Geneva’s Expensive, Right? What Are You Going to Do About It?

Ah Geneva. A city where complaining about what something cost is a lively sport for newcomers. The city does offer the most expensive hotel room in the world, the penthouse at the Hotel President Wilson, which will set you back 60,000 francs a night. Fast and cheap means a Big Mac and fries for 15 francs, and Switzerland is now number one on the Economist’s Big Mac Index, as the most expensive country in which to purchase the double patty with special sauce. Not to worry though because Geneva is third in the world for highest density of millionaires, behind Zurich and Monaco. But what about the rest of us?

Luckily there is the Marché des Grottes where every Thursday evening from 6pm the Places des Grottes fills with people looking for a little apero.  There are stands selling cheese, bread and wine, and people mill about with a board of whatever they’ve selected and a bottle. There are some tables available but many sit curb side and watch the throng of people.

Marché des Grottes on a Thursday evening. Vendors sell cheese as people mill about.
Marché des Grottes on a Thursday Evening
The market is located in the neighbourhood of Grottes (meaning caves in French) whose lively, bohemian streets are filled with galleries and second hand stores. There is a neighbourhood feel but also a sense that this is a destination for many. Go early though. The stalls begin to wind down at 8:15pm in the summer.

Marché des Grottes - a man holds a large board of cheese
Marché des Grottes – cheese please
Yes, Geneva is expensive, but in it’s markets and neighbourhoods there is always something that’s not going make you go broke.

Marchée des Grottes . Two women slice cheese for a platter
Marché des Grottes – preparation for a platter