An idyllic park with a botanical garden and zoo, not too far from Lyon's centre and all free of charge.
In the north of Lyon, away from the city’s busy centre and just 20 minutes by public transport, is the Parc de la Tête d'Or. This scenic, urban park stretches that across 105 hectares is filled with lush green lawns, rose gardens and a vast lake; but what makes the Parc de la Tête d'Or so unique is that it is also home to a botanical garden and a zoological park.
As you approach the park, eyes are immediately drawn to the extraordinary glass greenhouses which hold one of Europe’s most impressive collection of around 16, 000 species of plants and flowers, as well as a library and a seed shop. And stroll into the centre of the park to gawk at several exotic species found on savannahs and rainforests, such as giraffes, zebras and monkeys. Almost half of the 400 animals they shelter are part of European breeding programmes and the zoo hopes to encourage awareness of the importance of the conservation of biodiversity.
And if you’re not content with a simple stroll, why not rent a boat on the lake (€12), or have a family day out and keep the kids busy with pony rides (€2.50) or mini go karting (€2).
The park, including the botanical garden and zoological park, is free of charge and open all year round, seven days a week.
Parc de la Tête d'Or
Place Général Leclerc, 69006 Lyon
Summer (15 April- 14 October): Every day, 6.30 - 22.30
Winter (15 October - 14 April): Every day, 6.30 - 20.30