The Best Independent Bookstores in Geneva

Photo of Sean Mowbray
19 June 2017

Scattered across Geneva are several unique, independent bookstores waiting to be discovered. Many of them double up as a café or bar, so you can indulge in a nice, hot coffee or a freshly pulled beer while reading a good book. Discover our guide to some of the best independent bookstores in Geneva to check out.


Close to Place des Nations, the heart of International Geneva; and in a square that is often packed with both university and high school students, BooKafé is a small, but welcoming retreat. There are only a couple of shelves of books so don’t expect to browse for hours, but the café area is comfortable enough to nestle down with your new literary friend whilst enjoying a coffee or a snack.

Bookafé | © André Silvestre / Flickr

Librairie du Boulevard

On the road to Carouge you’ll find the Librairie du Boulevard, a self-managed cooperative that offers books at a lower price than most, following their philosophy that a book is not quite like any other product that is for sale. They’ve a great range of books on offer, mostly in French, that you can browse through on their website too.

Librairie du Boulevard, 34 rue de Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland

Les Recyclables

Part bookshop, part café, Les Recyclables is a haunt on the road to Carouge. There a several shelves of books, the majority in French or German, with a small English section and a smattering of other languages. The food is good but overpriced, but nevertheless Les Recyclables is a good place to pick out a new novel and chill with a coffee in a very relaxed atmosphere.

Les Recyclables 53, rue de Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland

La Librairie Ancienne

Opening the door of La Librairie Ancienne, tucked away in Geneva’s Old Town, is like walking back in time and the first thing you’ll notice is that musty smell; the familiar scent of old books. The shelves are packed with books that span the ages, covering almost every topic you can imagine: travel, science, literature, history and fiction. A rake through here is well worth your time and you may well discover a hidden gem. Before diving in, you can browse some of the rare books on their website.

© Yola Simon / Flickr

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