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geneva lake in switzerland

Compare the best Geneva flights

Geneva is located in the west of Switzerland on the French border. An ideal location for both summer and winter getaways, the city is home to the UN and World Health Organisation's International Headquarters, as well as landmarks such as the Jet d'Eau and the Cathédrale St Pierre.

Where to stay ?

Cosmopolitan Geneva is split into two main areas - the Left Bank, known as Rive Gauche, which contains the city's old town, and the Right Bank, or Rive Droite, which is the newer part of the city. The first decision you will need to make when booking accommodation is which of these areas you want to be based in.

If you opt to stay on the River Gauche side, consider Plainpalais with its abundance of restaurants, bars, antique shops and university. There are also a number of museums here for you to explore such as the Musée Rath, Musée d'Art Moderne et Conemporain and the Patek Philippe Museum.

If you're hoping to get some shopping in, opt for accommodation near to Rue du Rhone which is full of high-end boutiques. Eaux-Vives is another option for your stay with a variety of eateries and shops.

The Rive Droite side of the city is where many international organisations are based, such as the UN, World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation. You are able to walk through the grounds of some of these organisations.

Not surprisingly, with so many prestigious organisations residing here, there are a variety of high-end hotels. The airport and train station are also located in this part of the city.

Paquis is close to the train station and here you will not only find a bustling nightlife but also the outdoor Paquis baths. Servette is another lively area which you may wish to consider for your stay.      

Why go?

Holidays in Geneva offer something for everyone; outdoor pursuits in beautiful surroundings, fantastic shops, bars and restaurants, and culture and history in abundance.

A beautiful place to get outdoors, Geneva is a year round holiday destination, offering a range of pursuits including walking during the warmer summer months and skiing throughout the winter. Set on Lake Geneva, the area offers plenty of opportunity for water sports too - including sailing and windsurfing. Here, you will find sensational surroundings, such as fountains, parks and, of course, the cool, deep waters of the lake.

The stylish streets of Geneva boast an abundance of fine eateries and wine bars, alongside upscale shopping boutiques and hotels. There are more than one thousand restaurants in the city, delivering great diversity in their cuisine, so travellers will find something to suit every palette.

A trip to the old town is a must. This ancient space speaks of times of old, with its maze of gothic, cobblestone streets and the historic Town Hall and Cathedral of St Pierre. The old Town Hall is of historic significance, as here both the Red Cross and the League of Nations were founded.

While you're visiting, take a walk along the Rhone river bank, as it flows into Lake Geneva. The city also has a variety of museums to explore, as well as many green places, such as the Parc des Bastions and the Parc des Eaux Vives. Alternatively, the suburb of Carouge offers a Mediterranean feel within the Weiss City; this area was granted to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1754 and offers shady squares, trendy bistros and curiosity shops.

How to get there?

Getting to Geneva is very quick and easy, making it an ideal choice for a city break destination.

With Geneva flights from the UK to Geneva International GVA (formerly known as Geneva Cointrin GVA) taking just 1.5 to 2 hours, the city offers the ideal opportunity for a short haul sophisticated getaway. Geneva International Airport is a hub for most of French-speaking Switzerland, offering transport links far and wide.

Flights to Geneva are more expensive during the summer (April to October) so if you're looking for a cheaper flight, try spring and autumn. In winter, the city is a gateway to the many ski resorts of Switzerland so the airport gets busier at this time of year too. But it is worthwhile booking Geneva flights at any time of year, as the city's appeal is not so much in its weather, but more in its international status and its landmarks.

Easyjet is the biggest carrier into Geneva from the UK, with flights from 12 airports - Manchester, Liverpool, Belfast, Leeds Bradford, Gatwick, Stansted, Southend, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bournemouth and Newcastle.

British Airways flies from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, and Swissair runs services from Heathrow and City.
Jet2 runs low cost services from Manchester, Belfast, Leeds Bradford and East Midlands, and flybe flies from Inverness, Isle of Man, Exeter, Cardiff, Jersey and Southampton.

Finally, Thomson and Thomas Cook run ski charters during the ski season from airports all over the UK.

Getting to and from the airport

There are a variety of options for you to get to and from the airport, meaning you can enjoy a hassle-free onward journey to your accommodation.

Geneva International Airport is located just four kilometres from the city centre and is easily accessible and quick to travel to by train or bus. In the France-Vaud-Geneva area, just a single ticket is needed to travel by bus, train or boat with the Unireso public transport network. Pick up a Unireso ticket from Geneva Airport and you'll be granted 80 minutes of free public transport within the Geneva area. There is a ticket machine in the baggage collection area on the Arrivals level.

At peak times, Geneva's airport trains run to and from the city every 12 minutes - and take just six minutes to reach Geneva-Cornavin station in the city centre. Conveniently, there is direct access to the Check In and Arrivals levels from the airport train station.

Buses run from Geneva Cointrin GVA to various locations within the city, every 8 to 15 minutes. You will find bus stops located on the Check In Level, in front of and adjacent to the airport's train station. Free shuttle buses also operate to some of the city's most popular hotels from the Arrivals level. Buses go to the Crowne Plaza Genève, the Holiday Inn Express, Mövenpick Genève, NH Geneva Airport Hotel and the Starling Geneva Hotel and Conference Centre, every 15 to 20 minutes from 5-6am until 11.30pm-midnight.

Taxi fares from Geneva International Airport to the city centre range from CHF 30 to CHF 35. There are about 60 registered taxi ranks within Geneva - some of which can be found at the airport.