How to Travel from Grenoble to Geneva: 3 Best Ways Explained

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Grenoble, the Capital of the Alps, is less than 2 hours away from the borders of Switzerland and Italy. As such, there are many great day trip options one can do from Grenoble. One of the popular options is to travel from Grenoble to Geneva, a charming and world-renowned city just off the France-Switzerland border.

Travel time takes no more than 2 and a half hours. Since both Grenoble and Geneva are major cities in their respective countries, they are very well-connected and developed when considering it from a public transportation point of view.

In this guide, we go through the three main itineraries that will answer the question how to travel from Grenoble to Geneva, as well as provide some useful travel tips given that this route will entail crossing country borders.

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Grenoble to Geneva by Bus

Taking the bus is one of the most readily available options when traveling from Grenoble to Geneva.

Below are some points to take note of:

  • The cheapest way to travel from Grenoble to Geneva is by bus.
  • The total travel time from Grenoble to Geneva takes about 3 hours for a direct bus itinerary (i.e. no stopovers).
  • There are two main options for the Grenoble to Geneva bus option: Flixbus or Ouibus
  • Both lines serve a total of 10-15 buses a day (not considering COVID considerations at the moment). The timings differ so it’s best to check on their website for more information. In our experience, there are usually buses early in the morning and late at night even during the times when there are no trains available.
  • Between the two, Ouibus is the more premium option with their buses not getting as full and costing on average 15 euros and above for a ticket from Grenoble to Geneva.
  • Flixbus is the more affordable choice wherein you can travel from Grenoble to Geneva for as low as 5 euros. Do expect some delays with Flixbus as they can feel somewhat less organized than Ouibus.
  • However, for a short itinerary like the route from Grenoble to Geneva, then the cheapest option is totally doable.
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Grenoble to Geneva by Train

Taking the train is the most convenient option when traveling from Grenoble to Geneva. Though just as readily available, it’s way more expensive.

Below are some points to take note of:

  • The fastest way to travel from Grenoble to Geneva is by train.
  • The total travel time from Grenoble to Geneva takes about 2 hours for a direct train itinerary (i.e. no stopovers).
  • The main line that serves the Grenoble to Geneva route is French Rail Company, SNCF.
  • In general, there are about 15 train itineraries from Grenoble to Geneva, starting as early as 5 am with the last trains expected to be at 6 pm. On the weekends, there are lesser trains.
  • The price of a one-way ticket to Geneva is at least 27 euros, which is quite pricey for a short train ride of only 2 hours.
  • However, if budget is not an issue and you want to take the fastest route from Grenoble to Geneva, then taking the train would be the best option for you.
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Grenoble to Geneva by Ride Sharing

Ride sharing is another popular option when traveling from Grenoble to Geneva. It’s not as readily available though, requires planning ahead, and oftentimes, some luck (especially in COVID times). On another note, it can be quite cheap.

Below are some points to take note of:

  • A cheap but not as readily available way to travel from Grenoble to Geneva is by ridesharing.
  • The total travel time from Grenoble to Geneva by car takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes – considering there are no stops.
  • The main company that offers the most trustable ride-sharing services between Grenoble and Geneva is BlaBla Car.
  • There are no set schedules as the way BlaBla car works depends on the owner of the car who is offering a ride share to cover part of his own transportation costs.
  • The rates for sharing a ride through BlaBla car from Grenoble to Geneva can be quite cheap starting as low as 5 euros.
  • It can also be a great backup option if all the trains or buses from Grenoble to Geneva are booked and not available. Sometimes, you can be lucky and find a Blabla car being offered at the right place and time.
  • If you have time to plan ahead or if you have no other options, BlaBla Car may be the most suitable option for you. It is cheap and allows you to meet new people while sharing in the ride costs.
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Useful Travel Tips to Know

Given that the Grenoble to Geneva route requires crossing borders and involves using public transportation, we’ve compiled some useful travel tips to know that can help you out should the following situations arise:

  • As you will crossing over to a new country, take note that there may be security or border checks. Bring your ID, residency card or passport for identification. Although borders in Europe don’t always have border checks, Switzerland is more known to have them.
  • Geneva is in the French-speaking side of Switzerland but as it’s a very international city and home to various international organizations, English is widely spoken and way more than in Grenoble.
  • Note that in France, there are often many strikes. When there are strikes going on, public transportation could be affected and your trains cancelled. Note that this only happens for the SNCF trains. Flixbus and Ouibus, being private entities, are not usually impacted by public strikes. 
  • If you badly need to get from Grenoble to Geneva and there aren’t any direct options (train, bus, ride-sharing) for any reason whatsoever, you can also consider taking a bus, train, or BlaBla car from Grenoble to Annecy. Afterwhich, you can take Line T72 (via Cruseilles) which is only about an 1 hour away from Geneva.
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Conclusion: How to Travel from Grenoble to Geneva

So there you have it! We hope this helps you figure out how to travel from Grenoble to Geneva as we went through the same problem. Among all the ways explained above, we think that the Flixbus from Grenoble to Geneva is the best option as it’s affordable and there are many schedule options available. 

Otherwise, we’d also recommend making a trip to the beautiful Annecy and including it as an overnight stopover. Then taking the bus to Geneva afterwards.

What about you? Have you ever been to Grenoble or Geneva? Do you have any other suggestions on how to travel from Grenoble to Geneva that has not been covered in this guide, let us know in the comments below!

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