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I'm struggling for choices of hostel accommodation in Geneva first weekend of December. between hostel world, hostel bookers, YHA and Hi hostels there are only four options under (only just under) £30 per person per night. Is that just the going rate for Geneva - surely there must be more than four options.

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    As well as hostels have you considered staying with other travellers via websites like CouchSurfing and Hospitality Club? – hippietrail Sep 5 '11 at 12:24
  • @Stuart Last time I was in Geneva, some event was going on and I couldn't find a hostel for under 50 Franks. I ended up having to leave and ended up getting right back on another train for Interlocken. Just form my anecdotal experience, I would say 30 pounds isn't bad. – Beaker Sep 6 '11 at 6:53
  • OK I'm happy if that's the going rate I just expected to find more than 4 hostels I thought I was missing something. – Stuart Sep 6 '11 at 8:55
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30 Pounds are just 38 Swiss Franks. This isn't really a lot of money in Switzerland, so I don't think you will find anything that is really a lot of cheaper. Additionally, Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in Switzerland if not in the whole World.

To make it worse, Geneva is the domicile of a lot of big organizations like for example UN, CERN, ICRC, WHO, IAO, ISO, ITU, WIPO, WMO, WOSM, WTO or UNHCR. That's why the living costs as well as the accommodation costs are exploding.

So in my opinion you should be happy with your 4 affordable hostels.

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When I was traveling in Switzerland and wanted to see Geneva, I would actually stay at a small hotel in Lausanne, some 45 minutes away, but along the main railroad line. At a much lower rate than Geneva itself.

Geneva is a "destination," city, hence expensive. Anything "outside" of it would be far cheaper. But Switzerland is a small country, so "outside" of Geneva is a "commute" by say, American standards.

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    Additionally, the public transport system in Switzerland is excellent. So you won't have problem to get downtown even from the smallest village. – RoflcoptrException Sep 12 '11 at 12:42
  • @Roflcoptr: I noticed that when I was there. Thanks. – Tom Au Sep 12 '11 at 13:13
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    Good point, though trains aren't cheap either... – Benjol Dec 14 '11 at 8:34
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Geneva is one of Europe's most expensive cities. In addition, it is not a backpacker destination.

All in all, 30 GBP per night (or possibly a bit more in 2014) is a quite decent price for accommodation in Geneva. You should also be aware that there can be quite a bit of price fluctuation, according to events taking place in Geneva.

You can extend your search to places in nearby France, such as Ferney-Voltaire or Annemasse. These places are linked to Geneva by the urban buses: F for Ferney-Voltaire, 61 for Annemasse. The caveat is that you will have to pay for these buses. On the other hand, if you stay in a hotel or hostel in Geneva, you are entitled to free public transport in Geneva. That's something you have to consider in your calculations. Schedules and fares are available via the TPG and Unireso websites.

Staying somewhere else in Switzerland (e.g. Lausanne) and commuting to Geneva, as mentioned by Tom Au is a bad idea. Prices are probably a bit lower elsewhere and there may be some more choice. However, standard train fares in Switzerland can be prohibitive. The situation is different if you have an Interrail or Eurail Pass.

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