FREE THINGS TO DO IN GENEVA SUMMER 2018
by Paula Koscielny and Chené Koscielny
Geneva is said to be the second most expensive Swiss city and one of the world’s 10 most expensive. So, finding fun things to do in Geneva without blowing the budget can be tricky, but certainly not impossible.
We share some ideas for free or nearly free things to do in the city this summer – feel free to share your favourites by commenting, sending us a mail or sharing on Facebook or Instagram.
Ciné Transat combines great films with the great outdoors. Gather friends and family alike at the Parc La Perle du Lac, at which outdoor daytime and nighttime screenings take place, totally free of charge. The park includes areas for barbecues, so that one can dine before the film!
Deck chairs are available for rent.
Park La Perle du Lac
Friday- Sunday during July and August. (Check website for individual screenings).
Read the full article here.
FREE MUSIC DURING THE SUMMER
We share some of this summer free events for the music lovers out there.
MUSIQUES EN ÉTÉ
This festival offers numerous free open-air concerts throughout the summer, with musicians and music styles from all over the world. It takes place in the Parc de la Grange, on the Ella Fitzgerald stage, and with such lovely nature all around, why not bring a picnic to enjoy before the concert?
Parc de la Grange.
6 July – 22 August.
You’ll find the full programme here.
AUBES MUSICALES (Sunrise concerts)
For the early risers. These sunrise concerts take place at Bains des Paquis, situated by the lake. Experience beautiful music as you watch the sun rise over the lake.
Bains Des Paquis
From the 1st of August, 6-7 am
Check out their website.
MUSIC IN THE PARK
More open-air music performances take place in the Parc Bertrand in Champel on some Sundays during August.
Sundays during the summer
Parc Bertrand in Champel
Read our article here
SUNDAY AFTERNOON CHILLED VIBES
A DJ provides chilled tunes on Sunday afternoons in the summer in the beautiful Parc le Grange in Eaux-Vives.
Take a picnic or buy a snack at the buvette.
More info here.
MUSIC BY THE LAKE – L’ESCALE
Free music and other performances, as well as drinks, food and children’s entertainment at this lakeside venue sponsored by Ville de Geneve near the Jet d’Eau.
Throughout the summer
Quai Gustav Ador – near the Jet d’Eau – Look out for the red and white striped tower.
Read our article here.
MUSIC BY THE RIVER RHÔNE
A la Pointe Jonction – Enjoy outdoor musical performances and live DJs throughout the summer at this outdoor bar on the banks of the River Rhône. The vibe is relaxed and informal. Anything goes.
A la Pointe bar, Jonction
Throughout the summer – check out their Facebook page for updates.
Keen to get fit and in shape while enjoying some fresh air? Here are some ideas for free fitness training.
FREE URBAN GOLF
Want to practice your swing? From the 2nd of July till the 26th of August, you can enjoy free urban golf every day of the week from 1-7pm on a 4km course.
The circuit of 9 holes starts in Parc des Bastions – where you can collect the equipment from a little chalet near the Place Neuve entrance.
WHEN: until the 26 of August.
On their website.
During the summer there are various free workouts being offered throughout the city where you can sweat it out in the sun.
Bootcamp, yoga and other workouts available for free. Register on Urban Training website beforehand.
Different areas in Geneva including the city centre, Carouge, Meyrin,
Plan-les-Ouates and Grand-Saconnex.
On their website.
YOGA 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
Tuesday and Thursdays except 14 and 16 August at 7.15am.
Free (donations accepted).
More info on Facebook page of Anne So Yoga
YOGA IN THE PARK
On the grass: 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.
Hiking (or biking) up Mont Salève just across the Franco-Swiss border:
If you enjoy a gorgeous view, fresh air and exercise, this would be the perfect, free activity for you. The mountain boasts a number of different designated hiking trails, explorable caves, and much open space for pit stops and picnics.
Mont Salève offers numerous hiking and mountain biking paths. But if you’re not that energetic, the cable car will drop you at the observation deck.
A number of restaurants offer meals for various budgets or take a baguette, cheese and wine.
Enjoy watching paragliders jump off the mountain and airplanes taking off and landing at Genève Aéroport.
Les Amis du Salève (Friends of Salève) meet to explore a different route every Sunday morning at 10 am at the Bus 8 terminal at Veyrier-Douane. Everyone is welcome and it’s free.
One-way rides on the cable car cost 7.30 Euros per adult, while round-trip tickets are 11.30 euros each. Reduced rates are available for children and seniors.
For other hikes not far from Geneva – read our article.
In the mood for dancing? Join the free evenings of salsa, tango, forro or Lindy hop at La Barje des Sciences in the Parc de la Perle du Lac. Great vibes, informal and beautiful setting.
Throughout the summer
La Barje des Sciences
ON their site.
Summer is the best time to get on your bike and discover the city and its beautiful surroundings. Not sure where to get started?
The Ville de Geneve proposes a list of cycle routes on their website.
No bicycle? No problem.
There are 6 spots where you can loan a bicycle for free for a couple of hours.
If you need a bit of a push – the city also offers free tasting sessions on electric bicycles at the Place des Nations until the 21st of August.
BAINS DES PAQUIS We know we feature this one a lot, but we love this unusual urban space, which is liked by locals and tourists alike!
For a minimal entrance fee, you are granted access to a beautiful, well – kept, swimming destination. With a number of different pools, and a swimming area within the lake, combined with a reasonably priced café, a children’s play area and outdoor gym and expansive sunbathing areas, you are guaranteed to have a day of endless fun and relaxation.
NOTE: There is a minimal entrance fee during the summer.
Bains Des Paquis, opposite Kempinski Hotel on Quai Wilson.
GENEVA offers several other beaches in and around the city where you can sunbathe and swim to your heart’s content at no cost – See our article here.
For the best spots for stand up paddle boarding in and around Geneva read our article here.
RELAX IN THE PARKS
Geneva’s parks become a real oasis during the summer months – during the summer of 2018 take advantage of the free deck chairs provided by the city in various parks to soak up the sun, relax with a book or catch a nap.
To find out where you can find the deck chairs – check out the Ville de Geneve site here.
Don’t forget: Geneva Museums offer free entry during the first Sunday of the month!
THE CITY THROUGH THE EYES OF LOCALS
Free walking tours are a great way to explore the city and learn about its rich history and beautiful architecture.
Free Walk Geneva offers two daily free walking tours. The ‘Heart of Geneva’ walking tour from the foot of the Clock Tower, Pont de l’île at Place Bel-Air and explores Geneva’s old town and city centre through the ages.
The second ‘International Geneva’ tour departs from the Broken Chair Monument and visits the many international organisations that are based in Geneva.
Price: free tours are tip-based.
For more info visit the website.
FREE OUTDOOR FRENCH CLASSES
Why not boost your French in a stunning setting in one of Geneva’s park with a friendly, free French course on the grass!
Read our article here.
FREE SWISS FESTIVAL
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.
WHEN: 1st of August
WHERE: Parc La Grange
MORE INFO: You can see the full programme here.
On Saturday, the 11th of August from 22h – the lake will be illuminated during a free 45-minute firework performance – in the heart of the city.
11th of August from 22h.