When it is 30C plus with high humidity for days and then weeks on end, it’s hard for anybody from Australia to comprehend that Geneva is not prepared or set up for the relentless heat. Buildings are not designed for it. Airconditioning is all but non-existent.
(1) Buy a portable airconditioner. I’ve yet to try this. Downsides include: noise which will upset neighbours, having to keep the window open and patch it up with something that looks dreadful, needs to be powerful enough to make an impact. Expense – but all options have expense attached except maybe…..
(2) Go to the lake – if you are in shade in the greener settings around the lake that can be okay.
(3) A tiny number of cafes have aircon. Basically if they sell chocolates, then they don’t have a choice about this. Martel is okay. Auer, also on Condederation is okay sometimes, though we went there on a very hot day recently and they only had the door open.
(4) I hear that the cafeteria in Coop on Confederation is okay. Manor’s is not. The Station is unpleasant. The airport is better than the Station but not great. Bongenie’s lounge on the 6th floor isn’t fabulously airconditioned, but it is bearable. I haven’t been to their cafe on the 4th floor in summer.
(5) Posh hotels are very hit and miss. In general they are only a tiny bit better than being in non-airconditioned places. The Beau-Rivage on the lake has a chilled foyer area with seating, but the bar is much warmer. I sweated whilst having a cold drink there recently. Having tried The Four Seasons in summer, it hasn’t good enough airconditioning to get me back, nor The Metropole or The Mandarin. The McGallery was about the same. You walk into all these places and they feel cooler, but within a few minutes you realise the difference just isn’t enough.
(6) I have no idea if any of the pubs have aircon. In Australia they’d be a refuge, but I suspect here they aren’t.
The cinemas I’ve been to in this heat are generally horrible. The Grutli’s main cinema is not bad, but the outside part, reception etc is as dire as everywhere else. I’ve never been to a restaurant with proper aircon here. Yomo’s just off the lake near Jardin Anglais is as good as I’ve noticed. I’d sweat still (I know, I’ve been there and done that), others mightn’t.
So there it is. There are no good solutions. There are only options which aren’t quite as bad as the others.