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Preparing for your visit
CERN visits are free of charge, whether they are guided tours, exhibitions or public events. Do not pay any third parties who claim that CERN is charging them.
Yes, if you take part in a guided tour, as some tours may take place on both sides of the Swiss-French border.
Yes. A free car park is available next to the Globe of Science and Innovation.
Please note that due to construction works for the Science Gateway, only a temporary car park is available. Follow signs and driving instructions carefully.
No, but CERN can be reached by public transport. Those arriving at Geneva Cointrin airport can obtain a free bus and tram ticket from the machine in the baggage collection area of the arrivals hall. For further details please click here.
Our Discover CERN online page provides numerous resources for you to learn more about CERN before your visit.
French and English. Some of the team members also speak other languages.
No, CERN has no luggage storage facilities and declines all responsibility for any luggage or other personal effects brought onto its premises. For security reasons, we invite you to leave them in your coach or at your hotel. Luggage storage facilities are available at Geneva airport and the Cornavin train station.
No. The CERN restaurants are inside the fenced part of the site and only accessible to a limited number of groups on guided tours that have requested and received restaurant access when booking their tour. There are a few restaurants in the area around CERN that are accessible by foot or public transport.
Yes. Free public Wi-Fi is available in and around CERN’s main buildings. However, some guided tour areas may not be fully covered. Connect to CERN-Visitors Wi-Fi, and then to a website to register.
Yes, the souvenir shop in the Reception area sells books, educational items, clothes and gifts. More information can be found here.
Please note that the shop closes 30 minutes after exhibitions and guided tours end, so set aside enough time for your shopping.
Not publicly accessible. Only groups granted restaurant access will be able to use the ATMs inside the fenced part of the site. The CERN shop accepts Visa, Mastercard, Postfinance, Maestro and Diners Club.
Yes, Visa, Mastercard, Postfinance, Maestro and Diners Club cards are all accepted. You can also pay in cash using Swiss francs or euro notes. However, change is given in Swiss francs only.
No personal data is collected for visitors of our permanent exhibitions or shop. Some anonymous data can be collected for statistical reason (post code, nationality, language etc).
Visitors are reminded that CERN sites are under video surveillance. More information about video surveillance at CERN can be found here.
Public events participants must usually register for the event. You can find more information on what CERN does with public event registrations data here.
Guided tour visitors will enter CERN fenced site and are therefore requested to provide the following identification details: last name, first name, date of birth, place of birth, country of birth and nationality. You can find more information on what we do with visitors’ personal data for guided tours visitors here.
Yes, CERN has no secrets and you can photograph or film anything you wish throughout your visit, as long as you do not violate the privacy rights of individuals.
While pets are not generally permitted on site, guide dogs for the visually impaired are welcome.
Please inform the Reception personnel when you arrive.
If the date you want cannot be selected, it means that we cannot take any more visitors on this date.
CERN receives twice as many requests as it has places available, so you are advised to book your tour as early as possible.
Group (12-48 people) guided tours can be requested 9 months in advance.
Individual (1-11 people) guided tours can only be registered on site depending upon availability.
Some of the places visited on guided tours are a long way from the CERN Reception (up to 15 km away). It is therefore important to organise transport. CERN has a limited number of coaches/minibuses to transport visitors. If you have your own coach/minibus, we will use it during the tour to travel between the visit points. Please make sure that the driver is aware of this and is prepared to drive you. Please note that the use of private cars is not allowed. Only coaches/minibuses (with 20 to 50 seats) are allowed to bring tour parties onto our sites.
Tours are conducted exclusively by members or former members of the CERN personnel, who give tours on a voluntary basis.
Tours last between one hour (individual tours last exceptionally one hour) and three hours (group tours). In addition to the guided tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the two permanent exhibitions on the CERN site.
Underground tours are extremely rare and limited to smaller groups.
The LHC tunnel is never accessible to visitors.
Only the experiment caverns can be visited during LHC shutdowns.
But there are plenty of interesting places to visit above ground!
The final tour programme is decided at the last minute to take operational and safety constraints into account and cannot be confirmed in advance.
Yes, CERN is located on both sides of the French-Swiss border, so you might cross it during your tour. A valid form of ID is therefore necessary for each visitor on a guided tour.
Use of CERN’s on-site cafeterias is restricted to groups that have booked a guided tour, requested access to the cafeterias and received approval from the Visits Service.
Direct contacts with CERN Restaurant management are not allowed.
If your request has been approved, please contact us for more information, quoting the reference number of your tour request.
Please note that, due to the large number of people who use the CERN cafeterias, your lunch will have to take place:
- before 11.30 a.m. if your tour takes place in the afternoon
- after 1.00 p.m. if your tour takes place in the morning
Please take these time constraints into account when planning your visit.
Warning: access to CERN’s cafeterias is reserved for groups on guided tours that have requested and received permission to eat there.
Lunch at CERN cafeterias costs around 15 CHF.
Swiss franc and euro banknotes are accepted. Change is always given in Swiss francs.
ATMs are located close to all the restaurants.
CERN Restaurant 1 and 2 accept all major credit and debit cards.
No. As the applicable laws differ from one country to another, CERN is unable to provide a standard risk assessment document. A medical service and fire brigade are based on the Meyrin site, and strict safety rules are in place to protect everyone working at or visiting CERN.
Connect to http://myguidedtours.cern.ch with your login, select the requested tour and click on ‘Cancel the guided tour’ at the top.
How can I make a change to my guided tour request: date, number of visitors, use of the restaurants, language, etc.?
Please submit a request using the contact form, quoting the reference number of your tour request. This number can be found in the automated e mails that have been sent to you and on the myguidedtours.cern.ch website.
Yes. Participants in guided tours enter the CERN sites, and all visitors must wear a personal visitor's card prominently.
Once your guided tour request has been approved, you will be given access to a form available on myguidedtours.cern.ch to provide details of all the members of your party (first name, last name, nationality, date and place of birth) .
Make sure you enter only unaccented Latin characters, as shown in the machine-readable part of your identity document.
No. You can save the form and come back later to enter additional information. All visitors' details must be provided within 48 hours in the case of individual guided tours or at least 21 days before the guided tour in the case of group guided tours, otherwise visitors whose details are incomplete will be removed from the tour booking.
Yes, you are welcome to inform us of any changes, up to one day before the guided tour. No updates are possible on the day before the guided tour as this is when we need to print visitors' cards. You can inform the Reception staff of any last-minute changes when you arrive.
What should I do if I have last-minute changes to visitors’ details that I am unable to inform you of in time?
As soon as you arrive at the CERN Reception, please inform us of any last-minute changes. You will be requested to provide details of all visitors whose information has changed or who are not attending. Please note that the time needed to provide this information may reduce the duration of your guided tour. You are therefore advised to inform us of any changes online, up to one day before the guided tour.
No. Only the number of visitors registered on myguidedtours.cern.ch will be allowed to take part in the guided tour. Any visitors who have not been registered may visit the permanent exhibitions during the guided tour.
This information is not mandatory before your arrival, but you will have to provide it when you arrive at the CERN Reception at the latest. Make sure that you have this information with you.
No. The CERN logo is the property of CERN, and its use on any item produced by an external organisation is not permitted under any circumstances, including in the context of a school visit. However, the use of phrases such as “Visit to CERN, Geneva, Switzerland” is acceptable.
Yes, but availability is limited. School groups visiting CERN may apply to stay in the CERN hostel if all the members of the group are at least 16 years of age and have already been registered for a guided tour by the Visits Service. Teachers will be responsible for the group throughout the stay and must remain in the hostel with the pupils at all times. One teacher is required for every 10 pupils. Bookings cannot be made more than 90 days in advance of the tour and are limited to a maximum of three nights. Please note that no bookings are possible in June, July, August or September.
For all hostel bookings, please contact: CERN Hostel once your guided tour has been confirmed by the Visits Service.
Many school groups use the Geneva youth hostel. You can also find hotels nearby on Google Maps.
Yes, like all outreach activities at CERN, exhibitions are accessible free of charge.
No. Access to the exhibitions is free of charge and no registration is needed.
If you plan to come with a large group (more than 20), we would appreciate it if you could inform us in advance.
The exhibition welcomes visitors of all ages, although it is best enjoyed by ages 14+.
Usually not, but there may be a guide on duty at the Universe of Particles exhibitions at some point during the day. Don’t hesitate ask them questions. Should you have a special request, please contact us.