Practical Information on Geneva

If you are looking for some practical information on Geneva, this page is for you! You will find some useful tips to prepare and facilitate your stay in Geneva.

Should you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Welcome to Geneva!

Location
 

Classes take place at the Graduate Institute’s Villa Barton
(132 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva), except otherwise indicated on your programme’s schedule.

Villa Barton is located in the historic lakeside Parc Barton, in the heart of the International Geneva and United Nations’ district.  It is accessible via public transports. You also have full access to the nearby Graduate Institute’s Maison de la Paix campus, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, and its library, located just 10-minutes’ walk from Villa Barton.

To find the different locations, please refer to the Campus Map.

Visa
 

Before coming to Switzerland, you may need to apply for a visa.

The visa application process is managed by the Swiss consulate or embassy in your country and is independent from the Graduate Institute. The Graduate Institute will be pleased to support you by providing a visa support letter upon confirmation of your participation in the programme.

Before starting the visa process, you should contact your local Swiss embassy or consulate to obtain further information regarding the visa application process and requirements.

Please be aware that the visa process can take time. We therefore advise that you start the application process 2-3 months before your planned arrival in Geneva.

Taxis
 

Available at taxi stops at the airport / train station or by phone (e.g. +41 (0)22 331 41 33 for Taxiphone).

Most taxis only accept cash. The drive from Geneva airport to city center costs approximately CHF 35, and takes about 15 to 30 minutes depending on traffic.

Public transports


All timetables, routes and maps are available online.

Tickets must be bought from machines at every stop before you board. The entire city, including the airport, is within Zone 10. The most common tickets are:

  • "Billet Tout Genève" / All Geneva (valid for one hour, regardless of how many vehicles are taken), CHF 3.00

  • "Carte dès 9 heures jusqu'à minuit" / All day from 9.00 am to midnight, CHF 8.00

  • "Carte 24 heures Tout Genève" / A full-day city pass, CHF 10.00

Some machines only accept cash (coins, not notes). To avoid looking for coins, you can buy a “tpgPay” card (CHF 20, 50 or 100) at tobacco shops, or at the TPG Office at the train station.

For travels in zone 10 (Geneva city) only, you can also buy your ticket online or with your mobile phone via the TPG application for Apple and Android, or, if you have a Swiss SIM card, by SMS (see the procedure here). The ticket must be purchased before entering the vehicule (you must have received it on your phone beforehand).

If you stay at a hotel, it will provide you with a free city pass for public transports valid for the duration of your stay. You may ask for it at the hotel's reception.

Airport
 

You can pick up a free ticket for public transports from the TPG machine located in the baggage collection area next to the exit door and customs (before exiting the baggage collection area). This ticket, offered by Geneva Airport, allows you to use public transport in Geneva (including buses, trams and trains to Geneva train station) free for up to 80 minutes.

More information on how to access Geneva city center from the airport can be found here.

From Airport to Graduate Institute's Villa Barton
Bus 28, stop at “Jardin Botanique” (last stop). 20 minutes.

Cornavin train station (city center)
 

From Cornavin to Graduate Institute's Villa Barton
Bus 1 or 25 towards "Jardin Botanique", stop at “Perle du Lac”. Walk straight, then turn right in the park just after the radar box. Villa Barton is a pink villa located in the park.

From Cornavin train station to Graduate Institute's Maison de la Paix
Tram 15 towards "Nations", stop at "Maison de la Paix". Walk up the hill (same direction as the tram) and you will find Maison de la Paix on your right.

Accommodation
 

Housing for short-term stays on Campus
We offer the possibility to book rooms on campus at a preferential rate. The Parc Barton pavilions are conveniently located in front of Villa Barton where courses take place. Further information is available here.

Rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis.

For reservations, please contact the housing department at: housing.administration@graduateinstitute.ch

Recommendations for your search
Start as soon as possible: Geneva is a busy city with many international conferences and a limited number of hotels. Double-check the housing location before booking.