Is It Possible To Visit Geneva On A Budget?

So if you’ve been keeping up with my recent blog posts, you would have seen that I recently visited Geneva with my younger sister. In case you didn’t catch my drift in the prior posts, Geneva is undoubtedly beautiful, but a tad boring and also damn expensive.

However, if you do still feel a burning desire to visit Geneva, then I have a few tips to keep your costs down. The truth is, Geneva is probably the most expensive place I have visited (so far), and it’s a bit difficult to do on a budget, but certainly not impossible.

So to answer the question “Is it possible to visit Geneva on a budget”, my first answer would be “hmmm define budget”, and my second answer would be “ok well if you insist, here are some handy tips”…

Budget Accommodation In Geneva

Budget accommodation in Geneva is hard to find, and you’ll probably find it more cost effective to stay just over the border in France. HOWEVER, if you do this, let me warn you that (much to my surprise) the public transport is not that great. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment which was cheaper than staying in central Geneva. If we had hired a car, we probably could have driven into central Geneva in around 30 or 40 minutes. By public transport it took us over a hour, and we had to change bus roughly 3 times and take 2 trams!

Budget accommodation in Geneva isn’t really a thing. We got an Airbnb apartment in France instead.

Public Transport In Geneva

I probably shouldn’t come across as though I am encouraging you not to pay for public transport tickets (because I’m not), but on a lot of the busses and trams that we got on over a course of several days, we found it could be difficult to buy the tickets on board unless you have the correct change for the machine. Plus NO ONE ever checked our tickets. Ever. At any point. There wasn’t even a tap on / tap off system! As in my aforementioned point, the public transport is also a bit long-winded, so sure, if you are on a tight budget in Geneva, or you don’t have any other option, then use the public transport.

Public transport in Geneva is inexpensive but also outdated and often confusing

Budget Food In Geneva

Good luck, my friend! There is not really such a thing as budget food in Geneva! My sister and I went to a Starbucks and got two iced coffees and one bagel, and it came to the equivalent of around £18! Asides from fast food chains, your best bet of keeping your food costs low is to go to a local supermarket, and make your own food as much as possible. We would eat dinner in our French apartment, and sometimes take packed lunches like when we went to Mont Salève.

If you’re in Geneva on a budget, try and make as much of your own food as possible.

Geneva is certainly not the most budget-friendly place to visit, but you can keep your costs down almost anywhere by following simple travel tips like these. By keeping your main costs down, you can then treat yourself to a few things when you are there. After all, if you’re on such a tight budget that you cannot enjoy yourself at all, then what’s the point in going?


Have you travelled to Geneva on a budget? What did you think?

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