Carouge is a bohemian enclave just outside the center of Geneva. Browse antique shops and artist studios, pass by Mediterranean-style houses and sip coffee on a tree-shaded terrace. Come back in the evening for some of the trendiest bars in the city.
Carouge’s distinctly southern European look contrasts with Geneva’s typically austere architecture. Here you will see streets lined with two and three-story pastel colored terraces, as well as green shutters on some of the buildings.
After passing between different rulers for centuries, Carouge was completely rebuilt in the 18th century by the Kingdom of Sardinia. Italian architects were hired to design a town as grand as Geneva, which would provide refuge for minorities fleeing from the neighboring city’s strict Protestant culture.
With alcohol and dancing banned in Geneva, Carouge became a popular place for the Genevese to go carousing. This independent spirit continued after the town was incorporated into Geneva in 1815.
Begin your explorations in the heart of the district at Place du Marché. Visit this square on a Wednesday or Saturday for the morning market, which has been operating for more than 300 years.
Wander along the neighborhood’s winding roads and admire the pretty neoclassical houses. Many of these historic residences have been converted into galleries, boutiques and specialty shops. Carouge’s free-spirited attitude attracts all kinds of artists and artisans. Spend an afternoon exploring the shops and chatting with local craftspeople, artists and antique dealers. Be sure to stop by the Carouge Museum to see the collection of 19th- and 20th-century ceramics by local artists.
When night falls, join Geneva’s trendsetters at a fashionable bar for a cocktail.
One of the best times of year to visit Carouge is between late August and early September for the Vogue de Carouge, a lively annual street fair. There is also a Christmas market every December.
Reach Carouge by taking the 10-minute tram ride from the center of Geneva. For drivers, there are metered parking lots.
Accommodation in Carouge
Visitors coming to Carouge would do well to book in advance for a room, because currently there isn't a wide range of Expedia-rated Carouge hotels available.