|Geneva : arrival|
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There’s only one terminal, replete with English-language signing. The tourist information and airport information desks (both daily 6am–midnight) are in plain view, offering free maps and advice and hotel reservations boards (with complimentary phone). To the left of tourist information is a revolving door giving access into the adjacent CFF train station.
For transport on from the airport, the simplest and cheapest way to go is by city bus #10, which departs from the top of the escalators just inside the train station’s revolving door. A fifteen-minute drive can drop you directly on the Rue du Mont-Blanc (for the Rive Droite) or Place Bel-Air (for the Rive Gauche) in the centre of town – buy a Fr.2.20 ticket from the machine before you board. The airport train station is the beginning of the line, and all trains from here pass through Geneva at the start of their journeys (Fr.4.80; 6min; last 11.55pm) – if you’re heading straight for the mountains you can generally get to where you want to be directly from the airport, avoiding train-changes in Geneva. If the ticket desks (daily 6am–8.30pm) are closed, use the self-explanatory ticket machines nearby. The train station is the best place in the airport to change money (daily 6.20am–8pm), and the concourse also has luggage lockers (Fr.3/5) and a staffed left-luggage office (daily 6.40am–8.40pm; Fr.5/day). Taxis gather just outside the terminal, but charge a steep Fr.25–35 into the city.
The city’s main train station – the Gare de Cornavin – couldn’t be more central, barely 400m north of the lake. The station is also a terminus of the French rail network: if you’re arriving on an intercity SNCF train (TGV or not), from Paris, Lyon or Grenoble – which come in on platforms 7 and 8, separate from the rest – you’ll be directed to pass through both French and Swiss customs and passport control before joining the throng within the station proper. The station has the usual array of facilities, including a change bureau (daily April–Oct 6.45am–9.30pm; Nov–March 6.45am–8pm) and bike rental (Mon–Fri 6.50am–6.45pm, Sat & Sun 7am–12.30pm & 1.30–5.45pm). There’s also a city transport office, giving out tram and bus maps and selling tickets (daily 6.15am–8pm).
Sporadic French SNCF local trains from Evian, Chamonix and Annecy, connecting at Annemasse and La Roche, arrive at the tiny Gare des Eaux-Vives, well to the east of the centre. Opposite the station is a terrace of houses, to the right of which is the Rue de Savoie heading 50m up to the main road, from where trams #12 and #16 head right into the centre.
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