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Geneva or Lusanne

I'll be flying into Geneva a day before the start of my Switzerland tour in July around noon I'll have the rest of the day to explore Geneva before meeting a friend the next day at the airport around 7:45am to transfer to Geneva. I've looked and found some hotels in Geneva that looked reasonable less than $200 (3 star or above.) but unsure as to the best location to see scenery. Can you tell me where the best location might be that I can still get back easily to the airport the next day? ?

I can meet my friend at the airport the next day and take a transfer for $158 or I can get my self to Lusanne. Can you suggest the best way to get to Lusanne on my own?

Would you suggest I stay in Lusanne instead of Geneva?We will have all day to explore Lusanne. Do I need more time than a day? I also think accomodations in Lusanne would be more expensive than in Geneva? Any suggestions of where to stay in Lusanne? Thanks for your help!

Posted by
4126 posts

The friend arrives in Geneva I presume?
Then it makes sense to stay in Geneva, if you can't to travel together the next day. An afternoon is perfect to explore the city. Try not to stay too far from Genève Cornavin station, as it will be more convenient when you take the train to Lausanne with your friend the next day (much cheaper than the $158 transfer!).

Posted by
3340 posts

Can you suggest the best way to get to Lusanne on my own?

By train. There are frequent trains (sometimes as frequent as every 5-10 minutes) that take you from Geneva to Lausanne in 30-40 minutes.

Posted by
31 posts

Balsa, I probably won't meet her unless I'm taking the transfer. Is the train station you suggested a good location for sight seeing or a good location to take the train to Lusanne?

Badger do you mind telling me the train site?

I appreciate ya'll helping me. If you have a favorite hotel let me know as well. At this point they looked relatively inexpensive for a nice hotel. i'll don't care about breakfast.

Posted by
213 posts

We had more time than you but we spent a little bit of time in Geneva and more in Lausanne. I liked the vibe better in Lausanne. Great cafes along the lakefront; lovely area to walk around. Geneva was just a bit too big and busy for me. We stayed at the Hotel Lausanne. It was a bit tight for 2 people but we typically don't spend much time in the room anyway.

The Swiss trains are wonderful. No need to buy ahead to get between Geneva and Lausanne (and for many other places too).

https://byfassbind.com/hotel/lausanne/

Posted by
4126 posts

I do not understand the bit about the transfer, which seems like a lot of money (edited - unless serious mobility issues are involved): there are many trains from Geneva Airport to Lausanne, and they stop at Geneva Cornavin station after 5 minutes or so. So you and your friend can meet up at Cornavin station. And to answer your question, the part of town between the station and the lake is not only convenient but also very central for sightseeing; Geneva is a very compact city anyway.

Posted by
28078 posts

I don't know anything about your or you friend so won't judge the extremely high price for your transfer as one or both of you may need it if infirm.

But if you are both fairly able bodied the train is very easy and the trains are perfect in your situation. The Geneva airport train station is adjacent to and underneath the entry to Geneva airport. There are videos on youtube showing that. I know it because of visiting there. The next station up the line is the main Geneva station, right in the middle of town. Many of the trains then continue to Lausanne. It really couldn't be easier, but there is a slight step up into the train from the platforms. You and she will have to take your luggage onto the train. I suppose if you and/or she are overloaded with too much luggage to easily handle you may need to pay the transfer the price of a night in a hotel to carry it for you.

Personally I was quite let down by Geneva as a place to visit and much preferred Lausanne. I'd be surprised if hotels in Geneva were less expensive for similar.

You asked for 3 star or better hotels. Is that based on the US system where more stars means nicer, or on the Swiss (and generally European) system where more stars means the addition of specific amenities (such as 24 hour desk, lift, etc.,) regardless of quality?

If you spoke more about what both of you are hoping for from the trip, what sort of things you'd like to do, more complete suggestions could be given.

Posted by
28078 posts

The easiest link for the Swiss trains is at https://www.sbb.ch/en which gives you results in English.

Start typing in the "From" box and as Gen is input the various Géneve (French for Geneva, you will be in the French speaking part of Switzerland) choices will start to show up, most being bus stops - that's why there are so many - and select Genève-Aéroport. That's the airport. Then put Lausanne in the "To" box. By the time you have laus in the box Lausanne will be right there. Don't choose Lausanne Gare (Lausanne station in French), that's the name of a bus stop outside. Choose a date and time (same day of the week in the near future, July is too far out) and you will see that there are around 4 trains every hour which go directly and one or so an hour which require a change. The direct trains take between 46 and 53 minutes, airport to Lausanne. You can also see what the final destination is of the train, such as Brig, St Gallen, Luzern, and if you click on any of the results it gives lots more information about the train, and if you then click on the plus sign in a circle it shows all the intermediate stops and times, and which numbered platform the train stops at each station. Click on the red bar, fill in the age and name and you be shown available prices. There may be a discount ticket shown which requires a specific train only and is invalid on any other, in your situation since you don't know if the plane will be early or late, or even have a change of time, go with the simple full priced option. It will also offer a half price ticket only valid if you have bought a half price card.

It sounds really complicated but is really very easy. You and she have 4 months to become familiar with it, and if either of you are good at smartphones there is an excellent app.

Posted by
31 posts

Neither of us are infirm. She just thinks after getting off a plane (flying economy) that she should take the easy way to Lusanne. I am just more frugal and have an aversion to taking a transfer when it is just as easy to take the train.

Ya'll have convinced me that I should not take the transfer. My friend will probably still do it although I will direct her to the forum.Even though Geneva is a big city I hate to not see any of it so I'll stay there. I don't care about amenities in a hotel or how big the room is. All I want is a safe, central location with a comfortable bed in a clean room! I'm not going to be there long. A 3 star hotel in the US is not the most expensive (that would be a 4 or 5.) , just good value for the money. I

I would probably walk by Lake Geneva, walk by Jet de eau,Bains des Pâquis,cable, walk through shopping areas (not expensive), find some good chocolate. I still remember from 30 years ago my favortie veal dish which came with some kind of pasta, would love to find that for dinner!

Hotels I see that appear to be around Geneva Cornavin station are Hotel Suisse, Hôtel Royal Genève, Suisse,warwick geneva,Novotel Genève Centre. Any of these look fine if location is good. Prices appear to be ok.

Posted by
3340 posts

Neither of us are infirm. She just thinks after getting off a plane
(flying economy) that she should take the easy way to Lausanne.

In Switzerland, the train is the easy way. (Also, note the spelling of Lausanne.)

Posted by
4126 posts

I'll add that traffic on the A1 between Geneva and Lausanne can be quite bad at times, so the train will get you there faster.
To make things easier for your friend, you could take the train back to the airport (it takes a few minutes) and wait for them at the airport train station. Then you take a direct train to Lausanne together. The money saved will pay for lunch for 2.

Posted by
8 posts

To look around Lausanne itself, a dsy will probably be enough, unless you want to spend a lot of time in the Olympic Museum for example. There are places outside which are worth looking at to like the Chateau Chillon or Glacier 3000. To include those you will want more than one day.