Sleeping in Airports

Geneva Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Geneva Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

I arrived at GVA at 8pm the day before my morning flight and was turned away at security. The staff emphasized that I can only enter the terminal on the same day as my flight. – a traveller

GVA Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Geneva International Airport.

What to Expect

Geneva Airport (Code: GVA) is comprised of two terminals. Terminal 1 is divided into five piers (A, B, C, D and F), while Terminal 2 is used for charters and seasonal flights. The airport has a modest selection of shops, restaurants, cafes and services, but all close at about 10:00PM and reopen around 5:00AM – 6:00AM. Free WiFi is available. For additional comfort during your layover, you may want to consider purchasing access to one of the airport’s lounges. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for location and hours.

Geneva Airport Guide
(Photo courtesy of a Guest traveller /26Aug2010)

Sleeping in Geneva Airport

Because the airport closes at night after the last departure, if you are planning an overnight sleep be careful about leaving the terminal as the doors lock and you won’t be able to get back in. Those remaining in the airport at closing may have to show identification and proof of outgoing flight.  If you do not have a connecting flight, you will not be able to enter the airport until the day of your flight, so if you leave the airport you need to keep this in mind.

Since doors are locked at night, the airport is relatively quiet and dimly lit until cleaning crews arrive at about 4:00AM, so consider eyeshade and earplugs. While there is plenty of seating throughout the airport, most of it is comprised of hard chairs with armrests making the floor the only sleep option in many areas. There is a second floor waiting room on in Terminal 1 that is reportedly quiet. You can also find some leather chairs in Terminal 1, near the exit to the train station, which might be good if you don’t mind sleeping while sitting up. Floors are not carpeted, so come prepared with something to lie on if you need to stretch out.  Explore our guide to sleeping in Geneva Airport or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips. For uninterrupted sleep, there are a few nearby airport hotels within easy shuttle distance of the airport. See the Airport Hotels section below for more info.

Good to Know

Tax-free shopping is available to arriving travellers, allowing for the purchase of any necessary items for use while in Switzerland. Showers are available.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. We will start updating all of our guides in October 2021.  To help us with this massive update, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Geneva Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in the airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near Geneva airport:

  • ibis Styles Geneve Palexpo Aeroport – (3 minutes from the airport) This is the one of the closest hotels to the airport. You can walk in 10 minutes or take bus #5 for 2 stops. » Check Rates
  • Hilton Geneva Hotel and Conference Center – (3 minutes from the airport) This is one of the closest hotels to the airport. Free roundtrip airport shuttle runs from 5:10AM to 11:45PM daily, every 15 minutes. » Check Rates
  • Ibis Geneve Aeroport – (4 minutes from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 5:00AM – 11:30PM daily. » Check Rates
  • Nash Airport Hotel – (5 minutes from the airport) Free roundtrip airport shuttle runs every 20 minutes, from 4:30AM to 12:00AM. Airport pick-up is from the Arrivals Level (Gate 4). Day rooms are offered based on availability. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Geneva Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Passes  Air France – KLM Lounge – Location: Main Terminal, Airside, 1st Floor. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. Note: The lounge will be temporarily closed from March 1st, 2020 to July 1st, 2020 for renovations.

Passes  Dnata Skyview Lounge – Location: Main Terminal, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs.

Passes  Horizon Lounge (Swissport) – Location: Main Terminal, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

Main Terminal, Airside: British Airways Galleries Lounge • Swiss First Lounge • Swiss Senator Lounge • Swiss Business Lounge.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Geneva Airport for 120 minutes. Connect to the “Free_WiFi_GVA” network. You can reconnect after 6 hours for an additional free 120 minutes, or purchase additional time in order to reconnect without waiting. A mobile phone is needed in order to receive the access code, or you can scan your boarding pass at any of the six purple “Free WiFi GVA” self-service machines located throughout the airport.

There are also Internet Terminals available in the Arrivals section at the Business Services center.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport


  • Pay Phones – At Geneva Airport, passengers are able to make calls to Swiss phone numbers free of charge with the airport’s pay phones. For international phone calls, calling cards must be purchased at Global Exchange or K Kiosk. Locations: Arrivals Level, Visitors Center • Baggage Claim, Belt 4 • Departures Level, Landside, near Priority Lane • Arrivals Level, Satellite 40 • Boarding Area, Airside, near Gate A9-10 • near GP+, towards the bar at the top of the stairs.
  • Post Office – Send your last minute postcards to friends and family from the airport’s post office. Locations: Arrivals Level. Hours: 7:30AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) • 8:30AM – 12:00PM (Sat).
  • WiFi – see “Airport WiFi/Internet” above.

Family Services

  • Baby Care Facilities – Parents will find a children’s area that comes equipped with games, kitchen, baby change facilities and rest area for children. Location: Transit Zone, Mezzanine Level. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM.
  • Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to the children’s play area. Location: in the transit area, between Gates A5 and A8.

Food & Drinks

  • Food & Drinks – There are many food options at this airport, but none are open 24 hours. There are several options that are open 4:00AM – 10:00PM or until the last flight departs for those in the transit zone.
  • Water Fountains – Thirsty? Drinking water fountains are available near Gate A8 and on the Mezzanine Level.


  • Information Desks – There is a Tourist Information Desk in the Arrivals Area which also provides airport assistance. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:00PM. If you are in Transit, head to the Center Square, where you will find an additional Information Desk. Hours: unknown.
  • Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Geneva and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there is a L’Tur Last Minute travel agency at the airport that can probably be of assistance.


  • Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available in 83 different locations around the airport. Rate: 2 Swiss francs or 2 Euros coins.
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers – Don’t worry about carrying around you luggage! Storage facilities are available:
    • Left Luggage – Location: Landside, the CFF Railway Station level, behind the CFF/SBB counter. Storage fee is CHF 10 / item per day, and a maximum storage period of 30 days. Hours: 7:30AM – 8:00PM.
    • Lockers – Self-service lockers are available in various sizes for rental periods of 6 hours to a maximum of 4 days. Sample fares for a small locker are as follows: CHF 5 / 6 hours, then an additional CHF 2 for a subsequent 6 hours. Meanwhile, an extra large locker costs CHF 10 / 6 hours, then CHF 5 for an additional 6 hours. Location: Landside, on the CFF Railway Station level, in front CFF/SBB counter and behind the Chicorée Shop. Hours: 3:30AM – 12:30AM.
  • Luggage Wrapping – Safe Bag provides this service. Location: check-in Swiss Zone. Hours: 5:00AM – 9:00PM. Rates: start at 20 CHF per bag (basic, no insurance), special rates may apply for multiple bags (family).

Medical Services

  • Pharmacy – Pharmacie Principale (Location: Landside, Departures Level. Hours: 6:00AM – 9:00PM).

Mobile Charging

  • Mobile Charging – There are 15 Business Corners located Airside near boarding gates which offer chairs with tables offer both USB and standard 220V sockets.


  • ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Machines are operated by Banque Cantonale de Genève, La Poste, Raiffeisen and UBS. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: unknown.
  • Currency Exchange – Global Exchange offers currency exchange services at 4 locations (Landside, Departures and 2 locations in Arrivals). Hours: Varying opening times but the earliest is 5:30AM and the latest closes at 11:45PM. The Swiss Rail Counter can also provide currency. Location: Airport Railway Station. Hours: 7:30AM – 8:15PM.

Rest & Relaxation


  • Fast Track Service – As a premium service, customers with Fast Track security passes will be given priority service to ensure that waiting is kept to a minimum. Book online before midnight. Cost: 10.00 CHF (approx. €9.00).


  • Duty Free & Shopping – There are duty free stores (4 locations) and a variety of stores selling clothing, souvenirs, chocolate, alcohol, books and more. The K Kiosk (Departures – Hours: 5:30AM – 9:00PM • Arrivals – Hours: 7:00AM – 9:00PM) may come in handy for any last minute items).

Showers, Salon & Spa

  • Showers – Showers are available in three locations. Locations: Arrivals (landside, near baggage carousel # 6) • Arrivals (landside, near Post office) • Departures (airside, transit area, near the first class/business lounges). Rate: CHF 15 (includes, soap, shampoo and towel). Tokens can be purchased (cash only) at the following locations: the Welcome Desk Swissport (Location: arrivals level, near baggage carousel # 2 and 3. Hours: 7:30AM – last flight) • Information Desk (Location: Landside, Arrivals Area. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:00PM.) • Nursery (Location: Airside, departures, transit area. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM).


  • Smoking – There is a smoking room in the Terminal 1 transit area.

Other Airport Services

  • Dry Cleaning – There is a dry cleaner available offering dry cleaning, ironing, etc. Location: Railway Station. Hours 8:00AM – 8:00PM (Mon – Fri) and 9:00AM – 12:30PM and 1:00PM – 8:00PM (Sat, Sun and Holidays).
  • Early Check in – Check in your luggage the day before takeoff at which time you will also receive your boarding card and seat assignment. Location: Railway Station
  • Shoe and Phone Repairs – Have your shoes or smart phone repaired or get a new watch battery, all while you wait. Location: Railway Station. Hours 9:00AM – 8:00PM daily.

Airport Hours

The airport is open from 4:00AM – 12:00AM. Sleeping in the airport is not permitted.


Geneva airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean AirlinesAer LingusAeroflotAir Algérie • Air Baltic • Air CanadaAir ChinaAir France • Air Malta • Air Mauritius • Air Senegal • Alitalia • Austrian Airlines • Azerbaijan Airlines • Belavia • British AirwaysBrussels Airlines • Chair Airlines • Cyprus Airways • EasyJetEgyptair • El Al Israel Airlines • Emirates • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Eurowings • FinnairIberiaIcelandair • Jet2 • Kenya Airways • KLM • Kuwait Airways • LOT • Lufthansa • Luxair • Middle East Airlines • Norwegian • Pegasus Airlines • Qatar Airways • Royal Air Maroc • Royal Jordanian • SAS • Saudia • Swiss • TAP Portugal • Transavia • Tunisair • Turkish Airlines • Ukraine International Airlines • United Airlines • Vueling • Wizz Air.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport


Several city bus lines run to and from the airport as part of the UNIRESO network. Scheduled coach service for Annecy, Grenoble, Chambery and Lyon is also available directly from the airport. Most regional and international bus lines operate from Geneva coach station (Gare Routiere), a 10-minute walk from Gare Cornavin train station. For more information, visit the Gare Routiere or UNIRESO web sites. Passengers travelling at night can use the Noctambus service, which is part of the UNIRESO network. More information can be found on the Noctambus website.

Please note: All buses and trains going from the airport to France pass through Swiss territory. Please be sure to have valid identification and visa, if required.

Car Rentals

There are on-site rental car agencies in both the Swiss and French sectors of the airport. Passengers who need to rent a car in one sector and return it to the other may be charged a fee. The Swiss sector on-site rental agencies are: Avis • Budget • Dollar/Thrifty • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National/Alamo • Sixt/Flizzr. The French sector on-site rental agencies are: Avis • Budget • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • Sixt.

Hotel Shuttles

Some hotels near Geneva Airport offer hotel shuttle service.  Hotel shuttles pick up their guests outside of the Arrivals Level at the airport.

See Airport Hotels above.


Taxis are readily available. At the time of this update, fares between GVA airport and the city range from CHF 35.00 to CHF 45.00.


Geneva Airport has a train station located under the runway, about 250m from the airport terminal, with direct access to Check-In and Arrivals Levels. All trains leaving from the airport train station go directly to Geneva-Cornavin station (Gare Cornavin) in the city center, about 6 minutes away. Gare Cornavin is serviced by the Swiss rail network and long distance trains from France and Italy. Most Swiss ski resorts can be reached by train from Geneva Airport train station via Gare Cornavin.

Please note: All buses and trains going from the airport to France pass through Swiss territory. Please be sure to have valid identification and visa, if required.

UNIRESO Public Transportation System

UNIRESO is Geneva’s public transportation system, which includes travel by train, boat, bus and tram. Only one single ticket is needed to travel within the UNIRESO network. Tourists arriving into the airport can pick up a free ticket from the airport vending machine, valid for 80 minutes of travel. Travelers staying in hotels, youth hostels or campsites will receive a Geneva Transport Card, which gives the cardholder free travel on UNIRESO during their entire stay. For more information visit the UNIRESO web site.

Last updated: 2020-10-19

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.