Europe

Geneva, Switzerland

The second largest city in Switzerland, and a center for international organizations, Geneva is known for its  spectacular setting, at the south-western end of Lake Geneva, framed by the Alps and the Jura, and at a junction of the Rhône and Arve rivers. Running in Geneva, Switzerland is oriented toward the water. The highlight is Lake Geneva, where there are wonderful promenades along its north and south shore. There are also good paths along the Arve and Rhône rivers, and some pleasant parks, especially near the UN HQs. Two major community ‘sporting centers’ have running trails as well as other fitness facilities. And, of course, the Alps are only two hours away. Note: If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Geneva, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours

Geneva is an easy city to get around, mainly via bus, trolley, or tram. This being Switzerland, there’s also an efficient regional and national train system.

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Geneva’s temperate, oceanic climate features cool winters and warm summers. Average high temperatures in summer are 26C (79F), with nights pleasantly cooling off into the 13-15C (mid-50s) range. Winter is overcast and cool, with average highs of 5C (40F) and lows just below freezing. Frost is common but substantial snow is rare. Still, runners should be prepared for occasional slick surfaces in winter.

Hotels are well spread out in Geneva. The largest cluster is on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, just south of the Parc Mon Repos. This is a great area to stay for runners, with good proximity to some of Geneva’s best routes. If you stay in central Geneva, you’ll be within 1-2 km of the lakeside promenades and river paths.

There are also lots of hotels in the northern part of the city, near the international organization HQ and the airport. Staying at one of these is less charming from a runner’s perspective. Again, try to be within a couple of km of the Lake Geneva’s north shore path.

Running Planet Genève is the best and most centrally located running store in Geneva. Good selection and knowledgeable staff.