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Switzerland : Geneva - July 2010

Country Code: Dial ++41 for Switzerland

This month Geneva warms up with the Pré-Fêtes de Genève (15-28 July, fetesde geneve.ch), where residents and visitors alike practise for the carnival atmosphere to come in August. The streets are alive with the sound of music – so Jane van Lanschot Hubrecht gets into the swing of things

Getting around

Geneva Cointrin International Airport

Bus: If staying on the left bank, the No 10 will get you to Cornavin Station in 10 minutes and across the river in about 15 minutes
Train: The train from the airport to the city centre takes six minutes. A one-hour Tout Genève pass costs €1,90/CHF 3, which you can also use on buses.
Taxi: Taxis cost €19-25/CHF 30-40 and take about 15 minutes to the centre.
Tourist information: 18 Rue du Mont-Blanc (tel. 022 909 7000, www.genevetourism.ch).

CENTRE VILLE

Largely defined by two parallel streets – one for trams and one for traffic – the centre of Geneva is so small that you can see and do all you wish with a minimum of time and effort.

Must eat – The vibrant and busy Brasserie Lipp (8 Rue de la Confédération, tel. (0)22 318 8030) offers high-quality French fare with last orders at 12:30am, which is late for Geneva. The terrace at Café du Centre (5 Place du Molard, tel. (0)22 311 8586) is a perfect place to pause for a drink or a meal, making an excellent vantage point from which to watch passersby in the charming central square. For the best steak in Geneva, try L’Entrecote (49 Rue du Rhone, tel. (0)22 310 6004); be prepared to queue, as reservations aren’t taken.

Must drink – From the 15th of July the Jardin Anglais, the lakeside garden in the centre of town, comes alive with the Pré-Fêtes de Genève. Numerous bars and nightclubs erect stands serving cocktails, champagne, beer, local wine and light food – all accompanied by competing sound systems.

Shop til you drop – Globus (48 Rue du Rhône) is Geneva’s most renowned department store, with an excellent food hall in the basement. Find mind-blowing red pepper chocolates, the best Swiss cheeses – which the store will specially vacuum-wrap for your flight home – and an assortment of local and international delicacies. Opposite, Bon Génie (34 Rue du Marché) is five floors of designer chic, including Chanel and Gucci concessions (in case you don’t have time to make it to the flagship shops on Rue du Rhône).

VIELLE VILLE

Geneva’s old town is not only a mecca for tourists, but also a functioning part of town that’s full of offices, homes, bakeries and useful shops. That being said, it would be a pity to miss the following…

Sleep soundly – Les Armures (1 Rue du Puits-Saint Pierre, tel. (0)22 310 9172, hotel-les-armures.ch, rooms from €500/ CHF 495) is a charming five-star hotel nestled in the heart of the old town with comfortable Swiss chalet-style rooms.

Culture vultures – The AVV (avv.ch) is the association of Art en Vielle-Ville, and comprises 16 galleries and two museums within this tiny area. The galleries cater to a wide range of tastes, from classical to cutting-edge contemporary. Make sure you pay a visit to Galerie Rosa Turetsky (25 Grand Rue), a doyenne of the Geneva art scene, which puts on shows that always manage to surprise.

Must eat – A traditional fondue or raclette in the basement restaurant of Les Armures (details as before) is said to be one of former US president Bill Clinton’s weaknesses. Alternatively, Restaurant de l’Hotel du Ville (39 Grand Rue, tel. (0)22 311 7030) serves a full array of Swiss specialities – don’t miss the fillets de perche.

ACACIAS

This area is on the cusp of being the up-and-coming bohemian district of Geneva. Be on the cutting edge by visiting these venues started by cool cats with foresight.

Culture vultures – This month Guy Bärtschi moves his gallery from the established art scene of the Quartier des Bains to an enormous architecturally exciting loft space, Loft 43 (43 Route des Jeunes), in Acacias. With A-list artists, this is set to become the first stop for international collectors in Geneva. Check out his website (bartschi.ch) for exhibition details, opening times and details of the Saturday yoga classes and organic brunches held amidst the art.

Must eat – La Fumisterie, also known as Chez Ernest (21 Rue des Noirettes, tel. (0)22 342 0043), recently opened in an airy converted industrial space and boasts a delightful terrace for hot summer days. The menu changes frequently and you can be assured of simple, delicious and fresh Italian fare.

Dance the night away – Bypass (1 Carrefour de l’Etoile) is one of Geneva’s chic lounge clubs. It’s open Thursday to Saturday and regularly has world-famous DJs on the decks.



Compiled by Jane van Lanschot Hubrecht

Previous issues for Geneva
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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