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Zurich to Geneva Train: All You Need to Know

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla

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. This article will provide all the information you need about traveling by train from Zurich to Geneva.

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In addition to being the second-largest city in Switzerland, Geneva is a popular tourist and visitor address. The presence of several 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. 

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

Logistical concerns will inevitably 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 andGeneva. How do you get from Zurich to Geneva by train?  Or are you able to drive in your car? Let’s find out.

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

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: 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 (1-month validity) is available on This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Using the Swiss Pass, you get unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat in Switzerland. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.


Getting tickets from RailEurope is convenient while traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. Having been in operation since the 1930s, RailEurope‘s extensive history, user-friendly website and mobile apps, flexible currency payment options, commitment to customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships with leading rail operators, collectively establish it as a reliable and trustworthy platform for booking European train travel.

You can obtain from RailEurope the following travel passes:

  • Swiss Travel Pass – choose between continuous or flexible Swiss train passes for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. The perks? unlimited use in over 90 Swiss cities, free admission to more than 500 museums, and discounts on mountain railways and cable cars. You also get discounts on high-speed Lyria trains between France and Switzerland as well as Nightjet trains that go through Switzerland. See RailEurope for more information.
  • Eurail Global Pass – unlimited train travel to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for non-EU residents
  • Interrail Global Pass – access to 40,000 destinations in 33 European countries for citizens and permanent residents of the EU

How to Get From Zurich to Geneva

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If you are coming from Zurich Airport, you can take a direct train going to Geneva (Genève) or Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport). Two direct Intercity trains 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.

Zurich Train Station
Image of Zurich Train Station by

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 ZurichTrain Station, you can take a direct train going to Geneva (Genève) or Geneva Airport (Genève-Aéroport). Two direct Intercity trains leave per hour (IC 1 and IC 5).

Trains from Zurich to Geneva typically leave from either Platform 31 or 32, so make sure to look at the signs at the train station. The platform is underground, and you can get there using stairs, escalators, or elevators.

How To Get From Geneva to Zurich

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

To get from Geneva to Zurich Airport (Zurich Flughafen), you just have two direct train options:

  • Take the Intercity train to Rorschach (IC 5) from Geneva
  • Take the Intercity train to St. Gallen (IC 1) from Geneva

How Long Is the Train Journey From Zurich to Geneva?

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Here are the estimated travel times between Zurich and Geneva (as of December 2023):

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

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

As of the time of publishing the article (updated December 2023), a single journey ticket costs the following:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Zurich – Geneva92.0046.00
Zurich Airport – Geneva96.0048.00

Is there a direct train from Zurich toGeneva?

Yes, two direct trains per hour 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 Express by
Image of Bernina Express by

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 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?

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Yes, you may drive your car from Zurich to Geneva. You also can 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 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

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Is Geneva Car-Free?

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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.

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Darla is the owner of Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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