Geneva Airport, formerly known as Cointrin Airport, is located just 4 km northwest of the city center. This is the second largest international airport in Switzerland and in 2015 it has more than 15 million passengers. Since one part of the airport is located on the Swiss-French border, it can be accessed from both countries.
There are two types of public transport between the airport and the city center: bus and train. They are part of a large network of Unireso, including a bus, train, tram and boats in the France-Geneva region. To use all transport lines only one ticket is required. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines, at bus stops and at the Swiss railway station. Make sure you have Swiss francs or euros, because other currencies are not accepted.
NOTE. In the baggage check-in area at the arrival level you can find a ticket machine where you can get a free ticket for public transport. It is valid for 80 minutes for all transport lines on the Unireso network.
City buses Unireso routes 5, 10, 23, 28, 57 and Y connect the airport with various parts of the city. They stop at the airport every 8–15 minutes at the check-in level or near the train station. Depending on the bus route, you can find buses operating from 4:49 to 1:53. Almost in all directions there are night routes on Fridays and Saturdays.
The fastest way to get to the city center. In just 6 minutes you will be in the center of Geneva. The railway line is connected to the check-in and arrival areas at the airport. All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station in the city center.
NOTE. Some hotels offer free transfer between the airport and the hotel. You will find a free shuttle bus in front of the arrival level.
Since the airport is less than 4 km from the city center, you can be reached on foot or by bicycle (but this is a rare option, given the luggage that will be with you).
If you want more comfort or you have a lot of luggage, you can always order a private transfer from the airport to the house in Geneva or wherever you need.
If you want to pre-book a transfer, you can do it through the transfer company (even online), a professional driver will be waiting for you in the arrival zone with the name, and do not worry if your plane is late, the transfer company will monitor the arrival of your flight .
If you are traveling with small children, you can order a child seat
You can order a taxi by phone, or find them in the taxi ranks near the terminal building at the airport. The cost of travel from the airport to the city center is from 35 to 45 Swiss francs (CHF), depending on traffic, number of passengers and time of day.
All major car rental companies, such as Sixt, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget, etc., have their offices at Geneva airport, as well as some local car rental companies, so you can always compare conditions and prices, and also pre-order a car online.
NOTE. There are Swiss and French car rental rates at the airport, so you need to be careful where you pick up the car and return it in the same sector, otherwise you may be charged extra.
The Swiss car hire sector is at the arrival level, in the direction of La Poste, and the return point is the P51 (lower level) car park area. The French sector is located on the other side of the customs area, so you need to go through the baggage claim and check-in point and follow the “destination France” sign. Of course, you will be asked to show your car rental contract.
If you are a large group arriving at the airport, you can rent a bus before you arrive. Buses are offered by several rental companies in the area.
Geneva Airport — ski resorts: Geneva Airport offers direct flights to some of the ski resorts in Switzerland (by train) and France (by bus). You can easily reach some of the most popular ski resorts, such as Zermatt, Wengen, Gstaad, Anzere, etc. The easiest way to check train connections is on the SBB / CFF web page, where you can see the exact departure and arrival times as well as price.
Trains leave from the airport near check-in and arrival levels and stop at the main train station in Geneva, where you can take the train you need to get to the ski resort. You can purchase tickets at the train station (paying by Swiss francs, Euros or credit cards), at the airport at the arrival level or in ticket stores, as well as online.
Question: My plane is late. Will it be a problem for me to get to the city?
- A: No, the last bus from the airport leaves at 1:53 at night, and transfers and taxis work around the clock and seven days a week.
Q: I have an early morning flight from the airport, are there any hotels at the airport where I can stay?
- A: Yes, there are several hotels located around the airport, within walking distance (1 km from the terminal building, so you can even walk to the check-in area). However, if you have a lot of luggage, you can arrange a transfer at the hotel’s front desk.
Q: Can I exchange money at the airport to pay for my trip?
- A: Yes, there are several exchange offices and ATMs around the clock at the airport, but it would be better to exchange money before the trip and have francs or euros with you, since the rate will be much higher on the spot.
Question: I would like to spend one day in Geneva between flights. Is it possible
- Oh yes of course. Since the airport is so close to the city, the best way would be to take the train at the airport to get to the center. You will be there in 6 minutes and you can use the locker at Geneva-Cornavin station, where all trains stop.
Question: I would like to visit some neighboring cities during the holidays. Are there cheap buses from Geneva?
- A: From Geneva, you can take the train to any place in Switzerland, but you can also check buses, for example France and Italy, Geneva — Lyon, Geneva-Grenoble or Geneva — Milan.