Visiting the Geneva Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon) in Switzerland

Visit the annual Geneva International Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon), one of the major events in the Lac Léman region, held at the Palexpo exhibition center next to Geneva Airport — a return is planned for 2024 to celebrate the exhibition’s 100th anniversary but the 2024 show will only be a fraction of the size of the previous mega halls.

BMW M8 at the Geneva Auto Salon
Visit the annual Geneva International Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon), one of the major events in the Lac Léman region, held at the Palexpo exhibition center next to Geneva Airport.
BMW M8 at the Geneva Auto Salon

After being canceled for three years, and using the name for a show in Qatar, the Geneva Motor Show intends to return to Genève in 2024 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of arguably the most prestigious major motor show event in the world. The public days are scheduled for 28 February to 3 March 2024. Other details are still sketchy but it is expected that the show will broadly follow the same format as previous (and as described below) but with a special emphasis on future technology and zero emissions.

The Geneva International Motor Show is one of the most important automotive events in the world. It is held in the Palexpo show grounds right next to Geneva Airport (GVA) on the Swiss-French border. Opening hours are long and transportation to the Auto Salon is very easy. The car show is also popular with families with small children. Annually, the Geneva Auto Show attracts around 500,000 visitors. Accommodation is booked out early and is expensive – try Airbnb for a deal or see which hotels Tripadvisor users prefer.

Note: Most German car manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen are planning to NOT attend the Geneva Auto Salon 2024. Only around two dozen global brands are attending and only two of the halls are in use, which is roughly half the size of the previous main exhibition area.

Visit the Geneva Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon) in Switzerland

at the Geneva Auto Salon

The Geneva Motor Show is usually held during the first half of March. As the first major international automobile exhibition of the year, many motorcar manufacturers select the Geneva Motor Show as the venue for international premieres of new models and design studies.

Most major car manufacturers exhibit at the Geneva Motor Show and many specialists and accessory manufacturers also have a presence at the show. This is reflected in the full names of the show: International Motor Show and Accessories Geneva (Salon international de l’auto et accessoires Genève-Palexpo / Internationaler Auto-Salon und Zubehör Genf).

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Savings Tickets at the Geneva Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon)

Geneva Auto Salon 2018 Poster
Visit the annual Geneva International Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon), one of the major events in the Lac Léman region, held at the Palexpo exhibition center next to Geneva Airport.

Admission to the Geneva Motor Show is CHF16 for adults and CHF9 for children aged 6 to 16 years old.

  • Visitors entering the Geneva Motor Show after 4 pm pay only half the regular admission fee. These tickets are only on sale at the show grounds. An added advantage of visiting late is that the show will progressively get quieter rather than busier.

The Geneva Motor Show is hugely popular with the Swiss and international public. The show can get very full especially over weekends making it sensible to arrive early in the morning or late afternoon. The half-price ticket for entry after 4 pm may help to reduce crowds earlier in the day. Wednesdays, when most Geneva schools are out and many others are free in the afternoon, can also get very busy.

It is possible – and sensible – to buy tickets to the Geneva Motor Show in advance. Several online and other agencies sell the tickets while combination rail and admission tickets are available from any Swiss railway station (or online from Swiss Railways – look for RailAway offers a few days before the show).

Visit the Geneva Motor Show With Children

Children are welcome to visit the Geneva Motor Show (Auto Salon)

Although the Geneva Motor Show is a very important industry event, it is also very popular with families. Small children enjoy being able to climb in the cars and touch all buttons. Many interactive exhibits and interactive models are also fun to muck around with.

Childcare facilities are available in Room L in the conference center – free first hour, then CHF6 per hour for children aged 2 to 6 years.

If visiting the Genève Auto Salon with small children, arrive early in the day and try to avoid the very busy weekends. At busy times strollers and buggies will be a pain but a great idea when the show is quieter.

Getting to the Geneva Motor Show (Genève Auto Salon) in Switzerland

Bugatti Chiron Geneva 2016

The Geneva Auto Show is held in the Palexpo Exhibition Grounds right next to Geneva Airport (GVA). It is a few minutes’ walk from the airport to the Auto Salon via the train station shopping mall. Transportation options to the Geneva Motor Show are plentiful but the Swiss Railways are usually the best choice.

Public buses (line 5, 28, 23, 50, 59, 66, and F) stop directly at the Palexpo center while others stop at Geneva Airport within walking distance of the Auto Salon. These buses are useful for Geneva residents but most travelers from outside the city will find the train much faster.

Special parking facilities are available during the Auto Salon – follow the signboards from Autoroute A1. Traffic, especially over weekends, can become a nightmare – few drivers would regret parking elsewhere and arriving by train.

See Transportation to the Geneva Auto Salon for more details.

Hotels in Geneva can be frightfully expensive and especially so during the Auto Salon weeks. Compare prices – flying in and out of Geneva on the same day may make a lot of sense.

See what hotels TripAdvisor users prefer in Geneva.