Geneva Airport lies 4km north-west of the city centre, and straddles the border between France and Switzerland.
There are two terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. However, it's likely you'll travel through Terminal 1, as Terminal 2 is only seasonally used for winter charter flights. For security reasons, Terminal 1 is closed in the morning from 00:00-04:00.
Terminal 1 has 5 piers, A, B, C, D, F and five levels:
Gates at Pier A and some at Pier D are Schengen gates and not subject to passport checks. Pier F (the far right of the check-in level) is known as the French sector and is technically within France but requires no passport or immigration control due to the Schengen Treaty.
Lucky travellers arriving in Geneva are entitled to a free train ticket to get into the city. The Unireso ticket, offered by the airport, allows you to use the public transport system in the France-Vaud-Geneva canton (area) for up to 80 minutes. It's valid on the train, tram, bus or boat.
The train is the most convenient way into the city. Trains run every 12 minutes from 04:48-00:31 and stop at central Geneva-Cornavin station. Journey time is six minutes.
Cost: Free with a valid boarding pass
Buying tickets: Machines in the baggage collection area, Arrivals level, labelled 'Public transport to Geneva "FREE TICKET"'
Location: Arrivals level, turn left after Customs and walk to the exit. The train station is in the adjacent building.
When you stay in a hotel, a youth hostel or a campsite in the canton, you will receive a "Geneva Transport Card" that is free of charge. With this card, public transport in Geneva is free for the full duration of your stay.
To go to the city centre or its surroundings, there are several buses which you can take from the airports. Some of these include Bus 5, 5+,10, 23, 28, 57 V+ and Y.
Bus number 10 passes through Balexert, Cornavin, Bel-Air and Rive and runs from 05:05-02:01. Bus number 5 passes through Aréna/Palexpo, Nations, Cornavin, Rive, Malagnou, and Thônex-Vallard and runs from 04:49-00:46.
Locations: Arrivals level, entrance number 4.
It's a short but expensive taxi ride to the city, and rides are metred.Cost: CHF 35-45 Location: Arrivals level
Arriving at night?
Use the night-time Noctambus bus service, also included in your free transport ticket.
You can buy vouchers for a security fast lane online to save time when flying at peak times. The Priority Lane voucher costs CHF 8.00 per passenger and must be booked online before midnight of the day before your flight. Priority Lane is not available in Terminal 2 but can be used for flights from the French sector.
Travellers have noted that hiring a car from the French side of Geneva airport is less expensive than the Swiss side, even when booking with the same agency. Keep in mind that in order to use Swiss motorways, vehicles must display the annual tax vignette sticker on the windscreen, which won’t be supplied on a French hire car. The sticker costs CHF 40 (EUR 37) and can be purchased on petrol stations along the motorway.
If you’re flying with Swiss, Lufthansa and other selected airlines you can check your luggage in at over 50 Swiss railway stations one day before your flight. Check here for available stations.
Your bags will be delivered to the airport and you will receive your boarding card and seat assignment. The service costs CHF 22 (about EUR 20).
Have the little ones burn off some energy. Facilities are for children five and under include a play kitchen, slides, books and cots for napping. There's a baby-changing corner and nursing area available, too.
Transit zone, after security, mezzanine level
There is also a small play area with three educational games between Gates A5 and A8 on the Departures floor.
There are showers available in three locations: two on the Arrivals floor (landside, across from the Montreux Jazz Café and baggage carousel 6) and one in Departures (airside, Transit zone, near the business lounges).
Tokens cost CHF 15 (EUR 14) and can be purchased from the Welcome Desk Swissport (near baggage carousels 2-3; 06:30/07:00/08:00 – 23:00), Geneva Airport Information Desk (public area of Arrivals; 07:00 – 23:00), and from the Nursery (Transit zone; 08:00 – 20:00).
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