Where to Stay in Geneva First Time: Best Areas & neighborhoods

In this article, I will hep you to find Where to stay in Geneva first time, best areas to stay in Geneva for first-timers (with a video and map), best hotels in Geneva for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and the safest places.

Surrounded by Alpine Lake, Geneva is located at the western tip of Switzerland, where it pokes out into France. Curling around the west point of Lake Geneva, Geneva is as well known for its natural beauty as it is for its political legacy.

Whether you want to bask in the atmosphere of historical architecture, browse the numerous museums, or while away your afternoons exploring the many parks and gardens, Geneva can provide a uniquely relaxing city break.

Ideal for families and solo travelers alike, there is plenty to keep you entertained, whether you are just passing through to the Alps for skiing and snowboarding or staying for a longer vacation.

Geneva is safe for tourist, but as in any big city, you should always use common sense, be aware of surrounding, keep an eye on your bag in crowded area, airports, railway stations, and avoid walking in Paquis area alone at night.

🎬 You can watch this short video about best areas in Geneva, and continue reading:

Where to stay in Geneva first time?

The best areas to stay in Geneva for first-timers and tourists are Old Town, Pâquis, Plainpalais, Carouge, Eaux Vives, Saint-Jean Charmilles. These are popular and safe places in the city, offering plenty of hotel options for all budget travelers.

CitĂ© – Old town is the overall best area to stay in Geneva for first time visitors due to its central location and proximity to major attractions like St. Peter’s Cathedral, Maison Tavel, Old Arsenal, and Treille Promenade. It also offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops.

If this is your first visit, I recommend spend at least three days in Geneva, which is enough to see main sights, enjoy local food and drink, and get the sense of the city. If you have more days, you can take day trip to Lausanne, Swiss Riviera, and Annecy.

Geneva is also one of the most expensive cities to travel to. Accommodation is one of the largest travel costs with an average hotel room from CHF 100 per night and the cheapest accommodation option is hostels.

But don’t worry there are wide range of accommodation options for you to choose from, and if you do some research before you go, you will save some money.

Geneva International Airport is well-connected to major cities in Europe and around the world. It is located just 4 km northwest of the city center, making it a convenient entry point for travelers. 

From the airport, you can easily reach the city center by public transportation, taxi, or rental car. The airport has its own train station located at the Airport Shopping Center, only 5 minutes walk from the Airport Terminal.

It is a 7 minute train ride from the airport train station to the Gare Cornavin, the main train station and transport hub in Geneva city center, where you can take a tram or train to anywhere. The train runs every 12 to 20 minutes from early morning until midnight.

The central train station is located within a walkable distance to the city center, and it is faster than bus or taxi, but you can also use buses in front of the Airport Terminal to Gare Routiere central bus station in the city center. 

You can rent a car at car rental agents on the ground level outside of baggage claim. The taxi cost average between 35-45 CHF, and many hotels offer free shuttle from/to the airport.

Once in the city center, you can easily explore on foot, bicycles, and by its efficient and extensive public transportation system, including trams, buses, and boats.

Where did I stay in Geneva?

When I first visited Geneva, I stayed for 3 nights in the Ruby Claire Hotel Geneva. It has a great location, easy distance to the old town, the shopping streets, and the lakeside promenade. My room was excellent and extremely clean. The breakfast area was gorgeous.

💖 Best Area for First-Timers:Cité – Old Town
đź’Ž Best luxury hotel:Les Armures 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:citizenM Geneva 
đź’° Best budget hotel:HĂ´tel RĂ©sidence CitĂ©-Verdaine 

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Geneva:

Map of Best Areas & neighborhoods in Geneva
Map of Best Areas & neighborhoods in Geneva

Best areas to stay in Geneva for first-time tourists are:

1. Geneva Old Town

If you are planning your first trip to Geneva, you should definitely consider the Old Town as the place to stay. The area is packed full of things to see and do, with plenty to appeal to everyone, and ideal for getting a taste of everything the city has to offer.

Geneva’s Old Town, or Vieille Ville in French, is a maze of cobblestones streets, charming squares, that is filled with cozy cafĂ©s, restaurants, galleries, museums, and beautiful old buildings. This is the historical area of the city that dates back 2000 years.

As the primary hub of the city, there is a wide array of entertainment and hospitality venues here. If you are traveling with a large group, or a family with children, you will benefit from the assortment of dining options available to suit every taste.

Whilst the epicenter of the city’s nightlife scene lies further west in Jonction, there is plenty in the way of casual bars and music and live arts venues, including the Grand Théâtre de Genève, to keep you entertained into the evening.

History and culture lovers will be spoilt for choice by the number of museums and historical sites in the area, such as:

  • The grand 4th century St. Pierre Cathedral, on the site of an ancient Roman Temple.
  • the International Museum of the Reformation.
  • the L’ancien arsenal Museum, with its displays of military equipment and mosaics.
  • the Maison Tavel House museum of local history.
  • the Barbier-Mueller Museum for antiquity lovers.
  • the Old Arsenal.

If you want to enjoy a spot of shopping during your trip, the area near the waterfront is full of well-known brands, department stores, and a selection of independent boutiques. Make sure to visit Rue du Marche shopping street and the famous Reformation Wall in Bastions Park.

Alternatively, head to the La Place du Bourg-de-Four, Geneva’s oldest public square. It is packed its high-end shops and marble medieval fountains at the center of the square.

Around the square are open-air coffee shops and restaurants, often filled with tourists and locals for their unique historic and authentic atmosphere.

Famous restaurants and cafes are Café de Bourg-de-Four, La Clémence, Restaurant au Carnivore, and Chocolates Tea Room, a tourist shop with many choices of delightful Swiss chocolates.

Other interesting places to visit are the La Galerie Insolite and 16th-century Promenade de la Treille – Geneva’s oldest promenade, home to the world’s longest bench, a romantic alleyway.

There is a wide range of accommodation on offer here, from hotels and guest houses to self-catered apartments. You can find something to suit any budget in Cité. There are some of the higher-end hotels with stunning views of the historical sites or the waterfront.

Stay in Cité/ Old Towm if This is your first time visitor; you are staying for one night; you love history and culture; you are traveling with a large group with varying food preferences.

Best places to stay in Geneva in Old Town for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Les Armures, 5 hotel in the heart of Old Town, has hosted presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and John F. Kennedy. It is short walk from St. Pierre Cathedral, Town Hall, Mont Blanc Bridge, and the shopping district.

mid-range ($$): Hôtel Longemalle, 4-star family-friendly hotel located in the pedestrian are in the heart of Geneva’s business, shopping and banking district, within walking distance from Old Town, English Garden and Lake Geneva. It features spacious rooms for singles, couples, and families.

mid-range ($$): citizenM Geneva, one of the best places to stay in Geneva Old Town on a budget. Centrally located in the city centre, it offers easy access the major sights such as Town Hall, Jet d’Eau, St. Pierre Cathedral, Flower Clock, Mont Blanc Bridge, Victoria Hall, and Palazzo.


See more: Best things to do in Geneva, Switzerland

2. Paquis

Pâquis, where to stay in Geneva for nightlife

Paquis (pâturage in French) is a Geneva’s most eclectic neighborhood, stretching along the west bank of Lac Lamon. One of the neighbourhood’s most distinctive traits is the wide mass of train tracks that stretches through the centre of the district, also name Red Light District.

At the southern end of Pâquis Nations is the main Geneva Train Station, with connections to various locations across Switzerland and neighboring countries. If you are looking for the best place to stay in Geneva near train station, Paquis is the neighborhood for you.

One of the most popular attractions of the area is the Bains des Pâquis public bath, artificial peninsula and a small portion of the lake by the marina, that safe swimming in the summer. In the winter, the area transitions into a public sauna venue with hammams, and Turkish baths.

In the north of the neighborhood are several large parks, two of which host museums and entertainment amenities. The Mon Repos Park, means restful park, is situated up against the lake and hosts a small museum, dedicated to the history of science. 

You can take a stroll along Paquis Lake Promenade which stretches from the Mont Blanc bridge towards the park. Along the way stand lovely flower gardens, monuments of Brunswick and Princess Sissi. You also so have attractions such as Square des Alpes, Square de la Navigation, and the famous street Rue de Lausanne.

At the very northernmost end of Pâquis Nations is the grand Parc de l’Ariana, one of the largest parks in Geneva. The east of the park is home to botanical gardens, several conservatories and greenhouses, a zen garden, and a small zoo.

The west end of the park is most notable for housing the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations. It is also the grounds for the architecturally beautiful Ariana Museum, which hosts a collection of thousands of glass items.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs in this area for you to enjoy along Rue de Lausanne road. be sure to check out famous clubs and bars such as Mambo and Scandale. The area attracts lots of young people in summer months gathering to have a drink or dinner along the lake promenade.

The neighborhood has a wide range of accommodation options. Along the waterfront, hotels and apartments demand premium rates for the privilege of both lake views. Meanwhile, further inland, towards the train station, you can find some of the more affordable options in the city.

Stay in Pâquis Nations if you want good nightlife; you want to stay near the train station; you travel on a budget

Best places to stay in Pâquis for first-time visitors:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel President Wilson, one of the best 5-star hotels in Geneva on the lake offering views of the lake, Mont Blanc and the Alps. It is near Cornavin Train Station and has a boat taking you to the Old Town for free. They will give you the card for free use of public transport network.

Mid-range ($$): Eastwest HĂ´tel, 4-star hotel located a few minute walk from the beach, the lake and the shopping and business area. It offers comfortable air-conditioning rooms, making it a great base for families, couples, and singles of all ages.

Budget ($): Kipling Manotel, 3-star family-friendly hotel, located in a quiet street near Lake Geneva, the train station and the international organisations. The hotel rate include the card for free use of public transport in Geneva.

Hostel ($): Geneva Hostel, great backpacker hostels, located in a 19th century historic building, within easy walk from Lake Geneva and Gautier Bus Stop (tram line 1). The Geneva Transport Card, offering free public transport, is already included in the rate.


3. Plainpalais

Plainpalais, where to stay in Geneva on budget
Plainpalais flea market

Located southwest of Geneva’s Old Town, the Plainpalais district of Geneva is popular both with first-time visitors and also those familiar with the city. It is because of its walkable streets and friendly atmosphere that travelers return time and again.

The central hub of Plainpalais is Plaine de Plainpalais, a huge public square that houses the biggest flea market and farmers market in Geneva. It also hosts Circus and Roller Coasters several times during the year.

On Sunday, it hosts the Plainpalais Farmers Market, the biggest farmers market in Geneva, that sells fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Meanwhile, on Saturday and Wednesday, there is the Plainpalais Flea Market, largest flea market in Europe, that sells everything second-hand, from books, clothing, smartphone accessories to home decorations at cheap prices.

Plainpalais is a popular meeting point for students, ex-pats, tourists, and locals going out at night or skating at a skate park. The Zombie statue in the skatepark will come as no surprise to those who have seen mention of Plainpalais in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Plainpalais is also known as the university district because it is near the Université de Genève and several academy buildings. Within the student area, you will find cheap bars and restaurants, and affordable accommodations.

Other points of interest in this neighborhood are the headquarters of the Red Cross, the Ethnographic Museum, the International Clock Museum, Rue de l’Ecole-de-MĂ©decine, and Bains district is where the center of the nightlife.

Stay in Plainpalais if you’re looking for budget-friendly area; You want a central location; You are happy with the calm atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Geneva in Plainpalais for first-timers:

  • mid-range ($$): Starling HĂ´tel RĂ©sidence Genève, great accommodation, located close to the Faculty of Business and Economics. Featuring modern studios with a kitchenette.
  • mid-range ($$): Hotel Adriatica, 3-star hotel, set in Malagnou and Champel district, a short walk from the Grand Theatre, Hospital University Center Geneva, Medical University Center, offering a free business centre and free bicycles.
  • budget ($): Chez Maman Hotel & Restaurant, 3-star modern boutique hotel, featuring family rooms, private parking, and an on-site restaurant with live music during weekday.

4. Carouge

Carouge is located right over river l’Arve, to the south of the Old town and Plainpalais. It is commonly referred to as Geneva’s small Italy, or Geneva’s hippest suburb. During the Roman time, it was on the trading route between south of France and north to Italy. In late 18th century, it was controlled by the King of Sardinia, Victor Amideus III.

If you did not know better, you might think you were in Greenwich Village, New York, when you are walking around Carouge. It is a trendy place with equally trendy boutiques. This neighborhood has been controlled by the French and the Italians at different times in its history. 

Its style will remind you of another city, Nice in France, designed in typically Mediterranean style. Its location next to the River Arve adds to the appeal of Caroque where you will find interesting shops and skilled artisans. Whether your interest is books or antiques, you will find something here.

There are plenty of small Frech and Italian cafes and restaurants to stop for food and drink while exploring places like the Théâtre de Carouge or the Musée de Carouge. At nightfall, the bars and restaurants are appealing, with late nights possible in a local nightclub.

For more shopping experience, visit the huge shopping center Centre Commercial de Carouge. For more independent shops, go to Rue St-Joseph and Place du Marché. And make sure to visit the weekly market on the Place du Marché every Wednesday for fresh fruits and vegs.

Piscine de la Fontenette is an outdoor Olympic swimming pool, a great place for refreshing in summer, and for winter, you can visit the indoor swimming pool, Piscine des Pervenches.

Accommodation here is good and fairly priced, staying in this area, you can enjoy slow-paced life in a more calming atmosphere of Italian and Frech cafes, delightful restaurants, and an energetic cultural scene.

Stay in Carouge if You enjoy a bohemian, arty atmosphere; Local amenities are important to you; you love shopping;

Best places to stay in Geneva in Carouge for first-time tourists:

  • budget ($): ibis Styles Genève Carouge, budget-friendly hotel, located within walking distance from Stade de Genève, featuring family rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage.
  • budget ($): Auberge Communale de Carouge, 2-star hotel, located in a historic building in the centre of Carouge, within a few steps from a tram stop offering links to centre of Geneva.
  • budget ($): Ramada Encore by Wyndham, 3-star hotel, located between Stade de Genève and La Praille shopping centre, providing easy access to Geneva city center and Airport.

5. Eaux Vives

Eaux Vives, the best area to stay in Geneva for families

Eaux Vives is abohemian neighborhood located along the southernmost banks of Lac Lamon, directly east of the Old Town and Plainpalais. It is particularly ideal for families who want to stay close to the city center, whilst also taking in some stunning views out across the lake.

The most famous attraction in the Eaux-Vives district is the 19th century Jet D’Eau fountain, the symbol of the city. This water jet up to 140 m/460 ft high is a real eye-catcher.

Along the lake stands The Pierres du Niton (Neptune’s Stones), two unusual rocks that are visible from Quai Gustave-Ador in the harbor of Lake Geneva. The Les Scala Cinema and a bathing complex of Bain Bleu are also worth visiting!

If you want to head out onto the water, there are several water ferry terminals operating along the marina, to various destinations around the lake. Aside from the wonderful views across the water, Eaux Vives is also home to some of Geneva’s loveliest parks.

In the west, where the Rhone River meets Lac Lamon, is the beautiful Jardin Anglais. This leafy public garden features fountains, statues, cafes, and a vibrant clock made of flowers. 

In the northeast corner is Parc de la Grange Park, one of the largest parks in Geneva. In addition to a number of vast lawns, the park boasts a rose garden, cafes, restaurants, a theatre, and space for open-air performances in the summer. Plage des Eaux-Vives (Eaux-Vives Beach) is also just a stone’s throw away.

Malagnou Park, towards the city center, is small but notable for being home to Geneva’s Natural History Museum. The museum hosts multiple fascinating exhibitions, covering the history and science of the natural world. With activities and displays designed to educate and entertain visitors of all ages, this is a great place to visit if you are traveling with family and children.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available here, suitable for a range of budgets. Being slightly outside of the primary city center, you can generally get a little more for your money here. But, if you want to stay near the waterfront, you should expect to pay a bit more for the premium lake views.

Stay in Eaux Vives if you want to stay somewhere overlooking the lake, you love parks and green space, you want to stay close to the city center but with less of the urban claustrophobia, you are traveling with children.

Best places to stay in Geneva in Eaux Vives:

  • luxury ($$$): HĂ´tel de la Cigogne, 5-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Geneva for families, featuring spacious family rooms in the centre of Geneva, right on the charming Longemalle square next to the Old Town, the English Garden and Lake Geneva.
  • mid-range ($$): HĂ´tel RĂ©sidence Parc des Eaux Vives, 4-star hotel, located in the 18th-century villa, offering views of the beautiful Parc des Eaux-Vives and Lake Geneva. Featuring family rooms and free parking for those travel with a car.
  • budget ($): Floatinn Boat-BnB, a boat located in a harbour facing the famous Jet d’Eau waterfountain. It has a sun terrace on the deck with an outdoor seating area and beautiful views of Lake Geneva. Great base for couples.

6. Saint-Gervais et des Grottes

Saint-Gervais et des Grottes is one of the 8 main districts in Genva, located between Saint-Jean Charmilles and Pâquis Sécheron, on the northern shore of the lake.

Few districts in Geneva provide such a contrast to the city’s financial center than Saint-Gervais et des Grottes. There are no suits here, just craftsmen and artists. You will enjoy walking its streets just to soak up the atmosphere. 

Saint-Gervais is a popular district steeped in history. There have been times when parts of the neighborhood have been scheduled for demolition but its narrow streets and village-like environment have survived. It is not typical of the Swiss and their reputation for uniform structure. Quaint, colorful houses still stand in those streets.

The Cornavin railway station in the heart of this area guarantees that it is easily accessed, and the nearby shopping mall, Mont-Blanc attracts visitors not staying in this district. There is no longer any industrial activity locally, but as you walk around, you will see signs of the past. 

There are numerous of green parks in this neigborhood including the Parc des Cropettes and Parc Beaulieu. This lively district is packed bistros, the Théâtre de Saint-Gervais, and the Center for Contemporary Image, and Les Halles de l’Île.

Bars, cafes, and restaurants are casual and increasingly popular as visitor numbers are increasing. Apartments are available for rent, and there are some hotels, but nothing is cheap.

Stay in Saint-Gervais et des Grottes if you like the idea of the village feel within a city, your budget allows you to pay the district’s prices, you want good transport links.

Best places to stay in Saint-Gervais et des Grottes:

  • luxury ($$$): Mandarin Oriental, 5-star hotel, located on the right bank of the Rhone River, easy walk from Geneva’s banks, shops and galleries, and Lake Geneva.
  • budget ($): ibis Genève Centre Nations, 3-star hotel, located in the centre of Geneva, close to Cornavin Train Station, offering modern en-suite rooms.
  • budget ($): Hotel Suisse, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Geneva on a budget near the main train Station for quick access to Geneva Airport and the United Nations Office. Also within walking distance to Lake Geneva and Old Town.

7. Jonction

Located directly to the west of Old Town, Jonction is the meeting point of the Arve river and Rhone river. The river separates the neighborhood into two sections, the urban east side, known for its arts and nightlife scene, and the leafier west, with its prominent green spaces.

Bordering the University of Geneva to the east, Jonction is known for boasting the best of the city’s nightlife. From a wide variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants, to a selection of late-night clubs, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained, no matter how late you like to stay out.

Additionally, the district is a hotbed of art and theatre. The Geneva Centre of Contemporary Art is located at the heart of the neighborhood, surrounded by smaller art galleries and exhibition spaces. A number of small theatres, auditoriums, and dance halls are peppered across the area, whilst the Grand Theatre of Geneva is just a short distance to the east.

There are also often fairground rides and street food stalls across the plaza, making this a great place for families to spend the day. Fans of Frankenstein will know that part of the novel was set in Geneva and will appreciate the statue of Frankenstein’s monster that stands as a tribute at the northern end of the plaza.

If you are traveling with children, Bâtie Woods on the west bank of the river Arve is a delightful space to keep the whole family entertained for an afternoon.

The forest itself is a wonderful place to take a walk and let the kids run off some energy, particularly in summer when the trees provide cool shade from the hot sun. In the west of the park is a small zoo, which also boasts a café and toilets, so visitors can explore the park without having to worry about finding amenities.

South along the Arve, you can find more family entertainment venues, including a swimming pool, ice rink, and an escape room venue.

Further west is the Saint-Georges Cemetery. Whilst this may seem like a morbid spot to mention, the beautifully manicured grounds, complete with decorative ponds, and sweeping pathways lined with trees, are a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city.

Stay in Jonction if you want to stay near the city’s nightlife hub, you love art and theatre, you want to stay close to the city center, you are traveling with family.

Best places to stay in Geneva Junction for first-timers:

mid-range ($$): Home Swiss Hotel, 4-star hotel, situated within walking distance from the center of Geneva, Geneva University, the Musée Rath, Cornavin Train Station. You can also easily reach Palexpo fairgrounds and the UN by tram.

mid-range ($$): Tiffany Hotel, 4-star hotel, in the heart of the Geneva, on a quiet street, close to many shops and boutiques. Also near the Grand Theatre, Lake Geneva. With a direct tram line stopping nearby, you can easily access Cornavin Train Station.


8. Saint-Jean Charmilles

Saint Jean – Charmilles is the neighborhood across the Rhone from Jonction. Primarily a residential area, the neighborhood is a convenient location for anyone who wants to stay within a short distance of the main city center whilst avoiding the higher prices for accommodation found in the more tourist-heavy areas. 

A number of bridges connect the area directly to the main districts of Cité and Jonction, meaning the major attractions of the city are just a short journey away.

The hospitality available here is less adventurous than you may find in the trendier neighborhoods, but there is still a wide variety on offer to cater to the local residents.

Likewise, the shops and cafes in the area have more of a local town vibe. Whilst it may lack the vibrant variety of the city center, the area is ideal for anyone looking to get a feel for local, everyday life in Geneva.

Being less densely urban than the city center, the streets here are particularly leafy, lending the neighborhood a relaxed, suburban charm, that can provide a calm relief from the bustle of the crowded tourist hubs.

There are several parks in the area, with play facilities for young children, making this neighborhood ideal for anyone traveling with family, who would benefit from safe spaces to let children run off some energy.

Stay in Saint Jean if you want to stay near to the city center but avoid the higher cost of accommodation, you want a neighborhood with a more local vibe, you are traveling with family and young children.

Best places to stay in Saint Jean:

  • budget ($): MEININGER Hotel Genève Centre Charmilles, 3-star hotel, that has family-rooms, paid private parking, and continental breakfast.
  • mid-range ($$): NH Geneva City, 4-star hotel, offering spacious furnished rooms for couples and families, located within a 20 minute walk from the Old Town.

9. Champel

Directly south of the city center is the affluent neighborhood of Champel. A leafy suburb that borders the main district of Cité, Champel is ideal for anyone that wants to stay close to the city center, whilst remaining away from the crowds and other travelers.

Dining in the neighborhood is more limited than the variety on offer in the city center, but establishments here are generally higher-end, catering to the wealthy local residents.

Likewise, accommodation here mostly conforms to the upscale reputation of the district. Despite being outside of the city center, this is not the best place to search for bargain accommodation. 

Most of the city’s tourist attractions are based in the city center, but there are a few things worth taking a look at if you happen to be in this area. In the west, close to the river, is the Tour de Champel, a small castle constructed in the 1800s, a monument to the supposed healing properties of the Arve River.

At the heart of the neighborhood is Alfred Bertrand Park, a sprawling green area with plenty of space to run around or relax. The park has numerous facilities catering to children, such as play areas and splash pools. This makes it an ideal place to visit if you are traveling with children who need to burn off some energy.

Stay in Champel if you want to stay close to the city center but away from the crowds, you are working with a larger budget, you are travelling with children.

Best places to stay in Geneva Champel:

LUX Apartment with private garden, great apartment is located in the Champel, close to St. Pierre Cathedral, offers a garden, free WiFi, and private parking. It is equipped with 1 bedroom, a kitchen with a dishwasher and a fridge, a seating area and 1 bathroom equipped with a shower.

Residence Luxurious Genève, self-catering studio with a balcony in central of geneva, within walking distance from the lake, the tram stop; You can reach the famous Jet d’Eau by food. It features studio with fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and microwave, a seating area.


10. Grand Saconnex

Grand Saconnex, where to stay in Geneva near the airport

Geneva International Airport, also known as Cointrin Airport, is the second largest city in Switzerland. Located in the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland, but the northern side of the airport extends to the Swiss-French border.

It only located 5 km from the city center, and easily reachable by public transport: bus, train, taxi and hotel shuttles. The train ride from airport to Gare Cornavin Central Railway Station in the city is only 6 minutes. Gare Cornavin is the transport hub of the city, from here you can catch a bus/tram to everywhere.

The district of Grand Saconnex is located on the western edge of Geneva, very close to Geneva International Airport. If you want to stay near the airport, or are just passing through for a layover, this neighborhood is ideal. 

Aside from the airport, the district is also home to the Palexpo Convention center, which hosts a variety of other events throughout the year, including the internationally popular annual Geneva Motor Show. Additionally, the Geneva Arena is another popular event venue drawing tourists to the area.

Several major roads connect Grand Saconnex to the city center, providing convenient access to the major sights and attractions such as Palais de Nations, Mont Blanc Bridge, Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, and the Jardin Botanique – Villa le Chene. Depending on your preference, a taxi or bus ride can have you in the heart of the city in just a few minutes.

If you have time to spare but don’t fancy venturing into the city, there are several attractive parks you can relax in. The Sarasin Park is directly next to the Palexpo Exhibition Centre, so is ideal for anyone attending an event and looking for somewhere to get away from the excitement for a moment.

Stay in Grand Saconnex if you want to stay near to the airport, you are attending an event at the Palexpo Exhibition Centre, you are in town for the Geneva Motor Show, you are attending an event at the Geneva Arena.

Best places to stay in Geneva Airport area for first-timers:

  • mid-range ($$): Nash Airport Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in Cointrin, a 10-minute drive from the centre of Geneva. You can walk to bus 10 – Dejoinville to get to the city center. The hotel will give you a card for free use of all public transport in Geneva during your stay.
  • mid-range ($): Hilton Geneva Hotel and Conference Centre, 4-star hotel, located within walking distance from Palexpo Conference Centre, offering Free airport shuttle.
  • budget ($): ibis budget Geneve Palexpo Aeroport, budget-friendly hotel near Geneva airport, only 1-minute walk of PalExpo, featuring a buffet breakfast and air-conditioning rooms.

🎬 You can watch this full video about best areas in Geneva in my youtube channel.

Where should I stay in Geneva for the first time?

CitĂ© – Old Town is the best area to stay in Geneva for first-timers because due to its central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of action, within walking to many tourist attractions, as well as some of the city’s finest restaurants, bars, and shops.

Where are the best areas to stay in Geneva for tourists?

Old Town, Pâquis, Plainpalais, Carouge, Eaux Vives, Saint-Jean Charmilles, and Grand Saconnex are the best areas to stay in Geneva for tourists. They are safe, popular areas, offering plenty of things to do and see and a wide range of hotel options for all budget travelers.

Where is the best area to stay in Geneva?

Old Town is the best area to stay in Geneva for travelers, especially for first-timers due to its central location and proximity to major attractions. It’s the most convenient location in Geneva for exploring the city’s landmarks, shopping, and dining.

Where to stay in Geneva with family?

Some of the best areas to stay in Geneva with kids are Old Town, Carouge, and Eaux Vives. These neighborhoods offer plenty of family-friendly accommodations and activities for children of all ages both young and old.

How long should I stay in Geneva?

If you are first-timers, I recommend spend at least 3 days in Geneva to explore the city. Three days is enough to see major landmarks, try some food, and get the sense of the local culture and history. If you have more days, consider day trip to Lausanne, Swiss Riviera, and Annecy.

See Also:  

In conclusion, Old Town, Pâquis, Plainpalais, Carouge, Eaux Vives, Saint-Gervais et des Grottes, Jonction, Champel, and Grand Saconnex are the best places to stay in Geneva for tourists and first-timers. These offer easy access to attractions, and a wide selection of hotels for all budgets.

Old Town – CitĂ© is the my favorite area in Geneva due to its central location. Staying here puts you in the heart of action, within walking distance to some of the city’s best attractions, shopping, dining, and nightlife venues.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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