Genève / Geneva to Basel / Bâle by train

An oddity on the Swiss rail timetable is that the direct trains from Geneve to Basel are no longer available.
But the connections between trains, now required at Biel/Bienne station, are as simple as can be.



From Genève/Geneva-Cornavin to Basel SBB/Bâle CFF

Travel Information

There are no longer any direct trains between Geneva and Basel.
Instead simple as can be connections are provided between trains at Biel/Bienne station.

You need to take trains on route IC 5 from Geneve to Biel/Bienne and connect there for trains on route IC 51 to Basel
When you arrive at Biel/Bienne the train on to Basel will be waiting on the other side of the platform/gleis, so the connection is step free.

1 x connection per hour - on this* route

*The alternative hourly route via Bern is slightly longer; usually more expensive and the connection between trains in Bern is more complicated than making the transfer in Biel/Bienne.


Book early and save: Yes - If you book Supersaver tickets (more info is available on the SBB ticket guide below)

You may need to search through the departures to find them using the ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ buttons; the Supersaver tickets tend to sell out particularly quickly on this route.
The Supersaver tickets can also be more likely to still be available if you are happy to change trains.

Online bookings open: up to two months ahead of the travel date

Try and be flexible with your departure and arrival times, book as near to 60 days ahead as possible,

Look for the end-to-end journey times of around 2hr 38min, those are the journeys via Biel/Bienne.

If you will be making a day trip to Basel from Geneve be open to the possibility that Saver Day Passes can be a cheaper option than booking return tickets.

Seat reservations:

You can book reservations online, AFTER you have booked a ticket, by using the SBB (Swiss national railways) seat reservation service OR request and pay for a reservation when booking at a station ticket office.
The late afternoon and evening trains between Geneve and Biel/Bienne can be busy, but you won't need a reservation for the Biel/Bienne to Basel trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost

SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake views

Good to Know

These trains, on route IC 5, commence their journeys at Geneve-Aeroport station.

It takes the trains around 5 mins to travel from there to the main station in Geneve before they then head off to Biel/Bienne.

Final Destination: Zurich

Travelling through the vineyards north of Yverdon Travelling through the vineyards north of Yverdon
The views over Lake Biel can be seen on the right The views over Lake Biel can be seen on the right
Arriving in Neuchatel Arriving in Neuchatel
The trains travel by the shore of the lake between Neuchatel and Biel The trains travel by the shore of the lake between Neuchatel and Biel

From the right of the train (when facing the direction) of travel, there are some lovely views over Lake Biel for the final 30 mins of the journey.

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLandscape (Hills / Mountains)

Good to Know

Final Destination: Basel

All trains also call at: Moutier and Delémont,

The train will reverse direction on departure from Delémont.

Travelling through the gorge on a rainy day Travelling through the gorge on a rainy day
North of  Delémont North of Delémont

Between Moutier and Delémont the train passes through a narrow river gorge, but as can be seen, the weather wasn't on our side when we came this way.

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