The sunny days have definitely returned, it’s time to take out the wicker basket and the gingham tablecloth for a country picnic (yes, I like clichés). But where to put your buttocks on the grass to eat your sandwich and tabbouleh without it becoming an expedition?
We have therefore concocted a TOP 5 of our favorite picnic spots in Lyon, leaving out the most famous and therefore overused places. already prepare your snack for Sunday, it sends heavy.
The aquatic gardens on the banks of the Saône in Confluence
Direction Confluence, behind the shopping center, where the aquatic gardens are an ideal landmark for a picnic on the banks of the Saône, elsewhere than on the famous quays. Bucolic havens of peace, the 2 aquatic gardens offer a wild setting in this very atypical district. The vast lawns rub shoulders with ponds where there are water lilies, ducks, moorhens, herons and other aquatic fauna and flora (you can even see coypus there!). We come there with the children, delighted to see all these beautiful people. We sit on the grass or on the large circular benches to enjoy this zen space.
Easy to access and often underestimated, the water gardens of Confluence bring a little countryside air to the city center, perfect for an impromptu picnic.
♥️ Bonus: Get there with the Vaporetto, Lyon’s river shuttle, for an original excursion (stop at the terminus in Confluence)
🏠 Ouagadougou Aquatic Garden & Jean Couty Aquatic Garden, Quai Antoine Riboud, 69002 Lyon
🚃 Tramway T1 or T2 station Hôtel de Région – Montrochet or Bus S1 stop Esplanade Mitterrand
⏰ Free access
On the hill of Fourvière, a few steps from the Roman theatres, the Parc de la Visitation is very little known to the people of Lyon. This unusual and little mentioned garden surrounds the former Convent of the Visitation built in the 19th century and transformed into a 4-star hotel in 2015. It is its presence that leads to confusion; many turn back, thinking it is the hotel grounds. Nay! A children’s play area will delight the little ones while the older ones will spread the picnic tablecloth under the trees.
Very natural, the Parc de la Visitation extends to the back of the hotel where the view of Lyon offers a pleasant panorama while you enjoy your sandwich.
♥️ Bonus: the secret passage to get to the Roman theaters via the Lucius Munatius Plancus alley which runs alongside the hotel. Perfect for a digestive stroll!
🏠 23 rue Roger Radisson, 69005 Lyon
🚇 Funicular F1 station Saint-Just or Bus 90 Jaricot stop
⏰ Every day, 24 hours a day via the Fourvière Hotel car park entrance
The Garden of Curiosities
Perched on the heights of Fourvière, on the Saint-Just side, the Jardin des Curiosités alone rewards the ascent of the hill that prays. A little hidden, we doubt its address the first time we go there. It takes longer in the parking lot at Place l’Abbé Larue to get there. There, a green space with a panoramic overhang welcomes us. The incredible view of Lyon (and beyond) can only let a sound of surprise escape from the visitor’s mouth. A secret garden where time seems suspended, the 6 chair-sculptures signed by Quebec artist Michel Goulet present a poetic touch to the place.
At the Jardin des Curiosités, set up your picnic on the grass on the hillside facing the view, before diving into your book in the shade of a tree.
♥️ Bonus: Contemplate the sunset over the rooftops of Lyon during an evening picnic
🏠 8 Place de l’Abbé Larue, 69005 Lyon
🚇 Funicular F1 Saint-Just station
⏰ Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (May to September, until 7:00 p.m. the rest of the year)
In the middle of the Saône in the north of Lyon, Île Barbe offers a heavenly spot for a country picnic just 15 minutes from the city centre. Refuge of hermits before the construction of its abbey, a handful of inhabitants still reside there, in quasi-autarky, although the island was attached to Lyon in 1963. To the north, is the private part with a few houses that the more curious try to see above the stone walls, while to the south the public part includes a parking lot, a large garden with a few picnic tables, a play area for children and an earthen space beaten for an improvised petanque.
Although the place is quickly taken over on sunny Sundays, Île Barbe remains a pleasant and easily accessible place for a bucolic picnic.
♥️ Bonus: Go to Île Barbe by bike, along the Saône on the quays for a stroll along the water
🏠 Île Barbe, opposite Saint-Rambert-l’Île Barbe, 69009 Lyon
🚌 Bus 40 stop Île Barbe or Bus 31 and 43 stop Saint Rambert – Île Barbe
⏰ Free access, excluding private part to the north
We end this TOP with a picnic spot to say the least… surprising.
On the Fourvière hill, the Cimetière de Loyasse brings together all the ingredients for a successful picnic: greenery, tranquillity, pleasant views and few visitors. As part of the European cemetery route (yes, it does exist), our Père Lachaise Lyonnais is certainly a place of commemoration, but also of relaxation. Very large, some still wild spaces are perfect for sitting under a tree and enjoying the view. Before, we feasted well in cemeteries, so why not a picnic?
More simply, we gladly stroll there to the song of the birds, after our snack in the Parc de la Visitation or the Jardin des Curiosités. Exit Fourvière or the Roman theatres, hello the Loyasse Cemetery, just as much a cultural place rich in Lyon history as its neighbours.
♥️ Bonus: Take the guided tour of the Cimetière de Loyasse to discover Lyon from another angle and dare to venture down the aisles in search of famous graves
🏠 43 rue du Cardinal Gerlier, 69005 Lyon
🚇 Funicular F1 station Saint-Just, F2 station Fourvière or Bus 90 stop Cimetière de Loyasse
⏰ Every day, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
💻 Info & booking: guided tour of the Loyasse Cemetery
It’s up to you to vote to designate which, in your opinion, is the best picnic spot in Lyon