Phone-free spaces (cafes/bars/restaurants) in Switzerland and beyond

Dear Community,

I am looking for examples, feedbacks, of cafes or other public spaces that have banned the use of smartphones. Particuarly interested in cafes/restaurant.

I live in Geneva-Switzerland and have been thinking of opening such a place, that would be phone-free. The idea being to offer a space where people could enjoy a temporary phone detox. Instead, using the opportunity to enjoy their drink or lunch undistracted by their phone, neither by witnessing other people on their phone. Instead, being either invited to engage with each other (with a few communal tables), or, on smaller tables or bar seats, being able to spend some time doing whatever we used to do when we weren’t addicted to our phones. Incl. simply gazing at our surroundings, not fearing boredom. Read an actual book, write, draw…

This is an idea for a place that would be full time “phone-free”. Another idea is to encourage/suggest current cafes to perhaps open a set day/time in the week that would be phone free… Not sure how this could work.

I do have more ideas that extend to public transports and phone-free activities… I am really inspired by finding ways to help people getting away from their phones (me included!) and creating spaces for reconnection.

I would like to sound out your opinions and experience, if any, of such places. And would love to discuss further with anyone interested, living around my area or further away. Hypothetically, I would consider carrying out such project anywhere:)

Thank you so much for reading:-),



Sounds like a wonderful idea; I’m all for it <3


Agree with @patm - this sounds as a great idea. I wonder how it will affect business in real life. But 1 or a few such places per town/city should be able to exist. I am really interested to hear results of such experiment.

Probably, this was already experimented, done somewhere. Anyone, heard of such “no-phones” cafes anywhere?

1 Like

Thank you @patm and @Drabiv for your replies. I do think there is a need for such spaces everywhere, just the concept should be fine-tuned. I.e some people have been saying to me that they wouldn’t go to a place that completely prohibits the use of smart-phone, because they don’t like interdictions:). So it needs a bit of thinking over:) Thank you!