The different neighbourhoods in Geneva

Choosing your neighbourhood in Geneva
Updated 2019-08-01 07:11

Geneva is known as an international city - with good reason. Over 40% of the city is made up of foreigners thanks to the dozens of international organisations in Geneva, so you won't find it too hard to adjust. Here are some tips for choosing your neighbourhood and making it your home sweet home.

If you live in an apartment block, you will have neighbours from all around the world! But it is rare that neighbours will speak to each other, other than an awkward hello in the apartment elevator, at the post boxes at the entrance to the building or in the communal laundry room.

The best neighbourhoods in Geneva

As such, Geneva is a multicultural city, but different areas have different vibes.

Eaux-Vives is an area just across the river where international brands like Gucci, Mont Blanc pens and Rolex have stores. There are also a lot of nice cafes to relax with friends after a long day of shopping.

Carouge is a beautiful area just a little outside of the city, often referred to by locals as 'little Italy' thanks to its Sardinian heritage. It has a plethora of cosy cafes, bistros and antique shops. It is also home to the beloved bars, Chat Noir and Bar du Nord.

Servette is just behind the train station, where a lot of young international professionals choose to live due to its proximity to the UN.

Planpalais is the market hub of the city, hosting a farmers' market on Sunday and Tuesday and a flea market on Saturday and Wednesday. It also hosts the circus and a funfair once a year.

Paquis is a lively spot for international cuisine and pubs, like Pickwicks and Scandale, and it is also home to Geneva's red-light district. In summer, people often walk the length of the lake promenade in Paquis to reach the beloved Bains du Paquis bathing area and restaurant.

Geneva is a very packed city: there has been a housing crisis for many years, and the city government is desperately trying to keep up with demand by building new apartment blocks or adding floors to existing buildings.

Parking in Geneva

Consequently, parking can be really tricky in Geneva. There are many parking garages in the city, but prices and availability vary, and a special permit is required for parking in residential areas. Apartment blocks tend to have private parking for residents who pay a monthly or annual fee for a parking spot. If you park there without a valid ticket, you can expect to pay a big fine. However, most of these spots become free to use over the weekends - but be sure to check the local information.

Safety in Geneva

Violent crime is very rare in Switzerland, and the crime rate is extremely low in Geneva. But petty crime like pickpocketing and phone snatching have been on the rise in recent years. There are posters throughout the city, warning people to be vigilant of pickpockets, especially in public areas like the train station or near the Flower Clock. Drugs are an often unspoken problem in Geneva - particularly in the Pâquis, Planpalais and area near the Pont de la Coulouvrenière.

Good to know:

On Sunday, the city slows down as many of the shops are closed. However, the Migros at the Cornavin train station is the only grocery shop open in the city so it can get very busy.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.