France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Geneva International Airport (GVA)
Geneva's airport serves both western Switzerland and eastern France—convenient if you're going to the French Alps—but you must be careful how you use it.

 
   

 

Geneva International Airport (GVA, Cointrin) has direct access to and from both Switzerland and France (map). See below for Ground Transport information.

Arrival

If you arrive from any French airport and exit Geneva Airport via the French sector, your flight is considered a domestic French flight and you would not need to pass through Customs controls to continue your travel in France, but you would pass through Swiss Customs to leave the airport via the Swiss side of the terminal.

Both France and Switzerland are members of the Schengen Area for purposes of immigration control, so if you arrive on a flight from any Schengen country, you can depart via the French sector or the Swiss sector without immigration controls.

Arriving at the airport directly from a non-Schengen country, however, you would need to pass through either French or Swiss Immigration and Customs controls.

Follow the signs to choose the country you wish to officially enter. After that, you are in the Schengen Area and you may travel in all the Schengen countries without further Immigration controls.

If you are renting/hiring a car, be sure to read the important information below.

Departure

For departing flights, if you aren't returning a rental car, you may enter either part of the terminal. If you enter the Swiss side (the easiest), you may pass to the F gates on the French side, but only if you have a valid flight ticket, tax refund item, or car rental reservation:

Geneva Airport Secteur France sign

Geneva Airport sign

Important! - Rental/Hire Cars

Th French sector/Swiss sector distinction is perhaps most important if you plan to rent/hire a car at the airport. If you plan to drive exclusively or mostly in France, it is best to hire your car from an agent on the French side of the terminal so that it is subject to French law and insurance.

Cars hired on either side of the border may be driven in both France and Switzerland, but you must be sure to return the car to the same side of the border on which you rented it. So if you pick up the car on the French side, you can drive through Geneva to reach Évian-les-Bains or Annecy (for example), but you must return the car to the French side of the terminal at the end of your trip. If by mistake you return it on the Swiss side, you will have to pay a substantial fine.

Ground Transport

You can travel from Geneva International Airport into the city center by train and bus for free. Here's how.


Airport Ground Transport

Transport for Geneva

Hotels in Geneva

Tourist Information

About Geneva

About the French Alps

Évian-les-Bains

Annecy

Chamonix

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Geneva Airport

Geneva International Airport

 


Geneva Airport Transport sign
Follow these signs to find the airport's train station.

 

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