Spending the summer in Geneva? Then you’re definitely in the right place because this detailed guide will tell you all you need to know about Geneva in summer!
What’s the weather like, what should you pack, and the top city sights are all covered in this detailed guide. Keep reading to see why it pays off to visit Geneva in the summer and what you can do if you travel to this city in Switzerland in the summer!
The summer weather in Geneva is very pleasant. It’s warm enough that you can walk around in thin t-shirts and comfy shorts, but it’s not so hot that you will be sweating bullets just by spending the day outside. Plus, even if you end up sweating bullets because of the heat, you can always just jump in that massive lake to cool down a bit!
Geneva is surrounded by mountains so it has a rather mild climate in the summer. The average daily highs are at a comfortable 26°C, but it is worth noting that temperatures sometimes exceed 30°C, especially in July. The average lows during the summer are at around 10°C, so you might still need a hoodie or a lightweight jacket for evening outings.
Another thing to note is that Geneva is a rainy city and you should expect about a week of rain per month in the summer as well. The summer months actually have more precipitation than the winter and spring months, so it’s smart to keep an umbrella in your bag, just in case.
Summers in Geneva are mostly warm and sunny, so pack shorts, t-shirts, skirts, dresses, sunglasses, hats, and swimwear! Visiting Geneva in the summer is awesome because you can go for a swim in Lake Geneva whenever the heat becomes unbearable.
You should also pack a thin jacket or a hoodie, just so you have something to wear in the evenings. Temperatures can drop below 10°C at night even in the summer, so you will need a hoodie or something to keep you warm.
Also, don’t forget to pack your umbrella and some waterproof sneakers. Summers in Geneva see a lot of thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon hours. Rain is very common in the city even during the hottest months, so it’s smart to always have an umbrella handy while you’re walking around Geneva.
In addition to sneakers, you can pack sandals, flip flops, and pretty much whatever footwear you find the most comfortable. Also, don’t forget to pack SPF – exploring Geneva in the summer means spending a lot of time outside in the sun, and protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial for a nice vacation.
Now you know what to pack and what to expect from the weather, so it’s time to jump straight into the top things to do and see in Geneva in summer!
Lake Geneva is perhaps the most iconic landmark in the city and summer is the perfect time to explore it. With more than 110 public beaches, it’s a very popular destination in the city for those looking to escape the summer heat. Swimming is by far the most popular activity in Lake Geneva, but it’s certainly not the only way to experience this fabulous lake.
You can rent kayaks, go stand-up paddleboarding, and you can even go sailing on the lake. Some beaches will also feature a section with activities for kids, so there are plenty of things to keep the youngest visitors entertained. You can even see slides and rock-climbing walls at some beaches, which is pretty cool for a lakeshore beach.
Also, there’s a lot of spectacular nature around the lake that’s just waiting to be explored, in case you’d rather stay out of the water. With countless hiking trails and gorgeous parks, spending your days exploring the shore of Lake Geneva can be just as fun.
The lakeshore is also the perfect place to witness the iconic fireworks of the Geneva Festival if you find yourself in this city in mid-August. Although the festival is mostly abandoned because of significant financial losses, the grand fireworks still take place every year and they’re mesmerizing to observe.
Geneva’s Old Town is pretty much a maze of narrow streets and charming squares that are filled with countless cafes, restaurants, and historic landmarks. The city centre of Geneva boasts numerous tourist attractions and it’s one of the first stops on any proper tour of the Swiss city.
Walk along Promenade du Lac, go window-shopping on Rue du Rhone, stop by the St Pierre Cathedral, and make your way to Place du Bourg-de-Four, the oldest city square in Geneva. When you’ve had enough of walking around, you can pop into one of the many different bars or restaurants in the city center and continue with the culinary exploration of Geneva.
This is also a great opportunity to try one of the many local wines that are produced at vineyards just outside the city, especially if you’re not staying in Geneva long enough to organize a proper wine tasting.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the historic old town is home to many museums, and you’ll pass by most of them while you’re just walking around and exploring the city. History museums are particularly common in the old town, and any one of them is perfect for getting to learn more about this charming city.
Jet d’Eau Fountain is Geneva’s most iconic water fountain. It’s a massive water jet in Lake Geneva, and it is capable of pumping water up to 140 meters in the air. It’s an impressive sight to witness, just don’t get too close to the stream since the spray will get you.
The fountain is huge and it can be seen from pretty much anywhere on the lakeshore. It’s even possible to stand directly under the fountain if you just walk down the pier. Just wear a raincoat because you will get utterly soaked if you’re standing directly below the fountain.
Jet d’Eau isn’t working 24/7 – the fountain is shut off at night and then turned on every morning. It’s also shut off on very windy days since there’s no way of controlling the spray.
The fabulous Geneva fountain creates rainbows on sunny days, which just makes it even more magical. Especially when the rainbow is juxtaposed with the snow-capped Alps in the background, which could happen even in the middle of July.
Parc de l’Ariana is home to quite a few important buildings, the most notable of which is the office of the United Nations. The second-most notable building at the park would be the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, but it’s worth noting that it’s certainly not the only museum in the lakeshore park.
If you’re traveling to this part of the city, then it’s best to visit as many museums as you can manage in a single day. A walk through Parc de l’Ariana is also a must, at the very least for the fresh air and beautiful views.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum feature a permanent exhibition that details all the humanitarian work done by these two organizations. It’s definitely a place worth visiting as it sheds a little light on humanitarian crises, and a visit to this museum can be eye-opening.
The museum’s exhibitions are based on stories of real people, followed by videos and photographs. It manages to raise awareness in every one of its visitors, and it’s definitely one of the most important places to visit in Geneva regardless of the season.
Summer in Geneva means it’s warm enough to spend most of your time in the city outdoors, so what better way to enjoy the city than in its spectacular parks? The Bastions Park is a popular location in the city center since it’s situated just below the Geneva Old Town.
It’s a vast green space featuring a tree-lined promenade that’s pretty much just walking from one statue to another. This park is a great place to just chill and unwind in the shade, and it’s perfect for picnics.
Jardin Anglais is probably the most famous of all the parks in Geneva thanks to the sculpture of the flower clock. It’s absolutely fascinating to see, and it’s one of those seasonal attractions that you can best experience in the spring and summer. This park is also home to a fountain from the 19th century, quite a few statues, and the Swiss Wheel, which is just Geneva’s take on the Ferris Wheel.
Bains des Pâquis are public bathhouses situated on a pier in Lake Geneva and a very popular place in the city year-round. There’s also a decent restaurant here, as well as a massage and spa right next to the baths.
The restaurant is a good place to try some Swiss staples like cheese fondue, especially if you’re not looking to spend a fortune on food. It’s not very pricey – at least when compared to other restaurants in Geneva – and it always makes the entire pier smell absolutely delicious.
The public baths turn into saunas and hammams in the winter, so you can warm up in the sauna and then plunge yourself into the cold lake. But they’re definitely more popular during the warmer months, and it’s common for other events to be organized on the pier in the summer.
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