8 must see parks in Geneva

Published by: BouncePosted

Have you ever been to Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland? This is a multicultural place, with a bit under half of its population originating from outside of Switzerland. It's also considered one of the world's most beautiful cities. In Geneva, you'll find stunning architecture and a rich history that covers around 4,000 years. Throughout those years, the people of Geneva have accomplished some incredible things, like creating the World Wide Web at CERN laboratories right here in the city. The famous writer, musician, and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was also born in Geneva.

Geneva lies on the banks of the gorgeous Lake Geneva, the biggest lake in Europe, and is situated by the mouth of the Rhone River. Outside the city are the Jura Mountains and the French Alps, which offer abundant outdoor activities, but you don't have to travel that far to find somewhere nice to spend time outside. Both tourists and permanent residents love the parks in Geneva, and below, we'll introduce you to some of the best places to spend a sunny afternoon. No matter what nature experiences you’re looking for, Geneva parks and green spaces will fit the bill. If you have shopping bags or other heavy items that limit your adventures, make your way to the nearest Geneva luggage storage facility to enjoy every aspect of the park.

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Parc La Grange

Parc La Grange, or The Grange Park, overlooks the lake and is filled with wide-open green spaces, ponds, and trees. The park is loved by all of its visitors not only because it has the most beautiful scenery but also because it's the biggest of all the Geneva parks. Since being opened to the public, many people have used it as a relaxing spot to escape the bustling city, so make sure to visit and see what it's all about.

The star attraction of Parc La Grange is the huge rose gardens that are the largest of their kind in the entire city. The garden has been called La Roseraie and is home to more than 100 varieties of roses. Take a seat on a bench to admire the colorful and fragrant flowers before seeing everything else the park has to offer. Some other landmarks include an 18th-century villa, orangeries, and an alpine garden.

One of the best spots to settle down in the park, aside from La Roseraie, is right by the lake. Looking out over the water is quite an impressive sight, so consider bringing food and having a picnic with family or friends. To get the best view of the lake, stop by some of the designated vantage points. If you visit during the summertime, you might catch a live musical performance as part of the Musique en Ete event that the park hosts.

Parc Mon Repos

Here is another green space overlooking the lake, complete with lush green lawns, tranquil ponds, and mature trees offering shaded areas where you can put down a blanket and relax. Parc Mon Repos is a good spot to visit as a family since there's so much room to let the kids run around or play catch. Take the day to explore the area—this park is connected to several other green spaces, like Perle du Lac Park.

Mon Repos Park was first opened to the public in 1898 when the Plantamour family gave the land to the city, and it's been a much-appreciated space for leisure and recreation ever since. In the heart of the park, there's a country house that's been around since the 18th century. If you're familiar with Voltaire, you'll find it interesting that he often frequented the house and even staged theatrical performances there.

On November 11th of each year, the park hosts a ceremony in the garden. The event celebrates the ceasefire of 1918, and it's a great activity to attend if you're interested in the city's history.

Parc Beaulieu

Parc Beaulieu is located in the center of Geneva's Les Grottes neighborhood. Whether you want to get active or just spend some time wandering the trails, this is a great park to visit. The park was added to give the local citizens in the surrounding area a place to work out.

If you're looking to exercise, take advantage of the proxitraining course. Seven posts are set up around the park in a 900-meter loop, and as you reach each station, you'll have the opportunity to do new exercises. Even if you aren't an experienced athlete, this course can help you get active while enjoying the outdoors.

While you stroll through the grounds, it's almost impossible to miss the huge cedar trees that call the park home. Some are said to be nearly 300 years old and quite impressive in size. The trees also provide shaded areas where you can stop and rest during your workout.

Jardin Botanique

The Jardin Botanique, or Botanical Garden, is one of the best Geneva parks. It covers 28 hectares of space filled with lush greenery, colorful flowers, and plants you've never seen before. With around 16,000 different species of flora found in this one space, it's a cool park for all nature enthusiasts to visit.

The wide collection of plants you'll see here includes flowers, trees, and shrubs originating from five continents worldwide. You can learn about the diverse flora since they are all labeled and can be found in spaces resembling their natural habitat.

This isn't the first botanical garden in the city, as it used to be found at the Parc des Bastions. In 2017, the Jardin Botanique hosted a bicentennial anniversary celebration for the first-ever gardens, which included fun events and activities. This park is well worth visiting.

Parc des Bastions

Parc des Bastions has been around since 1817 and was home to the first botanical garden in the city. Although the gardens have been moved, this park still has plenty to offer, including recent additions that unite the entire community. You can reach the park by foot from the Old Town.

Having walked through the arching gates at the park's entrance, you'll see one of its main landmarks: the giant checkers and chessboards with gigantic pieces you can use to play against friends or other parkgoers. After playing a few matches, wander around the rest of the property, which has lovely promenades lined with trees.

Another important part of this park is the Reformation Wall, alongside statues of the Reformation's founders. The Palais Eynard and seat of the city government are found here, too. Parc des Bastions is located on the grounds of a former university, which is still on the property along with its library. Head towards the old bandstand, and you'll find a restaurant, which is a fantastic place to grab lunch when you get hungry.

Jardin Anglais

The Jardin Anglais, which stands for English Gardens, is bright and colorful with impressive floral displays. It was the first garden of its kind and has been around since 1854. There are plenty of paths to wander around, and it's a fun place for people of all ages to spend a few hours. Head to the park's edge to see stunning views of Lake Geneva.

Walk through the grounds, and you'll find an elegant fountain that keeps guests cool with its mist and provides a nice spot to sit and relax. Inside the park are a few trees dating back hundreds of years. The ginkgo was planted in 1863, and the red beech tree has been around since 1895 when it was added for the National Exhibition. Some other species that you might be able to recognize include tulip trees, horse chestnuts, western red cedar, magnolia grandiflora and imperial paulownia.

The Jardin Anglais is used as a venue for the Geneva Festival, which brings in plenty of eager visitors looking to try new food and attend free concerts at the bandstands. An unmissable landmark is the Flower Clock. It pays tribute to the watchmakers of Geneva, and there's also the National Monument, which was added to remember Geneva being integrated into the Swiss Confederation.

Parc des Eaux Vives

Parc des Eaux Vives is one of the oldest parks in Geneva. It has some of the city's oldest trees, many of which have been around for hundreds of years. Several large lawns are present, ideal for playing sports games or throwing a frisbee. This green space is located close to Parc La Grange.

The park is big enough not to get busy, and even when there are many people here, you'll still be able to find a quiet spot. Bring a blanket and some of your favorite snacks to picnic by the lake's shores.

You can stay here overnight if you can't get enough of this park. The 18th-century fortress atop the hill is a hotel and restaurant with terrific reviews. If you'd like to picnic but forgot to bring food, just speak to the people at the restaurant; they can provide you with a packed lunch and glasses and will even include a blanket.

Parc de La Perle du Lac

Travelers and locals enjoy the facilities at Parc de La Perle du Lac. This green space features a huge flowery meadow, which most call the Jardin de La Perle. Playgrounds and barbeque spots make this park a wonderful choice for families looking to spend time in nature. Some of the best activities in Parc de La Perle du Lac are walking, running, or biking. You'll discover plenty of pathways to explore.

We recommend checking out the Musee d'Histoire des Sciences de Geneva. It'll wow you with its exhibits and displays as soon as you walk through the door. The museum is inside the Florentine-styled building, which has been part of the park since it was constructed in 1829. This park is connected to two other public parks, Moynier Park and Mon Repos Park.

Looking to try some traditional French cuisine? The park's restaurant, owned by the municipality of Geneva, has fantastic dishes to taste. Fun fact: this park was given its name by the wife of Hans Wilsdorf, the former owner of the park and founder of the Rolex brand.

Explore all of the public parks in Geneva

Parks provide well-maintained spaces to enjoy the fresh air and spend time surrounded by nature. Being outside and active, even if just going for a walk, can increase one's quality of life. There are many Geneva parks, so you can easily find one close to you, even in the middle of the city. Nearly all offer free admission. Nothing is holding you back from enjoying these beautiful green spaces.

Those more adventurous and looking for a challenging activity might be interested in hiking in the surrounding mountains. No matter your interests, you'll find much to do in Geneva. Read our Geneva Visitor Guide to learn more.

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