Geneva is Switzerland’s second largest city, and the largest city in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. Situated along the southern shore of Lac Leman, also called Lake Geneva, Geneva is also home to the United Nations and the Red Cross. With easy access to the Swiss Alps, Southern France and Italy, Geneva is a multicultural city sure to wow any visitors.
Whether you are deciding where to stay in Geneva for two nights or a week, determining what neighborhood to stay in Geneva is the first step in planning your Geneva vacation. With a breakdown of the most popular neighborhoods in Geneva, and suggestions of the best Geneva hotels, we’ll help you find the best place to stay in Geneva. And while Switzerland is notoriously expensive, with a little bit of research and planning, it is possible to find a few cheap hotels in Geneva.
We will cover off all types of Geneva accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Geneva hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Geneva, the best Geneva hotels, best places in Geneva to visit, the best places to stay in Geneva, hotels near Geneva attractions, Geneva neighborhood guide and many more.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Quartier des Eaux-Vives – Where to stay in Geneva for families
Eaux-Vives is easy to spot, thanks to the 140-meter Jet d’Eau along the water’s edge. Not far from Old Town, Eaux-Vives is Geneva’s Bohemian neighborhood, but is also home to Geneva’s largest park, the Parc de la Grange. This is a great neighborhood for families visiting Geneva, as it’s close to the main area of town, yet just on the fringe to be a bit quieter and calmer.
There is a cinema, dozens of restaurants, and vintage shopping boutiques in this area. If you prefer an apartment rental for your Geneva accommodation, Eaux-Vives is a great place to find it! If you’re wondering where to stay in Geneva for one night, this is the best area.
Best places to stay in Eaux-Vives
Plainpalais – Where to stay in Geneva on a budget
If you’re wondering where to stay in Geneva on a budget, Plainpalais is a good option. Plainpalais is the Geneva neighborhood closest to the University, so in addition to finding affordable Geneva accommodation, there are also cheap places to eat and drink.
It’s also a popular neighborhood for expats, so you’ll find great diversity in Plainpalais. This neighborhood is home to Geneva’s largest flea market, so bargain hunters will love staying in this area of Geneva. The central hub of Plainpalais is the Plaine de Plainpalais, which hosts outdoor events in the summer, including the circus.
Best places to stay in Plainpalais
Carouge – Where to stay in Geneva for shopping
Carouge was once a separate town, built by Italians, so it retains a Mediterranean feel that you won’t find elsewhere in Geneva. Sometimes called Little Italy and other times referred to as the Greenwich Village of Geneva, Carouge is a fun alternative when choosing your Geneva accommodation. Carouge has a vibrant cafe culture, and is also home to several galleries, artist studios and museums.
Shoppers will love the Carouge shopping centre, where you can find the largest selection of toys and games in Geneva. If this is not your first visit to Geneva, you may prefer to stay outside of the main tourist activities and live more like a local by staying in Carouge.
Best places to stay in Carouge
Mid range Hotels in Carouge:
Appart’Hotel Residence Dizerens
La Cour des Augustins – Boutique Gallery Design Hotel
Palais Des Nations – Where to stay in Geneva for relaxation
The Palais des Nations refers to the United Nations headquarters and park, located along the Western shore of Lac Leman. It’s also where you’ll find the botanical garden and the International Museum of the Red Cross. As the home of United Nations, this area has some impressive international hotels such as the Intercontinental Geneva. It’s only a few tram stops from Old Town, but is much quieter, so it’s a convenient neighborhood of Geneva.
Best places to stay in Palais Des Nations
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Palais Des Nations:
City Hostel Geneva
Paquis – Where to stay in Geneva for backpackers
Budget travelers to Geneva who also want to be near the center of town might consider staying in Paquis. It is located between Old Town and the Palais des Nations, and is adjacent to the main train station. This is where you’ll find the largest concentration of Geneva hostels, but it also happens to be the “red light” district of Geneva.
Close to the lake, the Paquis neighborhood is quite nice, but use caution when veering away from the lakefront in this area. (Overall, Switzerland is a considerably safe place to visit, so use the normal precautions of traveling at night)