Annemasse is a city in the Haute-Savoie region of France, directly across the border from Geneva, Switzerland. Many of its inhabitants work in Geneva and travel home every day. It is a useful place to stay for those who find Geneva's hotel prices too much for their pocket.
From Geneva by public transport
There are several different alternatives to get in from Geneva, but they might be difficult to find, especially if you don't speak French.
- From Cornavin station take TPG tram 18 to Bel-Air and transfer there to tram 17 which crosses the French border into Annemasse. Remember that you need to buy a ticket that is also valid in Zone 210 - a normal hour or day ticket is valid only until the border.
- TPG tram 12 with take you to the French border at the Moillesulaz border station which is about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) from the centre of Annemasse.
- Chêne-Bourg station in the east of the Geneva is the terminus of TAC, (Annemasse's public bus company). Take bus route 1 or 2 into the city center of Annemasse.
If you are taking the bus you should better have a map of the bus network (the part of Annemasse's bus network you need to get in is also on Geneva's public transportation map) and preferably also a good map of the city itself. Take notice of the names of the bus stops, because the buses continue to the other side of the city... in the worst case you might end up in an industrial area in the middle of nowhere.
Annemasse is easily reached from Geneva and elsewhere in the region if you have a car.
The railway station is north of the city center. Trains arrive from Lyon, Chambéry and other places in France. The line to Geneva Eaux-Vives and Chêne-Bourg reopened in December 2019, and continues to Gare Cornavin.
The city center is not very large, so you can walk around by foot.
The only form of public transportation is the bus network, although most visitors probably will use it just for transportation from Geneva and back. A single ticket costs €1.40 and is valid for one hour. Tickets are bought from the driver, and you'd better have exact change (and Swiss francs are not accepted). On Sundays and other holidays there are just two lines that run, DA and DB that are drawn on a separate map on the bus stops.
Frankly talking, Annemasse is for the most part just a bedroom community of Geneva, but there are still a few things to experience.
- The city hall. Worth taking a picture of, and there are some cafés around its square.
- The market place (marché) and its war memorial. If you come before the afternoon, you can experience real French market commerce just like in French class. Buy some fresh fruit and try out your language skills!
- Salève ridge and cable car - well described in Geneva's article but actually on the French side. The best way to get there if you haven't got a car is via Geneva - take Geneva's bus number 8 to Veyrier-Douane.
If you're staying for a longer period in Geneva, Annemasse is a good place to buy food and other necessities cheaper than in Switzerland. The city is not a major shopping destination, though. There is a Casino food store along the main road, at about 10 minutes walk from the Moillesulaz border station, and a smaller SPAR closer to the border.
Basically you have the same options as getting in. Geneva is nearby and trains take you into France.