Geneva’s expansive and easy public transit system is a testament to Swiss efficiency. It’s also free for visitors. We’ll explain all the ins and outs—and tell you why you may not need to use it much.
Getting Around Geneva
Bus, Tram and Trolley Bus
Transports Public Genevois operates a system of buses, trams and trolleys that zig and zag throughout the city. Regular service runs from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily. After that time, 12 “Noctambus” lines provide late-night coverage in the city center and through outlying areas.
Tickets for all modes of transportation cost CHF 3 for one ride, but visitors to the city have access to free public transport. All those staying in a hotel, hostel or camping facility will receive a Geneva Transport Card. upon checking in. The card is good for travel on all modes of transportation in Geneva through the duration of your stay at the hotel. (Be sure to ask for it when checking in.)
For more information, visit tpg.ch.
Bike and Foot
Though transportation is free in Geneva, chances are you won’t use it much. Though the Old Town is hilly, the city is very pedestrian-friendly, and walking is an ideal way to explore it.
Biking is also a great way to get around. The social organization Genèveroule lends free bikes from May through October. Simply show a photo ID and leave a CHF 20 cash deposit, and the bike is your for up to four hours. It costs CHF 2 per hour after that. Each of the group’s six locations is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and there are four additional “summer sites,” open from 8 a.m. until 9 pm.
For more information, visit the Genèveroule site.
Geneva taxis are pricey and unnecessary. The base fare is CHF 6.50, with an additional CHF 3.80 tacked on for each kilometer traveled. You’ll pay an additional fee for luggage as well. Our recommendation, given that the city is small and transportation is efficient and free, is to avoid cabs.
All hotel reviews
From our Geneva blog
Who are we? EuroCheapo is a guide to budget hotels in Geneva and throughout Europe. Our Swiss investigator recently visited and reviewed dozens of hotels in central Geneva, looking for the most affordable accommodation options.
Geneva, of course, isn’t a natural destination for Cheapos. The city exudes luxury, with high-end shopping and four-star restaurants galore. Hotels, for the most part, follow their lead, and four-star options for business and government travelers abound.
But all is not lost, happily, for the budget traveler. Geneva offers a host of two- and three-star hotel options, along with some of the cleanest hostels we’ve ever happened upon. Yes, dear Cheapo, you can afford to visit Geneva!
Getting started: To find the right hotel for your trip, start by reading through our budget hotel recommendations. If you’d like some direction on choosing a neighborhood, read through our neighborhood overview. And for more franc-saving tips, flip through the articles listed below.
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