for children aged 6 to 11: in harmony with the changing exhibitions, they will explore the theme from different standpoints before getting their hands dirty in the workshop. From 13 to 17 August for 9-11 year-olds and from 20 to 24 August for 6-8 year-olds. CHF 200 per week. Bookings by telephone on 022 546 21 50 or via the Loisirs Jeunes website.

© P. Lopreno / Ville de Genève

Numerous sporting venues

Urban training, proxitraining, urban fitness equipment or fitness trails: there are so many places to enjoy the sun while doing a little exercise. Finally, to practise different sports such as tennis, badminton, climbing, football, basketball, beach volleyball, running and numerous other disciplines, the City of Geneva opens up its sporting infrastructures.

© N. Righetti / Ville de Genève

Sports events in Geneva

Geneva also offers you the opportunity to admire and support elite athletes and even to participate in certain competitions:

  • Tennis: Swiss Open Starling Hotel Geneva: on the occasion of this international wheelchair tennis tournament held from 3 to 7 July, the Bois-des-Frères Sports Centre welcomes 80 athletes, including eight of the top ten players in the world;
  • Triathlon: on 14 and 15 July, the Tour Genève Triathlon provides elite and amateur triathletes as well as beginners 7 race formats in the idyllic setting of Geneva harbour.
© M. Girardin / Ville de Genève

Make Geneva your first port of call

L’Escale is back! From 29 June to 2 September, this transient venue on the left bank provides a relaxing venue in the harbour area, combining music, bars and other events. For more info, visit the Escale webpage (only available in French)

© P. Lopreno / Ville de Genève

Play outdoors with the kids

Scattered around Geneva, there are numerous playgrounds where little ones can run around to their hearts’ content.

The “ludobus” come to meet you

Discover the ludobus, itinerant games libraries which will be criss-crossing the city’s parks until September! They offer children and families the perfect opportunity to discover numerous games suitable for outdoor activities free of charge. The times and locations of the two “ludobus” can be downloaded (PDF - in French only)

© L. Olivet / Ville de Genève

Games, handicrafts and gardening in la Jonction

On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons in July and August, the children of the quarter of la Jonction can take part in free games and handicraft workshops, accompanied by an activity leader. A vegetable patch, loungers and books are also available. No need to register: free access to the magnificent shady square of the Cité Carl-Vogt.

© L. Olivet / Ville de Genève

Fairy tales and handicrafts in les Franchises

As part of the “Mon quartier en été” programme, the Parc des Franchises is the place to be: children will have the chance to build sandcastles, listen to fairy tales, make rain sticks and maracas and learn other handicrafts.

© D. Wagnières / Ville de Genève

The mobile municipal libraries in the parks

With the fine weather, the municipal libraries are going green and invite families to join their fully-equipped and connected mobile library free of charge in four parks near you. Readings, music and literary quizzes, shows, concerts, writing and screen printing workshops or an introduction to the digital world await you!

  • Parc La Grange, 3 to 13 July;
  • Parc du Musée Ariana, 17 to 27 July;
  • Parc Bertrand, 31 July to 10 August;
  • Parc de la Perle du Lac, 14 to 24 August.
© DR

Barakopakis on the Place de Zürich

Every Monday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the urban chalet run by the association Barakopakis provides books, entertainment materials and even pétanque balls for children!

© DR

Get to know the sciences

Big Bang passport circuit: destination universe!

En route to explore the world of particles through the Region of Gex and Canton of Geneva! With its Big Bang passport, the CERN has organised a 10-stage walk through the countryside of France and Geneva above the LHC, the largest particle accelerator ever built.

© P. Wagneur / Ville de Genève

Nuit de la science

Come and discover the enigmatic world of science with the Nuit de la science held on 7 and 8 July, at the Musée d’histoire des sciences in the attractive Parc de la Perle du Lac. Focussing on the theme of “Tout un art?”, this free event includes meetings with scientists, artistic demonstrations, workshops and paper chases. The public will also be able to visit the neighbouring Campus Biotech, the new centre of excellence in biotechnology and life sciences.

© DR

Free your chakras

Anyone wanting to take a time out from our turbulent world and rediscover their centre of gravity can take advantage of open-air yoga, taiji or pilates classes provided by a number of associations and institutions:

Summer taiji in the Parc Beaulieu

Get your energy flowing through your breathing and posture with Taiji classes provided free of charge by the Taiji Open Club (TOC) Genève association as part of the Mon quartier en été programme. The classes are held under the big cedar tree in the Parc Beaulieu on Wednesday 11, 18, 25 July and 8, 15 and 22 August from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. Cancelled in the event of rain.

© S. Dubouchet / MEG

Yoga classes

  • On the sand: from 10 July to 30 August, start the day off on the right foot with morning yoga classes at the water’s edge. Meet at Baby-plage with your mat, every Tuesday and Thursday (except 17 July and 14 and 16 August) at 7.15 a.m. Free (donations accepted). More info on Facebook page of Anne So Yoga
  • On the grass: up in the Parc La Grange, enjoy the benefits of open-air yoga! Meet in front of the entrance gate to the Théâtre de l’Orangerie. Free (donations accepted), cancelled in the event of rain, timetable available on the Yoga sur herbe website. In the Parc Geisendorf, you can discover Yoga Râ (Indian and Egyptian yoga) with the association Yoga pour moi, Sunday 1 July from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. as part of the Mon quartier en été programme.
  • With the children: On Sunday 22 July and 19 August, 10 a.m. to midday, parents and children can do yoga together during a session at the MEG, followed by a guided visit of the permanent exhibition to discover the cultures which inspired this practice. Mats and covers provided. Limited availability, registration online
  • For seniors: Seniors can practice Hatha Yoga free of charge every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.,19 June to 28 August at the Cité Seniors.
© L. Olivet / Ville de Genève

Pilates in the parks

Firm up your muscles in the Parc des Franchises with Olga Rosen, who provides Pilates classes free of charge as part of the Mon quartier en été programme. Saturday 7, 14, 21 and 28 July, 11 a.m. to midday in the Parc des Franchises and Sunday 1 July, 11 a.m. to midday in the Parc Geisendorf.

© P. Lopreno / Ville de Genève

Catch a film in the open air

This summer, forget the dark cinema theatres and enjoy film evenings under the stars:

Ciné transat is celebrating its 10th anniversary!

At nightfall from 12 July to 19 August 2018, La Perle du Lac will become a huge cinema theatre with Ciné transat. Cult films, giant karaokes, theme evenings and shorts films to start the evening off await you free of charge in one of the most attractive venues in Geneva.

Monday cinema in la Jonction

On Monday 2, 16 and 30 July, the association 60x60 invites you to la Jonction for free, open air screenings of films d'auteurs focusing on the theme of escape, in the Square des Trois Platanes, Cité Carl-Vogt Honegger. More info on the Ciné du lundi soir à la Jonction webpage

© B. Glauser / MEG

Take a trip around the world

Partir en livre with the MEG

From 11 to 20 July, enjoy low-cost travel with the treasures of the MEG: simply choose a country (Australia, India, Greenland, Japan, Côte d’Ivoire or Gabon), the time and day of your visit and the MEG will do the rest…With Partir en livre, a change of scenery is guaranteed! From Tuesday to Friday (45 minutes between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.), for anyone over the age of 5 (accompanied), reservations on 022 418 45 61 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday to Friday).

© MEG

Destination Africa

Set a course for Africa, with the tales, dances and concerts of the African day on 8 July, organised in the Parc des Franchises, before continuing to discover the continent’s heritage and religious cultures through the Africa. Ecstatic religions exhibition at the MEG. From 10 to 13 July, children aged 10 to 12 can discover the masks exhibited and create their own contemporary mask, inspired by the jerry can masks of the Beninese artist Romuald Hazoumé. Information and registration on the Passeport vacances website or on 022 328 55 77.

© Muséum de Genève

 

 

Explore nature and all its secrets

The night of the bat

Come and marvel at bats on Friday 24 August from 7 p.m. to midnight at the museum! Created by the museum and the Centre chauves-souris CCO, the 22nd edition of this event, one of the most important naturalist happenings in Switzerland, , will give you the opportunity to observe and learn more about these nocturnal mammals. Understanding them better means we are able to protect them better!

© DR

Summer walks in search of dragonflies

Thanks to this new application for smartphones, 29 species of dragonfly and 17 walks in Geneva a now only a click away. Download the application, developed by HEPIA with the support of the City of Geneva’s Agenda 21 service, free of charge and the colourful dragonflies of Geneva will hold no more secrets for you!

© DR

Gardens and nature at the CJBG

Take a stroll from the old town through the parks and gardens, following the Sentier botanique which will tell you the botanical history of Geneva through a series of anecdotes. This cultural trail is available as a printed version from the Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques (CJBG) and is available for download (PDF - in French only). And why not take advantage of the Sunday visits organised on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 3.30 p.m. at la Villa Le Chêne: Venez au CJB, ça conserve!/Conservation at the CJB! (1 July), Plantes et sorcellerie/Plants and sorcery (1 July), Le Jardin, 200 ans de passion/The garden, a passion dating back 200 years (5 August), Les Rocailles, fleuron du Jardin botanique/Rockeries, the jewel of the botanical garden (5 August).

© DR

Excursions in the mountains

Every Saturday throughout the Summer, the Eaux-Vives community centre (Maison de quartier des Eaux-Vives - MQEV) will take you out for a breath of fresh mountain air! Gruyère, Leysin, Mont Pèlerin or le Praz de Lys are just some of the numerous destinations in Switzerland or neighbouring France where you can enjoy a hike with the family while creating close links with the other participants. Departure by coach from Geneva for CHF 20 to CHF 30, free for children. More info on the programme and registration available for download (PDF - only in French)

© DR

Get creative with your little (or big) hands

Summer workshops and Créamobile

This summer promises to be creative with Les Créateliers! The association organises numerous practical introduction workshops in the fields of drawing, jewellery, pottery, mosaics or comic strips. For those who prefer the fresh air, visit the Créamobile which can be found on the Place de la Navigation every Wednesday from April to October (except July), 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

© MAH

Drawing techniques for children at the MAH

Budding artists aged 12 or over can discover and experiment with drawing techniques as taught by Barthélémy Menn at the graphic arts department of the Musée d’art et d’histoire, 3 or 5 July from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. More info and events in the young public and family programme of the MAH, available for download (PDF - in French only)

© Godzillab

Gozillab summer workshops

Summer promises to be creative with Gozillab, which organises workshops offering children an introduction to a range of artistic techniques:

  • Doudou-Voodoo, from 2 to 6 July (Maison Baron): textile design and creation to produce dolls;
  • Clic clac Story, from 9 to 13 July (Maison Baron): introduction to photonovellas by the photographer Suzanne Perrin to revisit them in an off-beat style;
  • Libretto mania, from 16 to 20 July and from 13 to 17 August (Halle Nord): discovery of the print-making and risography;
  • Viva Gaudi!, from 20 to 25 August (Maison Baron): workshop inspired by the world of Gaudi and supervised by the artist and designer Beat Lippert.
© M. Girardin / Ville de Genève

Party time

1 August

Celebrate the Swiss National Day in the Parc La Grange! Procession of lanterns, concerts, digital treasure hunt and traditional bonfire await you from 1 p.m. onwards in an easy-going festive atmosphere.

© DR

Spectacular fireworks

Don't miss the traditional firework display from 10 p.m. on Saturday 11 August 2018. The free 45-minute display at the heart of the city will light up the harbour with reflections from the lake.

© S. Rubio / Ville de Genève

Parties and evenings in the different quarters

If you prefer more intimate gatherings, enjoy a relaxing hour or two with your neighbours during the big celebration in the Parc des Franchises on Saturday 30 June and the summer festival at the Minoteries on Friday 24 August.

The “ludothèque” in le Petit-Saconnex invites young and old alike to a games evening on Tuesday 17 July from 7.30 p.m. onwards. Children under 12 must be accompanied.

© DR

A different way to discover Geneva

Dramatized tourist visits

Every Sunday, accompanied by a guide, discover seven statues scattered around the city as you enjoy a two-hour stroll unlike any other: at the foot of each statue, actors in costume perform a short scene in relation to the historical figure in question: the angel might be unusual but the story is entirely true! More info on the dramatized tourist visits website.

© DR

Ethno-historical walks

Turn back the clock and plunge into the history of the MEG and its collections with two ethno-tourist walks organised on Sunday 8 July and 12 August, 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. From the old town to the permanent exhibition at the MEG, this walk offers you the chance to meet explorers, adventurers and scientists who will share little-known aspects of the museum. Leaves from the courtyard of the Collège Calvin, reservations on 022 418 45 55, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

© DR

Qui veut pister Genève?

It is possible for families or friends to combine play with a walk through the two investigation trails organised by Qui veut pister Genève: “Un Crime à Rive” and “Genevoulu que Toi!” You can resolve a mystery while discovering aspects of Geneva previously unknown to you! Saturdays, CHF 20 per person. 

© D. Wohlschlag / Ville de Genève

Cycle tours

What better season than the summer to hop on your bike and explore the city and its environs? Discover a selection of tours and cycle routes recommended by the City of Geneva. If you don’t have your own bike, then simply head for one of the six locations around the city where you can borrow a bike free of charge. And if you need a little helping hand on the way, the City offers you the chance to test an electric bike which you can borrow free of charge until 21 October from the Place des Nations.

© DR

Fun in the museums out of the sun or rain

Entertainment for children 

If it’s raining or really hot, there’s nothing better than taking shelter in one of the numerous cultural institutions in the City of Geneva. From Ariana treasure hunts to the creative games book (PDF - in French only) providing the opportunity to discover the collections of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, the Ariana Museum, the Musée d’histoire des sciences and of the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, a number of museums organise discovery trails and fun activities for children. Discover all the exhibitions on the Geneva Museums website.

© MIR

Interactive exhibition at the MIR

In 1723 in Amsterdam, two Huguenot refugees published the religious ceremonies and customs of all the peoples around the world, shaking the European vision of religion. Five volumes of this work with some 260 engravings are exhibited in the Musée International de la Réforme (MIR - International Museum of the Reformation) until 19 August, alongside a giant Gutenberg press which will print, with and for the public, some of its surprising illustrations. Each visitor will receive a copy of a printed engraving. Recommended age: 6-12. More info on the MIR website.

© E. Gaud de Buck / Ville de Genève

Animal beauty exhibition at the Musée d’histoire des sciences (Science history Museum)

Discover the fascinating trade of taxidermist, which combines scientific knowledge, artistic talent and a passion for nature, through the Animal Beauty exhibition at the Musée d’histoire des sciences until 26 August. It offers the public the chance to discover the works of three talented taxidermists and animal sculptors: François Chapelain-Midy, Yvan Larsen and Thierri Jaccoud.

More activities and events

Discover more activities in the City of Geneva diary of activities and events and in the Geneva in Summer app, available for free download from the Apple Store and Google Play.

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