Must-see galleries in Geneva’s Quartier des Bains

The Quartier des Bains district is entirely dedicated to contemporary art. Just a few metres to the west of the plaine de Plainpalais, fifteen or so galleries are scattered among a small collection of houses.

Here is a round-up of the area’s most significant cultural attractions

The Mamco

The Mamco, short for the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, is Switzerland’s biggest contemporary art museum. It opened in 1994 and mainly concentrates on art produced within the last 50 years. It offers a range of permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions, mostly of local artists, as the museum strives to showcase works by Geneva-based and Swiss artists. Housed in a disused factory, it’s a draw for real art lovers and the merely curious alike.

The Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève

Founded in 1974, the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève was the first art institution to be created in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The Centre avoids permanent exhibitions in favour of shows by emerging artists, both local and international. The last 40 years have seen many hundreds of exhibitions, all designed to bring the artists closer to the public.

The FMAC media library

Since 2009, Geneva’s Fonds municipal d’art contemporain (FMAC) has occupied the same building as the Mamco and the Centre d’Art Contemporain. Its media library superbly complements the art works on display. Its exhibitions and contemporary art lectures focus primarily on image and movement, and the centre boasts a collection of over 2,000 artists’ films.

The Centre d’édition contemporaine

Another medium, another museum… The nearby Centre d’édition contemporaine focuses on the print and visual arts worlds. Engravings, drawings, postcards and artists’ books are regularly exhibited here, all designed to promote both local and international contemporary art.

Bonus: access to all galleries during the Nuit des Bains

Four times a year, the entire Quartier des Bains district comes alive for a night with a difference. During the Nuits des Bains, held on the third Thursday in January, March, May and September, all the galleries open for a special shared preview event. A huge attraction in Geneva and the surrounding region, the Nuits des Bains also draw plenty of visitors from abroad. Several thousand art lovers throng to the Quartier des Bains to browse the galleries and meet new people in the district’s cafés and restaurants, creating a very special atmosphere that mustn’t be missed! It’s the perfect opportunity to discover something new!

Whether you’re a contemporary art lover or just a curious tourist, a visit to the Quartier des Bains is a must on any trip to Geneva, especially during the vibrant Nuits des Bains!

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