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Geneva is a hub of NGOs and the United Nations, but it's just as interesting for travellers as it is for diplomats. Set in the far southwester corner of Switzerland, Geneva is within easy distance of the Alps. The city itself offers a range of unique attractions, from the lake that feeds the Rhine River to the Jet d'Eau, the world's tallest water fountain.
Geneva is Switzerland's second-largest city in terms of population, after Zürich.
Geneva has warm summers and moderately cold winters. Temperatures from June to September are between 21 and 25 °C, winters from December to March are above zero during the day, around -3 °C at night. 36 °C and -18 °C are the absolute high and low. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year though summers are somewhat wetter with sometimes heavy showers and thunderstorms. Winters have some snowfall.
|Avg Max||3.7 °C||5.9 °C||9.8 °C||13.9 °C||18.4 °C||22.2 °C||25.3 °C||24.4 °C||20.8 °C||14.9 °C||8.4 °C||4.5 °C|
|Avg Min||-1.9 °C||-0.9 °C||0.8 °C||4.1 °C||8 °C||11.3 °C||13.3 °C||13 °C||10.3 °C||6.6 °C||2.1 °C||-0.5 °C|
|Rainfall||69 mm||70 mm||68 mm||56 mm||66 mm||77 mm||58 mm||68 mm||70 mm||66 mm||79 mm||75 mm|
Geneva International Airport (GVA) is the main gateway. Dozens of airlines serve cities in Europe and further away. Lowcost airline Easyjet has many flights to/from Ajaccio, Alicante, Amsterdam, Asturias, Barcelona, Bastia, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Bristol, Brussels, Budapest, Cagliari, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ibiza, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lisbon, Liverpool, London, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakech, Nantes, Naples, Newcastle, Nice, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Porto, Rome, Sharm el Sheikh, Split, Stockholm and Toulouse. Some of them are seasonal only. Many other airlines mainly serve European destinations (as far away as Moscow and Reykjavik.
Cities further away include Montreal, Toronto, Algiers, Mauritius, New York, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Kuwait, Tehran, Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, several places in Tunisia and Morocco, and Tashkent.
To/from the airport
Note: Before passing through customs, a machine dispenses free 80-minute tickets for Transports Publics Genevois, which are valid for both the city buses and trains to Geneva.
Swiss Federal Railways operates trains across the country to/from Geneva.
Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman (CGN) has boats to for example Lausanne and Montreux.
|City Hostel Geneva||2 rue Ferrier, 1202 Geneva,||Hostel||82|
|Hotel & Residence Saint-James||Hotel St James rue versonnex 3||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Admiral Geneva||8 Rue Rossi||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Capitole||15 Rue De Berne Capitole Management SA||Hotel||78|
|Hotel St-Gervais||20 Rue Des Corps-Saints||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Residence City Zen.||10 Rue de Sismondi||Hotel||86|
|Hotel Moderne||1, Rue de Berne - CH-||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Stars Geneve Aeroport||Chemin De Colovrex Geneva Airport Ferney Voltaire City||Hotel||68|
|Hotel 33||82 Avenue Louis-Casaï||Hotel||74|
|Ramada Encore Geneva||Route des Jeunes 10-12||Hotel||73|
|Youth Hostel Geneva||Rue Rothschild 30||Hostel||-|
|Geneva Airport Bed and Breakfast||14b Chemin de Sapins 1216 Cointrin||GUESTHOUSE||75|
Switzerland has a high rate of people with their own internet connection and computers, so internet cafes are not as common compared to other countries and compared to the past. But still you will be able to find a computer in the main cities and tourist areas, also at libraries, video rental shops, train stations or tourist information places. Wifi is widely available, though sometimes at a cost. A growing number of hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and fastfood joints now offer free wifi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Switzerland's country code is 41 and the emergency phone numbers are 117 (police), 118 (fire department) and 144 (emergency rescue service/ambulance). Swiss phone numbers consist of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.
If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas. There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros and Coop for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is Yallo. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive).
Swiss Post is the national postal service of Switzerland and has fast and reliable services. For more information about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally, they have a very useful Price Calculator. Domestically, there is priority mail (arriving the following day) and economy mail which takes 2-3 days to be send within Switzerland. Stamps can be bought at the post offices or from shops and kiosks that also sell postcards. In general, post offices are open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00pm to 5:00 or 6:00pm, with a lunchbreak in between. Opening times on Saturdays are usually only during mornings. Larger cities and central post offices might keep longer hours and skp the lunchbreak. If you want to send packages internationally, you might also consider international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS.
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