BEST LAKESIDE AND RIVERSIDE TERRACES IN GENEVA
by Alexandra Belz and Chené Koscielny
Nothing better than watching the sun go down over the lake or river while you sip your bubbly or cocktail on a summer’s evening (or afternoon). We share our favourite places to enjoy a drink with a view in the city.
Also see our article on the 3 latest pop-up lakeside spaces and bars this year – subsidised by the City of Geneva.
Les Voiles, inside Geneva Plage premises, is somewhat of an institution in Geneva. Since 2013, it is open from mid-May until September. It is definitely where the jet set of Geneva hang out to be seen. It has a lounge and chill area to grab a drink after work with colleagues and friends. It also has a DJ and dance floor to get you grooving till late into the night. You’ll feel like you’re in Ibiza.
My favourite time is to go is sunset, when the orange sky over the crystal blue water of the lake is beautiful.
They also have a new food court with new food options, which we haven’t tried yet.
Quai de Cologny 5, 1223 Cologny
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays from 6pm until 1am and Thursdays to Saturdays until 2am.
The Mango Lounge is a big open terrace next to the River Arve with a great vibe.
The only downside is that it is quite far away from the city centre. The public bus will take you there, however, if you head home later, you’ll have to get an Über as at night, public buses run only sporadically. Parking is sparse and God help you if you park in one of the nearby residential roads!
On the positive side, the bar is trendy and the music is nice, without being so loud that you can’t hear a word of what your date is saying. It is right next to the Arve River. Sipping your Rosé as the sun sets over the river is lovely. During the day, the atmosphere is more relaxed and has a holiday feeling whereas at night, it becomes more festive.
Food options include burgers, salads, tapas, sandwiches and more, but we haven’t tried the food yet.
The cocktails we can vouch for!
Route du Pas-de-l’Echelle 4, 1255 Veyrier
From Monday until Sunday from 6pm until 12 am and Friday and Saturday until 4 am
BAINS DES PÂQUIS
It is not exactly an open-air lounge bar, nor a club and it is not fancy. However, there is nothing more relaxing after a day’s work than heading to the right bank for a swim or sunbathing on the deck or next to the beach during the day. Once the sun goes down, you can enjoy your own bottle of wine or grab a drink at the bar and enjoy their daily dish of the day – the food is simple, but always fresh and cheap as chips for Geneva! After 8pm, the entrance is free (during the day it is CHF2 to get in) . It is open until 11pm every day and is great if you’re on a budget.
Quai du Mont-Blanc 30
From Monday to Sunday from 7am to 11pm
Photo credit Patrick Nouhailler
LES BULLES DU 23
This pop-up bar with an amazing outside space overlooking the Rhône opened recently for the season. We were there and really enjoyed the vibes, the people and the great music. It is a great venue to chill after work with an apéro, whether that is a glass of Champagne from the signature Champagne Bath, an Apérol Spritz (we love the Pink Spritz) or whether you choose to create your own Gin & Tonic in the botanic corner.
Food options include delicious lobster sandwiches from the Gentleman Lobster, who has teamed up with the bar for the summer ( between CHF16-21.00) or you can opt for a more traditional cheese and charcuterie platter. We LOVED the truffle cheese. On the opening night, DJ Flo Shot provided the vibes and it was just fab!
Rue de la Coulouvrenière 23
Monday to Friday 12:00- 14:00 and 17:30-midnight
Saturday 18:30- midnight
This seasonal bar near the entrance to the Bains des Pâquis is right on the water’s edge. The atmosphere is great and very relaxed with stunning views of just about every icon – including the Salève, the Jet d’Eaux and the ferris wheel during summer.
La Terrasse offers a variety of cocktails, beers, wines and small snacks like tapas.
It takes a while to find a seat during sunny days!
31, Quai du Mont-Blanc
Tel. 0041-(0)79 342 1427
Á LA POINT – JONCTION
A cool laid-back summer hangout situated where the two rivers merge. The colourful decorated buvette offers refreshing drinks – from beers, wines, prosecco, juices, coffee to citronnade, as well as a selection of snacks (mixed cheese/charcuterie/bread platters, empanadas, croque-monsieur, hummus, ice creams). Different levelled wooden platforms are available for sunbathing on deckchairs. There are ladders down into the water from the decks for those who want to cool off. Great vibes with DJs and live concerts during the summer.
27 Sentier des Saules, 1205 Genève.
BARJE DES LAVANDIERS
From April to September, the Barje installs its trailer on the Promenade des Lavandières and offers drinks, tapas, snacks and free cultural events and mini-concerts by local bands.
A laid-back atmosphere with colourful umbrellas and deck chairs right in the centre of the city.
Promenade des Lavandières, Jonction.
BARJE DES SCIENCES
Set in the Parc de la Perle du Lac in front of the science museum, this bar subsidised by the city – similar to the other Barje bars – attracts an international crowd as well as families and tourists, who go there for their various dance and musical evenings. Events include impromptu classical music and regular tango and other open air dance evenings.
Parc de la Perle du Lac, 1202 Genève.
A tropical oasis in the city – even with palm trees! There are two bars at the windsurfing and paddle board centre Tropical located next to Genève Plage. With its private resort beach club feel, it’s a cool place to hang out. It is open to everyone from watersports enthusiasts to business people who come here for an apéro or light meal.
5 quai de Cologny, 1223 Cologny.
Great views, food, drinks and themed nights – the Bateau Genève is a great place to savour the last of day’s sun on the top deck of this boat moored just beside the Jardin Anglais and the Jet d’Eau. The atmosphere is totally relaxed.
You can order light snacks to accompany your apéro or a meal including a vegetarian burger, beef salad and cordon bleu (Priced around CHF20)
1 quai Gustave-Ador, 1207 Genève.
Get on board this unusual little bar moored in the middle of the river Rhône – a 19th century ‘washing boat’, where women would traditionally go to scrub their washing. A great place to go for a drink, lunch or an apéro on their rooftop terrace, listening to the calming sounds of the water or enjoying the live music events.
Brunch on Sundays – if the weather is good.
Promenade des Lavandières, 1204 Genève.
A great location for some serious people watching and to enjoy some delicious, creative cocktails. Food is served all day from breakfast through to dinner. DJ afterworks from 6pm onwards will get you in the mood for their pre-clubbing event from 10pm until 2am.
19 rue du Rhône, 1204 Genève.