GBP 70 - 223
Whether it is the Alpine peaks and the hilly terrain of Jura or the unrivalled Swiss watch-making supremacy or the gastronomic allure of the area, Geneva is beautiful no matter what time of the year you visit. It boasts great climate year-round, which makes it the perfect getaway location in summer as well as winter. Nevertheless, if you want to visit when you can enjoy the best temperatures and plenty of activities, you should book your flights for March, July and August, or December. March features the Geneva International Motor Show, while December brings the Fete de l’Escalade. If skiing holds your interest, you can enjoy the Alpine slopes from December – April. Avoid the months of September – October if you do not like the rain.
Direct flights to Geneva are offered by various airlines including British Airways, Swissair, easyJet, Flybe and Jet2.com. KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Vueling Airlines, Eurowings, Air Berlin, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Alitalia, Aer Lingus and Luxair also fly into Geneva.
Swiss trains are known to be always on time. The airport rail station is a short 5-minute walk from the airport. The train stops at Geneva Central Train Station, Gare Cornavin, and runs every 12 – 20 minutes. The ride takes 6 minutes one-way and you can then walk to city centre (Bel-Air) in 5 minutes or take a tram which is only 1 stop away.
On arrival at Geneva airport, you can claim a free Unireso ticket that is valid for 80 minutes and allows you to use public transport in Zone 10 – Tout Geneve (central Geneva area, including the airport and most hotels). You will find the machine for free tickets in the baggage retrieving hall. You may be asked to show a valid plane ticket. The fastest bus to city centre is Bus #5. It runs to and from the airport every 15 minutes and makes fewer stops than other buses on the airport route.
For a direct ride to your hotel or city centre, book Aéro-Express 48 hours in advance. The fare depends on the time of day and where in the city centre you are travelling.
Taxi services are available from GVA to city centre which is about 4 kilometres away. Taxis from the airport include Alpha Taxi, Ambassador Taxis, and Europa Taxis. The approximate fare is 35 – 45 CHF and it is a short drive.
Free Public Transportation
When you stay in a hostel, hotel or campsite in Geneva, you can get a Geneva Transport Card. This card allows you to use all bus, tram, train, and water ferries free for the duration of your stay.
Taxis are the fastest way to get to the city centre, but costly. The minimum fare is 6.30 CHF, and each additional kilometre is charged at 3.20 CHF. Waiting time per 1-hour is approximately 60 CHF, and if you travel out of Geneva, the fare increases to 3.80 CHF per kilometre.
Geneva encourages green living, which is why they have biking routes and free bike lending from April – mid-October. Just find the Genève Roule Association for your free bike.
To explore everything Geneva has to offer, you must take a trip across the lake. The Mouettes are small yellow water buses that cross from shore-to-shore in just a few minutes. You can board free with your Geneva Transport Card. They depart every 10 minutes for the M1 and M2 lines, and every 30 minutes for the M3 and M4 lines.
UK citizens must have a passport, but no visa is required for up to 90 days. Passport endorsed British Citizens, European Communities, British Dependent Territories Citizens or British Subjects only need a passport. For foreign nationals, please check the Schengen Visa Information website.
Geneva offers a multitude of activities and boasts several tourist-friendly options. You can choose from a variety of tour packages that take you by boat or bus to the main attractions of the city. When looking for the best attractions, visit the Jet D’Eau, which is among Geneva’s top landmarks. You can also visit the local watch-making stores or the Reformation Wall, which is a monument honouring the individuals, events and documents of the Protestant Reformation. The Old Town is a unique place full of exciting treasures and sights. There are multiple world-class museums throughout the city centre to explore with free admission. Visit the Palais des Nations, which is a symbol of Geneva’s commitment to global peace and houses the United Nations Office in Geneva. The Globe of Science and Innovation is an exciting tour location and a fabulous visual landmark by day or night.
The currency in Geneva is the Swiss franc. You can exchange your currency at the airport or a local bank. Most credit cards are accepted throughout Geneva.
Geneva offers several free Wi-Fi stations throughout the city centre. Locations include the lakefront, Plaine De Plainpalais, Parc La Grange, Parc Des Eaux-Vives, and La Perle Du Lac.
Tipping for Service
All hotels, taxi fares, and restaurants include tax and service in the bill, so tipping is not required. However, if you feel the service warrants it, you can tip your service provider.
If you are travelling around on a public holiday, you might find that many attractions are closed. Holidays include Christmas, Restoration of the Republic (31st December), Good Friday, New Year’s Day (1st January), Whit Monday (June), Ascension Day (May), Swiss National Day (August 1st) and the Geneva Fast (September).