Restaurants, Sites, and Activities
Recommended restaurants for a quick lunch and meals to-go (close to the conference venue):
Birdie (vegetarian friendly):
Geneva's best coffee shop
Serves: eat-in or take-away coffees, sandwiches, salads, and desserts
Rue des bains 40
Tuesday – Friday 08:00 – 18:00
Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
(Nothing beats a birdie cheesecake and a flatwhite to make any day just a little better.)
Cheesecake & Co. (vegetarian/vegan friendly):
Quick NYC-style bagel sandwiches - perfect for a fast lunch
Serves: Breakfast and lunch (bagels, sandwiches, salads), coffee, tea, cheesecake, cookies
rue du Conseil-Général, 6 | +41 22 321 66 48
Monday – Friday 08:30 – 18:30; Saturday and Sunday closed
(*students can benefit from the student discount)
Holy Cow! (vegetarian friendly):
Home-made burgers and fries (or salad) - minutes from Bastions, minutes to serve.
Serves: Burgers (veggie and meaty) and fries, not much else!
rue de Carouge, 14
Monday - Saturday 11:00 – 22:00
Mikado sushi (vegetarian/vegan friendly):
Quick sit-in or take-out sushi restaurant; offers to-order sushi platters
Serves: Sushi, teriyaki chicken, dumplings, assorted Japanese dishes
rue de Carouge, 5 | +41 22 320 44 77
Recommended restaurants for lunch and dinner (sit-in):
Les Bains des Pàquis
Lunch, Dinner, Fondue, Saunas, Hammams, Massages, Swimming in the Lake - The Bains have everything you need to relax after a busy conference.
Serves: Copious "plats du jour," delicious salads, fresh-pressed juices, homemade cakes
Quai du Mont-Blanc 30 | +41 22 738 16 16
La Sixième Heure (vegetarian/vegan friendly):
Unique Genevan "brocante" with great desserts
Serves: Lunch and dinner (salads, quiches, pasta), excellent tea selection, coffee, cakes
Place des Philosophes 6 | +41 22 320 7369
Monday – Friday 08:30 – 23:30, Saturday 09:30 – 18:30
Café Glacier Remor (vegetarian friendly):
An institution in Geneva and the best veggie burgers in town
Serves: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner (quiches, salads, croques, great burgers - veggie and meaty), milkshakes.
Le Calamar (vegetarian friendly):
A university favorite; plays old movies on the wall and serves local beers
Serves: Lunch and dinner (seafood, burgers - including veggie, tapas)
91 Bvd Carl - Vogt
Restaurant hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 24:00
Bar/lounge Saturday – Sunday 10:00-24:00
Les Armures (vegetarian friendly):
Famous fondue in the heart of Geneva's Old Town
Serves: Lunch and dinner (a lot of fondue but also pasta and meat dishes)
Sites and Activities:
If you've just arrived in Geneva and want to acquiant yourself with the Old Town, you may want to start with Jean Calvin's cathedral and the archaeological museum located underneath (the museum is quite large and fascinating so save some time to see it).
You can also visit the Musées d'Art et d'Histoire (Art and History Museums), located just 5 minutes walking from the Cathedral (Rue Charles Galland, 2) or the newly renovated Ethnography Museum (Musée d'Ethnographie) located about 10 minutes walking from UniBastion, across the diamond of Plainpalais (Blvd Carl-Vogt 65-67); make sure to check out Frankenstein's statue while on the Plain!
If you want to travel further afield, you can take a walk along the Genevan lakeside (the Jura side, or the side opposite the water jet) and head towards the Science Museum (free entry), the World Trade Organization (who is hosting an Open House on 14 June, if anyone is still in Geneva on this date), and, across the street from the WTO, the Botanical Gardens.
From the gardens, it's just a short walk up the hill to the Palais des Nations (UN Headquarters) and the famous "Broken Chair" statue:
On the opposite side of the lake, you'll definitely want to check out the famous "Jet d'Eau" close up (note: if the wind is blowing towards town, the city will turn the jet off, in case you're wondering where it is). If you're feeling adventurous, keep walking along the lake, away from town, and eventually (5-10 minutes), you will reach Geneva's two largest, and arguably most stunning, parks: Parc de la Grange and Parc des Eaux-Vives. The former boasts a beautiful and extensive rose garden (and a dog park, if you need a boaster of canine companionship) while the latter offers sequoias, nesting birds of prey, a waterfall, and a fantastic hotel terrace for a glass of rosé overlooking the park and the lake.
The lakeside is also great for runners and cyclists as it offers miles / kilometers of well-paved and populated sidewalks and bike paths with beautiful scenery. It's a particularly popular destination, for Genevans and visitors alike, on Sundays, when the town shuts down and you have no choice but to sit in the sun and relax (maybe with a good book on posthumanism?). If you don't want to bring your running shoes, you can always rent a bike from one of the many Genève Roule kiosks around town. But if you want something a little more "off the beaten path," you can always contact local running expert, for recommendations on Geneva's best trail runs.
Finally, the best way to take in all of Geneva is from above, at the top of the local mountain, the Salève. You can walk up it via the walking trail at the base of the téléphérique or you can take the Téléphérique up (not recommended for those with a fear of heights!). No matter how you get there, the summit is worth the trip, offering panoramic views of Geneva, Vevey, neighboring France, and Mont Blanc. The walking trail and the téléphérique are accessible via the Number 8 bus line, which has stops near the university. No pictures for this trip; you need to see it for yourself! (Contact for more details and a potential Sunday walking partner).
Additional recommendations can be found at the following sites:
"36 Hours in Geneva" - The New York Times
"48 Hours in Geneva" - The Independent
All photos on this page are available from Wikimedia commons or are reproduced with permission by the photographer.