Useful Information

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About Geneva

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Getting to Geneva

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Accommodation

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Travel Documents

  • Geneva

The city of Geneva is located in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland. It’s the biggest town in the French part of Switzerland. Located on the side of the Lake of Geneva, it’s bordered by two mountains – the Alps and the Jura. Learn more about Geneva !

  • Timezone

Geneva lies in the GMT +1 timezone. The next time time change will take place on March 26 2017, when you’ll have to put your watch forward by an hour.

  • Climate

The Swiss climate is temperate. In Geneva especially, the summers are relatively warm and the winters are quite mild. For more information, see the MeteoSwiss website.

  • Currency

The Swiss currency is the Swiss franc (CHF). Recently, 1 CHF has been equal to approximately 1 USD, 0.6 GBP, 110 JPY or 0.8 EUR. For more information, see the UBS Currency rates and converter.

The Swiss banknotes are : 10 CHF, 20 CHF, 50 CHF, 100 CHF, 200 CHF, 1000 CHF

The coins are : 5 cts (“centimes” [sã´tim]), 10 cts, 20 cts, 50 cts, 1CHF, 2 CHF, 5 CHF

It is possible to change money at the International Airport Cointrin, in the banks, hotels and change offices. The main bank cards are also accepted. However, to be sure, we recommend the delegates to check with the salesman before purchasing anything.

  • Taxes

All prices in Geneva include the VAT (8%).

  • Transport

Geneva profits form a wide public transportation network. The bus ticket is valid in the buses, trams, trolley, trains (inside the city of Geneva), and the « mouettes » (yellow boats). The Cointrin airport offers a one-hour ticket that you can take when you exit the airport. To see the network’s maps and schedules, see www.unireso.com.

For the car drivers, it’s recommended to check if the driver’s licence is valid in Switzerland and/or to have an international driver’s licence. Some driving rules :

– Driving on the right

– Obligation to buy a vignette to drive on the highways (have a look in the main petrol stations)

– Speed limits (unless otherwise specified): 30 km/h in the residential zones ; 50 km/h in the agglomeration ; 80 km/h outside the agglomération ; 120 km/h on the highway

  • Electricity

The Swiss voltage is the same than the French one (220-230). It is the same for the electricity frequency (60 Hz). The most used plugs have 3 pins (J type), so an adaptor may be necessary.

  • Phone

– Mobile phone:
The GSM mobile phones (tri- or quadriband) are the most widely used in Switzerland. The main mobile operators are : Swisscom, Orange, Sunrise, Lebara.
To be sure, you can check if there is a roaming agreement with your own operator.
Note : near the border, it’s also possible to pick up some French networks.

– Fixed phone:
Swiss fix phone numbers are made of ten digits, that’s why it’s important to dial the right code before the local number. The one of Geneva is « 022 ».

  • Measurements

Switzerland uses the metric system. Here are some useful conversions :

1 liter = 0.26 gallons (american); 1 kilometer = 0.62 miles; 0°C = 32°F; 20°C = 68°F

  • Languages

Switzerland has 4 official languages – German, French, Italian and Romanche. Geneva is located in the French part of Switzerland. Of course, English has the status of international language.

  • Opening hours

The shops in Geneva are generally open from 9 a.m to 6 p.m, from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the shops are closed, except for the ones at the airport. The banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m to 4.30 p.m. However, ATMs, that can be accessed anytime, are easily to find (bancomats).

  • Non smoking conference

In addition to the global MUN restrictions, it is forbidden to smoke in Geneva’s public places. The cafés and restaurants offer special rooms to smoke. The fine in case of failure to respect this rule can represent 100 to 1000 CHF.

  • Security

Switzerland, especially Geneva, is known to be safe. However, it’s important to stay vigilant not to have any bad surprises.

  • Drinking water

Geneva’s tap water is very safe. It comes from the lake or from the groundwater. In the city also, fountains that have a glass drawn on them offer drinking water.

  • Alcohol

The legal age to buy and drink alcool that are not strong (beer, wine) is 16 years. To buy and drink spirits, you must be 18. These rules are applied at the MUN’s social events.

  • Embassies and consulates

Switzerland hosts lots of embassies and consulats that can help, in case of need, to solve any administrative, legal, medical problem or any other emergency. For more information on the national representations, see : http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps.html.

  • Emergency numbers

Firemen 118; Police 117; Ambulance 144