What’s on and free in Geneva in May 2017

GENEVA, Switzerland – Events galore in May in Geneva! Get your java, take five and go through this long list of events and activities in the canton and beyond. This month keep an eye out for art and gallery events, flower markets and wine festivals, and loads of free fitness activities.

Unless noted otherwise, the events take place in the city of Geneva. A few favorites are highlighted in blue and those that could be of interest to kids and families are highlighted in green (for a full agenda of events for the little ones, checkout these websites, AmStramGram and HappyKid).

 Navigate the list easier by clicking on the following categories:

Art & Other Exhibits

  • 17 May until 2018: Images of Science — exhibit of some of the best science images, free the first Sunday of the month
  • 17 May: Route 66 — a slide show and talk (in French) by three Genevans who documented their motorcycle adventures through the famous and nostalgic US highway
  • 18 May: Nuit des Bains — a very chic evening of cocktails and gallery hopping in the quartier des Bains, free
  • 19 May until 2018: The Boomerang Effect, Australia’s Aboriginal Arts, free the first Sunday of the month
  • 20 May until 2018: ANTS — all you ever wanted to know about these crawlers, free the first Sunday of the month

  • 20-21 May: Night at the Museum — For the fifth year in a row, all of the municipal museums and the Botanical Garden (which will celebrate 200 years that night) stay open until midnight for special performances and exhibits including concerts — free (don’t miss the MAH After Work from 18:00 to 24:00)
  • Until 23 May: Grand Défilé — An exhibit of dresses as you have never seen before designed by Albertine, an illustrator with more imagination than most fashion designers 😉 — workshops and catwalk — for kids and grownups, free
  • Until 30 June: Enfants Placés – the shameful story of Swiss kids given to adoption or to service, a moving exhibit, Bern – read more here

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Film Festivals and other Performing Arts

  • 16 May: Playreading in English, The Cenci
  • 19 May: Concert in the bus — part of the Qu’est-ce qui se Tram? project. One tram will follow the route between Carouge, Chêne-Bourg, Chêne-Bougeries, city of Geneva, Lancy, Plan-les-Ouates and Thônex in canton Geneva, and Annemasse, Ambilly and Gaillard in neighboring France. From 16:00 to midnight, simply hop on and off, free

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Photo, TCS Armin Gräss

Fairs and other Special Events

  • 19 May: Neighbors Night Out, Fête des Voisins — set a table outside your building and invite your neighbors for an apèro — it has been proven that it improves relations among participants (and we can agree to that!), free
  • 19 May: Salsa, bachata and kizomba dancing
  • 19-21 May: Fête de la Nature — from theatre to performance art, from slam poetry to petting zoos and interactive exhibits… Switzerland and neighboring France
  • 20 May: Troinex in canton Geneva celebrates 200 years with a market, activities and dancing
  • 20 May: Salsa Geneva Cup — over 100 dancers fight for the right to be called the best salsa (Puerto Rican or Cuban) and bachata dancers in the Lake Geneva region
  • 21 May: Naval Parade, starting from Cully in canton Vaud and up the lake — the CGN takes its best boats out for a sail

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Fitness Activities & Sporting Events

  • 2 May: Lions de Genève vs Neuchatel basketball playoffs
  • 6 May, 3 Jun, 1 Jul, 5 Aug, 2 Sep: Samedis du véloSaturdays on bike involves a little bit of pedaling and a whole lot of touring. The city of Geneva sponsors several guided visits, from feminism to architecture, from graffiti viewing to natural history lectures… to Frankenstein in Geneva. It is free, in French and perfect for all fitness levels. Registration required
  • 6-7 May: Harmony Geneva Marathon
  • 7 May: Lavaux Upa sort of critical mass/slow up where adult and kid bikers, roller skaters and pedestrians take over the scenic route between Cully and Vevey (and back!) — a 20km route free of cars from 10:00 to 16:30, free

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Food and Drink

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Shopping: Fleamarkets, artisans and art fairs, vintage sales, etc.

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