Getting around Geneva Explore Geneva

Public transport in Switzerland is extensive, reliable, safe and easy to use. It is simple to get around without a car. Enjoy significant savings with many discounted passes available for youth, pensioners, and families, and take advantage of day trip combination offers. Switzerland is also very bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Getting around Geneva

Like all cities in Switzerland, Geneva is easily navigable on foot, by bicycle or by public transport. For drivers, it is important to note that Geneva is very congested in the city centre, especially during peak commute times. Thus, it is often quicker to utilise public transport options, which generally have designated lanes, than driving in the centre. 

TPG (FR) is the public transport provider in Geneva. Download their app to find timetables, station locations, traffic information and directions. There are three TPG offices in Geneva that provide information and advice on transport ticket options.

TPG is part of Unireso (FR), an umbrella organisation and tariff network that operate trains, trams, buses and boats throughout Geneva and bordering France. Use their site to plan cross border transport options. Cornavin, the main railway station in the city centre, is the gateway to Geneva's public transport network.

Night buses (FR) (known as Noctambus) run afterhours (about midnight to 02:00) on Fridays and Saturdays on major routes. These buses are marked by the letter "N" on their displays. Some routes cross into France as well. Unlike other Swiss cities there is no additional tariff for night buses in Geneva. A regular Unireso ticket (CHF 3.50) is sufficient. 

 

Travel passes and basic tips

The Tout Genève pass is valid for 60 minutes within ten zones on all forms of public transport (full price CHF 3.00). Several other travel passes, including the Half-fare travelcard, Junior card, GA travelcard, day passes, and many more, are also useful for individuals and families. Check out our article on the Swiss public transport system to learn about standard regulations and ticket options. Also, keep an eye out for frequent seasonal and holiday offers from SBB/CFF.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on Swiss public transport:

  • You must purchase your ticket before boarding (exceptions made for rural routes with no machine at the stop).
  • Children under six years of age travel for free.
  • Travelling with a dog: Dogs over 30 cm tall (about 12 inches) need to pay second-class half fare (there are also day cards and GA passes for dogs). Small dogs can travel for free in a carrier or basket.
  • Travelling with a bicycle: You are required to buy a supplementary bike ticket. You can bring your bicycle or unloaded bike trailers onto most SBB/CFF trains, private railways, and PostBuses. Folded bikes can be stored as hand luggage for free. Note: Capacities for bicycle transport may be restricted during peak traffic periods.
  • Utilise the excellent SBB/CFF apps for iPhone and Android.

 

Cycling in Geneva

If you are looking to hire a bicycle, from April to October Genève Roule offers four free hours with a CHF 20 deposit. You can also use Rent a Bike (DE/FR). Pro Velo organises summer cycling events (FR) and bike repair courses. 

Visit VelolandBikemap, and Routeyou to find national, regional, and local cycling routes in English, as well as maps and other useful information.

 

Geneva on foot

Geneva is compact and easy to explore on foot. This useful map provides time estimates for walking between different points in the city and recommends some self-guided walking tours. 

Find many more activity suggestions in our article, Enjoying Geneva.

 

Parking in Geneva

Parking can be difficult to find in Switzerland. For most street parking you are required to pay at the meter. Blue zones allow free parking up to 1.5 hours with a parking disc marking your arrival time in the window (buy this at the post office). You can also find parking at most main SBB/CFF stations. Mobility car sharing is a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to owning a car.

There are several Park and Ride (FR) lots on the outskirts of Geneva, aimed at reducing traffic and commuting pressure. These lots offer monthly parking options for individuals with no public transport close to their home. The tariff includes a Unireso ticket into the city. 

You may also be interested in the article Driving and owning a car in Switzerland.

 

Photo:swiss-image.ch/Christof Schuerpf

Author: Julie Eassom

Julie has worked in relocation for the last 6 years helping expats from all over the world. With personal experience and many years in Switzerland Julie enjoys the challenges in helping people to make a very stressful time enjoyable. She enjoys a busy social life and meeting new people.

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