Looking for a place to relax, stroll, and enjoy Lyon?
Welcome to the largest urban park in all of France. The Parc de la Tête d’Or is a popular destination for the Lyonnais people, but if you venture there at the right time… you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the beauty of the park in peace. Weekends in France are celebrated with a large, long lunch from approximately 12pm-3pm Saturdays and Sundays. If you up and at ‘em before three, that is the best time to explore this park.
There are beautiful walking paths all throughout the park. It’s perfect for a casual promenade, or if you’re feeling active, jog along the trails. The park has a manmade lake filled with ducks, swans and geese. Take a moment to stop and feed them, or read a book on one of the many benches on the brink of the river. If you’re in the mood for a treat, there is a stand just outside the gates that makes fresh crepes, waffles, and serves ice cream. Try the nutella crepes, a popular French dessert. Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread, excellent when melted onto a warm crepe.
If you enjoy a little adventure on your Saturday afternoon, take the paddle boats out for a spin. The lake is a gentle size, not too large and most enjoyable. The paddle boat rental is conveniently located at the entrance of the park. It’s a nice, easy way to explore the lake.
Bicycle Rentals in Lyon
One of the post beloved French past times is a lovely tour on a classic bicycle. Bike rentals are available at stations throughout the city (Velo V), but you must have a credit/debit card with a security chip to rent from the un-attended bike stands. If you don’t have a security chip (or the patience to deal with the European rental system) reserve a bike in advance and do a tour of the city (bikerentallyon.com).
Warning to those of you who choose to use the Velo V rental system, there is an insurance “fee” of 150 euro. Don’t be alarmed, this is just to secure that they get their bikes back. You will not be charged if the bike is returned, not to worry. These stations are all over the city, so you can stop wherever is most convenient for you.
Activities for the Children
If you’re looking for family activities to fill your afternoon, I suggest the zoo. It has a wild range of exotic wild life for all to enjoy. You can access the zoo easily from the main entrance of the park, just turn right after you’ve gone through the gates. One of the best parts of the zoo is that it is free!
A Romantic Walk in the Park
If you venture further into the grounds, past the trails of trees, away from the shore of the lake, you will discover the most romantic part of the park. The tranquility of the gardens will impress you, the peaceful bridges, calm waters and perfectly maintained landscape is breathtaking. Take a moment to stop and smell the roses, they have the most colorful shades that all boast rich, beautiful scents. Perhaps this is a good spot to stop and have a picnic, or do as the French lovers do… bring a blanket and just lay out enjoying the fresh air.
How to get to the Parc de la Tête d’Or
The Parc de la Tête d’Or is located on the north end of Lyon, and may be a far walk from where you’re staying. It is completely accessible by public transit, or you can choose to enjoy the beautiful walk all the way to the park.
On the bus: 41 and 36 Stop at: Parc de la Tête d’Or – Porte Duquesne
On the Metro (Subway): Line A (red), stop at Masséna
Walking: Please visit the Lyon official site to view an interactive map
Picture of the Parc de la Tête d’Or, Lyon originally posted by superseb694