Useful Info Geneva


To make settling into Geneva life a little simpler, we’ve collected some helpful practical information covering everything from opening a bank account to getting a Swiss sim card. You’ll feel at home in no time!

Most shops and grocery stores close at 7 p.m. during the week, but in Geneva, Thursday is 'late night' and shops stay open until 9 p.m. The main grocery stores are Denner, Migros and Coop.

Household waste collection in Geneva varies, depending on which district you live in. Across all districts, paper and cardboard are collected on Wednesdays. You can place packages tied with string directly on the street for pick-up. For more information on recycling and separating household waste, please refer to the following website:

In Switzerland, you must put your name on your mailbox to ensure your mail is delivered. Remember to do this as soon as you move into your new accommodation.

The Geneva Canton uses Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) as its water, gas and electricity provider. They offer a range of service options, from those that are extremely environmentally friendly to those that are less green.  New Geneva residents must call SIG three days before moving in, so they can get a final reading on the last resident’s usage and mark when to start charging you for energy consumption. Depending on your lease, all or none of the utilities may be included in your monthly charges.

You may decide to invest in cable and internet. Fees and policies differ depending on the provider and, in some cases, these amenities may be offered as part of your lease. 

We recommend the following services: 

Cell phone providers in Switzerland include: 

You generally receive a Maestro card when you open a bank account in Switzerland. It works as a debit card and can be used at ‘bancomats’ (ATMs) to withdraw cash, make deposit sand transfer funds. The Maestro card can be used in most shops with a personal pin. Bills are generally received in the form of a ‘bulletin de versement’ or bill slip. Payment can be made at a local post office or by transferring the money via a bancomat or online transfer. Most companies allow 30 days for receipt of payment.