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Six tips for how you can save money if you live in Geneva

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Six tips for how you can save money if you live in Geneva
Geneva's water taxis are a good deal, price-wise. Photo: Pixabay

If you live in Geneva (to just visit it), you know just how expensive this city is. But there are ways to keep your spending to a minimum — by Swiss standards, of course.


Geneva is not Switzerland's most expensive city — that 'honour' goes to Zurich.

But as a new international study, Mercer's Cost of Living Survey, shows, Geneva is in the fourth place worldwide (just behind Zurich), in terms of its prices.

The good news is that if you are a Geneva  resident, you will find ways to curb your living costs — at least somewhat.

Here's how:

Shop in France

OK, this may sound like ‘cheating,’ but the fact is that just a short drive away, prices for groceries and other products are much lower than in Geneva.

People who regularly shop in Carrefour and other supermarkets just across the border fill their shopping baskets with essential goods for much less than they would have to pay for the same merchandise in Geneva (and elsewhere in Switzerland as well).

‘Too Good to Go’

If you want to save money on some food items (without going to France), download the Too Good to Go app, which will allow you to buy various foods for a much lower-than-original price.

That’s because when shops close at the end of the day, they must throw away unsold items, including those that are still fit for consumption.

The app will direct you to places where you can take advantage of these deals.

Go swimming

Entrance to one of Geneva’s most popular beaches, Les Bains des Paquis, costs 2 francs for adults aged 16 and over, 1 franc for children and pensioners, with no charge for ·children under 6.

So that is definitely a good ‘deal’, as you can spend the whole day there for this low price.


Take a water taxi

The so-called ‘Mouettes genèvoises’ are the little yellow boats that carry passengers across Lake Geneva to various points in the city.

Here too prices are very reasonable: 2 francs to go from one port to another, and 3 francs for an hour’s trip out on the lake.


You can take public transport for free

While the water taxi is used by local residents as a public transport mode, if you are a tourist staying in a hotel, hostel, or camping in Geneva, you will benefit from ​Geneva Transport Card, which gives you unlimited travel around the city for the duration of our stay.

It also gives you free access to some museums and other attractions.


Head to the outlets

There are plenty of designer boutiques on Geneva's fancy Rue du Rhône, but if you want to buy more affordable clothing (and other products as well). there are plenty of discount stores where they can be purchased at a fraction of the price.

These are just some of them:

  • Boutique Outlet, 12, Rue du Lac (clothing)
  • Pop In, 62, Rue de Stand (clothing)
  • Maxi Bazaar, 48, rue de Carouge (decor, home appliances)
  • Off the Shelf, 14, Boulevard Georges-Favon (books in English)



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