ROOFTOP DANCING AND DRINKING
by Gaëlle Forget
It is the midst of summer in Geneva and it’s hot in the city! So, where can you grab a drink or dance and enjoy some fresh air at the same time? The solution: The seasonal open-air clubs and bars that flourish all over town during the summer.
Les Voiles is a well-established summer institution in Geneva. Since 2013, it is open from mid-May until September. Located within Geneve Plage, Les Voiles can be reached either by bike, bus or by car, as there is an underground paid parking nearby. It is the place to see and be seen in Geneva. It has a lounge and chill area to grab a drink after work with colleagues and friends. It also has a DJ set and dance floor to let your hair down. Some people love it, others hate it, but it has the undeniable advantage of making you feel as if you’re on holiday without leaving Geneva. Stepping into Les Voiles is like being in Ibiza or Mykonos for a night. It is an oasis within the city. My favourite time is to go is sunset, when the orange sky over the crystal blue water of the lake is simply stunning. The atmosphere is upmarket and chilled at the same time and I’d highly recommend you try it at least once.
Quai de Cologny 5, 1223 Cologny
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays from 6pm until 1am and Thursdays to Saturdays until 2am.
The downside of this bar is that it is located quite far away from the city centre. It is a nice 20 minute bike ride in the countryside, which can be very refreshing in the summer. The public bus will take you there, however, if you head home later, you might have to order an Über as at night, public buses do not run late or very sporadically. Parking is sparse and not allowed in nearby residential roads.
On the positive side, the bar is trendy, well-decorated and the lounge music is nice as it is not too loud and allows you to chat clearly with your friends and colleagues. It is right next to the Arve River, which can be quite relaxing while sipping your glass of Rosé. The sunset overlooking the river is lovely. During the day, the atmosphere is more relaxed and has a holiday feeling whereas at night, it becomes more festive.
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
MET ROOFTOP BAR
This sophisticated lounge bar is perfectly located right in the middle of the city centre, on the left side of the bank and on top of the beautiful, yet understated Metropole Hotel. From May until September, 7 days a week, from 5pm onwards, you can enjoy what I believe is the best rooftop in Geneva. From this perch, you can see without being seen. The view of the Jet d’Eau and the lake is unbeatable. It is the perfect spot for a late afternoon or early evening drink and to watch the city’s hustle and bustle from above.
Quai du Général-Guisan 34, Hotel Métropole
Monday to Sunday from 5pm until 1 am except Sunday and Monday until 12am
CAFÉ VOISIN 105
This new urban rooftop is a bit further out, but it is fairly easily accessible via tram. There are also parking spaces nearby, which are free at night. The atmosphere here is a bit different than in the city centre, there is no lake view and the view in general is maybe not as romantic or breathtaking as the lake views. You come here because you are in need of something different, more modern with an urban and post-industrial Brooklyn feel. The atmosphere is fun and festive and perfect for dancing. The DJ is good and knows how to alternate trendy mainstream music with classics from the eighties. For a different and quite unique nightlife experience in Geneva, I highly recommend Café Voisin 105.
Route des Jeunes 105A
Tuesday – Friday from 8am until 2am and Saturday from 11:30am until 2am
In the heart of the city, on the left side of the bank, on the eighth floor of a corporate building, another good rooftop with a beautiful view overlooking the lake and the city. Perfect for an afterwork drink to enjoy the sunset. At night, it transforms into a club and you can dance your heart out to trendy DJ beats. The atmosphere is young, fun and trendy.
Rue du Rhône 42
Tuesday 10 am until 1am, Wednesday – Thursday until 2am and Friday and Saturday until 2:30 am
From June 29 until September 2nd, the city of Geneva is generously providing its residents with an amazing public bar and events area located on the left bank. It is a communal free public space allowing residents, kids and adults to get together and share unforgettable summer memories. There are two bars serving delicious locally brewed beers and food trucks, but the beauty of this place is that you can also bring your own food and drinks and still enjoy the seating area. Concerts are held on site every evening and bocci ball, hammocks, free books, a giant chess game and even a piano are provided free of charge. What I love the most is that the entire space has been built with recycled wood and it has a beautiful garden, which brings some shade to the seating area. The atmosphere is warm and friendly. It is definitely one of the coolest place in Geneva this summer. It is a must try for all!
Quai Gustave Ador by Baby beach
From Tuesday to Thursday from 4pm until 12am, Friday until 1am, Saturday from 10am until 1am and Sunday from 10am until 11pm
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 in this city, than heading to the right bank for a swim at the end of 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. After 8pm, the entrance is free (during the day it is 2chf to get in) and the place becomes less crowded and you can truly unwind. It is open until 11pm every day and is a great outdoor evening alternative if you’re on a budget.
Quai du Mont-Blanc 30
from Monday to Sunday from 7am to 11pm