Choosing where to live in Geneva



Accommodation is typically rented unfurnished in Switzerland. This means without light fittings, furniture and things such as curtains. However, most apartments will have a stove, oven, refrigerator and sometimes a dishwasher. In larger apartment blocks, you may find joint washing machines in the basement. It may not be standard practice from where you came from, but in Switzerland, be prepared to buy and install all electrical and home appliances that you need. These do not come cheap so make sure you budget for it.


The city of Geneva is divided into two parts. The left bank, and the right bank (Rive Gauche and the Rive Droite). These parts are separated by the River Rhône and the Lake Geneva. Along these areas, there are different neighbourhoods, but most expat residents choose to live on the right bank or the Rive Droite.


  • Paquis, Geneva's lively and energetic neighbourhood in the Rive Droite houses Geneva's Main Train Station. Around this area are several residential accommodations of different types, and a myriad of shops, cafes and restaurants. This area, with the train station, and its rich cultural energy is very popular among expats in the city.


  • Another lively part of the Rive Droite is the Servette. This is a good place for shopping. The neighbourhood is in proximity to Paquis and everything else that you can see in that area, where you can also see the United Nations Office and the Red Cross Museum. 


  • Eaux-Vives on the Rive Gauch has several residential areas, where you may be able to find excellent accommodations. The neighbourhood also has a good mix of bars, shops and restaurants. This neighbourhood is suitable for young expats who like to have a blend of the old and the new in the city of Geneva.

Vielle Ville

  • This old town neighbourhood on the Rive Gauche is filled with posh bars and restaurants. It is also close to the University of Geneva, making the area quite a busy student hub. It also has several tourist attractions in its area such as the St. Pierre Cathedral. There aren't a lot of housing available in this neighbourhood, and the ones that can be found can be very expensive, but the location is ideal for students and young professionals.