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An insider’s guide to a weekend in Geneva

3 Dec 2015 | by Anastasia Zakharova


Ever heard that Geneva’s a bit dull? The latest missive from Les Roches alumna Anastasia, is about après-work in Geneva and will make you want to come and in this fabulous city.

It feels awesome! Truly, Geneva is one of the most pleasant cities in the world to live, study and work in.

It completely merits its position as first among convenient cities according to the Global Liveable Cities Index (GLCI).

If you search a high quality of life and safety, good social and cultural services, infrastructure and environmental awareness, Geneva has it all.

I have lived here for more than 3 years and have certainly fallen in love with the ambience of this city. Maybe some of you have heard that it is too quiet and boring for the young and dynamic people and there is nothing to do, but I beg to differ. In this article I am going to shatter this myth and share with you my favourite little cafés, shops, bars and streets. Have a look on my “to-do” list for the perfect weekend in Geneva…

1. Just rent a bike in the Genèveroule and take a road towards a city centre to absorb its atmosphere, pass by the lake and stop in the Bains des Pâquis to eat unusual flavoured ice-cream such as “ananas&basilic”, “coco&lime” or “spaghetti”. Enjoy Jet d`Eau view, a 140 metres fountain dazzling visitors from all over the world.

The Jet d`Eau. You can see it from the airplane when you fly over the lake (on a good day)
The Jet d`Eau. You can see it from the airplane when you fly over the lake (on a good day)


2. Go to the Botanical Garden and delight yourself with the beautiful plants and flowers that are covered with snowflakes during a winter season, blind you with their bright colours in autumn, open their blooming season in spring and flourish in summer.

3. Move on to the city centre where you can grab a fresh salad or wrap at Mango Deck or Elsalad. The best bagels in town you can find in the recently opened Bagel House Cafe. If you are tired after a long ride, grab a favourite for many citizens “Chocolat Chaud” in Martel and walk around the Old Town of Geneva.

4. Beautiful pictures in your memory album are guaranteed. Do some shopping in Rue du Marché and feed the swans by the lake. By the way, there is a special ambulance service for the swans ” Genevoises”, so do not be surprised if you see dozen of Chinese tourists taking picture of the convey with a sick swan driving away to an unspecified direction. Let`s move forward to the best places for the cosy evenings…

blog Anastasia les roches best hotel management school Switzerland hospitality bba alumni
Anastasia and the swans

5. Before dinner I would recommend a glass of wine in Rouge ou Blanc or an apéro in Bottle Brothers and L’atelier de cocktail. They have a large range of well-known and unknown (but super delicious) cocktails, tapas and homemade burgers. Young expats usually gather together after work Thursdays and have a chat about their home countries, make new connections and network there.

6. There are plenty of restaurants in Geneva, unfortunately, not many of them are famous for their service or food, but there are some that can seduce your appetite. One of them is Silkroad Le Marignac, an Uzbek restaurant for meat lovers that has just opened their doors. Two floored building is offering great facilities for private parties, family celebrations and events. “Must try” dishes are juicy “pilaf” and “manty”. OMG I think I am going there tonight!

For the very special occasions or romantic dinners (and if you do not mind spending a good amount of money), I would recommend booking a table at “Izumi”, a very high class Japanese-fusion restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.

I remember it very well as my first date with my husband was there! If you are in a hurry or want a small snack, you cannot forget the one and only Le Monte Bianco, a small Italian épicerie where you can either eat on their terrace during their summer or make your own sandwiches with the freshest of ingredients.

7. When the daylight is covered by darkness there are a few places worth visiting: Timothy Oulten, Zoe and Rooftop are my favourites. They are located close to each other so you can easily switch between them during the night. Not yet famous, but very talented singers, DJs and rock/jazz bands are entertaining guests at Zoe, a live bar in Eaux-Vives district. You will certainly have a night to remember.

It’s already 2am, time to go to sleep…Tomorrow is another beautiful day full of adventures!

This was my short list of places to eat, fall in love, party and make friends in Geneva.

Anastasia Zakharova


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