The word Pâquis derives from the French word “pâturage”, meaning pasture, in memory of a distant time when the area was just meadows located outside of Geneva. Today, the Pâquis district is lively hub for foreign cuisine and nights out, vibrant cafeterias and oriental fast foods, as much as it is a centre for prostitution and drugs. Still, for those of you who are easily offended, be aware that Geneva, however safe it is, has its fun dark side.
Points of interest
The Bains des Pâquis is an artificial peninsula and beach very popular amongst Genevans. On the gorgeous days of summer going to the Baths to chill, catch a bit of sun and have a dip in the lake is a must do.
The Pâquis Baths aren't exclusive to summertime, hammams, saunas and Turkish baths are available and mostly popular in winter.
Paquis Lake Promenade
Wide promenade of Paquis goes all the way from the Mont Blanc bridge towards the park, bending at Bains des Paquis. This is a lovely walk (or, more than often, run) by the flower gardens passing the monuments of Brunswick and Princess Sissi, terrase cafes, modern art statues and boat ports, accompanied by the beauty of the lake.
Square des Alpes
Small park commencing the Pâquis district is the park named Square des Alpes. This little haven of greenery is crowned by the famous Brunswick Monument commemorating the life and achievements of the Duke of Brunswick who's egotistic generosity led him to give 24 million to the City of Geneva in exchange for a monument erected to his glory.
Popular Cottage Café is a place to start a day with yummy breakfast, or heat up with hot chocolate.
The Square borders the very fancy Beau Rivage hotel, a real treat for those who can afford it.
Square de la Navigation
Much lower key but equally beautiful is the Square de la Navigation. Sipping a nice cup of coffee here will truly make you feel like you are part of the local residents.
The Rue de Lausanne, circling the Pâquis on the West, is one of the most famous streets in Geneva. Being the main street allowing cars to enter the city from the highway, it is mainly reputed for its practicality rather than tourist attractions. Still, there are a few interesting bars along the road as well as two distinctive churches, the Church of the Nations for it's international fellowship of believers and the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church for its absolutely unique retrofuturistic architecture.
Hotels in Pâquis
Hotels in Pâquis are two-faced. On one hand, you get the cheaper centred ones such as the Nash Ville, Novotel, Warwick or Royal Manotel.
On the other, you get the first class hotels standing by the lake with views on the city and Jet d'Eau, these include the Beach Rivage, Grand Hotel Kempinski, Richemond, Hotel d'Angleterre or the world famous President Wilson.
Pâquis is home to many different cultures, a vivid expression of that is the myriad of foreign restaurants you'll find there. Mediterranean, South Asian, Middle Eastern, it's worth walking around before finding your perfect fit.
Plenty of clubs, bars, pubs and activity going on the whole night. As Paquis is not very big, it is easy to switch between frew clubs in a night, if you wish.
The Mambo is certainly the most famous club and cocktail bar followed closely by bar the Scandale. Combined with the Red Light District, this area is sprawling with bars which will keep you busy until the early hours of morning.
Summer time finds lots of young people chilling, eating and drinking and listenig to music at the grassy lake promenade, enjoying fresh air and lovely sunset.
The Pâquis aren't a dangerous area per say but you should still be aware of your surroundings while walking there, especially if you happen to pass through the Red Light District at night. We recommend women to always be accompanied at night.
Map of Pâquis:
Pâquis extends from the Cornavin Station and Rue de Lausanne down to the lake promenade, cornering with Mon Repos Park.
Pâquis, 1201 Genève, Switzerland
In and around Pâquis: