Top Parks You Have to Visit in Lyon
There is a park in Lyon that will blow your mind! It has everything I love about parks and it’s my favorite place in Lyon. Why? Well, firstly because it’s free and easily accessible to all. Parc de la Tête d’Or lies on the left bank of the Rhône River, right in the center of the city in the 6th arrondissement. The park is huge, it covers 117 hectares of green space and offers so many experiences that I don’t know where to start.
Maybe from the entrance… and that is a small problem as it has seven entrances altogether and on my two first visits I got lost there. I didn't mind obviously because I love to explore places without maps, only with my camera. Getting lost and finding my way back is a great way to experience the place.
So, yes seven entrances! The main one opens to the Petit Lac (Small Lake) which looks stunning with its beautiful sculpture in front. The park has all I love like space for a nice walk or a bike ride, the space for picnics, and many places and areas for kids to play. It also has plants, flowers and animals! You can admire nature outdoors but also inside in the Botanical Gardens. You can visit the free zoo with monkeys, lions, giraffes, pelicans, flamingos and many more.
You can find Parc de la Tête d'Or at Place Général Leclerc, 69006 Lyon.
While Parc de la Tête d'Or is definitely amazing and the best park in Lyon, it is not the only one. Lyon has quite some good green spaces around. Check out this list of top five parks and make sure you know where to go when the weather is sunny, when you want to rest and read, and when you want to meet up with a friend or have a picnic.
Parc de Gerland
It is situated in the 7th arrondissement, at the end of the Rhône banks promenade, opposite of Parc de la Tête d'Or. It is smaller and has “only” 80 hectares of green area but there are also less people so it’s more relaxed and quiet. This is a modern park and quite new. It has been created between 1997 and 2002 by Michel Corajoud and is pretty impressive with everything it offers. There is the Skate Park de Lyon, for instance. It belongs to the Skate Club and you can sign up to use it as well.
There are many gardens such as Megaphorbiaie garden with 18,000 plants and 300 different species, 600 trees, lawns, and water-lilies. Jardin Chromatique (Color Garden) was designed by Laurent Fachard and it presents beautiful lighting until 22:00. Bird Garden covers the 3000m² and allows you to admire many species of birds. I would also recommend visiting the Maison des Fleurs. This is a 400m² villa which will educate you about gardening and gives you the opportunity to take part in gardening lessons. There are many attractions and events happening in the park during weekends, so check out their news and see if there is anything that appeals to you. Find it at Allée Pierre de Coubertin, 69007 Lyon.
Le Parc de la Cerisaie
This park is located in the 4th arrondissement, in the well-known and beautiful Croix-Rousse. This is a cozy park which covers the area of 4.5 hectares. The park of the cherry orchard is a good place for kids as it has many playgrounds and lawns which are great for picnics and walks. The fitness aficionados will also find good paths for running and exercising. But what I love the most about the park is that it has a sculpture trail. When you follow it, you can admire the works of César Baldaccini, Gérald Martinand, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Geneviève Dumont, Gérard Michel, Markus Raetz, Bernard Pagès, Alain Lovato, Takis and Ulrich Rückriem. You can find it at 25 rue Chazière, 69004 Lyon.
Le Parc des Hauteurs
It is situated at the Fourvière Hill, in the at 5th arrondissement of Lyon. It is actually not one park but it consists of all the green parts around the Fourvière with my favorite area which you will find between the Montée de l’Ang, metal tower of Fourvière and the Loyasse cemetery. I would highly recommend to take a walk there and admire the panoramic view of the Monts d'Or and Beaujolais, as well as different parts of Lyon. There are a few good paths to follow: “Tramway des Macchabées” route and the 600m "Quatre Vents" (Four Winds) footbridge on the Viaduct path are the best.
The park itself was designed by landscape architect Michel Corajoud and it offers you a great relaxing green space in the central city. And lastly and most importantly is that it’s next to the beautiful Basilica and the Jardin du Rosaire, located just under the Basilica which I never miss out on visiting. Find it at Esplanade de Fourvière, 69005 Lyon.
Le Jardin des Curiosités
This is another park of the Croix Rousse. It’s tiny but very interesting and special. It has a great atmosphere and despite the fact that it has only 0.6 hectare, it is really worth visiting visit. Firstly it’s good fun to find it! It is hidden in the bottom of a car park, behind a metallic door. It has many Canadian influences as it was a gift by Montreal to celebrate the 20th anniversary of cooperation with Lyon. That is why it is also called “Jardin de Montréal”. It was a Canadian artist who designed the park and there are six sealed chairs designed by French-Canadian sculptor Michel Goulet. It looks very cozy and pretty and it offers a great view over the south part of Lyon with the panorama of the Saone river at the bottom of the hill and the Mont Blanc in the background. Find it at 9 Place de l’Abbé Larue, 69005 Lyon.
I was enjoying the Lyonnais summer and spent as much time in the parks as I could but I promised myself that I was going to revisit the parks in other seasons as well. They must look amazing in the autumn with the colorful leaves and sunny mild Lyonnais weather. Come and experience yourself!
Aga Marchewka is a Pole who loves exploring different cultures, and the differences and similarities between them. She has just moved to Lyon and started to learn a bit more about the French. Not having any experience with France whatsoever, not speaking any French as of yet, she has been gaining many observations about the French lifestyle, places to visit in France and sharing them on her blog, while starting to learn this beautiful, yet so difficult, language and slowly settling in in France.
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