Walking, of course, is the cheapest, most practical form of transportation in Geneva. It's also the most advantageous from a tourist's point of view. Tree-shaded promenades line the edges of the lake, and you can browse many chic shops walking at a moderate pace along streets that include rue du Rhône. Savor the measured tempo of life here that makes this city particularly alluring to the foreign visitor.

Nevertheless, if speed is the object, you may avail yourself of the public transportation system, which is reasonably priced and as dependable as a Swiss watch.

By Public Transportation

Most of Geneva's public tram and bus lines begin either at the very central place Cornavin in front of the main railroad station, or, to a lesser extent, on the opposite bank of the river, at the place du Bel Air. Local buses and trams operate daily from 5am to midnight, and you can purchase a ticket from a vending machine before you board. Instructions are also given in English. Transport Publics Genevois (tel. 0900/022-021; www.tpg.ch), next to the tourist office in Gare Cornavin, offers free maps of local bus routings. Trips that stay within zone 10, enveloping most of Geneva, cost 3F, and unlimited use of all zones costs 10F for 1 day.

Guests who have proof that they are booked into a hotel, B&B, or hostel are granted free rides on public transportation. Ask at your hotel for a public transportation ticket.

By Taxi

The meter on whatever cab you take in Geneva will automatically begin calculating your fare at 7F, and then add between 3F and 3.50F for every kilometer you travel, depending on the time of day or night. The fare from the airport to the center of town ranges from 30F to 40F. No tipping is required, but extra baggage may cost 1.50F. To call for a taxi, call tel. 022/331-41-33 or 022/320-20-20.

By Car

Driving is not recommended; parking is difficult and the many one-way streets make navigation complicated. However, should you wish to rent a car and tour Lake Geneva, you'll find many car-rental companies represented in the arrivals hall of the airport and in the center of the city. Major car-rental companies in Geneva include Avis, 44, rue de Lausanne (tel. 022/731-90-00, or at the airport 022/929-03-30; www.avis.com); Budget, at the airport (tel. 022/717-86-75; www.budget.com); Hertz, at the airport (tel. 022/717-80-80; www.hertz.com); and Europcar, 37, rue de Lausanne (tel. 022/909-69-90; www.europcar.com). If you absolutely insist on driving a car, and if your hotel doesn't offer parking facilities and valet parking, the best bet for parking within the city limits tends to be within any of the many underground parking garages, whose presence is indicated with large blue-and-white signs designated with a letter "P." Rates for underground parking average between 1.50F and 2F per hour.

By Bike

Touring the city by bicycle isn't particularly practical because of the steep cobblestone streets, speeding cars, and general congestion. However, you might want to consider renting a bike for touring the countryside around Geneva. The major rental outlet is at the baggage desk at Gare Cornavin (tel. 022/791-02-50), where city bikes cost 33F per day. Another major outlet, charging from 24F to 34F per day, depending on the degree of sophistication of the bicycle, is Genève Roule, 17, place Montbrillant (tel. 022/740-13-43; www.geneveroule.ch).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.