Complete your Lyon visit with several hours in this delightful spot, a combination of botanical gardens, grassy public spaces and a zoo.
Tête d’Or Parc is to Lyon as Central Park is to New York, a favorite spot to escape city bustle and find new treasures in every corner. Plan family outings or daily jogs in this lovely green space.
Designed by Denis and Eugène Buhler, the park opened in 1857, the same year as Central Park. Notice its English garden style, with large lake, wooded areas and shaded trails. Several years after it opened, glass houses were added to bring international plant species to the city for all to enjoy.
In winter, wander among tropical and equatorial plants while cold winds blow outside. In summer, see the beautiful rose garden with over 16,000 rose bushes of 450 varieties of all colors, sizes and scents.
As an urban park, the large 290-acre (117-hectare) space has numerous paths and lawns for short getaways during the day. Join morning joggers or lunchtime walkers or bikers on the trails. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase a meal or snacks from the Kiosk or the Shop to enjoy while gazing over the large lake. Rent boats to take out on the water.
Children have plenty of active choices in the park. Travel back and forth on the Lizard Train, ride ponies, drive mini-boats, ride the carousel and visit the year-round zoo. It has 400 animals, with special focus on endangered species. Pink flamingos, zebras and giraffes are among the colorful sightings in the African Savannah section.
The name of the park translates to “Golden Head Park,” which comes from legends that crusader treasure, including a golden head of Christ, is buried somewhere within. While that is not likely, search for beautiful spots for quiet contemplation or active fun.
Tête d’Or Parc is in Lyon’s 6th arrondissement. Reach the park by crossing the Rhône River from the center of Lyon and walking north for 15 minutes. You can also take a combination of metro and bus or drive and park at Cité Internationale.
The park opens early in the morning and remains open until dark. Entry is free, while some activities charge a fee and have individual operating hours.