Getting around in Geneva: info, costs and advice

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Martí Micolau

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Second largest city in Switzerland, south of the lake of the same name, Geneva is a city surrounded by the Alps that offers a spectacular panorama of Mont Blanc. Besides being the European headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross, this location has a very nice center and several attractions to see.

Here is a guide on how to get around in Geneva: info, costs and advice!


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Geneva
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

The historic center of Geneva can be easily explored on foot, thus fully enjoying its atmosphere. For a first approach you can opt for the evergreen hop-on hop-off bus tour. Locals and tourists alike love these boats, called mouettes, which connect the two shores of the lake quickly and enjoy a beautiful view. In any case, don't miss the cruise on the Lake, a must to see the city from a unique perspective.

The city can also be visited pleasantly by bike. The company Geneve Roule offers free bike rental from 7:00 to 21:00 for the first 4 hours, then 2,00CHF / hour (€ 1,88).

For those staying the use of public transport is free and upon check-in you can ask the hotel for the Geneva Transport Card, which does not need to be stamped, but only needs to be shown together with an identity document. Those who do not stay overnight or sleep in the apartment can purchase the Geneva Transport Card daily for 10,00 CHF (€ 9,00). Alternatively, the Geneva Pass, with discounts and offers at over 40 sites in the city, guided tours, cruises, and allows you to travel for free on public transport.

  • Recommended solutions and means: on foot, trams, buses, boats, bicycles
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Geneva Transport Card (from 10,00 CHF / € 9,00 -), Geneva Pass (from 27,00 CHF / € 25,00 -), 1 day Geneva zone 10 (from 10,60 CHF / € 9,00 )

How to get from the airport to the center of Geneva

L'Geneva International Airport it is a very important hub in Switzerland, served by most of the national airlines, which offer frequent connections with the main European cities.

I trains they depart every 12-20 min from Geneva airport and arrive at Gare Cornavin train station. The journey takes 6 min and the railway track is located at the Airport Shopping Center.
Who prefers to take thebus instead you should know that the bus stop is in front of the airport and buses n. 5 and 10 will take you to Gare Routiere or Bel-Air train station (18 min). Finally there are taxi and private transfers that you can easily book online before departure.

Geneva International Airport

  • Distance from the center: 5 km / travel time: 20 min
  • By train: line to Cornavin / ticket cost: 3,50 CHF (€ 3,25)
  • By taxi: average cost CHF 35,00 (€ 32,50) / travel time: 25 min
  • By bus: average cost CHF 3,50 (€ 3,25) / lines 5 and 10
  • Private transfer: Private transfer to Geneva hotels

How to get around on foot

Geneva is a city on a human scale, if you move to the Old Town, the historic city center, you can do it without problems on foot. In particular, we recommend that you enjoy a nice walk in the shopping district and city parks.

For a first approach to the city, we recommend the tour for the city of Geneva, with local guides who will take you around the most fascinating corners showing the city from another perspective.

Instead, to reach other attractions, such as the United Nations Palace, it is certainly advisable take advantage of the efficient public transport network.

For others itineraries on foot, download our Smart Guide to visiting Geneva for free.

Con i mezzi pubblici

Getting around Geneva by public transport is undoubtedly advisable to reach the most distant areas. The Swiss city has a very efficient and widespread transport network, in particular we advise you to take advantage of the numerous tram and bus lines, which will allow you to quickly reach all points of the city.

Another interesting alternative for getting around is use the Mouettes boat line, which allows visitors to move from one side of the two shores of Lake Geneva to the other. One afternoon we also recommend enjoying a relaxing one-hour panoramic cruise on Lake Geneva, to admire the city from another perspective

All public transport in Geneva can be used by a single integrated ticket called UNIRESO, the cost of which varies according to the tariff zone. However, know that the downtown area, the airport and CERN are located in zone 10, the one most visited by tourists.


The tram represents the best solution for getting around Geneva. In the city there are four tram lines, which all pass through the historic center. To visit the attractions located outside the Old Town, we recommend you use lines 12 and 18.

  • Downloadable map: tram-geneva
  • by 6: 00 24 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 3,50 CHF (€ 3,00)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 1 day Geneva zone 10 10,60 CHF (€ 9,00)


Geneva has a very efficient bus line, which bring in connecting the center with the more peripheral areas of the city. Remember to buy tickets before getting on board, you can do so at the automatic machines that you find at all stops. There is also one Noctambus line which runs from 24:00 until the early hours of the morning on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Downloadable map: line-transport-geneva
  • from 6:00 am to midnight
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 3,50 CHF (€ 3,00)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 1 day Geneva zone 10 10,60 CHF (€ 9,00)


The yellow boats, or mouettes, represent a novelty in the public transport system of Geneva and include 4 return lines. The service is active every day from 7:30 to 18:00, with runs every 10 minutes and the tickets are the same as for other public transport.

  • by 7: 30 18 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 3,50 CHF (€ 3,00)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 1 day Geneva zone 10 10,60 CHF (€ 9,00)

By car

Although the city has no restricted traffic areas, the use of the machine is almost useless. This is because you can move around easily on foot and by public transport.

Many people rent a car for an on the road in Switzerland or already arrive in Geneva with their own vehicle; in this case you need to know that to avoid being in the middle of traffic and risking not to find a parking space, the ideal is park the vehicle at the hotel or in one of the many garages. To check rates and parking, we suggest you visit the official website.

Stops and parking

Geneva is a city with many parking spaces distributed throughout the city, are open non-stop and underground garages are much safer than outdoor parking lots. The price starts from 2,00 CHF / hour (€ 1,80) during working hours, half after 19:00 and on weekends. Very large and used Cornavin car park (Get directions) at the train station with over 900 seats; rates from 1,00 CHF / hour (€ 0,90) up to 72,00 CHF for 24 h (€ 67,00). The parking of the Cern (Get directions) instead, it's always free.

Then there are some P + R parking spaces, available without special requirements, for example for tourists or visitors who intend to leave the car for one or more days. They have a normal hourly rate of 1,00 CHF / hour (€ 0,94) or 10,00 CHF (€ 9,00) per day, while for those who want to combine parking plus public transport the ticket is 12,00 CHF (€ 11,00) per day.

Where you will see instead of blue stripes it means that residents can park for free while for others it is free only from Saturday at 19:00 to Monday at 8:00 and at other times they pay 2,80 CHF / hour (€ 2,60).

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