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Information for CERN openlab visitors

CERN in a nutshell
How to get to CERN
Arriving at CERN
CERN openlab location
Practical Information
Local Weather
Taxi Phone numbers

CERN in a nutshell

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions. CERN is also the place where the World Wide Web was born twenty years ago.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.

For more information, please visit: You may also want to watch CERN in 3 minutes video.


How to get to CERN

Copyright TPG - Click on the map to enlarge it.

Travelling by Aeroplane:

Coming from the Geneva International Airport at Cointrin by bus

> By bus Y:

The official journey time between CERN and the airport is 17 minutes with bus number Y, however, the service is not very frequent, with buses running every 30 minutes between 5.30 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, then every hour until midnight. On Saturdays and Sundays there is only one bus per hour, and on Sundays it operates between 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. only (for the CERN stop).

> By bus 57 and bus 56:

Take the bus number 57 (direction: Gare Vernier-Meyrin) from outside the airport to 'P+R Planche' and take the number 56 bus to its terminus at the CERN entrance (ticket "Tout Genève" on the ticket machine). Bus number 57 operates more frequently than the Y bus (every 15 minutes) but does not run on Sundays and stops running at 8.00 p.m. on Saturdays.

> Outside these times, passengers wishing to go to CERN should catch bus number 23 or 28 to Blandonnet and then tram number 14 or 16 till Vaudagne and bus number 56 to CERN.

See Transports Publics Genevois web site for full details.

Free public transport ticket for passengers arriving at Geneva Airport

Since 1st January 2008, the International Airport of Geneva is offering all arriving passengers a free "Tout Genève" ticket, which is valid for 80 minutes. The ticket is available from the automatic ticket machine situated in the baggage reclaim zone and permits you to use public transport in the city of Geneva on the day of your arrival only, and must be accompanied by your boarding pass

For more information and a look to the public transport map.

Travelling by Train:

Coming from the Geneva railway station at Cornavin by bus
Take the tram number 14 or 16 (direction: Meyrin-Gravière) to Vaudagne. From Vaudagne take the number 56 bus marked to its terminus at the CERN entrance. Ticket costs 3.00CHF (ticket "Tout Genève" on the ticket machine).

See Transport Publics Genevois web site for full details.

Map courtesy of Geneva Airport - Click on the map to enlarge it.

Travelling by Car:

Coming from the Swiss side
Follow "Aeroport", "Lyon" or "Meyrin". When in Meyrin head for "St. Genis" (which is just across the border in France). Before you get to St. Genis, CERN is on the left hand side of the "route de Meyrin", just before the border crossing. From 11 February 2008, traffic is diverted due to roadworks on the Route de Meyrin. Diversion signs are in place.

Coming from the French side (Ain)
Follow "Gex" or "St. Genis". When in St. Genis head for the border.
CERN is on your right hand side immediately after the border crossing.

GPS coordinates:

Latitude: 46°13'59'' N
Longitude: 6°3'20'' E

An interactive map of Geneva and a detailed map of the buildings at CERN can help you find your way.

Arriving at CERN

Upon arriving at CERN, please go to reception (building 33) to pick up your entry pass. Building 33 is very close to the penultimate bus stop on line 56. If you go to the final stop simply walk back in the direction the bus came from and building 33 will appear on your right. The security guards at the Entrance A and Entrance B can also indicate how to get to building 33. The receptionist will call your host and will give you a badge and can direct you to your meeting room.

Practical Information

Postal addresses:

For France:

Organisation Européenne pour
la Recherche Nucléaire
F-01631 CERN Cedex

For Switzerland:

European Organization
for Nuclear Research
CH-1211 Genève 23

Access and opening hours:


Monday - Friday from 08:00 to 17:45

Saturday from 08:30 to 17:15

Phone number: +41 (0)22 767 76 76

Internal number: 78484

CERN shop

Monday - Friday from 08:15 to 17:45

Saturday from 09:00 to 17:15

Microcosm exhibition

Monday - Friday from 08:30 to 17:30

Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00

The Microcosm is closed on CERN holidays which include Easter and Christmas. If you want to visit on a French or Swiss official holiday, it is always advisable to phone first to check if the Microcosm is open. For more information, please click here.

Globe exhibition: Universe of Particles

Monday - Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00

All information is distributed by the Globe-info list. For more information, please click here.


  • Meyrin A: Monday - Friday from 07:00 to 19:00

  • Meyrin B: 7/7, 24h/24h

  • Meyrin C: Monday - Friday
    from 07:00 to 09:00 and from 17:00 to 19:00

  • Meyrin E: Monday - Friday
    from 07:00 to 09:30 and from 16:30 to 19:00

  • Prévessin : 24h/24h

Transport around the CERN site

The radio bus (00.41.22767.6969) will come to pick you up as soon as possible. The driver will need to know from which building you want to leave and to which building you want to go. The driver generally speaks French.



There are two restaurants on the Meyrin site (and a third one on the Prévessin site). Restaurant n°1 is in the Main Building (Building 500) and restaurant n°2 (Building 504, also known as DSR, is near the CERN Computer Centre (Building 513). The cashier will ask you to pay cash, in CHF.


Bank and cash dispensers

There is a UBS bank in the Main Building (Building 500 - opening hours: 8:30 to 16:30) and there are cash dispensers both in the Main Building and in the restaurant n°2 (Building 504).


Health issue and accident

Minor problems can be dealt with the CERN medical service in Building 57. CERN first aid phone numbers are: and For more serious problems, the CERN Fire Brigade should be contacted:


Travel agency

Carlson Travel Agency is located in the Main Building (Building 500). Phone numbers:


The detailed map of the buildings at CERN can help you find your way.

CERN openlab location

CERN openlab meeting room (CERN openspace, room 513-R-070) is located in Building 513, where CERN Computer Centre is. Please click on the map to enlarge it.


Hotels of the Geneva region can be found thanks to the following websites:

List of hotels in the area compiled by CERN housing service
Geneva Tourism website
Lake Geneva region website
Geneva Info website
My Switzerland website

Note that if you choose to book a room in neighboring France, you will probably need a car, as public-transport is practically non-existent.

Local weather

Meteo Suisse website

World Weather Information website


AA Genève Central Taxi: 0041.22.320.2202

Unless you ask for a cab accepting credit card when calling, you will probably need to pay cash, in CHF. Due to the road work on Meyrin road, at rush hours, it can take a long time to go to the airport (maximum 45 minutes) and to Geneva city centre (up to 1 hour).



Last update: Thursday, 26. January 2012 13:12

Copyright CERN