Geneva Life and Visitor Travel Tips
Despite its relatively small size, Geneva has become not only one of Switzerland's most important cities, but a leading centre of finance, known all over the world. Life in Geneva often revolves around its financial institutions, banking giants and international trade fairs, although the contributions made by tourism can by no means be overlooked.
To help you plan your time, pick up a copy of the city's main newspaper 'Le Temps', which always contains a variety of events listings. The free weekly 'Genève Agenda' magazine may also be of interests to those visiting Geneva and is available at the local tourist office on the Rude du Mont-Blanc.
Useful Contact Details
The main tourist information centre in Geneva can be found within the central post office, just a short walk from the train station. In particular, look out for the 'Genève info-jeunes' brochure, which is brimming with using information for those visiting on a budget.
Genève Tourisme and Convention Bureau (Office du Tourisme)
Address: 3 Rue du Mont-Blanc 18, Geneva, CH-1211, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 022 909 7000
Fax: +41 022 909 7011
Open hours: Monday - 10:00 to 18:00, Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 18:00
Information de la Ville de Genève
Address: Pont de la Machine, Geneva, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 022 311 9970
Fax: +41 022 311 8052
Open hours: Monday - 12:00 to 18:00, Tuesday to Friday - 09:00 to 18:00, Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00
Language and Dialect
The official spoken language of Geneva is actually French and the city is considered to be a part of French-speaking Switzerland
, known locally as 'Suisse Romande'.
Although French is the main language, many locals in Geneva also speak German and Italian to some degree, and even English at times. Consider bringing a French phrase book to make the most of your Swiss holiday.
Dos and Don'ts / Tourist Traps
- Internet Access - one of the best places to access the Worldwide Web is at the Internet Cafe de la Gare within the railway station and close to the Place de Montbrillant
- Money and Currency Exchange - various exchange bureaus are dotted around Geneva and include a particularly popular outlet at the Gare de Cornavin. Also worth considering is the Bureau de Change Michel on the Rue du Zürich, and also the UBS Bank on the Place de Cornavin
- Postal Communications - the main post office lies on the Rue du Mont-Blanc, while there is a further post office behind the train station, operating longer opening hours
- Public Transportation - many ticket machines (automats) in Geneva don't give change and so you should always try to bring the correct change. Overpayments can be claimed back at transport offices if you feel that this is unfair, or alternatively used prepaid bus cards
- Travel Agencies - central travel agencies in Geneva include American Express on the Rue Mont-Blanc and also STA Travel on the River de Rive