Bains des Pâquis
One of the most popular spots in Geneva is the Bains des Pâquis, an artificial peninsula surrounded by a lively beach that jets into the lake near Pâquis district (Rive Droite). It’s scenery is unmistakable due to the lighthouse at the end.
Beach, which is very popular during hot summer days, has more than sufficient room to lie down and sunbathe, as well as easy access to the water. A magnificent view over the lake and the Jet d’Eau makes it a must place to visit.
Paquis baths (Bains des Pâquis) are essentially two saunas, hammam and turkish baths; together with restaurant providing great spot for rejuvenationstar.
Bains des Pâquis:
How to get here
Entry to Bains des Pâquis is from Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, which is the western promenade of the lake.
Take a bus 6, 8, 9, 25 to Mont-Blanc and walk 8 minutes by the lake.
Alternatively, being more adveturous, take a yellow boat - mouette, to port Pâquis (M1, M2, M3).
Parking: White and blue parking zones at Quai du Mont-Blanc and Quai Wilson. Alternatively, use Fairmont Grand Hotel parking garage (CHF 3 per hour).
Bicycle: Many room to lock a bike. The free bike rental service Geneve Roule is located near by.
One of the most popular beach in Geneva, next to Geneva Plage and Baby Plage, with breezy atmosphere attached to it. There is plenty of space to lie down and access water and 4 nice trees to provide shade. Cloakroom behind the reception lends inflatable armbands for kids or rents table tennis rackets for nearby tables.
There are many opportunities to actively spent time and have fun, for adults and children as well - small water slide, water polo, table football, little workout area. Climbing wall in the water is challange for all climbers, and from atop it is possible to jump down into the lake (but water is not that deep, so jump with your feet down). Lifeguards are watching over.
Interesting attraction is zip-line going above the water and slowly into the water, safe also for children. Unfortunately open only when there are enough lifeguards, which is about every other day.
Entrance to whole Bains des Pâquis area
- Winter (from the 12th of September to 10th of May): free
- Summer 2015 (from the 11th of May to 11th of September) CHF 2 for adults (16+), CHF 1 reduced price (children), free for children up to 6 years old.
Seasonal tickets available (CHF 50 for adults, CHF 20 for children).
Entry fee is needed to be paid only during the official opening hours, which are: 10am to 9pm Mon-Sat and 9am to 9pm on Sundays.
Dogs are not allowed.
Entry is from Quai du Mont-Blanc 30.
Bains des Paquis and its beach include these facilities:
- Changing cabins
- Sports: Table tennis (renting rackets and balls), Table football (1chf), Zipline (not every day), water volleyball net, water slide for children, gymnastic bars
- Free WiFi
La Bouvette des Bains
Renowned restaurant and bar La Buvette des Bains offers affordable and delicious meals for breakfast, lunch (including an outstanding and bountiful plat du jour) and dinner. The menu has an array of salads, cheese and dried meat plates, desserts, and fresh squeezed juices. Plates are affordable ranging from about 11-18 CHF, and quantity is copious.
In the winter the restaurant serves fondue for dinner, but make sure to book your seat in advance, as reservations are typically fully booked.
The Baths (Les Bains)
sauna, hammam and turkish baths
One of Geneva’s best kept secrets: Year-round there are two hammams (mixed and exclusively women) which are extended in winter when the summer swimming area is transformed into two sizeable state-of-the-art Swedish/Finnish saunas (with 75°C and 85°C respectively) as well as a Turkish bath. Tuesdays are women’s only day.
Understand: The turkish bath is a sunny steam room, and the hammam is a completely dark area where exfoliation is done with the black soap… which is absolutely not allowed in the turkish bath. Together with sauna, which closed in summer half-year, all 3 facilities are collectively named Les Bains des Pâquis (from which also the peninsula and beach got their name).
TIP: Although this is the most popular sauna and public thermal baths in Geneva, there are many opportunities to skip the crowd, particularly on weekdays during work hours.
Note that it is most common to see several people completely naked, although some people do opt to wear swimming suit or towels, particularly the women.
The Turkish bath is a steam room overlooking the lake, with more moderate temperatures and great for meditation.
Best sauna practises: Sauna is recommended for approximately 15 minutes (though some adepts stay for much longer than that, while others can barely stand one minute), followed by either a cold shower or a jump into the cold lake and a relaxation period of another 15 minutes either laying down on the designated wooden planks outside or on loungers in the rest area inside. Repeat the process about 4 times for complete regeneration and detoxification of your whole body and soul.
Massages and shiatsu available at very reasonable prices (appx. 60 CHF).
Entry to hammam and sauna
In summer (mid May to mid September) the hammam is open from 10 am - 7:30 pm for a fee of 10 CHF, including towel rental.
Sauna is closed during the summer.
In winter the facilities are much more elaborate, entry to saunas, hammas and turkish baths is 20 CHF together (towel rental not included: bring two towels of your own or you can rent them for 5 CHF) giving access to the facilities the whole day. On Mondays the entrance fee is only 13 CHF. Entrance includes a changing room which also serves as a locker. Bring an ID card, a set of house keys, or something valuable to deposit in exchange for the key. Slippers are available for rent for 2 CHF.
Dogs - Dogs are not allowed in Bains des Paquis.
Dawn Concerts (Aubes Musicales)
Every morning during the summer at sunrise (around 6 am) there are free concerts on the Bains des Paquis, with magnificent views over the lake and sunrise.
Near Bains des Pâquis
From Geneva’s best kebabs to the finest foreign restaurants, the Pâquis is worth visiting solely for its multicultural food choice