Switzerland is filled with gorgeous lakeside cities, with Geneva and Lausanne being two of the finest examples. Both of these cities enjoy views over the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva, and they're only 31 miles apart as well. You can take an SBB train from Geneva to Lausanne in just half an hour - that’s even quicker than driving, plus you’ll get straight to the city centre, and you won’t have to worry about traffic nor parking!
In Lausanne, you'll get a totally different view of the lake, as well as enjoying the unique landmarks of the 'Olympic City', such as the Olympic Museum and Olympic Park. Don't forget to visit Lausanne's stunning cathedral before you head home too.
Still not sure about this journey? Scroll down and let us convince you to get from Geneva to Lausanne by train.
The Swiss rail network is operated by SBB. SBB train ticket prices are based on travel and not on the type of trains. You will find available return tickets (standard price, one way or round trip), Multiple journey tickets (for six individual trips on a pre-determined itinerary) and the City-Ticket (including a one-day transportation pass from the city of departure or arrival).
SNCF is the national train operator of France. It operates all domestic trains and routes across France, as well as international services to Spain and Germany. There are three different types of domestic trains that operate under the SNCF banner – TGV (high-speed, full-service trains that connect the major cities in France), Intercités (usually a more frequent stopping service, but with all the amenities), and TER (regional train services with basic onboard facilities).
TGV is the high-speed train service of the SNCF company. It connects the major cities of France at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h). All TGV trains are equipped with a food carriage, a free WiFi connection, power sockets and fold-down tables. Two comfort classes are offered – First Class and Second Class, with flexible fare options available and access to the Grand Voyageur lounge in some stations.
Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Geneva to Lausanne by booking early.§
Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.
On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Geneva and Lausanne is 43 minutes, with around 127 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Geneva to Lausanne is 36 minutes.
Train tickets from Geneva to Lausanne can start from as little as €6.11 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Geneva to Lausanne without having to change trains. There are 111 direct trains from Geneva to Lausanne. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Geneva to Lausanne leaves at 00:20. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Geneva to Lausanne leaves at 23:50. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Geneva to Lausanne cover a distance of around 31 miles (50 km) during the journey.
Taking the train from Geneva to Lausanne in Switzerland is super easy – simply follow the signs and you shouldn’t have any problem getting to your destination. However, if you do have any difficulty, you can always ask a member of staff at the station for help.
The journey time is relatively short (between 35 and 50 minutes), with trains departing every 20 minutes.
Departing from Genève Cornavin station
There are two main stations in Geneva – the Geneva Airport station and Genève Cornavin station, which is located in the city centre. If you’re travelling from the airport, the fastest way is to take a direct InterRegio (IR) train operated by SBB, the main Swiss train company – you’ll be in Lausanne city centre in about 50 minutes. As I was already at Cornavin station, I took a RegioExpress (RE) and I reached my destination in about 35m.
Genève Cornavin station is quite small, but it offers all you need, including free WiFi, luggage storage and plenty of boutiques and restaurants – waiting for your train won’t be boring at all! Plus, departure boards are located all around the station, so you can keep an eye on departure times while doing your shopping.
The journey to Lausanne
In Switzerland, ticket prices are based on the route you take, so there’s no need to book your train ticket in advance, unless you want to find a Supersaver ticket (be sure to check it out – you can travel on many Swiss routes with a discount of up to 70%). The number of Supersaver tickets per journey is limited though, so you need to book in advance if you want to travel at a reduced price.
Although I couldn’t get my ticket at a discounted price – I didn’t book very far in advance – I still paid around €20, which is great when you consider travelling by train means you can get straight to the city centre in no time at all. I bought my ticket with Trainline and downloaded an eticket to keep on my phone – this way I didn’t have to queue at the station to collect my ticket and simply had it scanned at the check-in.
Once you arrive at Lausanne station, there are plenty of transport options for onward travel. You can easily take a bus or taxi to your final destination or the M2 metro line, located right in front of the train station next to McDonald's.
Sophie is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on her own genuine experience of the journey.