When you arrive Geneva Airport, you can just follow the signboard heading to the Train station on the G level of the building. Once you arrive at the G level, you will be in a hall with ticket machines, shops, and the railway ticket office (SBB CFF FFS). If you are a foreign tourist like me, you can just take a number at the railway ticket office and wait for your turn to talk to one of the staffs that guide you with the ticket or other regional pass or swiss pass. It is more than just a train ticket office, I would describe it as a government agency that serve the transportation system of the whole Switzerland and at the same time to promote tourism that relate to their services.
You can check out the official website to learn more about your options.
I would recommend you do your some research on the swiss pass available before you talk to their staffs. The queue can be long and the staffs could lose their patience to explain the detail of the Pass that suite you.
I planned my trip in advance. I bought my 15 days Swiss Pass and paid the required surcharge to book a seat for Bernina Express, and paid for the train ticket that pass through Italy from Tirano to Lugano. It is nice to hold your Swiss Pass and travel without worrying to buy tickets at a machine or ticket office.
On arrival at Geneva airport, the simplest way to get to the city centre is use the train. It seems that every train from the airprot, travels for 6 minutes and then arrives at Geneva Railway station.
There are automnated ticket machines, and a one way ticket is reasonably cheap, and at the time of writing it was around 3 ChF.
Thanks a lot for the info. It is now clear I should take the direct train. I THINK 7 hours of beautiful scenery would be very good. If I were to take the plane, it will take me the same 7 hours going from Geneva to the terminal 2 hours prior to departure, arrive in some airport near Venice and get a taxi downtown.
Thank you very much.
An easy commute to and from the Airport is by train.
To the Airport:
Trains run from Geneva main station (Contrin) to the Airport every 10-15mins at peak times. The journey takes around 6 minutes.
From the Airport:
The journey to Contrin Station takes around 6 mins. Trains leave regularly from the airport train station. All trains from the Airport, go to Geneva main station (Contrin
Easy to use (unusually!) airport just a short bus (#10) or train journey to the centre (all trains stop at Gare Cornavin)
Pick up your free transport ticket as you leave the arrivals hall - see 1st photo, it's good for the trip into town and onwards to your hotel (valid for 80 minutes I think, check on the website for up to date news)
The city is served by the Geneva Cointrin International Airport. It is connected to both the Swiss railway network SBB-CFF-FFS, and to the French SNCF network, counting direct relations to Paris by TGV. Geneva is also linked to the motorway systems of both Switzerland (A1 motorway) and France.
Public transport by bus, trolleybus or tram is provided by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG). In addition to an extensive coverage the city centre, the network covers most of the municipalities of the Canton, with a few lines extending into France. Public transport by boat is provided by the Mouettes Genevoises, who link the two banks of the Lake; however, their use is mostly touristic.
Regional trains operated by SBB-CFF-FFS connect the major position of Cornavin with the airport's train station, and several slighter train stations exterior the city center. Trains are presently not used for carrying inside the city; however, work has started on the CEVA (Cornavin - Eaux-Vives - Annemasse) project, first planned in 1884, which will connect the city's main train station with the Canton's public hospital, the Eaux-Vives station and Annemasse, in France. The link between the main station and the classification yard of La Praille already exists; from there, the line will go mostly underground to the Hospital and the Eaux-Vives, where it will link to the existing line to France.
With a limited amount of time to get from the airport to the city, and then back again, I was a little concerned about taking public transportation. I have to say, the train into town was the most efficient, and easy thing I have ever seen. The ride is about 5 minutes, and it was always on time. You can lock your bags up for about 7 francs, and be in Geneva before you know it.
From the airport one can reach the center of town in two ways, either by train which takes four minutes to Geneva station (cornavin), or by the bus no. 10 which leaves from the upper level and takes about 15 - 20 minutes depending where you want to go.
For good walkers no other form of transportation is required. Geneva is a small city and almost any point in the urban area can be reached in 30 minutes from the center. The local bus system has recently been revised to permit one to travel by bus, tram, train, and boat with a single ticket. Daily passes (carte journalière) are a good idea if one plans more than two trips. Up to date information on routes, schedules, and fares can be obtained at www.tpg.ch in English and French.
The Compagnie General de Navigation de Lac Léman (www.cgn.ch) operates a number of excursions on the lake. There are short tours of the “rade”, the narrow part of the lake just before it pours into the Rhône at Geneva. There is also a circuit that links five parks. And regular service between all the lakeshore towns in Switzerland and France. Many boats of their fleet are the steamers that were built between 1890 and 1920 and four of them still have steam operated engines. Highly recommended!
“Genève Roules” loans bikes for free, you leave your passport and a deposit. Their stationed at the Plaine de Plainpalais and at the Bains de Paquis.
bus and tram info at www.tpg.ch
boat cruises at www.cgn.ch
The airport and train station are linked at Geneva - just a few minutes walk from arriving at the terminal and you can be on a train on your way to other destinations in switzerland. Luggage can also be checked through from your home airport to your destination - using the fly rail luggage service. Also leaves you free to break your journey on route if so desired.