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.
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.
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.
Just off Plain des Plainpalais is Café Librairie Livresse, a café style bookshop with its own unique and chilled atmosphere. Somewhat surprisingly for a bookshop café there is also a great selection of beers on offer. Fans of a good craft beer and literature will be in heaven.
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.