Urban swimming in Geneva Bains des Pâquis, source. Swiss Images (Christof Schuerpf)

Urban swimming in Geneva

Our local's tips for cooling off in summer.

With 6% of the continent’s fresh water flowing through Switzerland’s lakes and rivers, there are plenty of places for a summertime swim, with the most popular ones found in the cities. Here’s a run-down on the best spots for swimming in Geneva...

Geneva sits at the tip of western Europe’s largest lake so of course the city has a fair few bathing options for cooling down on a hot day. Some are free, others you have to pay a few francs but all are worth a visit.

piscinescroppedGenève-Plage, source: www.geneve-plage.ch

The large Genève-Plage is on the southern shore of the lake, a short walk from the city centre. Not only is there a pebbly beach sloping down into the lake and an outdoor pool with swimming lanes, but there’s also plenty of space for relaxing with the kids or sunbathing on the grass. A high-diving platform adds to the fun. Entry is 7 francs for adults, 4.50 for children.

More laid-back is the local favourite, Bains des Pâquis, which dates back to 1872 and could not be more central. The baths are built on a long breakwater stretching out into the lake, giving bathers great views of the Jet d’Eau, the city’s landmark fountain. Aside from swimming, you can also get a massage, a hammam, a bite to eat, or simply sun yourself on the rocks. Entry is 2 francs.

JonctionSwimming at Jonction, source: livingingeneva.wordpress.com

One spot that most tourists don’t find is La Jonction, where the crystal clear River Rhone meets the murky faster River Arve. Definitely choose the Rhone side for swimming as it’s safer, warmer and cleaner. Wooden decks line the shore for a spot of sunbathing before slipping into the water and floating downstream. It’s a tram ride from the centre (stop: Jonction) but it’s free to swim.

1 La Jounction
2 Genève Plage
3 Bain des Pâquis