Geneva for FREE

“Nothing is for free in Geneva” said the guy behind the money exchange counter  when I asked him to split my EUR 100 into 20 EUR bills and he pretended that he wanted 10% commission. Luckily he was only pulling my leg and did not charge me anything.

Geneva is a very expensive place indeed and normally you don’t get anything for free, we all agree on that. Living in Geneva you better think twice how you spend your money as it is gone in a blink. But is there really nothing for free in Geneva?

I would not be so sure! I will show you what you can do in Geneva in summer time and for FREE.

When finally summer arrives in this international town, you are swamped with free offers and the difficult thing is to find enough time to take advantage of all the activities! Here are just a few ideas.

SWIMMING

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Choose Baby Plage (means baby beach), a lovely little corner a few minutes walking distance from the Jet d’Eau. You can install yourself on the sandy beach and as the name indicates you might be surrounded by families with kids as the water is shallow and the swimming area is protected by a rope to avoid that boats are getting too close. But maybe you prefer to sit on the rocks and dip into the fresh water directly from there.

or

Tropical CornerGo to the Tropical Corner, a bit further than Baby Plage. The entry is free and you can install yourself on the rocks surrounding the creek from where you can also take off with a stand up paddle or a windsurf. But if you want to try one of these activities you have to open your wallet. Also for one of the lovely burgers at the bar, but they are worth it.

MUSIC

How early can you get up in the morning? Can you be downtown at 6 am? If not, don’t even go to bed to not miss my next proposal: “Les aubes musicales” (musical dawns) are inviting you to experience an early but fantastic moment. During the summer months and until the beginning of September you can listen every morning to a different concert at the Bain des Pâquis

breakfast Bain des Pâquis

Marc Liebeskind, GendeRevolution, India

Marc Liebeskind, GendeRevolution, India

If it is hard to get up that early in the morning be assured that you will be compensated with the sun rising over the lake, bathing all the surrounding in beautiful summer morning colours, with the most beautiful view on the Mont Blanc and with the peaceful communion with your fellow music lovers who will surround you. To round up this early morning experience have a lovely, cheap breakfast after the concert and let the ambiance sink in a bit more.

or

Concert JardinAnglais

If you like it a bit crazier and are more of a night owl, chose one of the concerts in the evening at the Jardin Anglais during the Fêtes de Genève, the summer happening in Geneva. You’ll find music styles for all kinds of tastes.

DANCING

Move your body to salsa music on Wednesday and Saturday nights at the Perle du Lac or at the Jardin Anglais on Sunday nights. “Salseros de Hoy” organise during the entire summer these dance meetings where you either find yourself in awe watching all the couples swirling over the dance floor or you pluck up your courage and get into the grove yourself.

HIKINGview from Salève

Small hiking tours all through and around Geneva can keep you busy for days. But take a hike up THE Geneva house mountain, the Salève, and you will have the most beautiful view of Geneva once you made it up there. You can choose several different trails to get to the top, expect two to fours hours depending on your physical fitness. Once up there and if there is still some energy left, you can also keep on hiking around on top. Now, here is a secret for the ones who are not too much into hiking but still do not want to miss out on the view: There is also a cable car that takes you up and down in just a few minutes.

MOVIES

A warm summer evening in the park Perle du Lac, with a view of the lake and a good movie to enjoy.That is what you get  at CinéTransat – six summer weeks of a great choice of movies and thematic evenings for a good laugh. Take your friends, your family, your dog, your lover, a blanket, your drinks and food and will have an excellent evening.

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