Travel to Geneva

Flying to Geneva

British Airways, SWISS, easyJet, flybe and Jet2 all offer direct flights to Geneva from the UK. As a travel gateway to some of Europe’s finest ski slopes, including Tignes, Verbier and Val d'Isere, flight prices tend to be highest from November to March, so book in advance to get the best deals.

Flight times

From London - 1 hour 35 minutes; New York - 7 hours 50 minutes; Los Angeles - 13 hours 5 minutes; Toronto - 9 hours 45 minutes; Sydney - 24 hours 10 minutes.

Travel by road

Summary:

Swiss roads are generally good, although mountain routes can be narrow and winding. Chains and/or snow tyres may be required in winter, and some routes may be closed altogether after heavy snowfall. There is a telephone number for information on national road conditions (tel: 163). Traffic in Geneva drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits are 120kph (75mph) on motorways, 100kph (62mph) on dual carriageways, 80kph (50mph) on main roads and 50kph (31mph) in towns.

On minor roads, traffic going up a mountain has priority. Road numbers on green signs indicate toll expressways, where a toll vignette (sticker) must be displayed. Motorists should purchase a vignette at border points or from Switzerland Tourism before departure. Stickers are valid for one calendar year. A national driving licence is sufficient documentation, although Green Card insurance is recommended.

There are two motoring associations in Switzerland: Touring Club Suisse (TCS) (tel: 0844 888 111; www.tcs.ch) and Automobil Club der Schweiz (ACS) (tel: (031) 328 3111; www.acs.ch).

Emergency breakdown service:

TCS (tel: 140); ACS (tel: (044) 628 8899).

Routes:

Geneva is connected to the rest of Europe by an excellent network of motorways. From the south, motorists can follow the 'Route Blanche' to the outskirts of Geneva. The French skiing resort of Chamonix/Mont-Blanc is within 90 minutes, and Italy is within two hours. A branch of the same motorway provides rapid links from Grenoble in the south of France and Lyon in the west, with good connections from Paris. Lausanne, Berne and Zurich are all on the northbound A1 road.

Driving times:

From Lausanne - 55 minutes; Berne - 1 hour 45 minutes; Zurich - 3 hours.

Coaches:

Geneva's coach station, the Gare Routière, is situated at Place Dorcière. A number of operators provide regular links to Barcelona, Dover, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Madrid, Marseille, Nice, Rome and the French skiing resort of Chamonix/Mont-Blanc. Service providers include Veolia Transport (tel: (022) 756 9000; www.veolia-transport.ch) and Eurolines (tel: (022) 716 9120; www.eurolines.ch).

Travel by rail

Services:

Rail travel in Switzerland is comfortable, hassle-free, punctual and often scenic. The main railway station in Geneva is Gare de Cornavin, located on Place de Cornavin. Inside the terminal there are over 20 shops selling everything from newspapers to perfume. The station also has lockers, bicycle rental and money transfer services. Further information is available from national rail enquiries (tel: 0900 300 300, in Switzerland only).

The rail network provides rapid connections within Switzerland and Europe, with links to Lausanne, Berne, Basel and Zurich. There are also direct routes to Paris and Milan.

Operators:

Schweizerische Bundesbahn, Chemins de Fer Fédéraux Suisses (SBB-CFF) (tel: 0900 300 300, in Switzerland only; www.sbb.ch) is the national railway system, covering most of the country. In some alpine areas the railway is still operated by whichever private company initially provided the service. This, however, will only be relevant to travellers outside the main tourist regions.

Journey times:

From Zurich – 2 hours 40 minutes; Lausanne – 35 minutes; Berne – 1 hour 40 minutes; Basel 2 hours 35 minutes; Paris – 3 hours 5 minutes; Milan – 3 hours 55 minutes.




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