Geneva is historically the site of major organizations, not least the Red Cross and the United Nations, and while this internationality infuses the city, it remains resolutely French-speaking. Try out your French to scratch below the surface of this busy, historic, and shopping-friendly metropolis, and then make the most of your visit by driving out into the countryside as well.
Summer—from June to August—is the most comfortable time to visit Geneva, ensuring sunny, comfortable days.
French, German, Italian, and Romansch are the four official languages in Switzerland. The official language of Geneva itself is French. About 10% of the population speaks English and another 10% speaks Portuguese.
The currency is the Swiss franc, though euros are also accepted at larger establishments. Many Swiss still pay cash, so take advantage of plentiful ATMs throughout the city to always have cash on hand. Some restaurants, grocery stores, etc., may not accept foreign credit or debit cards.
Geneva is located in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
Cheap car hire in Geneva is available in 7 locations throughout Geneva. For the best deals and most availability, you’ll likely want to book your car from the Geneva International Airport, downtown Geneva, or the Genève-Cornavin railway station. Interested in car hire in Geneva, French side? It is also available!
Take a scenic drive to Château de Chillon on the opposite side of Lake Geneva for some spectacular views and a scenic ride. The Château is about 100 km from Geneva, whether you drive the direct route on the northern side of the lake (1 hour) or the winding roads on the southern side (2 hours).
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Switzerland accepts visitors visa-free from countries such as the EU, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens of other countries will be required to apply for a visa before they arrive and are permitted to stay for up to three months. You can expect to pass through customs for further inter-European travel.
Driving in downtown Geneva requires a certain level of confidence and skill, as the streets are often quite narrow and congested. Particularly if you’re accustomed to wide streets and have rented a European sports car, consider parking your car outside of the old town and walking or taking public transportation into the historic center. Regardless, driving into the Alps is a highly recommended adventure!
Car hire in Geneva typically starts at around $30 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Geneva:
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
There is not significant seasonal variation in rental car price in Geneva, and it’s worth shopping around various locations in the city to find the best deal. At any given date, you may find that the best deals are located in downtown Geneva or at the central railway station, rather than at the airport. Some cheap rental companies across these locations included Flizzr Rent a Car, Hertz, and Thrifty.
For the best deals, book your car sometime within the 4 months before you arrive in Geneva. You may be surprised to find the best deals are available just days before you arrive, though you do run the risk of limited availability.
You can also often save around $15 a day by extending your rental period to over a week!