Getting around Geneva

Public transport

Geneva's superb bus and tram network is operated by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG) (tel: 0900 022 021, in Switzerland only; www.tpg.ch). Services in general operate between 0500 and 0030, with Noctambus (tel: 0900 022 021, in Switzerland only; www.noctambus.ch) night buses then kick in until the small hours.

Coin-operated ticket vending machines are situated at all bus and tramway stops. These provide a variety of tickets including the ‘Tout Genève’ ticket, which allows unlimited travel for one hour, or cheaper ‘Saut de Puce’ tickets for three-stop trips or one lake crossing (maximum 15 minutes) on a ‘Mouette’ boat.

Every visitor receives a Geneva Transport Card upon check-in at their hotel, hostel or campsite, which is valid for the entire duration of their stay. The card covers buses, tramways, boats and trains. If you’re just passing through, you can buy a one-day Unireso pass for buses, trams, trains and Mouette boats at CFF stations, TPG sales offices and tourist information offices.

Travellers coming from the airport can pick up a free ticket for transport into the city centre from the machine in the baggage claim area.

Taxis

Taxis in Geneva can be ordered by phone, hailed in the street or found at authorised taxi ranks around the city. Taxi drivers are required by law to be able to speak English, although this does not apply to minicab drivers. Taxi-Phone SA Genève (tel: (022) 331 4133), Geneva's central taxi service, provides cabs 24-hours a day. Other companies include AA Geneva Central Taxi (tel: (022) 330 2202) and Ambassador Taxi (tel: (022) 731 4141).

The fare is shown on the meter, which includes a tip and VAT (rates rise at night and on Sundays and holidays).

Driving

The roads in Geneva are good. There are speed limits on narrow sections of road, such as in the Old Town. White markings with a meter signify pay to park for a limited period of time, while white markings without a meter signify free parking for unlimited time. Blue markings indicate free parking for a limited time with a parking disk and red markings indicate 15 minutes of parking with a disk too. Parking disks can be obtained from police stations. Once in possession of this disk, parking is free of charge in designated zones.

If you're driving outside Geneva and want to use the motorways, you'll need to buy a vignette (sticker) to attach to your windscreen, available from post offices and petrol stations. All hire cars come with this included.

Car hire

Cars can be hired at the airport, railway station and hotels. A national driving licence and credit card are required. Drivers must be at least 21 years old. Providers include Avis (tel: (022) 731 9000; www.avis.ch), Budget (tel: (022) 929 0330; www.budget.com), Sixt (tel: (022) 717 8410; www.sixt.ch) and local firm Auto Location Leman (tel: (022) 732 0143; www.autolocationleman.ch). Hire cars are generally equipped with snow tyres during the winter period.

Bicycle hire

Visitors can hire bikes from Rentabike (tel: (051) 225 1482; www.rentabike.ch) at Cornavin railway station, or take advantage of four hours of free cycle rental with Genève Roule (tel: (022) 740 1415; www.geneveroule), which has six rental points around the city from April to October. To hire, cyclists must show ID and leave a small deposit.

Edited by Daniel Fahey
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