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 rampant rambler Adrian Gillan.
European HQ of the UN and home to the Red Cross, few world cities are more 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 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.
The Jet d'Eau. Photo by Stephen Engler.
Courtesy Geneva Tourism.
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.
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. Or meet the colourful and exuberant local gay crowd
sprawled out onto the street at L'Aiglon a few blocks down.
Older guys plus the odd rent hang out at traditional pub Le Concorde on Rue de Bernes
and an eccentric crowd of most unique individuals muster at Twins, a tiny step-me-down
bar around the corner that also serves good cheap food during the day.
Some of the trendiest gay Genevans frequent Le Nathan just behind the railway station.
Not easy to find but worth the trouble, this lounge-style bar attracts a young and
pouting crowd, especially at weekends. But come Friday or Saturday, you'll want to
venture over the river into the city's quaint Old Town - to Le Prétexte, Geneva's
only gay club that - of necessity - pumps out music to suit all tastes.
ALL STEAMED UP
There are several saunas in town, mainly small but clean. Pradier in Les Paquis is
nice and handy, but many head west to the larger Avanchets out towards the airport.
It's also worth visiting a couple of central sex shops: Player's has a sizeable gay
porn grotto and affords ample cruising opportunities between aisles; Substation sells
a wide selection of slings, rings and things and you can even buy a ticket to explore
the cruising area and private video cabins up on the second 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
For more information on gay & lesbian holidays in Switzerland check out
www.MySwitzerland.com, call the Switzerland
Travel Centre on freephone 00800 100 200 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or alternatively visit www.geneva-tourism.ch.
Adrian travelled with SWISS International Air Lines who fly to Geneva and other
top Swiss destinations from £82 return.www.swiss.com/uk.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
L'Aiglon (Rue Sismondi 16; T: 0041 22 732 9760)
Avanchets (Avenue Baptista; T: 0041 22 796 9066)
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 Nathan (Rue Baudit 6; T: 0041 22 733 7876)
Player's (Rue des Vieux-grenadiers; no phone)
Le Phare (Rue Lissignol 3; T: 0041 22 741 1535)
Pradier (Rue Pradier 8; T: 0041 22 732 2857)
Le Prétexte (Rue de Prince 9; T: 0041 22 310 1428)
Substation (Rue de Neuchâtel 14; T: 0041 22 900 1469)
Twins (Rue Chaponnière 8; T: 0041 22 732 7282)
Revised February 2015.