This section of My Big Geneva is all about your spare time in Geneva. If you are busy all day like us, you don’t want to be disappointed when out on occasion. Breaking with the routine is essential for extra fun, yet, let’s face it, Geneva is a village compared to many other European cities, so it’s okay to need great tips from your MBG team. Discover our selection of seasonal activities out of the beaten tracks.
Amongst the activities to enjoy in your spare time, we bring highlights on culture, may it involve cinema, concerts or art exhibitions. My Big Geneva notably partners with major annual festivals to promote the best of cultural events around the city. In the cold winter days of January and February, the Antigel Festival offers the best remedy to get back on your feet. Another festival to attend is Les Athénéennes, which runs in June and provides with uncompromising classical and jazz concerts. Also, keep an eye on the neighbourhood of Carouge that organises many exciting free-of-charge events year-round, such as the Spring festival and the Christmas Market.
Cinemas in Geneva
Geneva’s open-air cinema, CinéTransat, takes place each summer at the Perle du Lac and is free of charge. Bring your friends, your food and your beer (but mind your waste, please). You can even rent deckchairs on the spot for 2CHF and vote in advance on CinéTransat’s website for the movie you’d like to see!
For movie aficionados, the city has several independent cinemas running qualitative programs throughout the year. With its reclining leather seats and massive screens, Cine17 provides with the most comfortable experience. Other venues like Cine Bio, Les Scalas or Le Nord-Sud show lesser-known releases to diverge from blockbusters. The Grütli runs excellent retrospectives on filmmakers and actors and also hosts significant movie festivals such as the FIFDH and the GIFF. Here’s an extra tip, get a Cinepass to access discounts on all tickets for a year at a selection of independent cinemas. It’s a great way to support and immerse in this vibrant scene!
Concerts in Geneva
Whether you’re into electro, classical, jazz, RnB, rap music, you name it, Geneva welcomes numerous international artists with incredibly diverse musical backgrounds. As you’ll see in our interviews of Chilly Gonzales or Max Cooper, many artists enjoy the top quality of Geneva’s artistic scene and share indelible memories of their performances in the city. Do not miss Bains des Pâquis’ Summer dawn concerts which bring exceptional free, live shows by the lake. Also, if you’re into local discoveries, head to Geneva’s music label and record store Bongo Joe. The venue often runs events to promote Swiss artists, a great way to spend a night out!
Art in Geneva
Art is an active part of Geneva’s cultural scene. From museums with shows of international reach to more topic-centred foundations and institutions, the city has a lot to offer when it comes to art. You might not run through many ads for on-going shows in Geneva, but, as always, the MBG team is here for you with many thoughtful suggestions of art venues.
The art and history museum, the museum of natural history, and the museum of ethnography run some of the most qualitative permanent and temporary exhibitions around. If you are into modern and contemporary art, do not miss our well-known museum for contemporary art, MAMCO. Next to it stands the Geneva’s contemporary art center which notably shows the Biennale of Moving Images. Geneva also holds some hidden foundations from prestigious art collectors, such as the Fondation Baur and the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art. In Geneva’s old town, the Musée Barbier-Müller presents the world’s most extensive private collection of tribal and antiquity art. The Fondation Martin Bodmer also maintains a world-known collection of books and hosts worthy theme-based exhibitions. Moreover, international organisations such as the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent bring together fantastic shows on human rights.
Art Galleries in Geneva
Of course, Geneva hosts many international galleries specialised in modern and contemporary art, such as Gagosian, Pace, De Jonckheere, Bailly Gallery, Xippas Gallery and Artvera’s. If you wish to stroll around for art, head to the Old Town or the Quartier des Bains. Andata Ritorno shows the best of local artists, while Ormond Editions provides with high-end designer furniture. Looking for more casual and less elitist venues? Gallerists at MAD Gallery, Maya Guidi Art Gallery, and Aubert Jansem Galerie will welcome you with a smile and open your mind to new visions of the world.
Art fairs and events in Geneva
Geneva’s modern and contemporary art fair Art Genève runs in January each year. But many other exciting art fairs and events take place across the city. Art Carouge runs twice a year. Meanwhile, three times a year, the Quartier des Bains organises La Nuit des Bains, an evening where galleries stay open for previews, wine and chats. Same goes for galleries in the Old Town with its Art en Vieille-Ville openings.