WWW94 -- Travel Tips
Note: the CERN travel agent is Wagonlit.
There are several maps available:
What should you keep in mind?
Everything in the area is made doubly exciting by the following facts:
- the Swiss-French border virtually surrounds the city of Geneva,
- CERN is half in France and half in Switzerland,
- France is part of the European Union and Switzerland is not.
Therefore, ALWAYS carry your papers, even when going to town for dinner! Unless you are used to the area, you may find yourself in front of a border post when you least expect it.
Normal Entry Documents
To attend the conference, it is sufficient to have papers giving you a single-entry to Switzerland.
For people from the European Union and North America a valid passport or identity card is normally sufficient, but please check carefully, we are unable to help you with travel papers!
If you want to do more than attend the conference, like take an excursion, or book a hotel other than the recommended ones, you may want to cross the Swiss-French border more than once. In such case you must have the right to multiple entries in both France and Switzerland, and this may require special papers.
This applies especially to people from outside the European Union and North America.
Although it is not strictly necessary, we strongly recommend that you have valid papers for traveling in both Switzerland and France. There will be visits to the CERN site in both countries.
To get to Geneva:
- Geneva has an international airport at Cointrin, it lies across the border: you can exit through either the Swiss or the French exit. This is important if you want to go straight from the airport to your hotel: go through the exit of the country where your hotel is, taxi fares from the Swiss exit to a French hotel are rather high and vice-versa.
- Geneva has an international railway station, where both trains from Switzerland and trains directly from France arrive. If you arrive by the French fast train (TGV) then you will have to go through customs inside the Geneva railway station upon your arrival there.
- Geneva has motorways arriving from Switzerland (Lausanne) and France (Lyon, Annecy). Here the border posts are at the frontier.
Possible money savers:
Apart from what follows, you may wish to consult our travel agent.
- if you are not very far away, travelling by car may be a valid option. There is a unique, once-yearly tax of 30CHF to be paid on Swiss motorways. If you intend to travel over Swiss motorways and you come from outside Switzerland, you should buy the 30CHF sticker at the customs post and stick it on the inside of the windscreen. Stickers that have not been stuck on are invalid and you are liable to incur a fine.
- from France, Belgium, Holland or Germany: try the train. There are excellent connections, most take less than a day's travel. From the Paris area there is a fast train (TGV).
- from other locations in Europe, a flight is probably quickest, but, except from London, never cheap.
To get to the area from outside Europe:
- Cheap flights stop over in London or Paris.
- It can also be cheap to fly to Paris and take a TGV train from there (which in addition gives you a touristic opportunity to be on the world's fastest train).
One way or another, you arrive at one of these three places:
- the Geneva International Airport, at Cointrin;
- the Geneva international railway station at Cornavin;
- the motorway/road intersections close to the airport.
From the airport:
If you have booked at the Warwick Hotel, the easiest thing to do is to take the train from the airport to the city (Cornavin railway station, every ten minutes or so) the hotel is across the square in front of the Cornavin station. For other Geneva hotels, take a taxi to your hotel from the railway station, or walk there.
If you have a hotel in France and arrive at the airport, be sure to go through the French exit, then take a French taxi.
RC 19 Feb 94