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 Geneva, a sparkling jewel on the shores of Lac Léman, surrounded by the majestic Alps and Jura mountains with Mont Blanc as a backdrop, exudes beauty, elegance and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. A global hub for diplomacy and banking, the city teems with people from all corners of the world. Geneva boasts excellent restaurants, exclusive shops, beautiful parks and a vibrant cultural life. Thanks to its compact layout, you can easily see Geneva's highlights on foot. Its fast and efficient public transportation makes day trips from the city a delight, too.

currency

Swiss Franc (CHF) 1 = 100 Rappen

phone

European SOS: 112
Ambulance: 144
Police: 117
Fire Brigade: 118

newspaper

Le Temps: www.letemps.ch
Tribune de Genève: www.tdg.ch
Le Matin: www.lematin.ch
24 Heures: www.24heures.ch

hours

The normal opening hours for shops in Geneva are from 8:30am to 7pm on weekdays. Most shops close for lunch between noon and 2pm. Shops stay open until 8pm on Thursdays but are open on Sundays at their own discretion.

population

203,840 (2022)

info

Geneva Tourist Information Centre
Quai du Mont-Blanc 2, Geneva
+41 22 909 70 00
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Fri & Sat 9:15am–5:45pm; Thu 10am–5:45pm; Sun 10am–4pm

website

www.geneve.com

Young female traveler with swiss flag on the pedestrian bridge in the center of Geneva city in Switzerland. Happy vacation in Geneva city RossHelen / Shutterstock.com

The City

Geneva takes full advantage of its wonderful location on Lake Geneva and has surrounded it with parks, modern monuments and branded buildings. The city is just as small as it is large, with new exciting discoveries at every corner. It has about 200,000 inhabitants and is very easy to get around on foot. At the same time, this is a very lively place because of its international character. Geneva hosts the European headquarters of the United Nations as well as a myriad of diplomatic embassies. Foreigners constitute one-third of the population, and it feels like every language can be heard when following the flow of busy businessmen or strolling on the lake banks.

General view of Geneva. The city of Geneva, in Switzerland, Europe. ocphoto/Shutterstock

Do & See

Geneva, with its enchanting blend of historical charm and modern allure, offers travellers a myriad of experiences. Explore the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, wander through the beautiful lakeside park, or indulge in exclusive shopping on the luxurious rue du Rhône. Thought-provoking visits to global institutions like the United Nations and the Red Cross add depth to the city's character. Geneva's museums showcase a rich spectrum, from classical to avant-garde art, while its architectural surprises and evolving neighbourhoods create an ever-changing urban landscape.

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Place du Bourg-de-Four

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United Nations Headquarters - Palais des Nations

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Lake Geneva

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International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum

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Conservatory & Botanical Garden

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Patek Philippe Museum

Guilhem Vellut/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

The Smurfs Buildings

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Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO)

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Russian Orthodox Church

Guilhem Vellut/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia

Bains des Pâquis (Outdoor Bath)

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Dining

Geneva has a strongly built reputation as a gourmet town, and it certainly lives up to the acclaim. The cuisine here is, of course, Swiss as well as highly influenced by France and Italy. Travellers can savour local fish delicacies from Lake Geneva, such as ‘filet de perches’ and ‘filet de féras’, as well as traditional Swiss dishes, such as cheese fondue and raclette, all accompanied by a curated selection of Swiss and French wines.

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Le Lyrique

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Brasserie Lipp

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Le Relais de l'Entrecôte

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Domaine de Châteauvieux

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Le Chat-Botté

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Bistrot du Bœuf Rouge

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Les Curiades

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Café des Banques

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Inglewood

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Gaya

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La Gondola

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Brasserie de Hôtel-de-Ville

Cafés

In Geneva, you'll discover a plethora of cute and stylish cafés that cater to every coffee lover's taste. As a thriving business centre, the city embraces the art of coffee, with locals dashing from one meeting to another, savouring a delightful cup of Joe on the go. These coffee shops transcend mere caffeine stops; they are havens for relaxation and serve as natural meeting points for colleagues, family, and friends to catch up. They are the fuel of city life and always buzzing on Sunday afternoons.

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La Clémence

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Demi Lune Café

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Boréal Coffee Shop

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Birdie Food & Coffee

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Muller's Factory

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Just Bubble

Urban view with famous fountain by night with full moon, Geneva, Switzerland, HDR Elenarts/Shutterstock

Bars & Nightlife

Although Geneva is a relatively small city, there is a wide and varied range of entertainment — probably because of its international mix of people. Many start the evening with an aperitif at one of the hundreds of bars in town and then go on to some hot nightspot. Geneva’s nightlife is unexpectedly colourful with people and music from all corners of the world. The dance floors are full of all sorts of people, Geneva jet set, smartly dressed diplomats, rockers in black leather, and trendy people just enjoying some time off.

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The Leopard Room Bar & Lounge

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Mr Pickwick Pub

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Arthur’s Rivegauche

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Chat Noir Club

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Lady Godiva English Pub

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Le Baroque Club

Geneva street view in summertime Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

Shopping

If Switzerland is the country of luxury, then Geneva is surely the jewel on this crown. The main shopping area lies between Rue du Rhône and Rue de Rive, with uncountable chic and high-brand boutiques. Geneva is the perfect city to renew your wardrobe but make sure you come with the necessary funds, because in this city quality certainly comes at a cost. You might also find yourself falling in love with the perfect watch: watchmaking is a serious matter and a true art here. If you are looking for more tourist purchases, worry not, you will also find typical Swiss things like clocks, chocolate and cheeses, all of top quality.

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Rue du Marché

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Rue du Rhône

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Marché aux Puces de Plainpalais - Flea Market

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Manor Genève

Aerial view of Leman lake - Geneva city in Switzerland Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

Tourist Information

Geneva International Airport (GVA)

Geneva Airport, situated 4 kilometres from the city centre, offers convenient transportation options through a united network of public transport, known as Unireso. The CFF Railway Station at Genève Aéroport provides direct access to trains heading to Geneva's city centre, other Swiss destinations, and even cities in France. The journey between the airport and Geneva-Cornavin station takes 7 minutes.

TPG city buses operate at the airport with frequencies of 8-15 minutes during rush hours. Timetables and fare details are available at the airport's information desk. In addition, the Aérobus Morning Service, encompassing A1 to A6 lines, facilitates early morning travel for passengers staying in Geneva and France, providing free airport shuttles.

Travellers staying in Geneva hotels, youth hostels, or campsites receive a ‘Geneva Transport Card’, allowing complimentary use of public transport in Geneva (zone 10) during their stay. This includes the Genève-Cornavin – Genève-Aéroport train journey.

At the airport, you will also find taxi services as well as car rental companies.

Address: Geneva International Airport, Geneva

Email:

Phone: +41 848 192 020

Website: www.gva.ch/en

More Information:

Passport / Visa

Switzerland can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

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Public Transport

Geneva has excellent local public transport consisting of bus, trolley bus, tram, boat and train. The Unireso public transportation network lets you use the same ticket for all means of transportation. Tickets can be bought from ticket machines, agencies and online. A weekly pass and a monthly pass are also available.

Note that the Geneva Unireso Network is free for anyone arriving by plane at Geneva Airport. This offer is limited to 80 minutes, counted from arrival time. Pick up your free ticket from the machine in the baggage collection area. At your hotel, you will receive the Geneva Transport Card which gives you a free passport to the entire transport network.

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Website: www.tpg.ch/en

More Information: www.sbb.ch/en

Taxi

Taxis in Geneva can be ordered by phone, hailed on the street, or found at designated parking areas downtown, at the airport, and at train stations. Note that taxis are fairly expensive in Geneva.

AA Genève Central Taxi
+41 22 320 22 02

Taxi-Phone Central
+41 22 331 41 33

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Post

There are many post offices throughout the city. Mailboxes are yellow, and you can purchase stamps in the post offices and in some press shops. Geneva's main post office is the Poste Mont-Blanc located in the centre.

Address: Swiss Post - Rue du Mont-Blanc 18, Geneva

Email:

Phone: +41 8 48 888 888

Website: www.post.ch/en

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Pharmacy

Some of the main pharmacy chains in Geneva include Pharmacieplus, Sun Store, and Amavita.

Pharmacieplus des pâquis
Rue des Pâquis 10, Geneva
+41 22 732 29 59
Open Mon–Fri 8am–7pm, Sat 8am–5pm, Sun closed

Amavita Métro-Shopping
Rue du Mont-Blanc 30, Geneva
+41 58 878 17 30
Open Mon–Fri 7:30am–8pm, Sat 8am–6pm, Sun closed

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Electricity

Switzerland operates on a voltage of 230V/50 Hz, consistent with the standard in most of Europe. The country uses both Type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs, with Type C plugs (2-pin) also compatible with Type J sockets. The majority of power sockets in Switzerland are specifically designed to accommodate three-pin round plugs.

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Telephone

Country code: +41
Area code: 022

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