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

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us about their time at Geneva International Airport.

What to Expect

Geneva International Airport 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 airport guide below for location and hours.

Where to Sleep

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 reviews for more tips. For uninterrupted sleep, there are a few nearby airport hotels within easy shuttle distance of the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide 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.

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.

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 (ie. Priority Pass). 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. [ more lounge info ]

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

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

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 Hotels

If sleeping in Geneva Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the 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
  • Starling 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 WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Geneva Airport for 90 minutes. Connect to the ” “Free_WiFi_GVA” network. You can reconnect after 6 hours for an additional free 90 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

Communications

  • Post Office – La Poste. Locations: Arrivals Level. Hours: 7:30AM – 6:00PM (Mon-Fri) and 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 – There is a play area located 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.

Information

  • Information Desks – There is a Tourist Information Desk in the Arrivals Area which also provides airport assistance. Hours: 7:00AM – 9:00PM. 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.

Luggage

  • 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
    • Left Luggage – Location: Landside, the CFF Railway Station level, behind the CFF/SBB counter. Storage fee is CHF 12.- per item, per day, and maximum storage period is 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 are (Small) CHF 5/1st 6 hours and CHF 2/next 6 hours, while an extra large locker costs CHF 10/1st 6 hours and CHF 5/next 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.
    • If you need to store keys or other small objects, go to the Swissport desk. Rental fee is CHF 10.- per item. Location: Check-in Desk 90, landside (Hours: 5:00AM – 9:00PM) or Swissport Desk, landside, Arrivals Level, after Customs (Hours: 9:00PM – 11:00PM).
  • 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.

Money

  • 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

  • Hotels – see “Airport Hotels” above.
  • Lounges – see “Airport Lounges” above.
  • Meditation Room – Location: transit area, mezzanine level.
  • Rest Zones – Not available.

Security

  • 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).

Shopping

  • 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 at the Welcome Desk Swissport (Location: arrivals level, near baggage carousel # 2 and 3. Hours: 7:00AM – until last flight on Mon, Sat & Sun and from 8:00AM – last flight on Tues – Thurs and from 6:30AM – last flight on Fri) • Information Desk (Location: Landside, Arrivals Area. Hours: 7:00AM – 11:00PM.) • Nursery (Location: Airside, departures, transit area. Hours: 8:00AM – 8:00PM).

Smoking

  • 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 4:00AM – 12:00AM.

Airlines

As of May 2019, Geneva airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean • Aer Lingus • Aeroflot • Air Algérie • Air Baltic • Air Canada • Air China • Air France • Air Malta • Air Mauritius • Air Moldova • Alitalia • Austrian Airlines • Azerbaijan Airlines • Belavia • Blue Islands • British Airways • Brussels Airlines • easyJet • EgyptAir • El Al Israel Airlines • Emirates • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Eurowings • Finnair • Flybe • HOP • Iberia • Icelandair • 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

Bus

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 traveling 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

Geneva Airport has 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, Europcar, Hertz, National/Alamo and Sixt/Flizzr. The French sector on-site rental agencies are: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

Hotel Shuttles

Hotel shuttles pick up their guests outside of the Arrivals Level at the airport. At the time of this update, the following hotels provide airport shuttle service:
Swiss hotels: Holiday Inn Express Geneva Airport   •   Ibis Geneve Aeroport   •   Movenpick Hotel & Casino Geneva   •   Nash Airport Hotel   •   NH Geneva Airport Hotel   •   Starling Geneva Hotel & Conference Center. French hotels: Novotel France   •   Park & Suites Elegance.

Taxi

With taxi ranks located at the airport and throughout the city, taxis are readily available in Geneva. At the time of this May 2019 update, fares between the airport and the city range from CHF 35.00 to CHF 45.00.

Train

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: 2019-05-16

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.