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Geneva Airport, formerly called Cointrin Airport, is the second-busiest airport in Switzerland. Located less than three miles from the city centre of Geneva and nestled right on the French-Swiss border, the airport can be easily accessed from the French side as well. It is currently a hub for easyJet, Darwin Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines. The airport offers excellent public transportation options, from trains, buses and trams to taxis. Car hire options are available on both the Swiss and French sides of the airport.
Who to Book With
Because of the airport’s unique location, travellers can hire cars on both the Swiss and French sides of the airport. On the Swiss side, visitors can choose from leading car hire companies, such as Advantage Rent A Car, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt. On the French side, visitors can choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Sixt.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- Valid driver’s licence (both parts for UK drivers while non-EU licence holders will need an International Driver’s Licence)
- Reservation confirmation
- Credit card with which the booking was made
- Passport (the name must match the name of the driver)
Speed limits are strictly enforced by the Swiss police using radar so visitors should make sure to follow speed limit signs. Swiss motorways are toll roads and all vehicles using these roads must have a vignette displayed on the windscreen (car hire companies usually provide vignettes). Seatbelts must be used, both in the front and rear. Children under the age of seven must use a child seat. Vehicles must have reflective vests and a warning triangle. Drivers should be aware that petrol stations in the cities and town may close on weekends, with 24-hour petrol stations primarily located on the motorways. During the winter months, cars must have snow chains.
Visitors have plenty of transportation options from Geneva Airport, with buses, trams, trains and car hire options readily available. The Swiss train network is excellent and reliable. The journey to the city centre from the airport takes a mere five minutes by train. Many of the leading hotels in Geneva offer free airport shuttle services. Visitors should try to obtain a Geneva Transport Card from their hotel, which allows for free travel on public transportation.
The railway station is located just a short walk from the airport and all trains from here stop at the city centre railway station, Geneva-Cornavin. The train journey takes about five minutes and costs around £4. The CCF trains connect with other cities in Switzerland, as well as the European rail network. Those travelling extensively on the Swiss rail network should consider buying the Swiss Pass, which allows unlimited travel on the network and other benefits. Swiss Pass adult tickets start from £180.
Taxis are readily available outside the Arrivals area of the terminal. The journey to Geneva’s centre costs around £20 and takes about 10 minutes. There is an extra charge of £1 for each piece of luggage and of £3 for night time, Sunday and bank holiday travel.
Geneva Airport to Geneva is about £20
Geneva Airport to Avoriaz is about £25
Geneva Airport to Annecy is about £80
Geneva Airport to Argentiere is about £155
The Geneva public bus system is the TPG network. From the airport, visitors can take the number 10 bus, which goes to the city centre. The bus departs roughly every 15 minutes on weekdays. Tickets must be purchased in advance from the ticket machine at the bus stop. The bus journey to Geneva city centre takes roughly six minutes. Timetables and routes can be found on the provider’s website. A ticket to the city centre costs about £3.
Geneva Airport has two terminals: T1 and T2. These terminals are further sub-divided into five piers: A, B, C, D, E and F, with the F pier being the French sector. Visitors using the airport to get to and from France will use pier F exclusively. The airport services over 13 million passengers a year, with direct connections to most major European cities.
There is plenty of parking at Geneva Airport. There are two short-term car parks, P2 and P3, with fees starting at around £2 an hour. There are also long-term car parks, P1, P20 (French sector), P31, P32 and P33, with daily rates starting from £20. A cheaper long-term parking option is P51, which offers daily rates from around £18. Parking can be paid for by cash or credit card. Long-term parking should be booked in advance during the peak season.
The Geneva Airport authority offers free Wi-Fi internet connection to all passengers.
Information desks and tourist information desks are located in the Arrivals and Departures areas in both terminals.
Service Centre: +41 22 717 7111
Information: +41 900 57 15 00
Geneva Airport is fully accessible to those in wheelchairs. Assistance is provided for passengers with reduced mobility; however, this should be arranged ahead of time with the airline you are travelling with. All car parks are wheelchair accessible, with special parking spaces for the disabled (P1 has 30 disabled persons’ spaces on Level 1).
Restaurants and Bars
The airport has a large selection of restaurants, bars, snack bars and tea rooms in both terminals. Swiss specialities can be enjoyed at the Swiss Chalet (Arrivals area), Mediterranean cuisine can be had at L’Olivier (Departures area) and self-service dining can be taken at La Cuisine (Departures Transit area). Fast food restaurants, such as Burger King, are also available. Drinks and small snacks can be enjoyed at the Le Bar (Departures public area), L’Arc-en-Ciel (near gates A1-5) and Martel Tea Room (Arrivals area).
Airline business lounges:
Salons Air France
Salon British Airways
Salon Skyview Lounge
Salon Swiss Business
Money and ATMs
ATMs, bank branches and money exchange kiosks are available throughout the airport. ATMs are available from Raiffeisen Bank (at the railway station), UBS (Arrivals area) and Banque Cantonale de Geneve (Departures area). American Express has four branches in the airport, offering various financial services to travellers.
Shopping is fun at Geneva Airport, with lots of options for both duty-free and regular shops. Last-minute Swiss chocolates can be purchased at Spruengli (Departures Transit area), Chocolaterie Canonica (Departures Transit area) and Martle Chocolaterie (Departures and Arrivals areas). Travellers can also buy watches, jewellery, fashion accessories, books and flowers at the airport. There is a Migros supermarket at the airport railway station.