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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Geneva

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Local time Geneva

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Getting around Geneva

Public transport

Transports Publics Genevois (TPG) (tel: 00800 022 021 20, in Switzerland only; www.tpg.ch) operates Geneva's superb bus and tram network. Services in general operate between 0500 and 0030, with Noctambus (tel: 00800 022 021 20, in Switzerland only; noctambus.ch) night buses then kick in until the small hours.

Ticket vending machines are situated at all bus and tramway stops and accept coins and credit/debit cards. 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 on bus or tram or one lake crossing 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 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.

There are plans for Geneva to have its own suburban railway Léman Express (lemanexpress.ch) with 45 stations and six lines. Léman Express is expected to begin in December 2019.

Taxis

You can order taxis in Geneva by phone, hail them in the street, or pick them up at authorised taxi ranks around the city.

Taxiphone (tel: +41 22 331 4133; taxi-phone.ch), Geneva's central taxi service, provides cabs 24-hours a day. Or you can try Geneva-taxi.ch (tel: +41 22 707 0425; geneva-taxi.ch) or Taxi reservation (+41 22 707 0420; www.taxi-reservation.ch).

The fare is shown on the meter, which includes VAT and may already include a tip (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. You can obtain parking disks 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 online switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk or at the border. All hire cars come with this included.

Car hire

You can hire cars at the airport, railway station and hotels. A national driving licence and credit card are required. Drivers must be at least 20 years old.

Providers include Avis (tel: +41 848 811 818; www.avis.ch), Sixt (tel: +41 848 884 444; www.sixt.ch) and local firm Auto Location Leman (tel: +41 22 732 0143; www.vipcarspartner.com). Hire cars are generally equipped with snow tyres during the winter period.

Bicycle hire

Rental bikes are available from Rentabike (tel: +41 41 925 1170; www.rentabike.ch) at Cornavin railway station or Genève Roule (tel: +41 22 740 1415; www.geneveroule.ch), which has several locations open throughout the city centre between April and October. To hire, cyclists must show ID and leave a small deposit.

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Featured Hotels

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Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva

Billed as Geneva's first hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva has been standing on the shores of Lake Geneva since 1834. Modern highlights include a spa and fitness facilities, but the real pull lies in the chance to sample the charm of a bygone era. If you've got the cash, this is arguably the finest hotel in Geneva.

Hôtel Edelweiss

Just a short walk from Lake Geneva, Hôtel Edelweiss is a sensible budget option in Geneva. Decorated in the style of a Swiss chalet, the hotel offers 42 rooms and a Swiss-style restaurant, where evening entertainment and folk music are provided for the guests. All rooms are en suite and equipped with telephone and mini-bar. There is also a small business centre and free Wi-Fi access.

Crowne Plaza Geneva

The Crowne Plaza Geneva hotel is just a short ride from the airport and offers 366 rooms. Other facilities include a fitness room. International cuisine is served at Seventy5, brunch at the Café Jardin and snacks at Le Bar. The hotel has an extensive range of conference and banquet facilities for up to 1,200 people and also offers a free shuttle service to and from the airport.

Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Geneva

Located in the International Centre Cointrin (ICC) business complex the Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Geneva is situated just 0.8km (0.5 miles) from the Palexpo Exhibition Centre and 15 minutes' drive from the city centre. Trendy types and the business community enjoy this mini-city which provides everything from an airline check-in desk and discotheque to a casino piano bar and business centre. In short a solid bet in terms of price and location.

Hotel De Genève

Just streets away from Lake Geneva itself, there are no whistles and bells at Hotel De Genève, but what you get is a plum location and a choice of 39 rooms which straddle the line between modern design and historic home comforts. It’s clean, cheap and offers free Wi-Fi and a breakfast buffet.

Genève Cottage

What it may lack in location, Genève Cottage more than makes up for in quality and quaintness. Situated 20 minutes from the city centre by train (with a 10-minute walk), this family-run hotel is a home away from home with individually decorated sleeping quarters, queen-sized beds and modern en suite bathrooms. Ask for a room at the back of the house to enjoy a little more peace, plus views of the lovely gardens.