Geneva Transportation Tips by Nemorino Top 5 Page for this destination

Geneva Transportation: 90 reviews and 99 photos

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1. Yellow boat (Mouette) on Lake Geneva - Geneva

1. Yellow boat (Mouette) on Lake Geneva

Geneva Transport Card


Photos:
1. Yellow boat (Mouette) on Lake Geneva
2. Yellow boat among the sailboats
3. The Jet d'eau from one of the yellow boats
4. View from one of the yellow boats
5. My Geneva Transport Card

As of January 1st, 2007, all visitors staying at a hotel, youth hostel or campground in Geneva have the option of getting a "Geneva Transport Card" at no additional cost.

This is a personal and non-transferable pass that you can get when you check in at your hotel, youth hostel or campground, and it lets you use the entire public transportation network (buses, trains, trams and boats) without restriction for the entire duration of your stay including the departure day.

As a cyclist I didn't make much use of my Geneva Transport Card, but I did try out two of the four boat lines run by Les Mouettes genevoises on the lake and the Rhône River.

They have six of these yellow boats, two of which are powered by solar energy.

Update: I completely agree with the comment made by VirtualTourist member xaver (Corra): "The Geneva Transport Card seems a great deal, good for the tourist that goes around free and for the city which is free from tourist's cars."

Yes indeed, providing this sort of Transport Card for tourists is one of the many things that cities can do to reduce unnecessary motor traffic, which is essential for making cities livable again. I was given a similar card recently at my hotel in Dresden, Germany.

By the way, the building shown on my Geneva Transport Card (fifth photo) is the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices (BFM), which was originally built in the 1880s as a factory in the middle of the Rhône River to deliver water under pressure from the Rhône for use in the fountains, houses and factories of the city. The factory was decommissioned during the 1960s, and in the 1990s it was taken over by the Geneva Opera House, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, who used it as their substitute opera venue for the 1997-1998 season while they were modernizing their stage machinery in their main building on Place Neuve. Today the BFM is still used by the opera house as a smaller, alternative venue for chamber operas, baroque operas, ballets and recitals. There are seats for 945 spectators, and the floor of the orchestra pit can be raised or lowered depending on the requirements of the performance.

Mode: AROUND

Type: Ship/Boat

Website: http://www.geneve-tourisme.ch/?rubrique=0000000417&lang=_eng

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 3, 2012
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Genèveroule lending point behind the station - Geneva

Genèveroule lending point behind the station

Genèveroule Bicycles Review


Photos:
1. Genèveroule lending point behind the main railroad station
2. Genèveroule lending point on the lakeshore
3. Genèveroule with the jet d'eau in the background

Geneva is one of nine Swiss cities that lends out bicycles for free for up to four hours at a time, the others being Bern, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Renens, Sion, Thoune, Vevey and Zürich.

I used this service when I was in Bern, and found it really good, but I didn't use it in Geneva because of the requirement that you have to return the bike by 9.30 pm, which was all right in Bern, but I knew that in Geneva I was going to want to have a bike late at night to ride home from the opera and the theater, so I went for the more expensive option of renting a bike from the Swiss Railways at the main station.

Mode: AROUND

Phone: +41 (0) 22 740 13 43

Type: Bicycle

Website: http://www.geneveroule.ch/htdocs/geroule/geroule.php?idp=1&ida=17

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 3, 2012
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1. Cycling in Geneva - Geneva

1. Cycling in Geneva

Cycling in Geneva Bicycles Review


Photos:
1. Cycling in Geneva
2. In the city center, near Place des Eaux-Vives
3. Cycling near the station
4. Father and son on a bike in the Old Town
5. Cycling by Lake Geneva on a midsummer evening

As in most European cities, the best way to get around is by bicycle. Except for the Old Town, the city is fairly flat. Though some of the major streets are infested with unnecessary automobile traffic, there are some fine cycling routes along the lake shore and up towards the United Nations.

I didn't even find out until later that they have a very good cycling map called VELO-LOVE. Vélo is a French word for bike, and it happens to be an anagram of the English word Love, so that makes for a good slogan:

VELO
LO
VE

Mode: AROUND

Type: Bicycle

Website: http://www.aspic.ch/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 3, 2012
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1. Safe guarded bicycle parking in the station - Geneva

1. Safe guarded bicycle parking in the station

Bicycle parking in the main station Cornevin Bicycles Review


Photos:
1. Safe guarded bicycle parking in the main train station Cornevin in Geneva
2. Entrance to the bicycle parking room

It's hard to believe that there are still cities in Europe that do not have this basic and absolutely essential sort of facility -- I'm ashamed to admit it, but my home city of Frankfurt am Main is one of those backward places.

Mode: AROUND

Type: Bicycle

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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Poster for Slowup Day - Geneva

Poster for Slowup Day

Slowup day


When I was in Geneva there were posters announcing the "Day of Gentle Mobility" or "Slowup Day" for the third of August.

On this day a main road is closed off to motor traffic (but only on a Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm) and reserved for healthy and non-polluting means of transportation.

(The annual Swiss "Slowup Day" is a great thing, and I don't mean to knock it, but I do think I should point out that the French capital city of Paris does the same thing every Sunday all year round, week after week, as part of their program called Paris respire = Paris breathes. On Sundays you can see signs on selected streets all over Paris reading: "Road reserved for cyclists and pedestrians from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.")

Mode: AROUND

Type: Bicycle

Website: http://www.slowup.ch/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 10, 2009
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1. Dock at Pâquis for route M2 - Geneva

1. Dock at Pâquis for route M2

Yellow boats route M2 Boats Review


Photos:
1. Dock at Pâquis for route M2
2. Our skipper getting ready to cast off on the M2
3. Here she is steering the M2 across the harbor
4. The M2 with the Jet d'eau in the background

This line goes straight across the harbor from Pâquis on the north shore to Eaux-Vives on the south.

Mode: AROUND

Type: Ship/Boat

Website: http://www.unireso.ch/pages/index.shtml

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 31, 2008
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1. Signpost for the 9:14 ICN train to Basel - Geneva

1. Signpost for the 9:14 ICN train to Basel

ICN tilting train to Basel Trains Review


Photos:
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.

Mode: TO

Type: Train

Website: http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/zuege/zuege-fernverkehr/icn.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 31, 2008
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French TGV train in Geneva - Geneva

French TGV train in Geneva

Train of Great Speed (TGV) Trains Review


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.

Mode: TO

Type: Train

Website: http://bonjourlafrance.com/france-trains/tgv-french-alps/schedules/paris-geneva.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 31, 2008
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1. Dock at Pâquis for route M1 - Geneva

1. Dock at Pâquis for route M1

Yellow boats route M1 Boats Review


Photos:
1. Dock at Pâquis for route M1
2. Route M1 boat approaching Mont-Blanc bridge
3. Going under the bridge
4. Approaching the dock at Molard on the left bank of the Rhône River

This particular route reminds me of the Limmat Boats in Zürich, which also have to be quite low to go under several bridges on the Limmat River on their way from the Zürich Main Station to the lake.

Mode: AROUND

Type: Ship/Boat

Website: http://www.unireso.ch/pages/index.shtml

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 31, 2008
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1. A new bicycle lane clearly set off in red - Geneva

1. A new bicycle lane clearly set off in red

Bicycle markings on the streets Bicycles Review


Photos:
1. A new bicycle lane clearly set off in red.
2. Many of the one-way streets are open to cyclists going the other direction, as indicated by this symbol and arrow.
3. Often bicycle lanes are painted on the street, which is usually a better solution than having a bike lane up on the sidewalk.
4. Bicycle routes in Geneva are often clearly signposted, like this.

Some of the newer bicycle lanes in Geneva are clearly set off in red, as in the first photo, which makes them a lot more visible to motorists. This is standard procedure in one of the German states, Nordrhein-Westfalen, but not in the rest of Germany on the grounds that it is too expensive.

Mode: AROUND

Type: Bicycle

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 31, 2008
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Nemorino

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