Geneva train travel

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Description: Open source travel guide to Geneva, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.

In 1536, a young man named John Calvin, fleeing the persecution of Protestants in France, spent a night in Geneva. As it turned out, he was to do a lot more there than sleeping. After being expelled from Geneva for nearly three years, Calvin returned triumphantly in 1541 to help elevate the city to the rank of a Protestant Rome. The intellectual influence of the Reformation extended to all realms of Genevan life: politics, economy, and administration.

Geneva was an independent republic from at least the 16th century until it became a Swiss Canton on 31 Dec 1813. This is a point of some pride to the Genevois. who still refer to their Canton as the République et Canton de Genève. A favorite festival is the yearly celebration of the Escalade, which commemorates a failed attempt in 1602 by the forces of the Dukes of Savoy to invade the city by climbing and otherwise breaching the city walls. Having turned aside this invasion attempt at the cost of only 16 lives, Geneva had secured its liberty, since the House of Savoy was never again strong enough on this side of the Alps to attempt such an invasion.

Geneva is still a very proud city. Some find it downright stuffy, although there is quite a bit more life to be found if you look under the surface, especially if you speak some French.

Geneva is officially a French -speaking city, and the vast majority of the population speak French. All advertisements, information, and signs are in French. With the large international presence, English takes a close second. Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Arabic speakers abound, and of course you will also occasionally hear German and Italian.

Due as much to its location as its international status, Geneva serves as a transportation hub for most of French speaking Switzerland and for access to the Swiss Alps from points west.

Geneva airport is served by almost all European carriers as well as a few daily trans-Atlantic flights. These include flights from Montréal's Trudeau International (YUL) on Air Canada (AC), Washington's Dulles (IAD) and Newark International (EWR) on United (UA), and New York's Kennedy (JFK) on Swiss (LX). Otherwise, when flying from North and South America you will have to change planes. Most passengers travelling in from the Asia-Pacific region and Africa will need to change planes as well. Air China has started direct services between the Chinese capital of Beijing and Geneva from May 2013.

Within the last few years, Geneva itself has become a hub for the low-cost carrier Easy Jet serving a number of destinations in Europe including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Manchester and Paris.

The airport itself has an UBS bank with ATMs and exchange machines in the arrival area. There is an American Express office just beyond security control in the departure lounge. There are several cafes and duty free shopping as well, open 8am-11pm.

To get into town from the airport, the cheapest way is to take the free public transport ticket from a ticket machine located in the baggage claim area - to the left before the the Green Corridor (nothing to declare) of Swiss Customs. The machine prints you the ticket valid for 80 minutes for Geneva and suburbs.(with this ticket you can go as far as CERN or Anieres or Veyrier). The ticket is valid only with your boarding pass! With this ticket you can either use Train or Bus to reach center of Geneva. The fastest is by train: to reach train station (named Geneva Airport) you need to walk 100 meters to the left after you passed Swiss Customs. Train Station is adjutant building to the airport building. Trains usually go every 15 minutes or more frequently, and all of them stop at Geneva Cornavin (Geneva Central Train Station). The journey takes 6 minutes.

Bus number 10 bus leaves every 15 minutes from 5am to 1am. The stop is near Airport Arrivals level, Entrance number 4. Get off at the 22-Cantons stop for central train station. Bus 5 (the stop is near railway station, not far from the Airport Entrance 1 )also goes to the central railway station but along a different route passing by close to the UN building and stopping at Rue Lausanne. Both buses then continue to the southern side of the city.

Bus Y can bring you to CERN or further to Saint-Genis (France) or the other side to Ferney Voltaire (France). Be careful to choose the proper stop of Y bus. The stop in front of the parking. where also number 5 stops, is for Ferney Voltaire destination. If you want to go to CERN or Saint-Genis - the stop is 20 meters away, just on the corner of the train station.

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