PARC DES BASTIONS – NEW LOOK
by Chené Koscielny
Whether you’re looking for a spot to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic or recharge your batteries, the Parc des Bastions is a great place to while away a few hours. And it’s free!
A new look
Just in time for summer, this historical park at the foot of the old town next to Place Neuve has been reopened to the public after months of partial closure. So, if you haven’t been for a while, now is the time to rediscover this great public space.
Renovations – to the tune of CHF1,4 million include the resurfacing of the damaged concrete central pathway of the Promenade des Bastions with a clay-limestone cover, an extension of the cobblestone pathways and improved lighting to accommodate evening strollers.
All the park benches were recently renovated in 2016.
History, cocktails and Sunday brunch
The park is home to some of the city’s finest sights, including the famous Reformation Wall – an open-air stone monument honoring the leaders of Switzerland’s Reformation, the Neo-classical Palais Eynard, home of the city’s executive authorities, as well as the Geneva University and Public Library. The former bandstand, at the park’s Place Neuve entrance, hosts a restaurant with a big terrace, overlooking the popular giant chess sets, where you can test your skills for free.
The Café Restaurant du Parc les Bastions offers lunch, pre-dinner cocktails, dinner and a Sunday brunch – from 11.30am (review coming soon). Dishes made using local Swiss products are highlighted on the menu. As everything else in Geneva, the restaurant is not cheap, but an alternative would be to buy a lovely lunch from a nearby food truck or take your own picnic.
The park also offers a playground for children and a free ice-skating rink in the winter.
Find out about cultural activities such as the Fête de la Musique (in June) and the Fête Nationale (1st of August) in the park during the summer months on the Ville de Genève website.
The Promenade des Bastion, originally the site of Geneva’s first botanical garden created in 1817, was declared a mixed public park around 1872, when the beautiful monumental gates were installed (see how the city financed the installation of these gates here).
The aim of the recent renovations was to beautify and upgrade the park, retaining the charm of past centuries.
- Restaurant with terrace, deck chairs in summer
- Ice-skating rink in winter
- Playground and ping-pong tables
- Free wifi
How to get there:
Buses 3, 5, or 36 to Place Neuve or Palais Eynard, or trams 12, 14, or 18 to Place de Neuve stop.