Les Automnales is The Expo of the year, in my opinion, and it’s opening this Friday, November 13 to 22. You can find every kind of product, service and random organization imaginable. However, personally I enjoy the demonstrations. My favorites were making chocolate at Faberger, defusing a car bomb by the police, exiting an upside down car with the TCS and the training of service dogs by Le Copain and Autre Regard.
The expositions include everything from gardening supplies to kitchen remodels, sporting goods to camping supplies, tattoos to art and jewelry, landscaping to sewing machines, spas and saunas to interior design, gourmet food and wine to children’s toys and crafts, martial arts to jewelry, washing machines to bicycles, pet supplies to Christmas decorations. A list of participants is available here.
Every year there is a guest of honor. This year it is Swiss, our national airline. You will have a chance to speak with pilots and mechanics, learn about safety and the newest technologies, fly a simulator, and your small children can navigate a mini cargo bus circuit.
There are specific days where special expos are opened for a few days; such as the boat show (normally in Morges) and the Vintage Show (antiques, burlesque shows, dancing, hair styling, and cinema). You can find all the special themes here.
For animal lovers, the Exposition Canine Internationale and Exposition Féline Internationale will host more than 4,000 dogs and 400 cats on November 21 and 22.
Hints and Tips
- The expo space covers five halls at Palexpo, a total of 50,000 m² (if you’ve been to the annual Geneva auto show at Palexpo, you have some idea of the sheer amount of space the exhibit halls contain). Plan your visit in advance by downloading the floor map of Les Automnales here.
- Be prepared for crowds! More than 135,000 people attended last year’s event. Weekends and Wednesdays are the most popular, so if you want to avoid the worst of the crowds, plan to go early or on a less popular day.
- For children aged three months to seven years, child care is available Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:00-19:00 and Sundays, 10:00-19:00 at Daycare Ludikids on site. The first two hours are free; child care costs CHF 20 for each additional 30 minutes. Snacks and activities like crafts and a bouncy castle are included, but parents need to supply care items such as diapers/nappies, bottles, and clothes.
- Feeling peckish? Restaurants and bars are open until 22:00 each day (20:00 on Sundays). A list of food and drink options is available here.
- Getting there: Les Automnales is held in the Palexpo Center, Halls 1-5. By train, the expo halls are a 10-minute walk from Genève-Aéroport. By bus, TPG lines 5, 28, and Y stop in front of the entrance (arrêt: Palexpo); or a 10-minute walk from TPG arrêt Aéroport (lines 5, 10, 23, 57). By car, take the autoroute, direction Aéroport-Palexpo. Look for parking P12, under Halle 5 de Palexpo.
- Admission: On Wednesday November 18, there is no cost to enter. For all other days, entry costs CHF 10 for adults, CHF 5 for students and 62 and older. Children younger than 16 years enter for free.
- Opening hours: The main halls are open Monday through Saturday, 11:00-21:00 and Sunday 10:00-17:00.
- Additional resources: Click here for the Les Automnales web site. Click here for the Geneva public transportation website to plan your trip by bus.
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