From Geneva Airport (GVA) to Lausanne
To reach Lausanne from Geneva Airport, go to the airport train station and take the first train towards Lausanne. In less than an hour you will be in Lausanne.
The train from the airport to Lausanne takes, depending on the train, from 42 to 53 minutes. The IC trains stop only in Geneva and are the fastest. Many trains have (Swiss) power outlets. Wireless should be available in first class in the car that is towards the end of the train.
Detailed instructions for taking the train:
- in the luggage pick up area, you can walk up to a ticket machine and get a free train ticket to Geneva downtown, if you wish
- when you exit the secure airport area and into the meeting area, turn left and walk on the same level (without going outside), for 200m. As you walk, on your left will be ATMs of the UBS bank where you can withdraw Swiss francs and many other currencies using a bank card
- when you reach the end of the area, go through the large revolving door and you will be in the airport train station, with a large table of train departures above
- almost all trains to Lausanne are direct from the airport station, no change is needed. This includes trains to Bern, Zurich, Lucern, which usually go through Lausanne and this is indicated in the list of major stops on the large electronic announcement board
- to buy train tickets in Switzerland:
- most train stations have counters with staff that speaks English. Bank cards with pin and credit cards with signature should be accepted.
- if you wish to avoid the queues, you can use one of the many ticket machines with touch screens. Select English in the lower right, then select or start typing Lausanne as the destination, then 1/1 (full price), one way (→), immediate departure, with receipt. The ticket price depends only on the segment and whether it is 1st class or not, not on the type of the train. The price to Lausanne can be around 25 CHF for 2nd class (as of November 2012) and perhaps double for 1st class. The payment at the machine is with a bank or credit card with a chip and pin (not signature, which is common in the US!), or, on some machines, using bills.
A simple flash demo of the ticket machine is available on the webpage of the Swiss Federal Railways: http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/dhl-service-point/automatic-ticket-machine/online-demo-billettautomat-sbb.html.
- Because all trains go though Geneva, if you prefer to buy a ticket in a larger train station instead of at the airport train station (or if you wish to take a glimpse of Geneva) you can just take any train using your free train ticket and get off the next stop, Geneva. You can buy a ticket to Lausanne there.
At Lausanne Train Station
Once at the train station, you can exit on the north side (the one going up, and not down where the parking is).
The north exit is the main train station entrance. Right next to this entrance, inside the train station, below the large board with train departure times, you can find the Raiffeisen cash machine, as well as pay phones. When you exit there, you will see taxis.
To the left of the exit, in the train station building itself, is the Tourist Information office, where you can get maps or information, and even buy a subway ticket, which is easier than using the machine. (If going to a hotel, buy a single ticket rather than a daily ticket because the hotel will give you a visitor pass.)
Across the street from the exit and a bit to the left is a branch of the BCV bank, which has a cash machine and, as of July 2011, provided a computer with free Internet access.
Across the street from the exit and a bit to the right is a stop for the Metro 2 line, which leads to south (Ouchy, towards the lake), as well as north (towards the Flon connection to Metro 1 and EPFL, as well as to Riponne in the city center). You can find more information about metro in Lausanne from the wiki page.
There is also good and safe public transit in Lausanne. A hotel should give you a visitor pass that you can use on all buses and metros within Lausanne and the surroundings.
Here are links to some hotels:
- Continental (right at the train station): http://www.hotelcontinental.ch
- Bellerive, Avenue de Cour 99 (below the train station, towards the lake): http://www.hotelbellerive.ch/
- Moevenpick on the lake
- http://www.fhotels.ch/fassbind-hotels.ch/alpha_palmiers_hotel.html Alpha Palmiers 5 minutes uphill from the train station