The history of Geneva dates from before the Roman occupation in the second century BC, and it was an independent city state from the Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century.

Nowadays whether it's from brimming boy bars to some fine Swiss cottaging: the famous Jet d'Eau water fountain isn't the only thing spurting in Geneva, gushes OutUK's very own rampant rambler Adrian Gillan.

Home to the European Headquarters of the UN and to the Red Cross, few world cities are more attractive and cosmopolitan than lush French-speaking Geneva, perched at one end of its namesake lake in the very spray of Europe's tallest water fount.


The Jet d'Eau. Photo by Stephen Engler.
Courtesy Geneva Tourism.

GAY GENEVA

The gay scene is mainly clustered in the multicultural and bohemian Les Paquis district on the north bank of the Rhone just west of the lake.

Situated here, Dialogai in Rue de la Navigation is at the heart of the queer quarter in every sense, just about the finest LGBT centre you'll ever see: vibrant hub of healthcare, culture, support and socialising that sets new community standards - go look.

EATS

You can be sure of La Certitude to serve up some stunning yet simple modern dishes mere streets away, but for cheaper snacks, head straight to nearby Le Phare, an ambient and informal yet chic café-bar tucked away down an atmospheric side-street and brimming with relaxed and trendy guys. You could also meet the colourful and exuberant local gay crowd sprawled out onto the street at L'Aiglon a few blocks down, or some older guys and the odd rent hanging out at traditional pub Le Concorde on Rue de Bernes.
The trendiest gay Genevans frequent Nathan's Cafe which opens from 8am to serve breakfast and then becomes a lounge-style bar attracting a young and pouting crowd, especially at weekends. Le Declic has been the main hangout for the LGBT community in Geneva for more than 30 years. They have occasional drag shows, magicians and contortionist acts as well as a karaoke night on Fridays. There's an extensive selection of drinks and cocktails, most of which are their own creations.

Cruising Canyon is a gay cruise & fetish club, located in the heart of Geneva, near the train station. They have a maze, backroom and a sling and they organise regular themed events such as naked, hooded, fetish and orgy parties. Having said that, it's discreet, clean and open until late at night.


Gay Pride Parade in Geneva.
Photo: Elenarts.

ALL STEAMED UP

There are several saunas in town, mainly small but clean. Spa Duplexx in Les Paquis is nice and handy and it's cosy with an elegant and contemporary design. It's a naturist and kinky spa, open to women, couples and men.

Bains de l'Est is a large and popular Sauna that's mixed on Tuesdays and Fridays but gay the rest of the week. It's located to the east of Geneva city centre. Facilities include dry sauna and a Hammam - a Turkish bath of public bathing associated with the culture of the Ottoman Empire and more widely the Islamic world. They hold a Gay Foam party on Wednesdays at 8pm.

Other options include Sauna des Sources which also welcomes both men and women, singles and couples. They also have a dry sauna, Hammam, private cabins and relaxation lounges.

Sauna les Avanchets is rather run-down sauna located about 6 km from the city centre, that's mixed most of the week but holds a gay night on Sundays.

Worth a visit is one of the central sex shops called Substation selling a wide selection of slings, rings and things. You can buy a ticket to explore the cruising area and private video cabins up on the 2nd floor.

Bain des Paquiz. Photo by Ricardo de la Riva.
Courtesy Geneva Tourism.
But you won't have to buy any ticket to "Swiss Cottage" in Geneva. Outdoor cruising opportunities abound. Most celebrated and infamous are undoubtedly the shamelessly cruisy Gare Routière coach station gents; the Bains des Paquis jetty beach in summertime during the day; and the Perle du Lac, a pleasant ten minute stroll north of said jetty come nightfall for full-on park-life action.

BED & BREAKFAST

Hotels in Geneva can be pricey, but you can get great deals through our hotel partners Bookings.

MORE INFO

For more information on Geneva call the Switzerland Travel Centre on freephone 00800 100 200 30 or email stc@stlondon.com. Alternatively visit www.geneve.com. Adrian travelled with SWISS International Air Lines who fly to Geneva and other top Swiss destinations from just over £100 per flight - www.swiss.com/uk.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Bains de l'Est (3 Rue de l'Est; T: 0041 22 786 3300; Website)
Cruising Canyon (Rue Dr. Alfred-Vincent 15; T: 0041 22 731 81 15; Website)
L'Aiglon (Rue Sismondi 16; T: 0041 22 732 9760)
La Certitude (Rue Rossi 7; T: 0041 22 738 2726)
Le Concorde (Rue de Bernes 3; T: 0041 22 731 9680)
Dialogai (Rue de la Navigation 11-13; T: 0041 22 906 4040; Website)
Le Declic Bar (Blvd du Pont d'Arve 28; T; 0041 22 320 59 14; Website)
Le Phare (Rue Lissignol 3; T: 0041 22 741 1535)
Nathan Cafe (Avenue de Frontenex 34; T: 0041 22 733 78 76; facebook)
Sauna des Sources (Rue des Sources 17; T: 0041 22 320 0463)
Sauna les Avanchets (Avenue de Baptista, Les Avanchets; T: 0041 22 796 9066; Website)
Spa Duplexx (Rue Pradier 8; T: 0041 22 732 2857; Website)
Substation (Rue de Neuchâtel 14; T: 0041 22 900 1469)

Revised February 2018.

 

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