Cost of Living in Geneva: A Guide 

6 minute read

The beautiful city of Geneva in Switzerland attracts thousands of students, expats, and international students every year. Located near the southern end of the vast Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), the city is surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, with views of the majestic Mont Blanc. It is the headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross in Europe, as well as a global hub for diplomacy and banking. French influence can be found everywhere, from the language to gastronomy and bohemian neighbourhoods like Carouge. If you are moving to Geneva to pursue education, seek employment, or simply retire, you need to be aware of its living expenses beforehand. In this blog, we will understand the cost of living in Geneva in complete detail. 


Also Read: Cost of Living in France: Rent, Food, Expenses and More

Why Choose Geneva to Study Abroad

Before understanding the cost of living in Geneva, let’s understand the reasons for choosing it as your study destination. Geneva has much more to offer international students than traditional Swiss delicacies such as chocolate and cheese. Geneva’s strong economy, impressive level of international firms and non-governmental organisations, and appealing outdoor lifestyle make it a true hotspot for aspiring business professionals from all over the world.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should study in Geneva:

Home to World-Renowned Businesses 

Geneva is Switzerland’s premier financial city, with an unrivalled number of global agencies, federations, financial institutions, and multinational corporations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, UBS, the International Olympic Committee, and Thomson Reuters. Higher education institutions, such as the EU Business School, have also established campuses in Geneva, providing ample chances for learning, working, and networking.

Students with the correct abilities and qualifications have excellent work chances after graduation. Switzerland has exceptional working conditions, rich compensation, and a good quality of life, and despite a very competitive labour market, highly skilled foreigners fill nearly half of executive positions.

Ninth-Best City in the World for Quality of Living

It should come as no surprise that Swiss cities are at the top of the list when it comes to quality of life. This year, Geneva ranked ninth in Mercer’s Quality of Living City Ranking, which considers a variety of major livability characteristics such as housing, public services and transportation, medical and health considerations, and education.

Internationally Diverse Location

Because of Geneva’s central location in Europe and its internationally diverse economic sector, an amazing 40% of the population is international expats, with a further 25% being international students. 

The fact that three languages are spoken here, with French being the most frequent, demonstrates the city’s openness to diversity. Because English is widely spoken in Geneva, you do not need to be able to acquire a foreign language but you will have an excellent opportunity to add a second, third, or even fourth language to your repertoire. 

Also Read: Cost of Living in London for Students

Cost of Living in Geneva

The estimated monthly cost for a family of four in Geneva is Fr. 5,346.3 without rent. On the other hand, the estimated monthly cost of a single person is Fr. 1,454.7 without rent in the city. 

Now, let’s understand the cost of living in Geneva in full detail. 


The transportation costs in Geneva are shown in the table given below: 

Price of One-way Ticket for Local TransportFr. 3
Regular Price of Monthly Pass Fr. 70
Cost of Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)Fr. 6
Cost of Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)Fr. 3
Cost of Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)Fr. 52.50

Grocery Expenses 

The table below shows the average cost of groceries you can expect in Geneva:

Price of 1 litre Milk (regular)Fr. 1.60
Price of 1 kg Rice (white)Fr. 3.38
Price of Eggs (regular) (12)Fr. 6.08 
Cost of Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)Fr. 3.42

Restaurant Costs

The table given below demonstrates the average restaurant costs you can expect in Geneva:

Price of Meal at an Inexpensive RestaurantFr. 26
Price of Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-courseFr. 110

Utility Costs 

Here are the average utility costs in Geneva:

Basic (Heating, Electricity, Cooling, Water, and Garbage) for 85m2 ApartmentFr. 191.40
Monthly Plan of Mobile Phone with Calls and 10GB+ DataFr. 64.22
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)Fr. 54.23

Housing Costs

This is what the housing expenses look like in Geneva:

Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in the City CentreFr. 2,115.27
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment Outside of the CentreFr. 1,792.80
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in the City CentreFr. 4,218.59 
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment Outside of CentreFr. 3,264.24
Cost per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment in the City CentreFr. 17,792.42 
Cost per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment Outside of the CentreFr. 12,256.27

Average Tuition Fees in Geneva

Now that you know about the cost of living in Geneva, let’s look at the average tuition fees you can expect to pay at a university in this city. The table provided below shows the average tuition fees per year at a university in Geneva. 

Average Annual Fees for Undergraduate CoursesFr. 700 – Fr. 3,500 
Average Annual Fees for Postgraduate CoursesFr. 700 – Fr. 2,000 
Average Annual Fees for PhD CoursesFr. 95.63 – Fr. 860.70

Also Read: Cost of Living in Italy

Things to Know When Moving to Geneva

Geneva is an ideal place to live with its good public safety, transportation, and high quality of life. If you have finally decided that you want to move to Geneva, then here are some important considerations you need to keep in mind beforehand: 

High Quality of Life

According to Mercer, the city is among the top 10 expat destinations in the world in terms of quality of life, more than making up for its high cost of living. Moving to Geneva is generally a favourable experience for most expats.

Cold Climate 

Although Geneva does not endure extreme cold, thicker clothing is nonetheless required in January. Throughout the year, average temperatures range from 35 °F (1.5 °C) to 69 °F (20.5 °C).

Even during the coldest months, Geneva inhabitants can be seen engaging in outdoor activities. This means you won’t have to worry about bad weather in Geneva.

More Discipline 

The majority of Geneva residents are well-organised. Typically, a landlord or real estate agent will provide a new tenant with a cheat sheet outlining the local restrictions. Some of the rules will prohibit you from doing laundry on Saturdays and Sundays after 10 AM. Although you will not be sued or legally penalised, breaking the regulations is frowned upon in Geneva. But it’s not a major issue because you’ll become used to following the regulations after a while in Geneva.


Geneva is an international city, thus it is welcoming to expats. This city is home to international organisations and a variety of industries. Many expats relocate to this city in search of greater employment options and higher pay. Getting health insurance should be a top priority during your first few months in Geneva. Your company will usually provide health insurance. However, if it does not give adequate coverage, you may consider purchasing supplemental health insurance.

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Germany

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Ques 1. What salary do you need to live in Geneva?

Ans. In Geneva, people on “minimum wage” make a gross pay of around 3500 Swiss francs per year.

Ques 2. Is Geneva an expensive place to live?

Ans. Geneva is virtually always in the top five most expensive cities, and almost always in the top three. The real estate market in Geneva is a large part of this; the rental vacancy rate in Geneva is less than 0.5% and has been for years, and the home vacancy rate is similarly low.

Ques 3. Is it worth moving to Geneva?

Ans. Despite a formal and merit-based work culture, Geneva offers an outstanding work-life balance. The Swiss work to live rather than live to work, and expats will find there is plenty of time to enjoy the exciting lifestyle options in Geneva.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Geneva. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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