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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Geneva

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Geneva each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

March or April: Easter Monday (national holidays)

Easter Monday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after the Passion. Many baptisms are celebrated on Easter Weekend and families come together to attend the vigil mass and share a feast on Sunday.

Third Monday in April: Spring celebration (national)

To celebrate Spring, the city's various corporations parade in period costumes in the streets of Geneva. At 6:00 p.m., a giant bonfire on which sits a ragged snowman (the Böögg) is being started and church bells across the city start ringing!

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

August 1: National Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the founding of the Swiss Confederation on this day in 1291. Highlights include a bonfire, a parade, a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Geneva when night falls.

November 13: Swiss Story Night (national)

Held each year since 1995, this event honours Swiss storytelling and folklore traditions. Evening storytelling sessions open to the public are held in libraries, schools and offbeat venues.

December 1–24: Geneva International Christmas Market (local event)

As the holiday season is just around the corner, this major event for local craftsmanship takes place on the main squares of Geneva. Various cabins offer gastronomic products and other Christmas decorations.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Geneva

Geneva has a temperate climate. Winters are rather cold, especially when the bise, a strong local wind, blows in from the north-east, which can result in challenging weather conditions. Summers are relatively warm and ideal for discovering the city and its surrounding area.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -1/30 4/39 76/3.0 Not the best period to go
February -1/30 6/43 68/2.7 Not the best period to go
March -2/28 11/52 70/2.8 Not the best period to go
April 5/41 15/59 72/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
May 9/48 20/68 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
June 12/54 23/73 92/3.6 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 26/79 79/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
August 14/57 26/79 82/3.2 Good period to go Good period to go
September 11/52 20/68 100/3.9 Not the best period to go
October 7/45 15/59 105/4.1 Not the best period to go
November 2/36 8/46 88/3.5 Not the best period to go
December 0/32 5/41 90/3.5 Not the best period to go
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Geneva International Airport

The Geneva International Airport is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) west of the city centre, near the border between France and Switzerland.

  • Two terminals:
    • Terminal 1 (Air France)
    • Terminal 2

Getting from the airport to Geneva and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the E62 and the E25.
    • Several parking facilities are available: a free drop-off area on the departures and arrivals levels in which parking is not permitted, P2 short-term (limited to 1 hour, CHF 5) and the P51 and P26 long-term car parks (CHF 30 for 1 day, CHF 120 for 1 week).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By train
    • CFF trains connect the airport with the city centre, with departures every 10 minutes. The trip takes about 7 minutes. Travellers flying in Geneva may redeem a ticket in the baggage claim area, offering free transportation into town for 80 minutes, including the train ride to the Genève-Cornavin Station in the city centre.
  • By bus
    • The TGP city buses connect Geneva's city centre, with one bus every 8 minutes during rush hour. Travellers flying in Geneva may redeem a ticket in the baggage claim area, offering free transportation into town for 80 minutes.
  • By taxis
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport. The trip to central Geneva usually costs between CHF 35 and CHF 45 (plus luggage extra charge).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +41 (0)22 717 71 11
  • Website: https://www.gva.ch/en

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GETTING AROUND Geneva

It is very easy to get around Geneva. The simplest option, with relatively few constraints, is to use public transport. Transports Public Genevois (TPG) operates a dense network of bus routes as well as a tram system recently given a fresh lease on life.

By tram

Geneva has four tram lines (12, 14, 15 and 18) serving the entire metropolitan area. CHF 3 for a one-way ticket.

Useful tip: You can purchase a daily card (Carte journalière) for unlimited travel on all TPG lines. This is a very convenient option for discovering the city without worrying about the validity periods for individual tickets. The price is CHF 10 for a “Tout Genève” pass, CHF 18.50 for the outer city.

By bus

Buses are certainly the most convenient mode of transport to explore Geneva. There are also a number of Noctambus night buses, running every 20–30 minutes. On Friday and Saturday nights, Noctambus services operate from midnight until 5 a.m. These buses are identified by a letter “N” before the number CHF 3 for a one-way ticket.

By taxi

There is no shortage of taxis in Geneva. They may be reserved by telephone, hailed in the street or at any of the city's 60 or so public taxi ranks.

Fares:

  • The flag-down fare is CHF 6.30, then CHF 3.80 per kilometre.
  • At night and on Sundays and holidays, there is an additional charge of CHF 3.80.

By car

Renting a car to get around Geneva is a convenient solution, but can be rather expensive. Most parking spaces in the city centre are metered.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Geneva, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 18, rue du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Genève
  • Telephone: +41 (0)22 909 70 00
  • Email: info@geneve-tourisme.ch
  • Website: https://www.geneve.com/fr/

Switzerland travel guide

The official website maintained by Switzerland Tourism, the Swiss national tourist board, provides a wealth of information on Geneva.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).

1 SEK = 0,10 CHF

1 CHF = 10 SEK

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Geneva counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Switzerland.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Geneva.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Geneva.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Switzerland

For information on the travel documents required to enter Switzerland depending on your nationality, visit the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM): www.sem.admin.ch/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Geneva, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Geneva a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)

Good evening: Bonsoir

Goodbye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

Please: S'il vous plaît

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

+41
+ phone number (without 0)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Stockholm
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Switzerland, as is also the case in France and Italy, when the service is especially friendly and attentive, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. An appropriate tip in this case is anywhere between 5 and 10% of the bill at restaurants or bars.

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