life in geneva

Living in Geneva

Getting Around Geneva

Geneva’s transportation system, managed by the Geneva Public Transportation Network, UNIRESO, is an easy way to navigate the city. UNIRESO is an interconnected network of trams, buses (TPG), boats and trains (CFF). Tickets can be used across all services.  

Short-term passes by hour, day or trip length can be bought at every bus and tram stop in the city. Weekly, monthly or yearly passes are available at the city’s UNIRESO/TPG stations. The most central UNIRESO facility is in Gare Cornavin train station. 

Students under the age of 24 are eligible for student discount, which significantly reduces the cost of travel. 


See for timetable information. You can buy tickets at any train station. 


CFF is the national train system. Check sbb­.ch or the CFF cell phone app for timetables and information. 

Neighborhood Guide

Each of Geneva’s neighborhoods offers its own unique character. Read on to discover the city and decide which area will become your new home.



So named because it is the meeting place of the Rhône and Arve rivers, Jonction is a summer hot-spot where people gather, listen to music and swim. Paths along the rivers and through the park make Jonction a lovely area for a walk. It’s well connected to the city center too, but if you are considering living here, remember that in the summer it can get quite loud.

Centre, Plainpalais and Acacias

Centre, Plainpalais and Acacias

This urban, industrial area is popular with young people. It’s where you will find student housing and many student-filled bars and cafes. A flea market is held every week in Plainpalais’ central square and several museums and art galleries can be found around the Rue des Bains. It’s an inexpensive area to live in and offers lots of opportunities for socializing, which means it can be loud at night.



Situated next to the lake and the iconic Jet d’Eau, Eaux-Vives is an upscale area filled with bars and restaurants. You’ll also find plenty of thrift shops and boutiques here, lending the area a bohemian feel. Parc de la Grange, Geneva’s largest park, plus the Eaux-Vives beach, offer green spaces and swimming in the heart of the city.  However, living here can be expensive.



A tranquil, affluent and exclusive suburban neighborhood, Champel is both quiet and popular with families. With lots of parks, open spaces and many luxury apartments, rent in Champel is quite high.

Saint-Jean and Charmilles

Saint-Jean and Charmilles

Saint-Jean and Charmilles is a suburban district nestled between the city and the cliffs of the Rhône river, and was once home to French Enlightenment writer Voltaire. Urbanized only relatively recently, the area has retained some of its village charm. It’s known for cheap rental prices but is not particularly well-connected by tram.

Servette and Petit-Saconnex

Servette and Petit-Saconnex

Named after the forest that existed here before the city subsumed Servette, this is a green and leafy neighborhood with good access to the city center. Servette and Petit-Saconnex is also home to a diverse and multicultural population and there’s a mosque as well as several churches in the area. While rent here is cheap, it is not a particularly vibrant area to live in.

Grottes and Saint-Gervais

Grottes and Saint-Gervais

Vibrant, historic and bohemian Grottes and Saint-Gervais is a lively place to live. This buzzy and artistic area is notable for its unconventional architecture and charming village aesthetic. Boutique shops and bistros line the cobbled streets. Rent is inexpensive but the bars can get noisy during the busy summer months.

Paquis and Nations

Paquis and Nations

A small and lively area around the Gare Cornavin, this is where you come to enjoy cuisine from around the world. It’s home to plentiful bars and restaurants which make it a great location for a night out. Close to the lake and the train station, it can be very busy and noisy at night, particularly in summer.



Just outside of the city limits, Carouge was once a separate town designed in the Italian style to rival Geneva. It’s an eclectic neighborhood with boutiques, art galleries, trendy bars, cafes and artisanal shops, as well as a twice-weekly fruit and vegetable market. Despite having been subsumed into the city, Carouge has kept its distinct Mediterranean charm.



A wealthy and luxurious neighborhood perched on the outskirts of the city, Cologny offers breathtaking views over Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as it is known locally. Here you will find the infamous Villa Diodati, where Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein, as well as the headquarters of the World Economic Forum. It’s a scenic location but it’s expensive and not that well connected by public transport to the city center.


Before arriving in Geneva, you will need to find somewhere to live. Before choosing where, it is helpful to know what you are looking for. Do you prefer to have your own private space, or do you want to live with other students? Please note that minors studying in Geneva are obliged by the Swiss authorities to stay in a student residence if they come to Geneva on their own.

It’s best to start searching for housing while you wait to receive your final enrolment documents, as accommodation in Geneva is highly sought-after. EU Business School is here to help; we can provide information on a variety of options arranged through our partners, to suit your needs and budget. Alternatively, you can choose to arrange your accommodation independently.

Private Apartments

Private Apartments 

This is the best option for students who want to have their own space. As demand is high, expect to spend around CHF 1,900 or €1,665 per month for a basic studio apartment, as well as a deposit of three months’ rent. To secure your apartment you will need to prove your financial solvency or demonstrate the financial support of a parent, as well as have an interview with the leasing agency.

Geneva Easy Flat offers a variety of accommodation solutions to fit different preferences and budgets. Most of the flats are located within five minutes of EU’s campus. One of the most popular buildings is located on the Rue des Pêcheries, which is a five-minute walk away from our campus building. 

We also work with the following agencies: 

The website provides an up to date list of apartments available in Geneva. 

Shared Accommodation

Shared Accommodation  

Students may also flat share with students from EU or other universities located in the area. 

The following websites announce flat sharing opportunities in the region. 

Student Residences

EU Business School has agreements with two student residences in Geneva: Résidence Gestrim and Résidence des Alpes.

Located in Plainpalais, this student residence is an eight-minute bus ride from EU’s campus, has good public transport links and is near shops, pharmacies, grocery stores and banks. Residents have access to a washing machine. Students staying in both studios and rooms should provide their own bed linen and towels. The accommodation does not include TVs, radios, alarm clocks or hair dryers. 


The studios are fully furnished with two single beds, two desks, a closet and two lamps. The kitchenette is equipped with a fridge, cupboards, microwave and two hot plates. Cutlery, plates and pans are also provided. Each studio has its own bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. 

The price is approx. CHF 1800 per month. 

The price includes: 

  • A cleaning service of one hour per week 
  • WIFI 
  • Electricity 


The rooms are each located in a five-bedroom apartment. They are fully furnished with a single bed, desk, closet and lamp. Each room has its own bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. Students share the fully equipped kitchen. 

The price is approx. CHF 1100 per month. 

The price includes: 

  • A cleaning service for the kitchen of one hour per week 
  • WIFI 
  • Electricity 

This residence is located close to the train station and is a 15-minute walk from EU. There are many shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. A shared kitchen is located on the ground floor. Crockery and kitchen utensils are not provided. There is a washing machine which can be used with payable cards. The building is equipped with WIFI.


The rooms are between 9m2 and 16m2 in size. The smaller rooms have their own shower but the WC is shared with another room. Prices start at CHF 800 per month. The larger rooms from around 13m2 have their own bathroom. 

Prices start at CHF 1000 per month. In both cases, the price includes electricity, hot water and heating.

Food and Drink

A cosmopolitan center of finance and diplomacy, Geneva has a lot to offer when it comes to food and drink. From classics like fondue and raclette, to modern cuisine and local wines, there’s a lot to explore. And there is no shortage of pubs and bars to enjoy either, whether you are looking for a stylish lakeside spot, an upmarket wine bar or a rooftop hangout, Geneva has got you covered.


Why study in Switzerland - Life at EU Geneva