A zest of culture: the best events in Geneva this summer

During a much sunnier summer, children cool off in the water fountain at the place des Nations, on 23 August 2020. (Credits: KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi).

Concerts in the park, mystery murder parties, and contributions from International Geneva in the form of humanitarian exhibitions and walking tours: we have your summer covered.

Between the bad weather and Covid-19 still looming large, this has hardly shaped up to be an ideal summer so far. But there are plenty of activities taking place in the Geneva area to boost those holiday vibes. With that in mind, Geneva Solutions has mapped out 25 of the best events below – with plenty of indoor options for rainy days. Here are five highlights:

Evolution of life on Earth

  • From the emergence of the first aquatic species millions of years ago to the current threat of mass extinction, this exhibition at the Botanical Garden tells the tale of earthly life and how to protect it. The Grand Bazaar of Evolution (until 17 October). For those who like immersive games, association A la Loupe! will be organising two “murder parties” for an alternative way to discover the gardens and its exhibition. Murder parties, 21 August & 4 September

Concerned: 30 artists on humanitarian issues

  • As the global capital of humanitarian action, Geneva exerts a powerful influence on local artists. As part of the Prix Art Humanité, sponsored by the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD), 30 artists offer a reflection on the meaning of humanity. International Museum of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, until 26 September

Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurais

  • In this Japanese art exhibition, the Ariana museum, located in front of the Palais des Nations, unveils for the first time more than half of its Japanese ceramics collection – 500 pieces going from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Ariana Museum, until 5 September

Strolling through International Geneva

  • Geneva’s international district has a rich history, parts of which are unknown maybe even to those who work there every day. Highlighting the rich past of International Geneva through its landmarks, this guided tour will delight all history enthusiasts. “International Geneva” stroll, 8 & 17 August

Movies from the South

  • This year’s Helvetas Cinéma Sud tours Switzerland and makes two stops in the Geneva area, in Onex and the Bain des Pâquis. The cinema is eco-friendly: the gear is moved with bikes equipped with solar panels that stock the energy needed for the screening. The programme: six movies with directors from the Global South – including The Perfect Candidate, which tells the tale of a Saudi female doctor running for municipal elections in her hometown. Helvetas Cinéma Sud, 20-22 August (Onex) 23-28 August (Bain des Pâquis).

And to enjoy a full summer of culture, take a look at Geneva Solutions’ interactive map: