Geneva has its own airport (GVA) and is easily accessible to the city. To travel by train to the city center, purchase a ticket to Geneva Main Station (Gare Cornavin). Trains run frequently in the direction of the main station (every 20 minutes) and the trip takes about 7 minutes. The ticket costs about 3.00 CHF.
Overall, the city is pretty walkable, but to access a few specific spots including the Palais of Nations where the UN meets and Carouge (little Italy of Geneva), your walk will be longer. There is a convenient tram system running throughout the city or you can rent bikes to explore. If you are staying at a hotel, you will often receive a transportation ticket that gives you access to Geneva public transportation for free.
Anywhere near the central area of Geneva is a convenient location to stay while visiting Geneva, specifically near the fountain, in the Old Town or near the train station if you plan to travel outside of Geneva.
Modern and nice hotel between the airport and downtown city center area
The Jet D’eau Fountain can be seen spraying here
Small streets and cute squares to wander through
Little Italy of Geneva (located a bit outside the city center)
Most expensive street
Reformation wall monument is found in the park
Home of the United Nations with the Broken Chair Memorial out front
Urban park in Geneva where you will find an outdoor flower clock
Chamonix, one of the towns with access to Mont Blanc, is located about 1.5 hours from Geneva. As Geneva sits close to the France – Swiss border, you will cross over into France to visit Chamonix. There are plenty of companies providing transportation and trips to Chamonix and Mont Blanc from Geneva.
When visiting Chamonix, take the Aiguille de Midi cable car up the mountain. Plan for some waiting time upon arrival after purchasing lift tickets as there are only two cable cars traveling back and forth. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the ground to the top (including time spent waiting for the switch between cable cars). The actual time spent riding in the two cable cars is only about five minutes each.
There is also a train you can take from Chamonix to Mer de Glace. It runs every 20 minutes and takes about 25 minutes to get to the glacier. You can see the glacier on the mountain, and then can descend down to an ice cave. There’s a cable car that takes you half the way down and then you walk down about 450 steps to reach the ice cave.
Check out Lausanne, located just a short train ride away from Geneva. It is right on the lake and the mountains in the background are gorgeous.
Check out some of the restaurants along the river or throughout the small side streets in Old Town. If you visit when there is nice weather, consider picking up snacks and a bottle of wine and enjoying outside in the park as there are no open container laws. Manor is a department store that has a full supermarket in it and is great for some prepped meals or snacks depending on your preference.
Geneva is a nice city, but often used as a means to get out to the mountains. The city can be easily explored in an afternoon so be sure to venture outside the urban areas, whether it be to ski the French Alps or hiking in the Berner Oberland region
Switzerland is expensive, especially Geneva. Expect to spend a decent amount on accommodations and also on food while visiting. It will not be a cheap trip!
There are 4 official languages in Switzerland: French, German, Italian, and Romansh (mix of Latin and Italian). Depending on where you are, people will likely speak 1-2 of these and English. In Geneva, French is primarily spoken due to its close proximity to the border.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks