Accommodation in Geneva

Updated 2019-07-31 12:59

The city of Geneva may only have around 200,000 inhabitants, but it is considered one of the world's “largest small cities”. As such, finding accommodation in Geneva may prove challenging, so you need to plan ahead. Here are some tips for getting started.

An overview of Geneva

Geneva city is the canton of Geneva's most densely populated area ' and Switzerland's second most popular city after Zurich.

The canton of Geneva has a population of close to 500,000 inhabitants, including a large number of expats (mainly from France and the United Kingdom). According to official statistics, Geneva's population is growing every year at a rate of 1.1% - that is by some 5,170 people per year.

Choosing accommodation Geneva

If you decide to move to Geneva, apartment hunting will take some time. Even though there is a lot of movement in and out of the city, you may have to be patient until the perfect property becomes available. Since apartment hunting will take some time, finding a temporary furnished apartment will allow you to be in Geneva yourself and act as a good base for you to look for more permanent accommodation. Some people advertise short-term rentals on Airbnb, which will be cheaper than staying in a hotel room for the same period. It will also enable you to see what apartments are like in the city, helping you to narrow your search.

Another idea would be to look for something outside the city but within the Geneva canton and within commuting distance from your work such as Versiox and Coppet: the apartments will most likely be cheaper and the demand may not be not so high. Other commuting cities include Nyon and Gland.

Where to begin your housing search in Geneva

That being said, you should start your search for accommodation on the internet well before even arriving in Switzerland. You can start by browsing real estate websites and databases like Homegate and ImmoScout24. You can also check out classified ads in local newspapers such as 24 Heures and Le Temps, some of which are also available online.

A real estate agency or a relocation agency can also help you find the most suitable accommodation according to your family situation and your budget. The most popular rental agency is
It is easier to find a place to live once you get to the city because a lot of effort in finding a place to stay in Geneva is about making personal connections. For example, a friend of a friend will know someone who is looking to rent their apartment.

Rent prices in Geneva

Geneva is one of the Swiss cities where rent prices are the highest. In fact, between 2002 and 2015, rental prices kept going up by 5% every year ' an increased rate that is double the rates of anywhere else in Switzerland. Thankfully, there has been some decrease since 2015 (especially in the Lake Geneva region), but the rental market is still very tight. As an example, the vacancy for rentals is 0.8%, only one-third of the average vacancy rate in Swiss cities.

To rent a small one or two-room apartment, you should expect somewhere between CHF 2,300-3,500 (â¬1,981- â¬3,000) depending on how close to the centre it is located, and the apartment's amenities. For the cost, rental properties tend to be quite small. You will also note that this number is considerably higher not only compared to other Swiss cities but also compared to expensive cities like New York and Paris. Thankfully, salaries are equally high, so if you are moving to Geneva for work, you will probably be able to afford it.

Districts & neighbourhoods in Geneva

Geneva city is divided into four areas: Geneva, Plain-Palais, Eaux-Vives, and Petit Saconnex. These are in turn divided into several districts, including business districts and residential neighbourhoods; Rues-Basses, Saint Léger, Bourg de Four Cite, Mont Blanc, Wilson, Tour de Champel, Hill, Saint George, etc.

The most popular neighbourhoods are Bâtie-Acacias, Royer, Montchoisy, Florence, Ariana, Mon Repos, Beaumont, Belmont and Vollandes, among others. No matter where you are in Geneva, you will never be far from urbanisation. However, parts of Bellevue and Versoix Collex are not very recommended, because they are close to the Geneva airport and thus susceptible to noise pollution from the passing planes.

Good to know:

Some areas are also more expensive to live in: Eaux Vives, an area just across the river where international brands like Gucci, Mont Blanc pens and Rolex have stores, is particularly pricey.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.