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GENEVA

7 essential apps that make life in Geneva easier for foreign residents

It is nearly impossible to function today without mobile apps that make life easier and more convenient. These essential apps will help international residents navigate life in Switzerland’s second-largest city.

7 essential apps that make life in Geneva easier for foreign residents
A number of mobile apps make life in Geneva easier. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

If you own a smartphone, you probably have a number of applications on your phone already.

Chances are that most of them are the kind that people across Switzerland routinely use, such as the SBB and public transportation app, Twint, Swiss Post app, as well Coop and / or Migros app, among others.

READ MORE: Seven apps to make your life in Switzerland easier

You’ll also likely have food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Smood, or Eat.ch, all of which deliver in Geneva as well.

But if you have just moved to Geneva, or even have lived here for a while, you need some city-specific apps to make your life here more pleasant.

These are some very useful ones ranging from practical to fun — and you are likely to need and use them, even if occasionally:

‘Geneva in your pocket’

This very helpful app offers direct access to practical information about life in Geneva, including weather, maps, and calendar of sporting and cultural events.

It also contains a “street harassment” tab, which allows people who are victims of inappropriate gestures or comments in the public space to immediately report the incidents to the municipal police.

Download the application on Google Play or in the Apple Store

A woman with a phone

Here are apps that make life in Switzerland easier for foreigners. Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Public transportation

The city has a dense network of buses and trams that travel not just in Geneva itself, but also cross the border into neighbouring French towns.

You can see the timetable, buy tickets, and check for any disruptions with the Geneva public transport (TPG) app.

Download the application on Google Play or in Apple Store

Recycling

You know how obsessed the Swiss are about recycling their trash on the correct days and in a correct manner. This has become even more important since September, when Geneva’s parliament adopted new legislation which includes the sorting obligation for households, businesses, and public entities.

This particular app aims to facilitate the task of daily waste management: when to take out your trash, where and how to sort it, and what to do with your bulky items. It’s a must for anyone learning the rules of the country! 

Download the application on Google Play on in the Apple Store.

Cultural trails: walks off the beaten track

The Geneva Cultural Trails application includes seven audio-guided tours centred around various themes: museums and their collections, as well as monuments and their architecture and history.

Download the application on Google Play Store and in the Apple Store

Nature lovers: Geneva Parks

Thanks to the Parcs Genève mobile application, you will be able to geo-locate and recognise nearly 300 trees in the city’s parks.

This application also makes it possible to find the nearest locations of playgrounds, dog areas, public toilets, wi-fi zones, and police stations.

Download the application on Google Play or in the Apple Store.

Geneva airport

If you live in the Geneva area — including parts of Vaud and nearby France — you have likely used the airport on many occasions.

This app allows various travel-related functions, including flight and check-in information, the number of free spots in the various car parks — also keeping track of where your vehicle is parked — schedules of the buses and trains departing from the airport, and other functions.

Download on Google Play or in the Apple store.

Hop delivery

This service will deliver a variety of products right to your door anywhere in Geneva.

You can order food from restaurants, groceries from shops, flowers, from florists, health products from pharmacies, and many other items you may urgently need but forgot to buy.

Download the application on Google Play or in the Apple Store.

READ MORE: 10 essential apps that make life in Zurich easier for international residents

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COST OF LIVING

How much does it cost to live in Switzerland’s most international cities?

How do wages and cost of living in general compare from one Swiss city to another? We crunched the numbers and came up with some interesting answers.

How much does it cost to live in Switzerland’s most international cities?

Swiss cities are consistently ranked among the most expensive in the world.

But how much does it really cost to live there if we take into account median wages versus prices for various products and services, as well as fixed costs such as rent and utilities?

We looked at selected available data for Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne — the four cities where most international residents live.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that these are current approximate averages, and can change on short notice, taking into account changing inflation rate and other factors.

Zurich

Average monthly net salary: 6,240 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 3,832.92 francs; 2,737.92 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 252.19 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 4.40 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 97.50 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,772.48 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 84.98 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 120 francs

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 5,754.5 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are 1,571 francs without rent

You can see more Zurich prices here

READ MORE: Which Zurich municipalities have the lowest and highest tax rates?

Geneva 

Average monthly net salary: 5,446.28 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 4,219.05 francs; 3,016.67 francs farther from the centre.

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 192.70 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 70 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,054.62 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 84.98 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 115 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 4,981.5 francs without rent.
  • Estimated monthly costs for a  single person are 1,357.90 francs without rent

You can see more Geneva prices here

The city of Geneva. Photo: Pixabay

Basel

Average monthly net salary: 5,984.90 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 2,718.18 francs; 2,055.56 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 268.66 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3.60 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 80 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,487.50 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 72.21 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 112.50 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four  are 5,995 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are 1,636 francs without rent

You can see more Basel prices here

READ MORE: What we know about Basel’s international residents 

Lausanne

Average monthly net salary: 5,063.62 francs

Rent for a four-room apartment in the city centre: 3,127.27 francs; 2,570 francs farther from the centre

Electricity, heating, water, trash collection for a 85m2 apartment: 285.28 francs a month

Public transportation: one-way, ticket, local: 3.70 francs; Monthly Pass (regular price): 74 francs

Monthly childcare (full day, private): 2,511.11 francs

Fitness club, monthly fee for one adult: 78.69 francs

Three-course meal for two people at mid-range restaurant: 105 francs.

Summary:

  • Estimated monthly costs for a family of four are 5,504.3 francs without rent
  • Estimated monthly costs for a single person are1,522 francs without rent

You can see more Lausanne prices here.

READ MORE: Why the Swiss city of Lausanne is so popular among foreigners

And the conclusion is:

  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 6.8 percent higher than in Geneva
  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 2.8 percent lower than in Basel
  • Local Purchasing Power in Zurich is 13.8 percent higher than in Lausanne
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