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The delegate's guide
The present guide has been created to inform non-governmental delegates and to facilitate their participation in international meetings held in Geneva. The information provided in this guide is likely to change and does not fall under the responsibility of Mandat International.
Phone and fax numbers are given from Switzerland. To call from other countries, you need to replace the 022 by the international code (usually 00), followed by 41 22.
We hope that this guide will meet your needs and wish you good reading!
Preparing your trip (before arrival in Switzerland)
It is important that you gather all the information concerning dates, whereabouts and enrolment conditions for the meeting you wish to attend. The meeting's secretariat will help you, both by providing all the necessary information and by sending you a written invitation (by fax). It is important to inform yourself about the deadlines with the secretariat. Take also into account that for conferences the deadlines might be fixed a couple of months before the conference itself.
The conditions for entry to Swiss territory vary according to nationality. As soon as you consider going to Switzerland, inform the Swiss representative (i.e. the embassy or consulate) of your country of residence. Generally, a foreigner who enters Swiss territory has to be able to present a valid identity document valid for at least 3 months past then the intended duration of stay.
If you need a visa, you should make a request to the Swiss representation of your country of residence as soon as possible (i.e. the Swiss embassy or consulate, but not a honorary consulate). See Swiss representatives abroad: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps.html. The conditions for obtaining the visa and its supporting documents, varies from country to country, but in general, the traveller has to present a valid passport, a return transport ticket, justification of financial means to cover costs during the stay in Switzerland, and/or if necessary a certificate of the accommodation. In order to see if your country requires a visa please refer to the list by the Federal Office for Migration (in French): http://www.unige.ch/international/etudageneve/gisp/faq/VisaRequirementList_May10.pdf
If the traveller is going to participate in an official meeting of an international organisation which has its headquarters in Switzerland, a confirmation of the organisation (letter or a fax of invitation from the secretariat of the conference) could facilitate visa obtainment. The request for a visa has to be presented early enough, if possible four to eight weeks before the expected travel date. Generally, visas for Switzerland are issued in 24 or 48 hours but in certain countries it can take longer. For further information, please consult the Federal Office of Migration: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home.html A list of Swiss embassies is available at the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs' website : http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/e/home/emb/addch.html.
The authorised limits on imports of goods without customs duty for people age 18 or over, are the following :
- Gifts whose value does not exceed 100 SFr.
- Food for one day.
- Used personal effects.
- Goods purchased in Switzerland.
- Two litres of alcoholic beverages of 15 degrees (for example: wine) plus one litre of alcoholic beverages of more than 15 degrees (liquors and other strong alcohol).
For more information, please see the website of The Swiss Federal Customs Administration: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_privat/essen_trinken/00357/index.html?lang=en
For people coming from Europe :
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of pipe tobacco.
For people coming from other non-European countries:
- 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 grams of pipe tobacco.
Imports of the following items are forbidden (unless you have special authorisation):
- Plants and animals, which are protected by the Washington Convention (CITES), as well as objects which have been made from them (e.g. elephant ivory).
- Meat-derived products.
Drug or narcotics possession - and their importation - is formally prohibited and punishable either by a fine or a jail sentence.
For more information on foodstuffs, please see the website of The Swiss Federal Customs Administration: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_privat/essen_trinken/00356/index.html?lang=en
Make sure that your insurance covers medical care abroad and for Switzerland, in particular. Otherwise, you should contract a complementary insurance, which will last for the length of your stay in Switzerland. Take with you a certificate of your insurance.
In the context of a visa request, Swiss authorities ask foreign nationals to conclude a travel insurance, if the coverage of medical emergency treatments is not assured otherwise. Among the costs that need to be covered are rescue operations, repatriation for medical reasons, as well as first aid and a stay in a hospital. The minimal coverage provided by this travel insurance needs to be at least 50'000 Swiss francs.
In Switzerland, there are no epidemic infectious diseases and no vaccination certificate is required from foreigners. Nonetheless, it is important to take into account that only 86% of swiss population has a vaccine against measles, for which it might be recommendable for you to be vaccine before your arrival. Moreover, a vaccination against infectious diseases is required if you have stayed in an infected region during the two weeks prior to your arrival to Switzerland. Last but ot least, immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis may be recommended in certain cases.
When buying a ticket, you should ask about :
- Procedures concerning the changing of dates on a reservation.
- Procedures concerning compensation in case of lost or stolen luggage.
- Weight limits for the luggage.
Make sure the agency has confirmed the reservation for the flights of your single and return ticket.
The cost of living in Switzerland is moderately high. Here are some prices in Swiss Francs:
- A loaf of bread (500 g) 1.70 SFr
- A coffee (at a coffee Bar) 3.00 SFr
- A soda in a restaurant 3.80 SFr
- A litre of milk 1.80 SFr
- A pizza margherita ca. 14.00-16.00 SFr
- One night at a 1 to 3 star hotel between 50- 150 SFr
You should allow for a budget of 150 SFr per day, but if you have limited resources, the Welcome Centre for Non-Governmental Organizations and Delegations, please refer to the "Help and Information" point and our website http://www.mandint.org/en/accommodation. This will enable you to reduce the costs of your stay to about 70 SFr per day.
- 1 SFr (Swiss Franc) = ~ 1.13 US$
- 1 US$ = ~ 0.89 SFr (Swiss Francs)
- 1 SFr (Swiss Franc) = ~ 0.79 Euro
- 1 Euro = ~ 1.26 SFr (Swiss Francs)
During the summer (June to September) the weather in Switzerland is sunny and warm. Nonetheless, it does rain from time to time and temperatures can fall.
Spring (March to July) and autumn (September to December) are rather subject to changes; showers of rain can be frequent, so it is best to bring warm clothes with you, e.g. a coat and a good pair of shoes.
During the winter (December to March) it is cold and snowfalls are frequent, therefore it is important to have a warm coat, trousers and a good pair of winter shoes. A sweater, a pair of walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, umbrella and eventually a raincoat should be brought with you even in summer
Average temperatures in Geneva (375m) :
- Population : 7.785.800
- Surface : 41'239 km2
- National Currency : Swiss Franc (SFr), divided into 100 centimes
- Voltage : 220 V electric current
- GDP/inhabitant: 64'457 SFr
Switzerland is located in the Central European time zone (Greenwich GMT + 1), and it adjusts to the summer time change (+ 1, from the last weekend of March until the last weekend of October)
Switzerland is a small country in the heart of Europe; it is outlined in the North by the Jura mountainous chain and in the South by the Alps. Its neighboring countries are Germany to the North, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the East, followed by Italy and France on the southern borders. Switzerland is also the source of two of the biggest European rivers: the Rhone and the Rhine. For more information on the geography of Switzerland, please see: http://www.swissworld.org/en/geography/
Switzerland has a history similar to the rest of Western Europe, dominated by the Roman Empire, large migrations; but specially marked by its neutral position and its cultural and linguistic diversity.
Switzerland as it is known today became to existence in 1848. This year the country adopted a constitution, which allowed it to have a more centralised government, together with the creation of a single economic area (common currency and postal system).
Nonetheless, the Swiss Confederation dates back to the 1291, where three communities -Uri, Schwyz (from where Switzerland gets its name) and Unterwald- made an agreement to unite in order to protect their freedom against other communities. Later on, the confederation continued growing by other communities deciding to ally, or by the confederation purchasing or conquering them.
This Confederation had a specific cantonal system since its creation, which came to an end in 1798, when France invaded Switzerland and broke the power. This act resulted in the creation of the Helvetic Republic.
For information on the history of Switzerland, please refer to: http://www.swissworld.org/en/history/
Switzerland is a federal state divided into 23 cantons, three of which are further divided into half-cantons. Each canton is strongly autonomous: it elects its own parliament and government, votes its own laws and constitution, organises its educational system, runs its own police, manages its taxes, and so on.
The federal government is ensured by the federal assembly, which gathers seven councillors representing the main political parties. These government members take it in turns to act as president. The headquarters of both parliament and federal government are to be found in Bern. The federal tribunal, on the other hand, is divided between Lausanne and Lucerne.
Concerning foreign affairs, Switzerland has given up any policy concerning territorial expansion since 1515. Nonetheless, in 1979 the canton of Jura, which used to be a small part of the canton of Bern was created. It has no colonial past and a long tradition of neutrality.
For information on the political system of Switzerland, please refer to: http://www.swissworld.org/en/politics/
Switzerland has three official languages which are related to its different regions: German (which is in everyday usage replaced by Swiss-German), French, Italian and one national language: Rumantsch.
- Official Language : French
- Other useful languages : English, German
- Population of Geneva (city) : 190'509 inhabitants
- Population of Geneva (canton) : 451'579 inhabitants
The name of Geneva probably derives from the Celtic language, and it means "where the water flows". Located at a cross-road in the heart of Europe, several communities contributed to its development: Ligures, Allobroges, Helvetians, Romans, Burgondes, etc. The first traces of human settlements date back to 6000 BC.
The independence of the Geneva Republic was proclaimed in 1536, with the help of the Canton of Bern. That same year, Jean Calvin arrived to Geneva and started what is known as the reformation which influenced religion and intellectual views. With this movement, Geneva will be known as the "Protestant Rome".
In 1602 the Duke of Savoy was defeated and asked to abandon his territorial claims against it. For a couple of years after that Geneva remained a small city state until Napoleon occupied Geneva from 1798 to 1813, making it the region centre of the Department of Léman. On December 31, 1813, the Napoleon's troupes left Geneva and the republic was reinstated. Since then, Geneva celebrates the "Fête de la Restauration" every year on December 31. Geneva later joined the Swiss Confederation in 1815.
In 1863, Henri Dunant founded and set the Red Cross in Geneva. Geneva was chosen in 1920 to harbour the League of Nations headquarters, founded by the United States President Wilson. It was replaced in 1945 by the United Nations Organization (UN). Since then, Geneva has been developing as an international city, with numerous other international organizations.
Help and information
Through various websites Mandat International offers information and advice for delegates participating in International Conferences in Geneva.
E-Mail : contact (at) mandint.org
Website : http://www.mandint.org
You will get help and further information both at the airport and at train station. You can also contact the Tourist Information Board (Geneva Tourism). They will give you free maps covering the Geneva area and help you with public transport.
Airport Information Board. Tel: 022 717 80 83
Train Station Information Board (Geneva Tourisme). Tel : 022 909 70 50
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.geneve-tourisme.ch
18, rue du Mont-Blanc
1211 Geneva 1
Tel : 022 909 70 00 - Fax : 022 909 70 11
Open: Monday 10a.m. – 6p.m., Tuesday to Saturday 9a.m. – 6p.m., Sunday and holidays 10am- 4p.m.
Pont de la Machine 1, 1204 Geneva
Tel. 022 311 99 70 Fax : 022 311 80 52
Open: Monday 12a.m. – 6p.m.; Tuesday – Friday 9a.m. – 6p.m.; Saturday 10a.m. – 5p.m, closed on Sunday.
CAR (Centre d’Accueil et de Renseignements)
Welcome and Information Centre,
located next to the train station, rue du Mont-Blanc, Geneva
Tel : 022 731 46 47
Open: mid-June until 31st of August 9am- 11pm daily.
Most international organizations have a liaison office for NGOs, which is at the non-governmental delegates' disposal; you will thus be able to have access to information related to ongoing meetings, administration and accreditation procedures.
The Geneva Welcome centre was founded both by the Swiss Confederation and the Canton and Republic of Geneva. Its purpose is to offer accommodation and information to international personnel living in Geneva. It puts at their disposal an information guide of practical tips for people settling down in Geneva, which is called the Welcome Kit, and that you can get through their website: www.cagi.ch
Villa La Pastorale
Route de Ferney 106
(Just opposite the Intercontinental Hotel, on the right when coming
from the UN building - Place des Nations)
Bus 5, bus stop "Intercontinental"
Case Postale 103
1211 Geneva 20
Tel.: 022 918 02 70546 14 00
Fax: 022 918 02 79 546 14 19
Site InternetWebsite : www.cagi.ch
E-mail : email@example.com
It gathers more than 25 organizations which are active in environmental and sustainable development domains in Geneva. More than twenty-five organizations, institutions, offices participate and among them UNEP.
9 - 15 Chemin des Anémones
Tel. : 022 917 85 05
Website : www.environmenthouse.ch
Represents Switzerland in international organizations. It is in charge of the relation between Switzerland and the international community.
9-11, rue de Varembé
CP 194, 1211 Geneva 20
Tel. 022 749 24 24
Fax : 022 749 24 37
Your country's permanent mission, consulate or embassy can also assist you on certain issues. These missions, consulates or embassies play an important role in assisting and protecting the citizens of their respective country. They are present to help in the event of: theft, loss of property and/or documents, serious illness, arrest and incarceration (to ensure proper legal procedures), political difficulties and natural disasters, among others.
A list of several missions and foreign consulates in Geneva can be obtained either from the United Nations office in Geneva or through their website: www.unog.ch. Additional information on international institutions can be found in: http://www.cagi.ch/en/geneve-internationale/repertoire-organismes-internationaux.php
The House of Associations hosts about sixty local and international NGOs, mainly active in the domain of Human Rights, Environnment, Peace and disarmament. The house contains a cafeteria as well.
Geneva hosts over 3'000 international meetings every year. You can have an overview of some of those meetings on our calendar of international conferences on the Internet: www.agenda-international.org Most international organizations have their own conference rooms. Here are some of the usual venues:
- Palais des Nations (UN Building)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 12 34 Fax: 022 917 01 23
- International Geneva Conference Centre (CICG)
15, rue de Varembé (near the Place des Nations), Case postale 13, 1211 Geneva 20.
Tel. 022 791 91 11 Fax : 022 733 81 06
- Palexpo (near the Airport)
chemin Edouard-Sarasin, 1218 Grand-Saconnex.
Tel. 022 761 11 11 Fax: 022 798 01 00
- World Council of Churches (WCC)
150 route de Ferney, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 791 61 11 Fax : 022 791 03 61.
- William Rappard Centre (WTO)
154 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 739 51 11 Fax : 022 731 42 06
- Mail University
102 boulevard Carl-Vogt, 1205 Geneva
Tel. 022 379 71 11
- Uni-Dufour (University of Geneva)
24 rue Général-Dufour, 1204 Geneva.
Tel. 022 379 71 11
Geneva hosts 23 international organizations, about 1000 non-governmental organizations and nearly 250 missions and consulates. Most of these organizations are to be found in the vicinity of the Place des Nations.
Please find hereafter a short list of organizations. For further information, please refer to our Guide on International Organizations and to our website: www.mandint.org. Two lists concerning NGO and IO located in Geneva can be found at : http://www.geneve.ch/chancellerie/protocole/repertoire
United Nations Organization
- Palais des Nations, 8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel.: 022 917 12 34
Fax : 022 917 01 23
Economics, Trade and Development
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
154, rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 739 51 11. Fax : 022 731 42 06
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
4, route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex.
Tel. 022 799 61 11. Fax : 022 798 86 85
- United Nations Development programme (UNDP)
Palais des Nations, 1211 Genève
Tel. 022 917 85 36. Fax : 022 917 80 01.
- United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
- Tel. 022 917 58 09. Fax : 022 917 00 51.
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 12 34. Fax : 022 917 05 05.
- European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
9-11, rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 749 11 11. Fax : 022 733 92 91
- United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 30 60. Fax : 022 917 30 20
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Le Bocage, Pavillon 1, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 33 64. Fax : 022 917 00 59
- World Economic Forum
91-93 route de la Capitale, 1223 Cologny.
Tel. 022 869 12 12. Fax : 022 786 27 44
Human Rights and International Law
- High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)
Palais Wilson, 52, rue des Pâquis, 1201 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 90 00. Fax : 022 917 90 16.
- International Law Commission (ILC)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 21 25. Fax : 022 917 00 01.
- International Commission for Jurists (ICJ)
81A, avenue de Châtelaine, 1219 Châtelaine.
Tel. 022 979 38 00. Fax : 022 979 38 01.
- International Service for Human Rights (IS)
1, rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 733 51 23. Fax : 022 733 08 26.
- Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)
10, route de Ferney, 1211 Geneva.
Tel. 022 919 21 70. Fax : 022 919 21 80.
- World Organization against Torture (OMCT)
37-39, rue de Vermont, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 733 31 40. Fax : 022 733 10 51.
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
94, rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 739 81 11. Fax : 022 739 73 77.
- Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA),
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 12 34. Fax : 022 917 00 23.
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
17, route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex.
Tel. 022 717 91 11. Fax : 022 798 61 50.
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
19, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 739 81 11 Fax : 022 739 73 77.
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
17, chemin des Crêts, 1209 Geneva.
Tel. 022 730 42 22. Fax : 022 733 03 95.
- United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 42 93. Fax :022 917 01 76.
- Conference on Disarmament (CD)
8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 917 22 80. Fax : 022 917 00 34.
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
5-7, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 909 56 05. Fax : 022 909 59 09.
- Joint Inspection Unit (JIU)
11, chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine.
Tel. 022 917 81 11. Fax : 022 917 80 33.
- International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)
Villa Montfleury, 48 chemin du Grand-Montfleury, 1290 Versoix
Tel. 022 950 96 00 Fax : 022 950 96 09.
Health, Education and Population
- World Health Organization (WHO)
20, avenue Appia, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 791 21 11. Fax : 022 791 07 46.
- UNAIDS (UN Programme on HIV/AIDS)
20, avenue Appia
Tel. 022 791 36 66 – Fax : 022 791 41 87
- International Bureau of Education (IBE)
15, route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex.
Tel. 022 917 78 00. Fax : 022 917 78 01.
- United Nations Fund for Populations (UNFPA)
11, chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine.
Tel. 022917 85 73. Fax : 022 917 80 16.
- United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
11-13, chemin des Anémones, 1219 Chatelaine.
Tel. 022 917 84 18. Fax. 022 917 80 47
- World Food programme (WFP)
11-13, chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine.
Tel. 022 917 85 67. Fax : 022 917 80 18
Climate, Environment and Ecology
World Meteorological organization (WMO)
7 bis, avenue de la Paix, 1211 Genève.
Tel. 022 730 81 11. Fax : 022 730 81 81
United Nations Environment programme (UNEP)
15, chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine.
Tel. 022 919 12 34. Fax : 022 797 34 20.
- IUCN - The World Conservation Union
28, rue Mauverney, 1196, Gland.
Tel. 022 999 00 00. Fax : 022 999 00 02.
- WWF International - World Wide Fund for Nature
Avenue du Mont-Blanc, 1196 Gland.
Tel. 022 364 91 11. Fax : 022 364 48 92.
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
160, route de Florissant, 1231 Conches.
Tel. 022 839. 31 00. Fax : 022 839 31 31.
- Green Cross International (GCI)
160, route de Florissant, 1231 Conches.
Tel. 022 789 16 62. Fax : 022 789 16 95.
- Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Tel. 022 789 07 38. Fax : 022 789 05 00
Intellectual Property, Science, Technology and Transport
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, chemin des Colombettes, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 338.91 11 Fax : 022 733 54 28.
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva.
Tel. 022 730 51 11. Fax : 022 733 72 56.
- European organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Route de Meyrin, 1217 Geneva.
Tel. 022 767 61 11. Fax : 022 767 65 55.
- International organization for Standardisation (ISO)
1, rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 749 01 11. Fax : 022 733 34 30.
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
3, rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 919 02 11. Fax : 022 919 03 00.
- International Computing Centre (ICC)
2, chemin du Pavillon, 1218 Grand-Saconnex.
Tel. 022 929 14 11. Fax : 022 929 14 12.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
33, route de l’Aéroport, 1215 Genève
Tel. 022 770 25 25. Fax : 022 770 26 41.
- European Union
37-39 Rue de Vermont, 1211 Genève 20
Tel. 022 918 22 11. Fax : 022 734 22 36.
- African Union
36 Rue des Pâquis, Case postale 127, 1211 Genève
Tél. 022 716 06 40 Fax : 022 731 68 18
- Ligue des Etats Arabes
Rue du Valais 9 - 1202 Genève
Tél. 022 732 30 30 Fax : 022 731 69 47
Other International organizations
- Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
5 Chemin du Pommier, 1218 le Grand-Saconnex
Tél. 022 919 41 50 Fax : 022 919 41 60
- World Council of Churches (WCC)
Route de Ferney 150, 1211 Geneva.
Tel. 022 791 61 11. Fax : 022 791 03 61.
- South Centre (SC)
17, ch. Champ-d'Anier, 1209 Petit-Saconnex
Tél. 022 791 80 50 Fax : 022 798 85 31
- Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Palais des Nations - 1211 Genève 10
Tél. : 022 917 12 34
You can find a detailed access plan for every UN body in Geneva at www.onug.ch
The accreditation procedure and speech time vary from one meeting to another. It is, therefore, important to get hold of all information concerning the meeting you wish to attend by asking its secretariat.
Most international organizations have their own cafeteria where it is possible to eat at a relatively cheap price. Some of them also account with micro-waves, so you can bring your own meal. (UN, ILO, etc.).
The Palais des Nations (United Nations building) is next to the Place des Nations. It takes about eight minutes to get there by bus from the Cornavin railway station (bus V, 5 and 8, tram 13 and 15).
Badges to access and to attend meetings at the Palais des Nations must be requested at la Villa des Feuillantines. You must have with you: your passport, the letter from the conference confirming your participation, as well as an official letter from your organization (on letterhead) allowing you to represent your organization and signed by its president.The section concerned with accreditation for non governmental deleguates is the NGO Liaison Office :
Security and Accreditations for the Palais des Nations (UN)
Villa les Feuillantines
13, avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Tel. : 022 917 21 27
Fax : 022 917 05 83
The United Nations building is equipped with a post office (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), a UBS bank (8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.), a travel agency (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), a bookshop (official UN publications are available) and a newsagent.
It is generally possible to use the photocopying machines of your meeting's secretariat, on the understanding that you bring your own stock of paper. The same goes for other photocopying machines in the immediate vicinity. The stock of paper can be bought at the tobacconist's/newsagent located in the E building.
All United Nations documents pertaining to the meeting are at your disposal both in the meeting-hall and at the counter of door 40 (E building). You will also find an excellent library, a reading-room with newspapers and access to the Internet.
Association d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs
Secrétariat : 3, rue de Fribourg, 1201 Genève
Tél. 022 732 06 41 Fax 022 732 93 87
Permanences : 41, avenue de Vaudagne, 1217 Meyrin
Tél. / Fax : 022 782 49 09
av. de Champel 59, 1206 Geneva
Tel. 022 347 33 75 - Fax: 022 789 22 69
The airport is about twenty minutes from the city centre, either by bus or car, and it offers a variety of international connections. Connecting flights to Zurich Kloten airport are available every day. Trains also link the two airports (about three hours).
Information about daily arrivals and departures. Tel : 0900 57 15 00
Lost /stolen luggage. Tel : 022 799 33 32
Geneva International Airport
Case postale 100
CH-1215 Geneva 15
Tel.: 022 717 71 11
Fax : 022 798 43 77
Tx 415 520 DAG
to Cornavin train station (city centre) :
Bus No.10 runs from the parking lot in front of the airport's departures. The fare costs 2.20 SFr and the ride takes about 25 minutes.
Taxis cost about 30 Swiss Francs (SFr).
Trains run regularly (every quarter of an hour) from the CFF station, which is on your left while leaving the airport.
to the Welcome Centre for Non-Governmental Organizations and Delegations:
You can take the New Cab taxi company (Tel : 022 320 20 20) with which a deal has been arranged for 28 SFr. Please do not forget to remind the driver that it is a deal arranged with Mandat International.
Take bus no.10 up to the Cornavin train station (as mentioned before), but remember to buy the 4.60 SFr ticket ! Then take bus V from in front of the Astoria Hotel (direction Versoix), get off at the "Valavran" stop, and follow the "Mandat International" signposts.
For further information, you may want to look up the "Contact Us " page on the Internet site " http://www.mandint.org ".
to the United Nations building (UN) :
Bus No.10 from the airport to the Cornavin train station (as mentioned before). From the Cornavin train station, take bus No. 5 (heading for Palexpo) or No. 8 (heading for the OMS / WHO) and get off at the "Nations" or "Appia" stop. The fare is 2.20 SFr and the journey takes about 40 minutes.
The cost of the same journey by taxi is about 25 Swiss francs (SFr).
- Swissair - CP 191, 1215 Genève 15 Tel. 0848 700 700
- Air France - 2 rue du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Genève
Tel. 0848 747 100, Fax : 022 827 87 81
- Air Madagascar - 1-3 Rue de Chantepoulet,1201 Genève
Tel. 022 919 89 50, Fax : 022 919 89 51
- Air Mauritius - Tel. 022 716 34 55 ou 022 717 86 00 fax : 022 731 16 90 ou 022 798 54 24
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines (TWTT) - Tel. 022 788 00 10
- British Airways – 13 rue Chantepoulet, 1201 Genève
Tel. 0848 80 10 10 (free call) ou 022 717 80 00
- Cyprus Airways - Tel. 022 794 50 49
- Delta Air Lines - Tel. 0800 55 20 36
- Finnair - Tel. 022 906 10 15, Fax : 022 906 10 12
- Iberia Tel. 0848 00 00 15, 022 717 84 70. Fax : 022 717 84 74
- KLM - tél. 0900 359 556 fax : 043 233 47 48
- Lufthansa - Tel. 022 929 51 51, 022 710 50 50. Fax : 022 929 51 44
- Malaysia Airlines Tel. 022 738 63 63, Fax : 022 738 60 70
- Quantas Airways Ltd - Tel. 0848 88 87 47, Fax : 022 731 62 81
- Royal Jordanian Airlines - Tel. 022 717 82 52
- Royal Maroc - Tel. 022 731 77 55, 022 798 14 80. Fax: 022 731 62 81
- SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) - Tel. 044 205 50 70, Fax : 022 788 54 45
- Saudi Arabian Airlines - Tel. 022 716 30 90, 022 717 86 41, Fax : 022 716 30 95
- Singapore Airlines Ltd - 17a Rue de la Croix-d'Or, 1200 Genève
Tel. 022 732 22 05, Fax : 022 731 12 03
- SN Brussels Airlines – Tel.0848 41 11, 022 799 34 34 – Fax : 022 799 34 75
- Thaï Airways International – Tel. 022 717 85 10
- United Airlines - tél. 001 212 47 17 fax : 043 443 70 99
To find more information or the contacts of other airlines please refer to: www.gva.ch/en/DesktopDefault.aspx/tabid-37
The Geneva public transport network (TPG) covers the entire city and is efficient.
- One hour ticket (city area) 3.00 SFr
- 2 hours' ticket 4.60 - 7.40 SFr
- Day ticket (city areas) 10 SFr
- Day ticket (entire area) 18.00 SFr
- Monthly ticket (entire area) 70 SFr
The Welcome Centre for Non-Governmental Organizations and Delegations can also sell a daily bus pass, which is valid for the entire area.
You can but bus and tram tickets at the vending machines at most bus and tram stops but not from the bus driver. Please remember that these machines do not give back change. The same TPG tickets are also valid for some of the "Mouettes", which are little boats that go from one shore of the Geneva harbour to the other. Routine inspections on public transports take place from time to time; passengers without a valid ticket will have to pay an additional 70 SFr fine on top of the ticket fare.
Geneva Public Transportation Office
Transports Publics Genevois (TPG)
Case postale 950
1212 Grand-Lancy 1
Tel.: 022 308 34 34
Fax: (41-22) 308 34 00
Taxis charge a starting fare of 7.90 SFr, in addition to 2.90 SFr per kilometer. The tarif can be higher at night and outside the city. To make this more affordable, Mandat International has made a deal with the "New Cab" taxi company for travel between the Welcome Centre and the airport (See the page "Contact Us " on our webpage : " http://www.mandint.org ").
The bicycle is probably the most efficient and pleasurable means of getting around Geneva. You may rent a bicycle for about ten Francs per day - there are also advertisement bikes which can be used for free. Please remember that you must always leave a valid identity card and a SFr 50.- deposit. You should also use a helmet, which will be lent for free.
Contact the following address:
17, place de Montbrillant (behind the main station), 1201 Geneva.
Tel. / Fax : 022 740 13 43
website : www.geneveroule.ch/en
The train enables you to reach all main European cities in a very short time. If you have to make more than one journey, please check all possibilities concerning cheaper tickets.
Geneva Cornavin Train Station (town centre):
Chemins de Fer Fédéraux (CFF)
Gare Cornavin, Place Cornavin, 1201 Geneva.
Information and reservation. Tel: 0900 300 300
Website : www.cff.ch
In Switzerland people drive on the right-hand side of the road. The road signs are generally like the international signs. In order to use Swiss motorways and semi-motorways, you need to buy a compulsory sticker, which costs 40 SFr (valid for one year). These stickers can be bought either from the customs, petrol stations, or post offices. The security belt is compulsory for all pasengers.
Speed limit :
- City + inhabited areas : 50 km/h (31 miles/h)
- National routes : 80 km/h (50 miles/h)
- Motorways : 120 km/h (75 miles/h)
Car rental :
- Allo Car, 32, rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva.
Tel. 022 740 40 40. Fax : 022 740 31 70
- Avis (airport), Tel. 929 03 30
- Budget Rent A Car (airport), Tel. 022 717 86 75 Fax : 022 798 99 78
- Europcar (airport), Tel. 022 717 82 37. Fax : 022 788 36 70
- Hertz (airport), Tel. 022 798 22 02. Fax : 022 788 24 05
The long distance bus station is located at 10 minutes walk from the Cornavin railway station.
Place Dorcière, 1201 Geneva
Information and booking– Tel. 022 732 02 30
Telecommunication and media
There are post offices in most neighbourhoods. Opening hours are : from Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1.45 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday closed. The Montbrillant Post Office, 16 rue des Gares, 1201 Geneva - behind the Cornavin train station - is open up to 8 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Phone numbers in Switzerland start with a 0. Normal phone numbers in Geneva start with 022 and cellular phone numbers with 079 or 078 or 077 or 076, depending on the cell-phone company.
To call to Switzerland from other countries, you just need to dial the international acces code (usually 00), followed by 41 (for Switzerland), then the local phone number without the 0. For instance: 022 123 45 67 will become 00 41 22 123 45 67.
To make an international call from Switzerland, dial 00, then the country code and the desired phone number.
Public telephones and faxes are available at the Cornavin railway station.
It is possible to rent mobile phones, called NATEL in Switzerland :
- Rent a phone : Tel. 022 717 82 63
You can buy prepaid telephone cards or call from telephone centres that allow you to reduce the cot for long distance calls. Sch cards are availables at our welcome centre and at:
Maxitel & Access
4, place de Montbrillant (behind the Cornavin railway station)
- Switzerland : 111
- Austria : 1151
- Germany : 1152
- France : 1153
- Italy : 1154
- Other countries : 1159
The national post offices usually ensure rapid delivery at a cheaper price than private agencies. However, here are some private companies:
- DHL 40, avenue d’Aïre, 1203 Geneva. Tel. 0800 557 777 / 022 949 14 14.
- FedEx (Federal Express) Aéroport Geneva-Cointrin, CP 1215, Geneva 15. Tel. 022 155 37 57.
- UPS (United Parcel Service) Aéroport Geneva-Cointrin, CP 1215, Geneva 15. Tel. 022 311 13 13.
There are several internet cafes in Geneva. For instance:
- Internet Café de la Gare (inside the train station, beside rue de Montbrillant), 3, Place Cornavin, 1201 Geneva, Tel. 022 731 51 87 - Open 7/7 9:30 am – 10 pm
- Open Vidéo, 19 rue des Alpes (5 minutes walk from Cornavin station), open 7/7 10 am - 12 pm; Friday and Saturday until 2 am.
- Speednet Café, 60, rue de Monthoux, 1201 Geneva, Tel. 022 715.38.28 – Open 7/7 9 am– 2 am (Sunday 1 pm – 2 am)
- MLC, 98, rue de Carouge, 1205 Geneva, Tel. 022 320 32 86 – Open everyday except Sunday
- Charly’s Multimedia Checkpoint, 7 rue de Fribourg, 1201 Geneva, Tel. 022 901 1313 – Monday to Saturday 9a.m.-midnight, Sunday 1p.m.-11p.m. www.charlys.com
Most foreign newspapers are available at all news stands, particularly at the Cornavin train station.
- Radio Suisse Internationale (RSI) AM 6.165 MHz.
- Radio Suisse Romande la Première (RSR1) FM 94.8 et 91.2
- Espace 2 (RSR2) FM 101.7 et 100.1
- Couleur 3 (RSR3) FM 104.4 et 105.6
- World Radio Geneva (WRG-FM) FM 88.4
- Option Musique FM 90.8
- Radio Lac FM 91.8
- Radio Cité FM 92.2
- Radio Zone FM 93.8
- One FM FM 107.0
- Radio Orient FM 92.7
- AFP (Agence France Presse) Palais des Nations, Bureau C14, 1211 Geneva 10.
Tel. 022 919 79 79, Fax : 022 919 79 61.
- AGI (Agence Genevoise d’Information) 13, rue du Fort-Barreau, 1201 Geneva.
Tel. 022 733 80 80. Fax : 022 733 80 82.
- ATS (Agence Telégraphique Suisse) Rédaction genevoise : 1, rue Richard Wagner, 1202 Geneva.
Tel. 022 740 00 00. Fax : 022 740 00 40.
- Reuters, Palais des Nations, Bureau 70, 1211 Geneva 10.
Tel. 022 733 38 31. Fax : 022 734 87 60.
- AP ( Associated Press), Palais des Nations, Bureau C 12, 1211 Geneva 10. Tel. 022 919 42 22. Fax : 022 733 13 37
Many bookshops in Geneva will offer a wide range of books in French. Among them :
- Payot Centre, 5, rue Chantepoulet, 1201 Geneva(near the train station). Tel : 022 731 89 50
- Boulevard, 34, rue de Carouge,1205 Geneva, Tel. 022 328 70 54
- FNAC, 16, rue de Rive,1204 Geneva, Tel. 022 816 12 20
- Pacific, 84 Boulevard Carl-Vogt, 1205 Geneva, Tel. 022 321 54 83
- Parnasse, 20 Rue des Eaux-Vives, 1207 GenèveGeneva, TélTel. 022 736 27 26
- 4th floor in "Placette" (department store), 6 rue de Cornavin, 1201 Geneva. Tel : 022 909 41 11.
Specialised bookshops :
- Second-hand : Les Recyclables, 12 rue Jean-Violette, 1205 Geneva, Tel. 022 328 60 44.
- German : Literart, 15, boulevard Georges-Favon, 1204 Geneva, Tel. 022 311 40 80.
- English : Elm Books, 16 av. Pictet de Rochemont, 1207 Geneva Tel. 022 737 20 20.
American Library, 3 rue de Monthoux. Tel. 022 732 80 97.
BookWorm, 5 rue Sismondi. Tel. 022 731 87 65.
- Arabic : Olivier, 5, rue de Fribourg. Tel. 022 731 84 40
Al-Diwan, 4bis rue des Pâquis, 1201 Geneva, Tel. 022 738 89 38
- Spanish : Albatros, rue Charles Humbert 6, Tel. 022 731 75 43
- Portuguese : Camoes, 8, boulevard James-Fazy, 1201 Geneva. Tel. 022 738 85 88.
- Russian : Cobram Dom Knigi, 5 rue du Midi, 1201 Geneva, Tel. 022 733 95 12
- Computer : Ellipse, 14, rue Jean-Jacques, Tel. 022 909 89 89
- Medical : Medicine and Hygiene, 78, avenue de la Roseraie, 1205 Geneva, Tel. 022 702 93 22
Law and safety
Geneva is a relatively safe city. But you should still keep an eye out for pickpockets, especially at the Cornavin train station.
The following acts are punishable by law :
- Possession or consumption of drugs.
- Trading or carrying weapons without authorization.
- Incitation to violence (and acts of violence)
- Racial discrimination and anti-Semitism.
- Violation of human rights.
- Economic, political or military intelligence.
- Sexual harassment.
If you wish to extend your stay beyond the expiry date of your visa, you must immediately contact the Population Cantonal Office. This service will look into your request, and should generally be able to extend your visa. it is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm
Office Cantonal de la Population
Service des Etrangers
3, rue David-Dufour – CP 51
1211 Geneva 8
Tel. 022 327 41 11
In case you lose any personal objects, you can contact:
Service cantonal des objets trouvés
7, rue des Glacis-de-Rive
Tel.: 022 787 60 00
Open Monday to Thursday from 7.45 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and Friday from 7.45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In case you lose any bank or credit cards, it is important to immediately contact either the bank or the credit company involved in order to block your cards.
- American Express : Tel. 01 384 63 33
- Diners Club : Tel. 01 835 41 41
- Eurocard/Mastercard : Tel. 01 839 91 11
- Eurocheque : Tel. 01 271 22 30
- Visa : Tel. 01 372 20 60
In case your passport is either lost or stolen, it is important to immediately contact the police and to ask for a theft notification. Then, you must contact your Embassy or Consulate, with the theft notification, in order to have a new passport prepared.
In case of an attack, you must immediately contact the police.
Emergency Telephone Number : 117
Hôtel de police
17-19, boulevard Carl-Vogt
Tel. 022 427 81 11
The police station in Pâquis (6, Berne street, near the train station Cornavin) is open 24 hours/day.
Tel. 022 715 38 50
Assistance in case of robbery :
LAVI (Association pour les Victimes d’Infractions)
72 bd St-Georges, 1204 Geneva Tel. 022 320 01 02
Assistance to rape victims
Viol-Secours, 3 place des Charmilles, 1203 Geneva
Tel. 022 320 01 02
Swiss law puts a definite emphasis on protecting privacy and individual rights : right to privacy, to dignity, to physical integrity, to freedom of movement, to protection of personal data, etc. It allows taking up legal actions against any breach of these rights.
Setting up a stand on the public streets (either for information or anything else) requires an authorisation from the Justice and Police Department. Handing out leaflets not-for-profit is perfectly acceptable and does not require an authorisation. Leaflets and public lectures must not encourage violence or racial hate and should not be defamatory. The State can also limit leaflet distribution if it is judged to be against public interests, e.g. for security reasons.
The organisation of a demonstration has to be authorised by the Department of Justice and the Police. The demonstration has to be requested in a written form at least one week in advance. The use of a sound amplifying machine is also subject to authorization. The organizers of the demonstration have to ensure: a peaceful environment, security and prevent all risk of populace overflow (such as damage or violence). Bearing arms is strictly prohibited and it is prohibited (in principle) to organise a demonstration near consulates, missions and embassies.
The police are authorised to search and check the identity of any person who is in a public area. Everybody should carry an identity document at hand (passport, identity card, driving licence ); people coming from countries needing a visa must show a passport.
The police is authorised to take anybody to the police station if need be. The police must explain the reasons why and proceed as swiftly as possible in order to let the person go free. This person can phone to inform either a relative, a lawyer or a legal advice office. Nobody can be kept in custody for more than 24 hours without a judge's approval.
If you think that a police inspection or questioning was arbitrary or even improper, you should ask the policeman's reference number and then contact either a legal advice office or directly lodge a formal complaint to the general prosecutor. This procedure will not have to be paid for.
- 117 Police, emergency call
- 118 Fire brigade, (fires and electrical shocks)
- 144 Ambulance, English-speaking unit available
- 145 Poisonings
- 112 European emergency call
- 140 Road service rescue
- 143 "The outstretched hand", psychological help 24h/24
- 1414 Rescue helicopter
- Justice and Police Department :
Département de justice et police
14, rue de l’Hôtel -de-Ville Case postale 3962 1211 Geneva 3
Tel. 022 327 25 01 Fax : 022 327 06 00
- Public Prosecutor / Clerk's Office :
Procureur Général / Greffe du parquet
Palais de justice 1, place du Bourg-de-Four Case postale 3565 1211 Geneva 3
Tel. Tel. 022 327 26 00 Fax : 022 781 43 65
- Legal Consultation Offices :
Permanence juridique du Centre Social Protestant
14, rue du Village suisse, 1205 Geneva. Tel. 022 807 07 00
- Caritas, service social et juridique
53, rue de Carouge, 1205 Geneva.
Tel. 022 708 04 44. Fax : 022 708 04 45
Medical treatment in Switzerland has very high standards. If you are hospitalised or need a prescription, you must either leave a deposit or show a certificate from your health insurance. In case of outpatient care the doctor may ask you to pay immediately, or in the case of hospitalisation, a bill will be sent to your official address.
Geneva Hospital : Hôpital Cantonal de Geneva, Service des urgences,
24 rue Micheli-du-Crest, 1205 Geneva.
Tel : 022 372 81 20
Home emergency medical service : SOS médecins. Tel : 022 748 49 50
- Permanence de Vermont (near the UN), 9A rue de Vermont, 1202 Geneva,
Tel. 022 734 51 50, Fax : 022 734 66 29
- Permanence de Cornavin (near the train station), 1-3 rue du Jura, 1201 Geneva,
Tel. 022 345 45 50, Fax : 022 345 75 34
- Permanence de Chantepoulet, 21 rue Chantepoulet, 1201 Geneva,
Tel. 022 731 21 20, Fax : 022 716 18 99
- Permanence de Carouge, 5 Av. Cardinal-Mermillod, 1227 Carouge
Tél.022 309 46 46, Fax : 022 309 46 00
- Permanence de Versoix, 54 Grand-Montfleury, 1290 Versoix,
Tel. 022 755 50 55, Fax : 022 755 68 22
- Permanence de Meyrin, 24 promenade des Artisans, 1217 Meyrin,
Tel. 022 782 66 22, Fax : 022 785 54 59
- Permanence médicale d'Onex, 3 Route de Loex, 1213 Onex
Tel. 022 879 50 50, Fax : 022 879 50 60
- Permanence médicale de Plainpalais, 17-19 Rue de Carouge, 1205 Genève
Tel. 022 329 56 56, Fax : 022 329 52 31
- Permanence de La Tour, 24 promenade des Artisans, 1217 Meyrin
Tél. 022 719 61 11, Fax : 022 719 61 12
- Clinique dentaire de la Servette (near the train station), 60 avenue Wendt. Tel : 022 733 98 00
- Clinique dentaire de Malombré, 5 chemin de Malombré, 1206 Geneva. Tel : 022 346 64 44
Until 9 p.m. :
- Pharmacie de la Trinité, 67b rue de Lausanne, Tel. 022 738 10 11
- Pharmacie des Banques, 62 rue du Stand, Tel. 022 310 30 01
- Pharmacie de Montchoisy, 48 rue de Montchoisy, Tel 022 736 36 29
Until 9.30 p.m. :
- Pharmacie Victoria, Cornavin train station, Tel. 022 738 39 00
Until 11 p.m. :
- Pharmacie des Crêts de Champel, 6 chemin des Crêts de Champel, Tel. 022 345 85 58
- Pharmacie des Bergues, quai des Bergues 25, Tel.022 732 29 85
In case of emergency, either dial 111, 311 or 144 to get the addresses of the pharmacies on night duty. These are open from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., and charge an extra 10 SFr per client.
More information at this address www.pharmageneve.ch (in French only).
Opening hours :
- Opening hours : Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (Wednesday : 5.30 p.m.).
- Saturday and Sunday : closed, except at the airport and Cornavin train station)
You will a find a bank inside the Palais des Nations, at the train station and at the airport.
Opening hours of some exchange offices :
- Cornavin train station, every day from 6.45 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. (closed on December 25th).
- Geneva airport (American Express), arrival floor, every day from 6.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- 21, rue du Mont Blanc, from Monday to Friday 8.00 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Hotels: you can change money in most hotels.
Cards which are generally accepted in most restaurants and department stores : Mastercard, Eurocard, Postcard, Diners, American Express, Visa, Carte Bleue.
Regular hours :
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday : 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or 7 p.m. for food)
- Thursday : 8.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday : 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday : Closed
Most department stores in both the train station and at the airport are open up until 9 p.m., Sunday included.
Food supermarkets :
The "Migros" supermarkets usually provide good food at a decent price and you find them everywhere in town. There is a very big "Migros" shopping centre ("les Cygnes") rue de Lausanne, only five minutes from Cornavin train station.
All kinds of shopping :
Manor, 6 rue Cornavin, 1211 Genève. Tel. : 022 909 46 99 (5 minutes walk from Cornavin railway station)
La Placette, 6, rue Cornavin, 1201 Genève. Tel. : 022 731 74 00 (5 minutes walk from Cornavin train station)
Balexert, 27, avenue Louis-Casaï, 1211 Geneva 28, Tel. 022 979 02 02 (bus 10)
Eaux-Vives 2000, 43, rue de la Terrassière, 1207 Genève, Tel. 022 735 17 25 (tram 12)
La Praille, 10 route des Jeunes, 1227 Carouge, Tél. 022 304 80 00
Interdiscount, 7 rue de Coutance, 1201 Geneva (next to Manor). Tel. 022 900 12 51
Interdiscount, 1 Place du Port, 1204 Geneva.Tel. 022 732 23 71
L'Ours de Berne (close to the floral clock): 28, quai Général Guisan, 1204 Genève. Tel. : 022 310 12 57
Quality products :
Globus, 50, rue du Rhône, 1211 Geneva. Tel. 022 319 50 50
Similar shops are to be found on the rue du Rhône.
Cheaper clothing :
H&M (Hennes and Mauritz), 14 place de Cornavin, 1201 Geneva.
Tel. 022 908 07 07
Shop open during the night :
16, rue Sismondi, 1201 Geneva. Tel. 022 738 39 00
Open until 2 a.m.
Tabac-Presse, 25, rue des Alpes, 1201 Geneva
- Flea market : Plaine de Plainpalais. Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Arts and crafts : Place de la Fusterie. Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Booksellers : Place de la Fusterie. Friday (April to October) from 8 a.m. to 6.45 p.m.
- Fruit and vegetables :
Plaine de Plainpalais: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
Marché de Rive: Rond-Point de Rive, Saturday morning
Place du Marché in Carouge: Wednesday and Saturday mornings (small but nice)
Place de la Fusterie: Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6.45 p.m.
There are many places of worship for all the different denominations (and in various languages) in Geneva. Timetables for the religious services are published before the weekend in the local newspapers. For further information, please contact the Tourist Information Board (please refer to the "Help and Information" point).
- New Year January 1st
- Good Friday and Easter Monday
- Ascension Day
- Swiss National Day August 1st
- Geneva Fast-day (the Thursday following the first Sunday of September)
- Christmas Day December 25th
- Geneva Restauration (December 31st)
Some shops and offices are closed on May the 1st.
Many outdoor swimming pools are open to the public, including those of the Hotel Intercontinental and of the Réserve in Bellevue. Next to the Place des Nations, there is the Varembé swimming pool (46, rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva. Tel : 022 733 12 14) which is open every day.
For further information concerning other sports please contact :
Service des Sports de la Ville de Geneve
Centre sportif des Vernets, 1227 Geneva,
Tel. 022 343 88 50
Website : www.ville-ge.ch/sports
Solothurn Film Festival (Swiss cinema, about 200 km from Geneva).
On the 13th, mask exhibit in Urnäsch in the Appenzell canton
February and March :
Carnival is celebrated in most catholic cantons, particularly in Basel, Lucerne and in Loetschental (the latter probably being the most traditional).
Fribourg Film Festival (about 140 km from Geneva) films by the directors from developing countries, www.fiff.ch
Film on Human Rights Festival, www.fifdh.ch
International Moto rand Accessories Show, www.salon-auto.ch
Bol d'Or (sailing race on Lake Geneva, starting from Geneva), www.boldor.ch
Fête de la musique: free music festival across the City, http://w3public.ville-ge.ch/dac/fdm2006.nsf
Festival des Cropettes: Nice free jazz festival in a public park, at only 5 minutes walk from the Cornavin train station.
World Music Festiv'alpe (festival of ethnic music in Château-d'Oex, about 100 km from Geneva), www.festivalpe.ch
Gurten Festival (rock festival in Bern, about 150 km from Geneva), www.gurtenfestival.ch
Montreux Jazz Festival (excellent jazz festival about 70 km from Geneva), www.montreuxjazz.com
Paléo Festival (big open-air festival featuring all kinds of music, in Nyon, about 20 km from Geneva), www.paleo.ch
Swiss National Holiday (celebrated in every town)
Geneva Festival (Fêtes de Geneve) in mid-August, lots of entertainment and magnificent fireworks, www.fetes-de-geneve.ch
Locarno International Film Festival (excellent festival with arthouse films, about 365 km from Geneva), www.pardo.ch
La Bâtie Festival (first and second week of September, cultural festival with concerts, dance and theatre, in Geneva), www.batie.ch
Wine Harvest Festival (Fête des vendanges) in the Genevan countryside, when the grapes are harvested to make wine
North-South Media Festival (documentaries from and about Developing countries, in Geneva), www.nordsud.ch
Geneva Fair and Ideal Home Exhibition, www.foiredegeneve.ch
The Escalade Run (a week before the "Escalade", there is a race in costume – everyone dresses up - in the old town), www.escalade.ch
The Escalade (typical popular local event in Geneva, celebrated around December 12th)
Located on the shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) (the largest fresh-water lake in western Europe), at the foot of the Jura mountains and close to the Alps, Geneva offers many excursions in all seasons.
- Water Fountain :
140 metres high jet of water, on from early March to mid-October.
- Floral Clock :
Situated in the Jardin Anglais, it is assembled with more than 5000 flowers.
- Wilson Palace :
Initial headquarters of the League of Nations, it is now the HQ of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Cannot be visited without authorization.
- Ile Rousseau :
Dedicated to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Geneva citizen and forerunner of the romantic movement. The island also houses the philosopher and writer's statue.
- Saint Peter's Cathedral :
Situated at the top of the old town, it became a protestant church after the Reformation. It is possible to climb right up to the top of the bell tower - from where you have an astounding view - or you can visit the cathedral's subterranean archaeological sites.
- Wall of the Reformation :
The wall runs along one side of the Bastions, the University Park. It is dedicated to the leading figures of the Reformation movement such as Jean Calvin, Théodore de Bèze, John Knox and Guillaume Farel and retraces the major episodes of the time. Geneva's motto "Post Tenebras, Lux" (after the darkness, Light) is also portrayed.
- Palais des Nations (United Nations Building) :
Completed in 1936, the United Nations Building has housed the United Nations' Offices since 1946.Guided tours in different languages are organised for the public.
- Parks :
Geneva has 280 hectares of parks in the city, which is about 20% of the total urban surface; 75000 trees, 40000 rosebushes plus 2967 hectares of forest and 1500 hectares of vineyards owned by the canton.
- Botanical Garden :
Geneva's botanical garden is not far from the UN, going towards the lake. You will find all sorts of tropical flower exhibition areas, a wildlife park and a small outdoor cafeteria.
- Museums :
The Tourist Information Board will give you information about the twenty or so museums to be found in Geneva. There is generally no entry fee to be paid. Some museums which should really be visited are :
- The Red Cross Museum and the Ariana Museum (ceramics), both of them are next to the United Nations Building (UN).
- The Arts and History Museum, in the old town.
Switzerland and the Geneva area offer numerous possibilities for excursions, and we have chosen some for you, see the list below. For further information, please contact the Tourist Information Board (please refer to the "Help and Information" point).
Next to Geneva and not too expensive:
Between Geneva and Lausanne, it is a little town by the lake which harbours a lovely castle. Tourist Office in Nyon, 7, Avenue Voilier, 1260 Nyon. Tel : 022 361 62 61
Capital of canton Vaud which is less than an hour from Geneva either by car or train. You should not only visit its old town or its cathedral, but also the Elysée Museum (excellent photography exhibitions), the Art Brut Museum and the Olympic Museum. Tourism Office in Lausanne : Office de tourisme de Lausanne, 2, avenue de Rhodanie, 1007 Lausanne. Tel : 021 613 73 73
Le Château de Chillon
The Chillon Castle is the most famous castle in the Swiss French area. Built in the 13th century by Lake Geneva; during the Middle Ages the Chillon Castle was the residence of the Savoy counts. Chillon Castle, Montreux. Tel: 021 963 39 12
St-Cergue et la Givrine
For mountain excursions in the Jura region, at about 45 minutes by train from Geneva. During the winter, there is snow and you can do cross-country skiing.
Just ten minutes from Geneva, in this little village by the lake, you can visit the Coppet Castle, where Madame De Staël used to live.
Little medieval village on the outskirts of the Jura region, about 80 km from Geneva.
About one hour's distance from Geneva, it is a typical village in the middle of the mountains. The famous cheese comes from there and you can also eat very tasty fondues. During the summer, you must absolutely try raspberries with Gruyère cream...
Further away :
Abbaye de Saint-Gall
Splendid Romanic abbey, which has retained its character (for lovers of History and Architecture).
In the Alps, it is a tourist village right at the bottom of the Matterhorn. Getting there takes three hours by train from Geneva and is very expensive.
Typical village in Valais, about two hours by train from Geneva. Also well-known for its "queens' fights" (fights between Hérens cows).
About two hours from Geneva, Luzern's old town and its ancient bridge that stretches across the lake, is an obligatory stop for tourists.
The biggest city in Switzerland is just three hours by train from Geneva. Visit the old town, the Fraumünster (with its Chagall stained-glass windows) and the Niederdorf neighbourhood.
About one hour and a half from Geneva, Bern houses the Federal Palace (Headquarters of both Parliament and Federal Government), the Universal Postal Union and also its famous bear pit.
Fondation Gianadda (Martigny)
Painting museum which has very important exhibitions every year. Situated in Valais, at about one hour and a half by train from Geneva.
There are about 40 farms to be visited around Geneva. You can find aditional information to the Tourism Office. Here are three suggestions :
Domaine du château de Collex – Carole et Frédéric Probst
Proposes fruits and wines degustation. Bus Z - « Bossy » bus stop . (Walking distance from Bellevue)
Chemin des Chaumets 33
Tel. 022 774 31 42
Domaine Girod Frères
Route d’Ornex 19
Tél. 022 774 16 97 ou 022 774 14 68
Domaine de la Mermière – Yves Batardon
Rue du Faubourg 9
Tél. 022 756 19 33 ou 022 756 19 35
Picnics and swimming:
In summertime, there are are many places to have a picnic and to swim. You just need to follow the lake shore to find places where other people swim. For barbecues, you can go to the Plage du Vengeron, located on the Municipality of Chambésy, just before Bellevue.
In France :
Before entering French territory, please remember to make sure that you have all the necessary documents (passport, identity card or maybe even a visa for France). For a French visa, you need to make an appointment with the French Consulate by calling the 0901 551 020 (3,13 CHF/min) from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm.
French Consulate :
Consulat de France/Service des visas
15, rue Guillaume de Marcossay
Tel. 0901 551 020 (3,13 Sfr/minute) Fax: 022 319 00 72
Yvoire is a lovely little medieval village on the shores of Lake Geneva, which is accessible by boat. Yvoire Tourist Board : Place de la Mairie, 74140 Yvoire. Tel : 059 / 450 72 80 21
The Salève massif offers an exceptional view of Geneva, its lake and the surrounding landscape. You get there by taking bus No 8 and the Salève cableway (open from May to September). Return tickets for the Salève going from Geneva are sold for about 20 SFr, either at the bus station or at the TPG (Geneva Public Transport) ticket offices.
Regardless of which airline company you have chosen to use, you must confirm your return flight, 72 hours before departure at the latest. This can be already done at Geneva airport upon arrival or by phone during your stay. The rule applies for all return destinations.
All proposals concerning the Delegate's Guide are welcome, you may forward them to the following address : contact (at) mandint.org
We wish to thank all the people and organizations who contributed to the realisation of this guide.
Mandat International provides a portal with over a 1000 useful links on the Internet: www.genevainternational.org Here are some basic links:
- Mandat International - www.mandint.org
Administration and Authorities :
- Geneva : www.geneva.ch
- Tourist Office : www.geneve-tourisme.ch
- Museums and exhibitions in Switzerland : www.museums.ch (in French, German and Italian only)
- Geneva Transport (Airport,CFF trains, TPG buses, etc.) : www.geneva.ch/transport.htm
- Swiss public transport: www.utp.ch (in French and German only)