Geneva is well-linked by direct rail routes to a number of major European cities. There are high-speed trains to, for example, Milan, Paris, Lyon, and Barcelona. With one change of trains, it's possible to get to all major cities across the continent. Indeed, on my InterRail trip around Europe (almost a rite of passage) I made Geneva my base and visited most of the continent - from Norway to Spain and Italy.
Within Switzerland, direct connections are available to all major cities, including Zurich, Luzern, Lausanne, Bern, and Basel (usually InterCity, but you can get a slower train if you need one of the towns along the route). Getting to/from Geneva from/ to smaller stations and ski stations will often require a change, possibly for the bus.
While it's possible to take the train directly to/from the Geneva Cointrin airport, there is a much better choice of connections at Cornavin, the city's main railway station.
by train:Nice-digne ,then by bus:digne-sisteron-grenoble-chambéry-annecy-genève
by train from sisteron:veynes-grenoble-chambéry-annecy-genève
or a daily direct bus Nice-castellane-digne-sisteron-grenoble-chambéry-annecy-genève
1. Signpost for the 9:14 ICN train to Basel on track 6
2. ICN train entering Cornavin station in Geneva
3. Second class in the ICN train
4. View from the train window
I left Geneva on an ICN tilting train to Basel. Since these trains lean into the curves they can go faster on conventional tracks than other trains do.
The downside of this is that some degree of passenger comfort is sacrificed. I personally do not find these trains as uncomfortable as flying, but some people do.
In conventional trains the first class coaches are usually either at the beginning or end of the train, so we second class passengers will not be tempted to walk through, but in the tilting trains first class is in the middle, because that's where the tilting is least noticeable.
The French Railways provide excellent high-speed train service several times daily from Cornavin station in Geneva to the Gare-de-Lyon in Paris. The journey takes about three and a half hours in one of the TGV trains.
Arriving at the airport make sure you pick up a free ticket for travelling to your hotel, it lasts 80 minutes to catch the train into the centre and then transfer by bus to your hotel, all free.
On arrival in the hotel you will be given a pass for the duration of your stay for free transport around Geneva.
Check it out on www.geneve-tourisme.ch
We arrived in Geneva by train, from Lausanne. The city’s main train station, Gare de Cornavin, is located only a short walk to the lake and main attractions.
Train travel in Switzerland is easy. Trains are clean and run on time. Stations are well signposted and fellow travellers are considerate. The trains we travelled on all had luggage areas and toilets. It is a stress-free way to get around the country. Being on the train is also a great way to do some sight seeing on route. Some of the rail lines travel through the most gorgeous mountain scenery.
The only confusing thing connected to train travel in Switzerland is deciding what type of ticket or rail pass to buy. Sure you can buy tickets from place to place as you go, but there are various passes that may work our more economical depending on your itinerary and rail usage.
I spent some time before our trip calculating out the cost of buying various tickets versus rail passes, and in our case determined that a Swiss Pass offered the best value. The Swiss Pass is valid on almost all trains (supplement required on some special trains), on buses, and on ferries, such as those on Lake Geneva.
You can investigate Rail Passes here
Train timetables and routing here
Cornavin is the name of main train station in Geneva. As it happens all around Switzerland, train is the best way of transportation to se around. Trains are comfortable. If you will travel a lot, then you can take benefit of some special treats of Swiss Railways SBB. This can be half fare card. You pay smtg like 40 CHF but you always pay the half of normal fare. If you will go 3-4 cities around Switzerland, you would save much more than the price of half fare card. You can buy it through SBB web site: www.sbb.ch.
There are also special tickets such as "full day". You pay less than 20 CHF and you can go anywhere in your city
Swiss trains are a real cadeau! They are
beautiful, comfortable, clean, yeah - luxurious. At least the one I used from
Zurich to Genève. First I traveled in
an ordinary, pretty old-fashioned Austrian
train to Zurich, and then I had to change
for Geneva. So I got on the double-decker and it felt like traveling in the Austrian
Emperor's K&K-train! There were elegant
round couches, small tables, there was
friendly staff going through the train...
I can only recommend this means of
transport, I don't promise too much of
Swiss trains. :)
Here it's called 'Le Petit Train de Soleil', and I always take a ride on it when I come to Geneva.
By the way, I'm sorry if I got the French name of this particular thing wrong - my French really sucks :(((
More to come!
When catching the train from Geneva to Basel, I got to see a lot of great views.
There are many beautiful lakes and mountains for such a small country.
In the train the Swiss keep it immaculate, every coat was on a hook and everyone was dressed smartly. Is it just me or is that a little strange?
If you already are in Switzerland, the train is probably your best option. If not you'd have to fly there.
Geneva has a very good public transportation system of buses and trams. It is also a rather small city and you can pretty much walk anywhere. Therefore, unless you plan to travel around the country, you really do not need a car.
Do watch out for the taxis because their prices are outrageously high!
the goldenpass from interlaken to geneva is scenic, awesome journey. it shows the real 'swiss' that everyone is in love with (i.e blue skies, swiss cottages, cows, green pasture). warning: the journey's pretty long and operates only in tuesday (i think) and you need to be on the 9:30 train. that..plus you have to change to the scenic train in montreaux. the journey's about 6 hours long, but coming back, you can take a less scenic ride about 3 hours back to interlaken.
By train: The Swiss National Railroad system (at: http://www.cff.ch/) offers hourly links to Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Zurich and to the famous holiday regions of the Cantons of Vaud and Valais.
City and airport of Geneva are joined by rail with more than 200 trains a day. Many international routes pass through Geneva to provide convenient connections across Europe. The heart of Paris is only 3 1/2 hours away from Geneva by the TGV (high velocity train). Reaching a maximum speed of 270 km/h (170 m/h), city-centre to city-centre travelling time compares very favourably with intercity flights.
For the globe trotter who wants to travel and literally 'watch Europe go by', what would be more exciting than a train itinerary from Geneva to Paris and from there to London, crossing the Channel by ferry or by the Euro-Tunnel.
Take a look at the upper transportation tip.
We chose to not get a car. We purchased a Swiss Rail Pass and had no problems getting around. The Swiss Pass is also good for most ferrys and city bus and trolly lines. Trains run often from the Downtown station to the airport.
From the train station you may want to take a taxi to your hotel but we did walk (less than a mile or so). Once we were there we only walked. It was small enough that it was easy to walk. If you could see it on the map from the hotel you could walk to it.