Hi - I have lived in Geneva for 6 years and generally it is a safe city, but Cornevin is NOT safe at night. It is the night hangout for the druggies, beggers and east european scammers who sit outside and drink and smoke in large groups and I wouldn't trust them an inch. There are a few hotels near and I would suggest if you need to stay a few hours, you don't do it around the station ( currently in refurb and there are no seating areas - even the coffee shop there is horrible - if you sit for any length of the time you will end up a target for smelly people asking for cigarettes or money ) ... I might suggest you go and find a nice hotel lobby, get a sandwich and don't hang around the station. There's a hotel super close - come out the front entrance, turn right, it's about 100 yards down the road. Happy travelling.
When you are travelling in Geneva. Beware of pickpockets near Lake Geneva particularly near the "Jardin Anglais".
I was a victim way back in 2008 at English garden. I was a bit lucky because the money that was in my wallet is only $220.00 including all my ATM and credit cards. The guy who took my wallet while doing some friendly conversation with me resembled like black-hispanic (not sure of the nationality).
During that time, i am not concerned about the cash that i have in the wallet...but the credit card to pay my hotel bills (luckily it was replaced by the credit company within 4 days). After that incident, we tried to checked all the trash bags/baskets in the underground parking under the bridge to check if the robbers threwn my wallets in the trash, as suggested by my friend, but of no avail.
We went to that direction because one of the witnesses told us that he saw that guy ran to that direction. Actually, i saw the guy with the lady walking away from us after our conversation however i only realized after 2 minutes that my wallet was gone.
Losing hope and exhausted to find my wallet, we went to the police station at Cornavin to report the incident (Note: you can seldom see a policeman in the streets during Sundays). I was issued a police report in French language. This is the first time in my life to be pickpocket in the place we called "the safest place in the world"...in GENEVA.
That guy taught me a lesson that i cannot forget in my whole life. A guy, though a robber became a teacher to me.
Beware of pickpockets in Geneva!
Just arrived in Geneva on March 28 2007. At hotel the gentleman in front had his briefcase stolen right before our eyes. Conveiently, all hotel staff was abset except one. They magically appear soon after the brief case was stolen. SOFITEL HOTEL GENEVE.
Same day right after dinner one in our party of four that was awaiting a taxi had his pocket picked.
Beware in Geneva, highest crime right in the world I have every witnessed in one day!
Like so many cities now, Geneva has problems with pickpockets. It certainly doesn't have the international reputation for it that Barcelona has, but do be careful with your purse or handbag.
If you lose your handbag or wallet, go to the police and make a report (ask for a copy). They are unlikely to be able to get it back, but having filed a report will assist you with making any insurance claims, or in obtaining new passports etc. Of course you must quickly make sure you contact your banks to stop your cards!
The first website link below can be used to search for the nearest embassy.
The second website link below can be used to find the nearest Permanent Mission for your country in Geneva. Many countries do not have embassies in Geneva; most are in Bern, but often Permanent Missions will have consulate staff who could help you. (Permanent Missions are sort of like an Embassy but instead of trying to foster relations between two countries, a Mission presents a country's interests to an international institution or organisation e.g. the UN or WTO)
Not all of Geneva's visitors are here for a friendly visit or on business, but an increasing number is considering the "safe" Geneva an ideal pasture for grazing. A pal of mine met a couple of women claiming to be from Hungary last night and - after a couple of drinks, trying to give helpful advice to the "visitors" - ended up with an empty wallet. Be careful in crowds, restrurants, public transportation, and keep your valuables (including wristwatches and phone) in a safe place. Never carry large amounts of cash. Always lock and attach your bike. By experience, most of the pickpockets seem to be of North African or East European (gipsy type) origin, sad to say so. No bodily harm seems to be applied, the crooks prefer to run away with their booty. The situation is similar or worse across the border in France.