University sports (in French only) : as a member of the University of Geneva, you can take advantage of the activities on offer. Some can be enjoyed free of charge; for others, there is an enrolment fee.
- List of sports that can be played in Geneva : Ville de Genève
- List of swimming pools, beaches, paddling pools and ice rinks:
- Urban Fitness: http://www.ville-geneve.ch/themes/sport/activites-sportives-parcs/fitness-urbain-proxisport/
If you are a member of HUG, you can benefit from discount rates at some fitness centres or gyms that are part of the HUG "Culture & Loisirs" Staff Association (site in French only)
- Ville de Genève ( in French only)
- A vous de jouer ( in French only)
ORGANIZATIONS POOLING ADVERTISEMENTS FOR VOLUNTEERS IN GENEVA AND THE CANTON OF VAUD:
Selective list of charitable organisations in Geneva looking for volunteers (sites in French only):
Teach French or other languages on a voluntary basis
If you would like to make a greater contribution to life in the local area where you live, we suggest you contact your local Maison de quartier. Or if you would like to take part in or organize a neighbourhood party, you will find information in this link (in French only).
- Click on this link for events taking place in Geneva
Admission to the permanent exhibitions in public museums is free of charge, but some temporary exhibitions are only free on the first Sunday in each month.
Most of Geneva’s museums are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or from 2.00 p.m. to 6 p.m., and they are closed on Mondays. We would advise you to browse their websites to check their opening hours, especially during the school holidays.
The list of museums below is not exhaustive. Please check also the following links:
★= your children will enjoy visits to these museums as well
- ★ Musée International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant Rouge
- ★ Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
- ★ Site Archéologique de la Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
- ★ Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques
- ★ Musée International de la Réforme
- ★ La Cité du temps
Other museums outside the Geneva region are also well worth visiting; here’s our selection of the best:
- Fondation Pierre Gianadda (Martigny)
- Fondation de l’Hermitage (Lausanne)
- Musée de l’Elysée (Lausanne)
- ★ Musée Suisse des Transports (Lucerne)
- What’s On Culturally in Geneva (site in French only)
- The Grand Théâtre (opera, ballet, concerts & recitals)
- Victoria Hall: well renowned for the fantastic acoustics in its concert hall.
- Geneva Arena : the largest multipurpose arena in French-speaking Switzerland and neighbouring France, with capacity for audiences of up to 9,500.
- Bâtiment des Forces Motrices : former hydroelectric plant converted into a theatre and concert hall.
Buy online tickets here : Ticket Corner, Fnac Spectacles
- Check cinema opening hours and film times (in French only)
- Le ciné-club universitaire : The University of Geneva Film Club allows you to discover classic films or movie masterpieces.
- Festival Black Movie : January
- Geneva International Film Festival : October-November
- Ciné du Lac : open-air cinema on the lakeside in July and August
- Ciné transat : films shown free of charge in the open air (in French only)
- The City of Geneva website provides a list of over 200 libraries : Library opening hours
Swimming-pools and beaches
Pedalo and boat rental without a license
- Ski resorts in the Canton of Valais graded according to various criteria.
- Ski resorts in nearby Haute-Savoie (France)
- Ski resorts in nearby Aosta ( Italy)
- Skating rinks (in French only)
In winter, some municipalities set up open-air skating rinks. For instance, the City of Geneva’s rink is open in the Parc des Bastions.
For all other winter activities: Loisirs.ch (in French only).
NB: Some baths do not admit very young children.
- Bains de Cressy ( in French only)
Elsewhere in Switzerland
In neighbouring France:
- Guide to restaurants in French-speaking Switzerland (in French only)
- Search engine for pizzerias in the canton (in French only)
- Restaurants cited in the Michelin and Gault&Millau guides
- Directory of cafés and restaurants in Geneva
- « L’Assiette Genevoise » and « Le Passeport Gourmand » (both sites in French only) restaurant cards offer you the chance to discover restaurants of all kinds at discount prices.
Traditional Swiss Dishes
- Buvette des Bains des Pâquis (winter)
- Le Gruyèrien
- Auberge de Savièse
- Cave valaisanne (chalet suisse)
- Café du Soleil
Eat at locals' homes
DISCOVERING GENEVA AND SWITZERLAND
The Geneva Tourism website gives its own list of the : Top ‘Must See’ sites
- Swiss National Day (in French only) : Switzerland’s National Day is celebrated on 1st August when Swiss people mark the anniversary of the alliance between the Cantons of Uri, Schwytz and Unterwald, the founding cornerstone of the Confederation, as they sought to protect their borders.
- The Reformation in Switzerland
- Switzerland’s neutrality (in French only)
- Switzerland’s national anthem
- Background information on traditions in Switzerland’s cantons
You can’t live in Switzerland without tasting some local specialities like fondue, raclette, croûte au fromage or rösti.
Fondue: the basic fondue is made of melted cheese (Gruyère, Vacherin) in which the eaters dip cubes of bread. Fondue is eaten without any accompanying side-dishes – just a good bottle of chilled white wine or a cup of tea. There are other types of fondue, such as a tomato fondue in which cheese and tomatoes are mixed together and in which pieces of potato are dipped. For the meat-lovers among you, you should try a ‘fondue bourguignonne’ or ‘fondue chinoise’, accompanied by a delicious béarnaise sauce. Lastly, for the chocoholics, take your fruit and dunk them into a tasty molten chocolate fondue.
Raclette: this cheese speciality is created by scraping (the dish’s name comes from the French verb ‘racler’, to scrape) off the outer surface of a half-wheel of cheese which is heated using a special oven. Raclette is eaten with potatoes and white wine (such as Fendant) or tea.
Rösti: a fried potato cake to which bacon bits, ham or cheese can be added, often accompanied by a fried egg.
Croûte au fromage: some bread, some ham, some cheese and, perhaps, a fried egg – all cooked one on top of the other in the oven… mouth-wateringly good!
Birchermüesli: a tasty bowlful for breakfast or dessert, and great for the digestion – a mix of muesli, fruit, yoghurt and cream.
Crème de Gruyère: this rich, thick and tasty cream is often eaten on fruit or with meringues.
Where can you find these culinary delights?
- Buvette des Bains des Pâquis (winter)
- Cave valaisanne & Chalet suisse (in French only, with Google translate options on right)