European Library Automation Group

Practical Information



Welcome to Geneva!

Here you will find some useful information on how to get to ELAG 2005, enjoy the social events, about your stay at CERN and what to do in Geneva.



Some directions on how to get to CERN. Some information specific to people who visit CERN. You are most likely to get here by car, train or airplane. The best way to proceed is detailed below.

Travelling by Plane

Geneva International Airport at Cointrin.

Many low cost flights connect Geneva to other European countries.

Taxi - (rather expensive, approximately 35 CHF from the Airport). Recommended for heavy luggage!

Bus - take the number 28 bus from outside the airport exit. At the stop “Hôpital de la Tour” take the number 9 bus marked "9 CERN" to its terminus at the CERN entrance. Ticket costs 3.00 CHF (button B on the ticket machine, available at each bus stop with Swiss coins or with Euros: 0,10 - 0,20 - 0,50 - 1 and 2 Euros).

(3.00 CHF are equivalent to 2.00 Euros).

Travelling by Train

Swiss Railways timetable.

From Geneva railway station at Cornavin:

Bus - Take the number 9 bus marked "9 CERN" (not "9 ZIMEYSA") to its terminus at the CERN entrance (about 25 minutes). Ticket costs 3.00 CHF (button B on the ticket machine, available at each bus stop with Swiss coins or with Euros: 0,10 - 0,20 - 0,50 - 1 and 2 Euros).

Going from CERN to Geneva:

Take the number 9 bus in front of Entrance B. Going downtown takes about 25 minutes. Going back to CERN: take the bus marked "9 CERN" (not "9 ZIMEYSA").

Travelling by Car

Please check or


Passport & Visa [Top]

Ensure your passport is valid until well after you plan to end your trip; if it is due to expire in that time, renew it before you depart.

Citizens of certain parts of former USSR and former Yugoslavia, require visas.

See for exact details, and check with your local Swiss embassy or a reputable travel agency before travelling.


CERN Hostels, hotels in Geneva [Top]

If you would like to book a room in the CERN hostel please fill in the relevant section of the registration form as soon as possible because availability of rooms is limited.

You should pay for your hostel. The hostel will accept major credit cards, or cash. Payment can be made at the reception desk between 7:30 am– 7:30 pm (Monday – Friday) and from 09:00 am – 1:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday). Prices are about 55 CHF for a single and 73 CHF for a double room.

How to get the keys of your room if your accommodation is in the CERN Hostel:

The CERN Hostel opening hours are Mon-Fri 7:30 am to 7:00 pm and 09:00 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. For further information please phone on 022-76-74481 from outside CERN and 74481 from inside CERN.

If you are arriving at CERN outside the opening hours of CERN Hostel, you will have to go directly to the CERN Main Entrance (Entrance B) and ask the guard. The keys are held in a building just to the right of Entrance B.

There are two CERN Hostel buildings:

Building 38 is a non-smoking hostel, apart from a certain number of specific bedrooms, reading and television rooms, where smoking is allowed.

Building 39 is a non-smoking hostel, apart from specific reading and television rooms, where smoking is allowed.

Hotels in Geneva
If you prefer to book a hotel in town, the Tourist Office can assist in booking a room in a hotel to suit your needs. Please contact the Tourist Office in Geneva directly on or by phone +41 (0) 22-9097020. This service is free of charge. If you prefer to book yourself please check a list of Geneva Hotels.


Arrival Procedure [Top]

If you arrive at CERN between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm go to the CERN General Reception in Building 33 (open from Monday – Saturday) near to the bus stop and at the side of the car park. The access cards for each registered participant will be available there from 28th May onwards.

If you arrive at CERN between 6:00 pm and 8:00 am (and you have a booked room at the Hostel) go and pick up your access card and room key at Entrance B, next to the bus terminus.

In Geneva buses run from 6:00 am to midnight; outside these hours you will need to take a taxi.


Social Events [Top]

- There will be an ELAG 2005 official welcome dinner on Wednesday 1st of June at the CERN Restaurant 1. All participants are invited.

- Library Visit: Wednesday 1st of June from 17:00 -17:45. More details will be given during the plenary sessions.

- On Thursday 2nd of June evening there will be a wine aperitif in the library garden followed by a wine-sharing dinner.
Participants can have a self service dinner at the CERN Restaurant (food bought at personal expense at the canteen counter). A special part of the dining room will be reserved for the ELAG participants from 19:30 onwards. Please bring with you a bottle of wine (or some drinkable equivalent) from your country to share with other participants at the dinner. During the Wine-sharing evening, there will be an opportunity to visit the Web creators' suite, that is close by.


Contact Person for Logistics [Top]

Susanne Schaefer is responsible for the running of the conference and the workshops. You can contact her at or at the phone number +41-22.767.24.31 from outside Switzerland and 022-76-72431 from outside CERN and 72431 from inside CERN. Her office is located in Building 3/1-017.


Money and Communication [Top]

Currency and exchange rate
CERN straddles the Swiss and French border and so the restaurants and shops on site will accept either Euros or Swiss Francs (though they have a preference for the latter). Geneva is the nearest city and easiest place to reach for shopping and sightseeing and there you will need Swiss Francs although major shops accept Euros and credit cards.

CERN Post Office
The post office has

• a complete financial service (payments, orders, post office accounts)

• a mailing service

• other services (Publifax, phone cards, telegrams, stamp collectors' service, telephone booths, packet kit sales service).


Building 63 (Main Building)

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 1:45 pm to 4:30 pm

Telephone: 022-767 27 98

Fax: 022-782 44 06

BANK and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) Available 24 hours a day.


There is a branch of the Union de Banques Suisses SA on the CERN site (Bldg. 500). It provides the full range of normal banking services such as over-the-counter operations, consultancy and sales (loans, investment and back-up services) and also Swiss Franc and Euro cash dispensers, with a very wide credit card range.

Bank office hours:

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Telephone: 022-783 21 88 or 022-783 21 84 (Bldg. 500)

Fax: 022-783 21 69

Public phones using both cards and coins, are located in the Main Building (Bldg. 500), in the Post Office, in the hostels (Bldg. 38 and 39), etc.

Phone cards can be purchased at the Post Office (Bldg. 63), and at the newspaper stand (Bldg. 501-Main Building)

Using the telephone:

For calling on site, use only the last five digits of the phone number (e.g. 72431 instead of 76-72431).

If you need to send a fax, you can use the Publifax at the Post Office, or ask Susanne Schaefer (office 3/1-017, tel: 72431 from inside CERN).

Reading your email
During your stay in Geneva, you can read your mail on the computers in the Central Library at CERN. There are 6 PCs and 10 X-terminals.

There are several options for reading your email. From the CERN Library you can use any available protocol for accessing your own mailbox, e.g. http, Telnet, SSH, FTP, etc.

The temporary username and password will allow participants to use the Library's 6 PCs and 10 X-terminals. They will be included in the Welcome pack.

In order to connect a laptop to the network at CERN you should register as a visitor in advance (when you are asked for a contact person at CERN you can enter the details of: Tullio Basaglia, Group SI, Department DSU).

Wireless network is available in some areas. It is available in the Hostel (only in Bldg. 39), in the Council Chamber, in the library and in most conference rooms.

Note that Swiss power sockets are three pin but will accept standard European two pin plugs, however, the sockets are recessed (hexagonal) so some adaptors may not be suitable. See a picture of a European to Swiss adaptor. A small amount of European-Swiss adaptors will be available to borrow from Susanne Schaefer (tel: 72431 from inside CERN).


Moving around in CERN [Top]

CERN buildings

Printed plans of the CERN site can be obtained from the Reception. A copy will be included in the Welcome pack.


Breakfast and Lunch

A Restaurant is available on site, where you can have breakfast and lunch.

Opening hours

Monday-Friday: 07:00 am – 01:00 pm

Saturday-Sunday: 07.00 - 23.00

Prices range from 10 to 20 CHF.

Souvenirs and Chocolate shop

The shop, located in Bldg. 501, is open from 7:00 am to 5:15 pm (Monday to Friday).

You can buy cigarettes, Swiss chocolate, newspapers, postcards, etc.


CERN Visit [Top]

CERN invites you to a free visit in English on Saturday from 08:45 am – 12:00 am, meeting in building 33 (reception). Reservation is obligatory.

The visit consists of an introduction to CERN presented by one of our English speaking guides, followed by a film projection and a visit to one of the experimental areas.The choice of the itinerary is made by the Visits Service depending on the availability of the area on the day of your visit.

Please reserve a place on the registration form.


All about CERN in … 7 sentences! [Top]

Did You Know ?...

• That antimatter is routinely produced at CERN (more than 10 million particles per second).

• That the world's largest magnet, weighing more than the Eiffel tower, is at CERN.

• That the vacuum in the Laboratory's accelerators is the best between CERN and the moon.

• That CERN's biggest accelerator is 27 kilometres around, and particles travelling near the speed of light lap it over 11000 times each second.

• That CERN's detectors are the size of four-storey houses.

• That over 1800 physicists work on the biggest experiment being prepared for CERN's next accelerator. This experiment will generate data at a rate about equal to everyone on Earth simultaneously making 10 telephone calls each.

Interesting books:

· Infinitely CERN (Memories from fifty years of research 1954 – 2004 / Sciences & Histoire – Editions Suzanne Hurter Histoire: Editions Suzanne Hurter 2004.

· Antimatter, the ultimate mirror / Fraser, Gordon. - Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000. - 213 p.

· How the Web was born: the story of the World Wide Web / Gillies, James; Cailliau, Robert. - Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2000. - 372 p.

· The quark machines: how Europe fought the particle physics war / Fraser, Gordon. - Bristol: IOP, 1997. - 210 p.

· The search for infinity: solving the mysteries of the universe / Fraser, Gordon; Lillestøl, Egil; Sellevåg, Inge; Hawking, Stephen William. - New York: Facts On File, 1995. - 144 p.

These books are on sale in the reception building 33.

... or you can read the science fiction story by Dan Brown: Angels and Demons

If you want to learn more about CERN, you can have a look at our general public web pages.

What to Do while at CERN? [Top]

CERN Microcosm Exhibition

Microcosm takes you into the hidden corners of the universe. On the site of the world's largest particle physics laboratory, CERN, the exhibition has models, videos, computer games, and original pieces of equipment - something for everyone.

Entrance is free. Open: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The exhibition is located in Bldg. 33 (CERN General Reception).


Geneva Tourist Information [Top]

The Old City

Hidden away in the Old City's picturesque narrow streets you'll find a multitude of art galleries, antique shops, bookshops and charming cafés. Leading off from the Cathedral, cobbled streets and connecting passageways entice you to stroll around the Bourg-du-Four, along the Promenade de la Treille or the Terrasse Agrippa d'Aubigné.

Parks and Lakeside

525 acres of public parks to relax in. As you walk along the quays from the Botanical Gardens, past the Flower Clock and the Water Jet all the way round to the beautiful rose gardens in the Parc des Eaux-Vives and the Parc de la Grange, all Geneva's different facets will unfold before you - from its gardens and buildings to the Lake.


All sorts of shops from small boutiques (in the Rue du Rhône neighbourhood and the Corraterie, in the Old City) to department stores in the Rue de la Confédération, de la Croix d'Or, du Marché ("downtown") and Coutance.

You can change money in the main Geneva banks, stations and foreign exchange offices.


Geneva has many restaurants, brasseries and cafés. Most of the museums and department stores have cafeterias as well: Le Barocco at the Musée d'art et d'histoire and the café de l'Ariana Museum are particularly charming.



Further Information on Geneva [Top]

Arcade d'information de la Ville de Genève

Pont de la Machine 1

1204 Genève

Tél. +41 (0) 22-311 99 70

Closed on Sundays

Office du Tourisme

Rue du Mont-Blanc 18

1201 Genève

Tél. +41 (0) 22-909 70 00

Closed on Sundays from 1 September to 15 June.