Zurich to Geneva Train: All You Need to Know

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Geneva is a global city, home to many international organizations like the Red Cross and United Nations. Moreover, it is the fifth-largest financial center in Europe, behind London, Zurich, Frankfurt, and Luxembourg. 

In addition to being the second-largest city in Switzerland, Geneva is a popular tourist and visitor address. The presence of a number of international organizations draws some visitors, while others are simply interested in exploring it. It is not uncommon for travelers from Zurich to travel either by train, plane, or private vehicle to Geneva and vice versa. 

Fantastic Views of Geneva from the Tower by TouringSwitzerland.com

The city of Geneva is an interesting place to visit, and perhaps a place to stay awhile. Visiting this bustling, international, and renowned city is definitely worthwhile.  

It is inevitable that logistical concerns will arise. Those who wish to travel by train in Switzerland need to know several specifics before doing so. In this article, we will explore the train journey between Zurich and Geneva. How do you get from Zurich to Geneva by train?  Or are you able to drive in your own car? Let’s find out.

This article will answer all your questions about the train journey from Zurich to Geneva

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Getting tickets from RailEurope is definitely a convenient option if you’re traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. A global leader in train tickets and passes, RailEurope is headquartered in Paris, France. A Swiss Pass and a Half Fare Discount Card can also be obtained from RailEurope.


Using the Swiss Pass, you can travel on Swiss trains, buses, boats, and more. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.

How To Get From Zurich to Geneva

How to Get From Zurich Airport to Geneva

If you are coming from Zurich Airport, you can take a direct train going to Geneva (Genève) or to Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport). There are two direct Intercity trains that leave per hour (IC 1 and IC 5).

If you miss the direct train, you may take a connecting train to Zurich Train Station and attempt to catch the next train leaving for Geneva from there. However, I will highly recommend just waiting for the next direct train to Geneva. This will spare you having to do a transfer in Zurich, getting lost there, and maybe missing the next train to Geneva anyway.

How to Get From Zurich Train Station to Geneva

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

If you are at the Zurich Train Station (Zurich HB), check the big blue display boards in the middle.  You can find the train number and platform number on the station signs. Furthermore, the trains will be marked on the front and the sides with which route they are traveling. 

If you are coming from the Zurich Train Station, you can take a direct train going to Geneva (Genève) or to Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport). There are two direct Intercity trains that leave per hour (IC 1 and IC 5).

At Zurich Train Station, these trains typically depart from Platform 32 (as of December 2022). To confirm, check the signs at the Zurich Train Station.

How To Get From Geneva to Zurich

Image of Geneva Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

Getting from Geneva to Zurich is as easy as taking the Intercity train (IC 1 and IC 5). There are usually trains leaving from platforms 4 and 6. To confirm, check the signs at the Geneva Train Station.

In order to get from Geneva to Zurich Airport (Zurich Flughafen), you just have to take the Intercity train from Geneva to either Rorschach (IC 5) or St. Gallen (IC 1). Get off at the Zurich Airport (Zurich Flughafen) stop. To confirm, check the signs at the Geneva Train Station.

How long is the train journey from Zurich to Geneva?

Image of the train in Geneva by TouringSwitzerland.com

Here are the estimated travel times between Zurich and Geneva (as of December 2022):

RouteFastest Estimated Travel Time
Zurich Airport – Geneva Airport3 hours 8 minutes
Zurich Airport – Geneva2 hours 59 minutes
Zurich – Geneva2 hours 43 minutes
Geneva – Zurich2 hours 41 minutes
Geneva – Zurich Airport2 hours 57 minutes
Geneva Airport – Zurich Airport3 hours 7 minutes

How Much Will the Train Ticket From Zurich to Geneva Cost?

As of the time of publishing the article (updated December 2022), a single journey ticket costs the following:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Geneva88.0044.00
Zurich – Geneva Airport 92.0046.00
Zurich Airport – Geneva92.0046.00
Zurich Airport – Geneva Airport96.0048.00

Is there a direct train from Zurich to Geneva?

Yes, there are two direct trains per hour that leave Zurich and go to Geneva.

Also, direct trains run from Zurich Airport to Geneva Airport.

Is the Train From Zurich to Geneva Scenic?

No, not really. The trains from Zurich to Geneva are fast, commuter trains designed to bring passengers from one city to another as quickly as possible.

We have included other scenic trains below for reference, in case you are interested in taking one.

Other Scenic Trains in Switzerland

In case you would like to check out other scenic trains, then there are more scenic trains recommended below. These are the Golden Pass Line, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express. Another interesting train is the Historical Train that goes from Davos to Filisur.

Image of Bernina Pass and Bernina Express by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

Your other options in detail are the following:

  • Golden Pass – The Golden Pass departs from Lucerne. You would take a train from Zurich to Lucerne, then change to Interlaken. This is sometimes referred to as the east end of this route. The Golden Pass has panorama coaches and is scenic.
  • Glacier Express – Glacier Express is a long journey that starts from Zermatt, home of Matterhorn. It then traverses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels before stopping in St. Moritz. Both Zermatt and St. Moritz are beautiful mountain resorts worthy of a longer stay. The Glacier Express passes by several idyllic mountain villages.
  • Bernina Express – Bernina Express is another train route that begins in Chur. Chur is the oldest alpine city in Switzerland and definitely worth visiting. This train route spans 196 bridges. It goes through 55 tunnels and passes 20 beautiful villages in Switzerland. 
  • Historical Train Davos to Filisur – May through October, vintage carriages are pulled by the century-old crocodile locomotive from Davos Platz to Filisur. The train line covers a total length of 4,200 meters through 14 tunnels and 28 bridges. Its scenic highlights include the Wiesen Viaduct and the Zügen Gorge.

Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.

Am I allowed to travel from Zürich to Geneva?

Yes, there are currently no restrictions for traveling from Zurich to Geneva.

Can you drive to Geneva?

Yes, you may drive your car from Zurich to Geneva. You also have the possibility to rent a car from Zurich Airport if you wish to and drive this to Geneva.

If you would like to find the best car rental deals in Switzerland, check out Rentalcars.com. Reviews and comments help you find the right car in the right place for the right price. Also, it’s the world’s leading car rental app. You can compare cars and get the best deal by going to Rentalcars.com.

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Is Geneva car-free?

Image of UN Geneva by TouringSwitzerland.com

As opposed to Zermatt, Wengen, and Mürren, Geneva isn’t car-free. The city has a variety of transportation options: trams, buses, bicycles, cars, and trains. 

If you are interested in visiting car-free villages in Switzerland, you can check out our article: 12 Charming Car-Free Villages in Switzerland.