Practical Information for Participants
Practical Information for Participants

Travel

Participants must make their own arrangements to and from Geneva, Switzerland.

Visas

Switzerland joined the Schengen visa scheme on December 12, 2008. Therefore all foreign nationals who require a visa for entry into Switzerland will now require a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland.

Delegates are advised to seek information on requirements applicable in their case from Swiss diplomatic or consular missions in their home countries. For information on visa and other relevant regulations for travelling to Switzerland please also refer to the website of the Federal Office of Migration of Switzerland.

In countries where no Swiss representation exists, missions from other European Union member States should be contacted. Where a visa is required, applicants are advised to apply at least six weeks prior to departure for Geneva.

Should you require UNCTAD assistance with issuance of a visa, please send us the official letter of your nomination to represent your country.

Hotel Accommodation

Participants are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements.

Geneva has a full range of hotels of different categories. You may reserve your room via a tourist operator or through the Geneva Tourist Office.

As many international meetings and events take place in Geneva, it is important that hotel reservations be made as soon as possible.

Transport

Arrival in Geneva and transportation

Geneva airport is approximately four kilometres from the city centre.

A free ticket to use public transport for your journey into Geneva is available from a machine in the baggage collection area of the airport (just before passing through customs). This ticket entitles you to free use of the Geneva public transport system (train, tram, bus, boat) for up to 80 minutes. In the event of a ticket inspection, anyone holding this type of ticket may be asked to show their airline ticket. Look for the machine pictured below after collecting your luggage and before walking out through the customs area.

Geneva public transport system

 

Taxis, Buses and the railway service link the Geneva Airport with the Cornavin Station (main station) in downtown Geneva every few minutes. From here, most hotels can be accessed via a range of public transport options including bus, trams and taxis.

Transport tickets can be purchased at the ticket machines next to the tram/ bus stops and can also be bought at the Geneva Transport Office (TPG office on the ground floor of the Gare Cornavin (main train station). Cards for multiple trips can also be purchased at a reduced rate from newsagents in town bearing the "TPG" sign.

Taxis are only available on call and cannot be hailed in the streets although there are taxi ranks in almost all main squares in Geneva and outside the Palais des Nations. Taxis can be called on the following local numbers:
  +41 22 320 2020
  +41 22 320 2202
  +41 22 311 4133

Transportation to the conference premises

The Palais des Nations can be reached by buses and trams. Bus numbers 5, 8, 11, 22, 28, F, V, and Z and tram numbers 13 and 15 stop at the Palais des Nations. Maps of the Geneva bus/ tram network are available on the TPG (Geneva Public Transport) website.

Participants are requested to use the Pregny Gate entrance situated at 14, Avenue de la Paix, which is a five-minute walk from the main entrance. (See map here)

Smartphone apps for the Geneva transport system

Various helpful smartphone applications are available from Transports publics genevois, including online timetables, and maps to indicate the location of the nearest bus/tram stop.

Whilst UNCTAD accepts no responsibility for any technical issues or costs that might arise from the use of third party software applications (including telephone/network operator charges for data use), you may find more information about this at the following website: http://www.tpg.ch/en/web/site-international/app-showcase

Security

The United Nations Office in Geneva makes it imperative for all participants to adhere to the relevant United Nations security procedures, including registration deadlines and rules concerning identification badges.

For entry into the Palais des Nations, you will need a security pass, which is to be worn at all times on the premises. For this, participants are required to bring with them an official national identification or passport.

Upon arrival at the building you are therefore kindly requested to collect your badge at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny entrance (visitors' entrance, a five-minute walk from the main entrance). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop).

The event starts at 10 a.m. on Monday 16 April. You are advised to arrive by 8.30 a.m. at the latest, to complete the security procedures and arrive at the meeting room in good time.

Voltage

Electricity in Switzerland is generally 230 volts (50 cycles). Travellers with computers and other appliances are advised to carry a plug adapter kit for the kind of plugs and sockets that are in use in Switzerland

Currency

Swiss Francs

The monetary unit is the Swiss franc, made up of 100 centimes. Notes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs, and coins of 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes and 1, 2 and 5 francs. 1 Swiss Franc is equivalent to approximately 1.05 US$ or 0.82€

Travellers' cheques

Travellers' cheques, credit cards and foreign currency notes of all major currencies are accepted. Banking facilities are also available inside the UN premises.

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