Geneva After Work

by Irene Rawlings

Jun 1, 2019
June 2019

AT THE SOUTHERN TIP of Lake Geneva — surrounded by soaring, snow-capped mountains — Geneva is a global hub for international diplomacy and banking and houses the headquarters of the Red Cross and Europe’s United Nations. France surrounds the city on three sides, and its influence permeates everything: language, food, fashion and a lively bar and club scene.

When they leave work, Genevans head outdoors. During the summer months (with up to 15 hours of daylight), they enjoy jogging or biking along the tree-lined promenade on Lake Geneva’s shores. Rent a bike (free for four hours) from one of many Genève Roule locations. Cycle over to the Jet d’Eau, one of the world’s largest fountains and especially spectacular when illuminated at night. Take a dip in the lake at the wildly popular Bains des Pâquis. Book a massage or hammam in the spa. It lies just behind La Buvette, an outdoor restaurant with reasonably priced fondue and priceless views.

Popular after-work watering holes include Riverside Café, offering drinks and food on a terrace overlooking the Rhone River, and Rooftop 42, a showstopping new bar with live music and amazing city views. Check out FloorTwo Bar in the Grand Hôtel Kempinski, featuring remarkable views of the Alps and innovative cocktails and a DJ at night. Arthur’s Rive Gauche, a jazz bar with velvet armchairs, boasts an impressive wine list and a heavenly terrace.

Take an Uber or tram to the bohemian district of Old Carouge — the winding streets are perfect for shopping and strolling (especially from Rue St.-Joseph to Place du Marché). Stop for a brew and a bite at über-local tapas bar Qu’importe. Evenings, regulars swear by Bar du Nord, with more than 500 single malts to choose from. In-the-know locals sip classic cocktails and listen to jazz and blues in the cellar of Chat Noir Club (electronic dance music after midnight).

Since the 1940s the Swiss have stood at the forefront championing gay and lesbian rights. Geneva remains one of the world’s most LGBTQ+-friendly cities, hosting dozens of gay venues. Two popular spots are the stylish Le Phare with its young, chatand- chill vibe and kitschy Le Déclic, the city’s oldest gay bar.

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