Geneva Airport (GVA) in Switzerland and France

Flying via Aéroport international de Genève is generally hassle-free with quick check-ins at the airport and easy ground transportation to Geneva, Lac Léman towns, and Alpine ski resorts.

Swiss International Air Lines flying to Geneva airport.
© Swiss International Air Lines

Geneva International Airport (GVA) is very conveniently located on the outskirts of Genève right on the Swiss-French border. Many airlines fly to Geneva with the number of flights particularly high over winter weekends when skiers arrive to travel to winter sport resorts in both France and Switzerland. Low-cost airline easyJet is the largest carrier operating from Geneva Airport but Swiss and other major European airlines also fly from here.

Transportation to Geneva Airport is easy by bus, train, and car with transfer services to many destinations in Switzerland and France. Airport shuttle services are best booked well in advance and compare rates to get the best prices. Taxis from the airport are significantly more expensive than to the airport.

Geneva International Airport – Genève Aéroport (GVA)

Geneva International Airport (GVA) is the second largest airport in Switzerland and is used by over 11 million passengers each year. The airport is located in Cointrin on the outskirts of Genève city, right on the Swiss-French border. Window seats are a good choice as the final approach to Geneva Airport is often over Lake Geneva with the Alps to the left and Jura Mountains to the right of the plane.

Geneva Airport not only serves the city of Genève but is also a major arrival point for travelers heading to Swiss and French Alpine resorts. The number of flights increases dramatically during the winter sports season with Saturdays particularly busy. Direct flights go to 100 destinations worldwide from Geneva Airport.

Geneva Airport is not the most exciting airport in the world but it is clean and efficient with all the standard airport facilities including free Wifi. Food and drink are expensive even by Swiss standards – if on a tight budget use the Migros supermarket at the train station for supplies.

Travelers are locked out of the terminal building between midnight and 4:00 am (but the railway station in the basement usually remains open).


Swiss and French Sectors at Genève Aéroport (GVA)

Geneva Airport is shared by Switzerland and France. The airport has Swiss and French sectors with the Swiss (or international) sector the larger and more important part of the airport. Immigration control is unified as both France and Switzerland are parties to the Schengen Agreement but customs checks are possible between the two sectors.

All public transportation, including buses to French towns, departs from the Swiss part of Geneva Airport.

Most travelers arrive and depart from the Swiss (or international) sector of the airport but flights from Geneva to airports in France are considered domestic flights and require passengers to check-in in the French Sector.

The connecting door for the French sector is at the far northeastern part of the airport building – opposite the exit to the railway station on the arrivals level or near the Air France, British Airways, and KLM check-in counters on the departures level.

Crossing between the French and Swiss (international) sectors of the airport is no longer the hassle it used to be but customs checks may still be made at any time.

Transportation to Geneva Airport (GVA) from Switzerland and France

Transportation to Geneva Airport (GVA) is very easy from Genève city as well as many parts of Switzerland and France. Driving, buses, taxis, shuttle services, and the train are all great options for getting to Geneva Airport.

Arriving passengers no longer get a free “Tout Genève” public transportation ticket — buy from vending machines near bus stops or at the station.

Geneva Airport is directly connected to the highway Autoroute A1 and can also be reached by regular roads for cars without a highway vignette. Metered taxis from the airport are more expensive than taxis to the airport. A taxi to downtown is around CHF60 despite the relatively short distance.

Geneva Airport station is in the basement of the airport making the train often the fastest and easiest way to reach the airport from most parts of Switzerland, including transfers to Swiss ski resorts. Train schedules and tickets are available online from Trainline or Swiss Railways — note that SBB uses a half-fare card as default when selling tickets.

Getting to Geneva Airport by public bus is often the cheapest and most convenient way from many parts of Genève. Buses 10 and 5 connect Geneva Airport with Geneva main train station at Cornavin while buses 23, 28, 57, and Y also pass by the airport.

Many buses are available to destinations in France including Annecy, Chambéry, and Grenoble with further buses and trains departing from Geneva train station. The number of ski transfer services is much higher during the winter sports season. All bus transfer services depart from the Swiss sector of the airport even if traveling to French destinations.

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