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Getting There

Geneva - Getting There


The best way for expatriates to get to Geneva is by air. Thanks in part to its popularity as a ski destination, it is possible to fly direct into Geneva city. The closest airport to Geneva city is the Geneva Airport ("Genève Aéroport"), which is the second busiest Swiss airport after Zurich. This airport's network strengths are regional/Europe-based flights, such as from Paris (Air France, Northwest), Munich (SAS, Swiss Air), Amsterdam (KLM) and Swiss city Zurich. There are also regular and non-stop cross-continental flights from US states like New York and Washington on American Airlines or Continental; or from London and Manchester via British Airways. A non-stop flight between New York and Geneva takes around 7 to 9 hours; while the flight time between London / Rome and Geneva is just under 2 hours. The flight time between Paris / Milan and Geneva is an hour, and Zurich and Geneva are 45 minutes apart by plane.

Expatriates can also choose to fly into other major European cities, such as Zurich, Paris, London, Amsterdam, then fly onward to Geneva via a regional carrier. Take note that domestic air travel within Switzerland can get expensive. Some expatriates have found it cheaper to fly from their home countries into other European cities such as Paris or London where there are a number of flights available onward to Geneva, including low cost carrier EasyJet.

The Geneva Airport (IATA Code GVA) is located in Cointrin, a small town about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city of Geneva. Call 0900 57 15 00 (at CHF 1.19/minute) for flight information, or +41 (0)22 717 7111 for general information. For directions from the airport, visit their website to download useful location and driving maps. From the airport, if you are traveling light, you can take advantage of Geneva Airport's offer to use the public transport for free (Unireso bus or train service) for a period up to 80 minutes. Click here to download the brochure more information – this offer is only valid for arriving passengers at Geneva Airport with a valid air ticket.

From the airport, it takes 6 minutes to reach the city of Geneva via train. There are airport buses that take around 40 minutes, and will take you direct into the city center, or to the lake. The main train station in Geneva is the Gare de Cornavin. The train station is centrally located within walking distance of the lake. This train station is also the terminus for the French rail network (both SNCF and TGV) from Paris, Lyon or Grenoble. A train ride between Zurich and Geneva will take about 2.5-3 hours.

If you intend to drive to your final destination, the Geneva Airport is linked to the motorway N1 from Lausanne. If you are driving from Zurich, the driving distance is about 272 km (111 miles) from Geneva, so the journey will take less than 3 hours. Take note that due to the unique geographical location of Geneva, there is no "direct" Swiss motorway from Zurich into Geneva - most routes will cross into French territory. Have your travel documents ready in case of border checks. Parking in the city of Geneva is very expensive, and it is not easy finding empty lots, so do remember to make prior arrangements for longer-term parking if you intend to drive into the city of Geneva on your relocation day.

Many expatriates prefer to hail a taxi from the Geneva Airport to complete the last leg of their journey. A taxi ride from the Geneva Airport into the city will cost around $40 CHF. Some helpful information (in English) about taxi tariffs, surcharges and other regulations (e.g. safety belts) can be read and downloaded here.


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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.