Each year, a host of different festivals take place in Geneva, including endless traditional Swiss celebrations, markets and concerts. Many of these events take place within the impressive Palexpo exhibition centre by the airport, just outside the city centre.
One of the first festivals of the year is the Fête de la Feuille which takes place in late February or early March. The local people celebrate the opening of the first leaf on a historic chestnut tree along the Promenade de la Treille. This is taken as a sign that spring has well and truly arrived in the city
In March the International Motor Show is held at the Palexpo exhibition centre. This is an important event on the motoring calendar and attracts visitors from around the world.
In April the Palexpo Exhibiton Centre is taken over by the International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products, displaying to visitors more than a thousand of the latest inventions. This unique event offers visitors the rare opportunity to see items that may be commonplace in the everyday life of the future.
For book lovers, late April or early May is the best time to take a short break in Geneva. The Salon International du Livre et de la Presse et du Multimédia (International Fair For Books and Press and Multimedia) is the largest book fair currently in existence, also held at the popular Palexpo Exhibition Centre.
In June the action is on Lake Geneva, when the Bol d’Or sailing regatta takes place. Organized for the first time in 1939, the Bol d’Or has since become the most important inland regatta in the world with more than 3,000 participants. Europe’s largest lake sailing race is always a spectacular event.
The biggest festival in Geneva’s calendar takes place from late July to early August The Fêtes de Genève (Geneva Festival) is enjoyed by many thousands of locals and visitors who come to watch the LakeParade, enjoy the fairground rides, marvel at the firework displays and soak in the party atmosphere. Lasting ten days, the Geneva Festival is amongst the biggest events in the whole of Switzerland.
For music lovers it is well worth taking a city break in Geneva in August. Following on from the Fêtes de Genève, the Tropical Village Festival is a major celebration of world music, lasting around ten days and currently attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year to the area around the Quai Gustave Ador.
The month of November is brightened up by the Foire de Genève – the Ideal Home Exhibition at the Palexpo Exhibition Centre, with many hundreds of exhibitors and modern ideas about the best way to live your life.
There’s something happening in Geneva almost every month of the year, whether in the streets of the city centre or at Palexpo and it is well worth checking the calendar of events before visiting the city.