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Le jardin des curiosités (i.e., the garden of curiosities): Lyon seen from above

Also known as the Jardin de Montréal and Jardin du Belvédère...

Parks, gardens and places to go for a stroll

Last updated date : 09/05/2023

Perched up on Fourvière hill, the entrance of this garden is located at the back of a car park (as if hidden!) and offers a majestic view over the city.

Presentation of Jardin des Curiosités

Located in Lyon’s 5th district, this place is worth going out of your way to visit, offering an excellent way to soak up the atmosphere of the city. Before you go there, learn about its history and where it got its name. Lastly, we give you all the information you need to get there easily, as well as the opening hours, to make the most of this place like no other.

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Park and garden

Garden of Montreal - Belvedere - Curiosities

place Abbé Larue - 69005 Lyon 5ème

04 72 69 47 60

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The history of the park

A little bit of Montréal in Lyon? You’re not dreaming, there really is a place in Lyon dreamt up on the other side of the Atlantic. The JDC in Lyon’s fifth district owes its creation to the historic understanding between the two cities. To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of relations built on cooperation and exchange back in 2000, Montréal donated this park, calling on figures from the Montréal scene to create a welcoming space conducive to contemplation and relaxation. In turn, the city of Lyon also donated a green space called the Jardin de Lyon (i.e., Lyon garden), located on Place J.-Ernest-Laforce in the very heart of Montréal. 

What can you see in Lyon’s Jardin des Curiosités?

Inspired by New York’s “pocket parks”, local parks like Lyon’s garden of curiosities are designed to create a small, poetic, green space in the very heart of the city. This is true of the Jardin des Curiosités, which was designed on a human scale and created by Daoust Lestage designers and Vlan Paysages landscapers. 

The walk starts with the park’s twin-leaved gates. Upon entering the park, the curved, planted path draws visitors towards the panoramic viewpoint, the garden’s undisputed highlight. Offering a spectacular view over the city, the panoramic viewpoint is organised into several well-defined spaces: a succession of themed squares reproducing the topography of the Montréal landscape, an outdoor seating area with a reddish surface evoking the colour of Lyon’s rooftops, and a tree-lined lawn.

You’ll soon spot the chairs embedded in the ground, offering a range of views of the park and surrounding area. There are six of them, all created by the Quebec sculptor Michel Goulet. Facing in different directions to increase the number of viewpoints, they encourage walkers to examine their aptitude for contemplation. This urban furniture is decorated with quotations and inscriptions engraved by the artist, poetically prompting visitors to consider their relationship to space. For example, visitors can read “I was told that from the heights of Lyon, as far as the eye can see, you can sometimes see, more than a hundred and fifty kilometres away, where the sun rises, the summit of Mont Blanc.” It’s a way of reminding visitors that this view is unique and that they must consciously make the most of this privilege.

How do I get to Lyon’s Jardin des Curiosités?

You have several options from the centre of Lyon. On foot, the walk up takes about twenty minutes from Place Bellecour, giving you the chance to take in part of Lyon’s old town, and get a little exercise, too. But you can also take the C20 bus from Place Bellecour (St-Alexandre bus stop). The most picturesque way is still to take the funicular railway to Saint-Just. From there, it takes just a few minutes to reach the park a little further down the slope. Finally, if you decide to go by car, the entrance to the garden is located in a public car park. So you can park at the foot of the entrance gate.

Parks, gardens and places to go for a stroll

Le jardin des curiosités (i.e., the garden of curiosities): Lyon seen from above

place Abbé Larue - 69005 Lyon 5ème

04 72 69 47 60

I go by alternative transportation

Public transit

Funicular F1 direction Saint-Just

Bus C20 from Place Bellecour (stop St-Alexandre)

Alternative transportation

20 min from Place Bellecour

What are the Lyon Jardin des Curiosités's opening hours?

The Jardin des Curiosités is open all year, so you can make the most of this green space every day and enjoy the changing colours and atmospheres of the different seasons. Though in summer it’s pleasant to stroll and picnic admiring the sunset, the view is also worth going out of your way to enjoy on a winter’s day when Lyon’s rooftops are covered with snow. The takeaway? You need to see the Jardin des Curiosités again and again to compare.

As for its daytime opening hours, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or even to 10 p.m. but only from May to September. The park is quite busy on summer evenings, so if you want to get a choice spot to admire the view while picnicking, make sure to arrive earlier. Finally, as it’s a local garden with only a small playground, the Jardin des Curiosités is better suited to solitary dreamers than young kids.