Cern Overview

CERN, nestled near Geneva in Switzerland, is where the mysteries of the universe unfold. It is the largest sci-fi laboratory in the whole world. Here, you can find the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator. At CERN, scientists from over 100 countries work together to solve the secrets of particle physics, including that of the Higgs boson. It is a place where science meets imagination, making it a must-visit on your Switzerland tour and be intrigued by how the universe works.

CERN, also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is situated on the outskirts of Geneva in Switzerland. It lies on the Franco-Swiss border and was established in 1954. Since then, the laboratory has grown to become the largest particle physics research centre in the whole world. It is a place where the brightest minds use sophisticated technology to unlock the universe's deepest secrets. It is also famous for inventing the World Wide Web and discovering the elusive Higgs Boson. 

The facility is mostly known for its Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which allows scientists to recreate cosmic rays under controlled laboratory conditions. It is also the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. Here, particles collide at nearly the speed of light, providing insights into the fundamental laws of nature. 

CERN is not just a hub for researchers but also a fascinating destination for anyone intrigued by the universe. You can dive into this interesting world through guided tours and exhibitions during your visit. It is here where you can learn and share your scientific knowledge and interest with others, making CERN a popular destination in Geneva.


• Explore the Universe's secrets with a free guided tour led by CERN's scientists and engineers.
• Discover the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator, where the limits of physics are expanded.
• Visit the Science Gateway, which features interactive exhibitions and hands-on lab workshops on particle physics.
• Watch live science shows that bring the mysteries of physics to life, including live experiments on electromagnetism and states of matter.
• Marvel at the Globe of Science and Innovation, where you can learn all about the research that is conducted at CERN.

How To Reach

  • By Tram: The most convenient way to reach CERN is by tram. You can take tram line 18 from Gare Cornavin train station in Geneva's city centre directly to the "CERN" tram stop. The distance between the two points is 7.5 kilometres, and the tram ride takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Trams run frequently throughout the day, about every 5 to 10 minutes during peak hours. 
  • By Car: If you prefer to drive, the journey from Geneva city centre to CERN takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. It covers a distance of around 7.5 kilometres via the Route de Meyrin.
  • By Bike: There is a well-marked bike path from the city centre to CERN for those looking to cycle. The distance is about 9 kilometres and takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your pace. 
  • By Bus: Alternatively, bus line Y from the Gare Cornavin bus station in Geneva's city centre can take you close to CERN. Bus numbers 23, 28, and 57 operate on this route and stop at the Blandonnet bus stop. This stop is around 3.5 kilometres from CERN. You can take tram 18 or bus 68 from here and get off at CERN, which will take around 10 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

CERN is a great place to visit all through the year. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the forefront of particle physics at any time you visit. CERN remains closed on Mondays, so you can opt for a visit between Tuesdays and Fridays. Additionally, the weekends here tend to be more crowded. Therefore, the CERN Science Gateway tends to be quieter during the week. This allows you more space and time to engage deeply with the exhibits and interact well with the guides. The best time to explore CERN is right during opening time at 09:00 a.m. Doing so can help you maximise your time to explore all the exhibitions, which close at 05:00 p.m. This also ensures a smoother visit with fewer crowds, giving you a closer look at the marvels of modern science.

Other Essential Information

1. Check CERN's operational hours online before your visit to plan your day effectively.

2. Book your guided tour in advance, as spots fill up quickly.

3. Wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking involved in tours.

4. Arrive 20 minutes early for tours to check in and avoid missing out on any part of the lab.

5. Bring a photo ID and passport since some areas may require crossing into France.

6. Watch educational videos or documentaries about CERN beforehand for a richer experience.

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Point of Interest for Cern
Explore the Universe at Science Gateway

Explore the Universe at Science Gateway

Delve into the mysteries of the cosmos at the Science Gateway at CERN. This newly opened centre, designed by the famed Renzo Piano, houses interactive exhibitions. Here, you can enjoy the practical experience of science through exhibitions like "Discover CERN," "Our Universe," and "Quantum World." Each exhibit takes you on a captivating journey through time. As you explore, you can learn all about the origins of the universe, from the Big Bang to the intricacies of quantum mechanics in an understandable way. Visiting the Science Gateway in CERN lets you learn about the fundamental principles that govern our universe, in a very simple and interesting manner.

Join a Guided Tour of CERN

Join a Guided Tour of CERN

Enjoy a fascinating journey through guided tours of the facility, led by CERN’s very own set of scientists. These guided tours offer a rare peek into the study of particle physics. The tours also provide unparalleled insight into the facilities where groundbreaking experiments are conducted. You will see the Synchrocyclotron during the tour, CERN's first particle accelerator. Additionally, you might even get the chance to visit the control room of the ATLAS experiment, which is a significant particle physics experiment related to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Attend a Live Science Show

Attend a Live Science Show

Witness science comes to life at one of CERN's dynamic science shows. Delivered by the scientific community at CERN, these shows cover thrilling topics like Electromagnetism, levitation, states and mysteries of matter, and the Universe. Some of the popular live science shows at CERN include "Mysteries of Matter," "Journey through a Detector," "Seize the Data," "Proton Express," and "Science of Magical Parties." Additionally, all of the shows at CERN are designed to explain complex scientific concepts simplistically to visitors of all ages. It is a fun, engaging way to learn, with interactive elements that make complex concepts accessible and exciting.

Participate in a Lab Workshop

Participate in a Lab Workshop

Roll up your sleeves for a lab workshop at Science Gateway when you visit CERN. These sessions offer a hands-on approach to science in a way that is both exciting and educational. These workshops are conducted at state-of-the-art facilities within the Science Gateway and are led by CERN’s scientific community volunteers. Here, you can engage in activities like employing infrared cameras to visualize temperature differences. These live sessions also provide a glimpse into the daily work of scientists and engineers here.

Discover CERN's History and Achievements

Discover CERN's History and Achievements

Take a self-guided tour of CERN's achievements through the Microcosm Exhibit and the Globe of Science and Innovation. By doing so, you can trace the history of CERN's research and its contribution to science. During the tour, you can learn about the construction of the Large Hadron Collider and CERN’s role in the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW). With detailed displays, interactive models, and informative panels, these exhibits celebrate science. They also celebrate the collective effort of thousands of scientists from around the globe.

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