Public Transportation from Switzerland to Genève Cointrin Aéroport (GVA)
Buses and trains provide easy access to Geneva Cointrin Airport (GVA) from central Genève and Switzerland. Arriving passengers get free public transportation passes.
Geneva Cointrin Airport (GVA) is very conveniently located 5 km (3 miles) from downtown Genève. A mainline train station in the basement of Genève Aéroport allow for very easy rail access from many parts of Western Switzerland while buses provide fast and cheap transportation to much of Geneva. Although adjacent to a major highway on the one side and the French border on the other, walking and cycling to Geneva Airport are possible too. Taxis from the airport are very expensive while minibus transfers from Geneva Airport to any destination in Switzerland or France are best reserved in advance.
Save with Free Public Transportation Passes from Geneva Airport
Arriving passengers may draw a free transportation pass from the public transportation vending machine in baggage claim area of the arrivals hall of Geneva Airport (GVA). This special Tout Genève pass is valid for 80 minutes and covers trains, buses, trams, and ferry boats operating in the whole Geneva Canton.
Hotel and hostel guests, as well as campers, sleeping in the Geneva Canton receive a free transportation card at check in that is valid for the duration of the stay. These passes similarly allow for unlimited travel on all public transportation in Geneva.
Taxis from Geneva Airport charge CHF40 or more depending on the distance traveled. Taxis to the airport are somewhat cheaper.
Trains and buses run to and from Geneva Airport from around 6 am to around midnight. All forms of public transportation except taxis depart from the main, Switzerland side of the airport. Only taxis and private cars are available to and from the French side of the airport.
By SBB / CFF Trains from Geneva Airport to Downtown Genève
The fastest way from Geneva Airport to downtown is by train but buses are often more convenient. Swiss Railways (SBB / CFF) has a mainline station in the basement of the airport with direct trains to Genève Cornavin Main Train Station.
Trains run in only 6 minutes from the airport to downtown three to five times per hour. The free transportation passes are valid on the journey between the main station and airport (but generally not on any further stretch of mainline train travel).
Note that the station at the airport is Genève-Aéroport station – Cointrin station is a suburban train station some distance from the airport itself.
By Public Bus from Geneva Airport to Genève
Although trains are the fastest transportation option from Geneva Airport to Genève Cornavin station, buses are often more convenient and easier to use when further bus or tram connections are necessary. Most public buses and trams in Geneva pass by Gare Cornavin or the 22 Cantons stop, which is just a block from the main station.
Genève public transportation buses with stops at Geneva Airport are:
- Bus 5 – to Thônex-Vallard via Gare Cornavin, Palexpo, Nations, Bel Air & Hôpital
- Bus 10 – to Rive via Lyon (Gare Cornavin), Bouchet, Balexert & Bel Air
- Bus 23 – to ZIPLO Lancy in Southern Geneva (not via Cornavin)
- Bus 28 – to Botanical Gardens via Palexpo & Nations (not to Cornavin) / to Parfumerie and Vernier in the opposite direction.
- Bus 57 – to Meyrin via Hôpital de la Tour
- Bus Y – to Ferney in France and in the opposite direction to Thoiry via CERN.
There are no real limits on the size of luggage carried on the buses by passengers but bear in mind that these buses are normal commuter buses with no special space for bulky intercontinental travelers’ baggage.
By Train from Geneva Airport to the Rest of Switzerland
Many direct trains run from Genève-Aéroport station in the basement of Geneva Airport to numerous Swiss cities. Further connections are available from Genève Cornavin main station in downtown Geneva, including TGV trains to Paris and southern France.
Hourly trains run from Geneva Airport to Bienne / Biel (2 hours), Neuchâtel (90 minutes) and Yverdon-les-Bains (70 minutes) and every half hour to Fribourg / Freiburg (90 minutes) and Berne / Bern (120 min). Trains connect the airport every fifteen minutes with Lausanne in less than an hour – many of these trains continue to Montreux (about 25 minutes more).
Geneva Airport is popular with low-cost and full-service airlines with the number of flights to Geneva especially high over weekends and during the ski season. Geneva Airport is convenient for winter-sport resorts in both Switzerland and France and a wide range of direct buses and trains are available from Geneva Airport to resorts in France.